March 18, 2009, WASHINGTON, DC — The Sunlight Foundation announced today it has received a $4 million grant from Omidyar Network to support Sunlight’s efforts to improve access to existing government information, digitize new information, and create new online tools to foster greater government transparency.
Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, has strengthened its investment focus on government transparency by committing a total of $8 million to Sunlight since 2007. With this latest grant, which includes the potential for future matching funds, Omidyar Network is furthering its commitment to Sunlight’s work to use online platforms and technologies to ensure visibility into government activity.
“We are thrilled to be expanding our collaboration with Omidyar Network to catalyze greater transparency and openness in government,” said Ellen Miller, co-founder and executive director of the Sunlight Foundation. “Sunlight and Omidyar Network share a fundamental belief in the value of transparency, the role of new technologies to connect individuals to information and the ability for citizens to influence the issues that impact their lives.”
Sunlight also announced that Matt Halprin, partner at Omidyar Network, will join Sunlight’s Board. As the lead for Omidyar Network’s Media, Markets & Transparency initiative, Halprin brings deep experience in strategy, general management and Internet platforms. Halprin was previously vice president at eBay and a partner at the Boston Consulting Group. Halprin will be joined by Stacy Donohue, a director at Omidyar Network, who leads the organization’s government transparency investment area. Donohue will take an Observer seat on the Board.
“The Sunlight Foundation is consistently breaking new ground in using technology and online platforms to give people access to trustworthy information about government action and influence,” said Matt Halprin, partner, Omidyar Network. “Sunlight’s core mission is strongly aligned with Omidyar Network’s focus on government transparency. Together, we are committed to ensuring that information previously unobtainable via the Internet is accessible online. By making information about the influence of money in government decision making broadly available, we hope to bolster the effectiveness and accountability of representative government.”
About Omidyar Network
Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic, social, and political change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $270 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, property rights, government transparency, and social media. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.
About Sunlight Foundation
The Sunlight Foundation is a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to using the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency. Visit http://SunlightFoundation.com to learn more about Sunlight’s projects, including http://TheOpenSenateProject.com, http://CapitolWords.org and http://OpenCongress.org.