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Credit: Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker/ProPublica. Photo by George Marks/Getty Images.

Investigating Political Nonprofits, Scam PACs and More

ProPublica’s new 527 Explorer database delves into the shadowy world of political cash facilitated by nonprofits called 527s. In this webinar, we will show users how to follow the money.

Every year, millions of dollars flow through obscure nonprofits known as 527s. The amount spent has only increased over the years, and more than $1 billion was spent in 2022. While all federal PACs are 527s, the organizations we’re discussing are not regulated by the Federal Election Commission and do not have restrictions on who can contribute or how much they can give.

To help illuminate this group of 527 nonprofits, ProPublica built a searchable database allowing users to explore who funds these organizations and how they spend their money. In this webinar, we will coach journalists on how to use our database, from generating story ideas to deciphering contributions and expenditures. We will also help readers better understand money’s influence on politics, enabling users to explore 527s by state, organization and more.

Our speakers include:

  • Brandon Roberts, news applications developer for ProPublica
  • Ellis Simani, data reporter for ProPublica
  • Ilya Marritz, reporter for the Boston Globe
  • Ruth Talbot, news applications developer for ProPublica
  • Ken Schwencke, news applications editor for ProPublica (moderator)

Can't attend? Register to receive a recording of the program.

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