Where Do We Get Our Data?

If you find yourself addicted to checking out the Campaign Finance Reform Score of various companies, you are not alone. Our free app is becoming immensely popular, with 500–800 people downloading it daily. We tell you more about our Campaign Finance Reform Score here, but in a nutshell, the Campaign Finance Reform Score is a barometer for consumers to easily identify which brands and companies to support if they want meaningful campaign finance reform (or vice versa).

Now that lots of people are using the app, we often get the question about where our data comes from. To start, we hand curate all of our data. This takes time but it ensures its accuracy and is why our app is so easy to use. We don’t have bots out there scraping the internet; we employ researchers to determine the parent company of specific brand/s and then input the actual political donation data from prior federal elections into our super-secret algorithm that then outputs our Campaign Finance Reform Score.

To do this, we aggregate several cycles of FEC (Federal Election Commission) political contribution data.  During that process, we differentiate between donations made by the corporate PAC and those made by senior executives. This ensures that our numbers reflect how the company itself is playing politics, not just sampling the political lean of the company’s labor force. After all, it’s the senior executives who determine where the PAC money goes. Finally, we separate the sum of these donations by party. Using several cycles of data ensures that companies won’t be able to game our numbers by donating large chunks to either party at the end.

What else is in the works? We’re currently working on features that will allow our users to see more detail for each brand and company, including a breakdown between PAC and senior employee donations and the top five companies donated to by each brand and company. Our goal is to release these features with the 2018 election data release in November. We’re also planning on vetting state expenditures at some point, but right now we are a small team, so these things take time.

In the meantime, keep checking our website for more updates and sign-up for our weekly newsletter. We promise not to email you more than once a week, and signing up will make sure you’re informed about the latest Good News.

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