The National Institute on Money in State Politics: Follow the Money

October 3, 2011 in Community, Policy, Resources, Revenue

The National Institute on Money in State Politics (NIMSP) is the only nonpartisan, nonprofit organization revealing the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states. Our comprehensive and verifiable campaign-finance database and relevant issue analyses are available for free through our Web site

We encourage transparency and promote independent investigation of state-level campaign contributions by journalists, academic researchers, public-interest groups, government agencies, policymakers, students and the public at large.

Every two years, Institute data acquisition specialists collect, input and upload more than 90,000 contribution reports filed by 15,500 statewide, legislative and judicial candidates, 250 political party committees and 500 ballot measure committees in the 50 states. Researchers standardize donor names and code over $2 billion in contributions to 400 business categories and other interests. Programmers create open access to the records and attract thousands of users to the information. Staff also introduce users to the tools and resources and work with dozens of reporters to answer questions and provide custom data sets for their investigation.

The Institute receives its data in either electronic or paper files from the state disclosure agencies with which candidates must file their campaign finance reports. The Institute collects the information for all state-level candidates in the primary and general elections and then puts it into a database.”

3 responses to The National Institute on Money in State Politics: Follow the Money

  1. Across the political spectrum, Americans on the left and right agree that disclosure is critical to accountability and the health of our democracy. fills the information gaps at the local elections level, empowering citizens to track the flow of corporate, union, special interest, and individual donor donations into state and local campaigns.

    As a voter in Oregon, a state which regularly features a half dozen or more ballot measures during election cycles, I use to see who has given to specific ballot measures. The data on judicial elections is also helpful — especially for voters who want to know where the surge of outside spending is coming from. When a special interest intervenes in a low profile race, most voters don’t know who is behind the ads; the NIMSP combs through publicly available data to bring needed transparency to the electoral process.

    • Myles,

      Thank you so much for your review, we sincerely appreciate your comments. Your involvement in your democracy is both important and inspiring! We encourage you to keep raising awareness and to stay active in demanding accountability.

      Please let us know how we can improve our data and resources, and be sure to check out our new databases in both independent spending and lobbying expenditures. We also just released a report on the politics of judicial elections 2009-10 with Justice At State and the Brennan Center for Justice, here:

      Thank you again!

  2. The Institute also tracks independent spending data in the states as well as lobbying expenditure data in 5 pilot states. We publish reports on the intersection of money and politics, which may be found at our website,

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