Center for Responsive Politics

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) is a non-profit, nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C., that tracks the effects of money and lobbying on elections and public policy.[6] It maintains a public online database of its information.[7]

Center for Responsive Politics
Center for Responsive Politics logo.svg
MottoMoney Talks. We Translate.
Founded1983; 38 years ago (1983)[1]
FoundersFormer U.S. Sens. Frank Church and Hugh Scott
Legal status501(c)(3)[2]
FocusMoney in politics
Coordinates38°54′13″N 77°01′48″W / 38.9037°N 77.0300°W / 38.9037; -77.0300Coordinates: 38°54′13″N 77°01′48″W / 38.9037°N 77.0300°W / 38.9037; -77.0300
Area served
United States
John Coyle[3]
Sheila Krumholz[4]
Revenue (2017)
Expenses (2017)$2,032,042[5]
Endowment$800,000 (2017)[5]
Employees (2017)

Its website,, allows users to track federal campaign contributions and lobbying by lobbying firms, individual lobbyists, industry, "dark money", federal agencies, and bills. Other resources include the personal financial disclosures of all members of the U.S. Congress, the president, and top members of the administration. Users can also search by ZIP codes to learn how their neighbors are allocating their political contributions.[8]


CRP was founded in 1983 by retired U.S. Senators Frank Church of Idaho, of the Democratic Party, and Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, of the Republican Party.[1] It was officially incorporated on February 1, 1984.[9] In the 1980s, Church and Scott launched a "money-in-politics" project, whose outcome consisted of large, printed books. Their first book, published in 1988, analyzed spending patterns in congressional elections from 1974 through 1986, including 1986 soft money contributions in five states. It was titled Spending in Congressional Elections: A Never-Ending Spiral.[10]


In 1996, CRP launched its online counterpart, The website is a clearinghouse for data and analysis regarding money in politics.[1]

CRP hosts a Revolving Door database which documents the individuals who have passed between the public sector and K Street.[11]

In 2015, The News & Observer published an op-ed by Robert Maguire, the political nonprofits investigator at CRP, that was critical of Carolina Rising, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization (i.e. an organization considered by the IRS to operate exclusively for the promotion of social welfare) for spending $4.7 million in 2014 on political ads in support of Thom Tillis, Senate candidate from North Carolina.[12]


Major donors to the Center for Responsive Politics include the Sunlight Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Open Society Foundations, the Joyce Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. At the end of 2017, the organization reported $1.44 million in annual revenue and $2.92 million in net assets.[5]


Sheila Krumholz has been the CRP's executive director since December 2006, having served as the CRP's research director. She joined the organization in 1989.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Harvey, Kerric (2013). Encyclopedia of Social Media and Politics. Sage Publications. p. 252. ISBN 9781452290263.
  2. ^ a b "Center for Responsive Politics". Tax Exempt Organization Search. Internal Revenue Search. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  3. ^ "OpenSecrets: Board of Directors". Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "OpenSecrets: Our Team". Center for Responsive Politics.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". Center for Responsive Politics. Guidestar. December 31, 2017.
  6. ^ Crane, Michael (2004). The Political Junkie Handbook: The Definitive Reference Book on Politics. SP Books. p. 547. ISBN 9781561718917.
  7. ^ "OpenSecrets: Mission". Center for Responsive Politics.
  8. ^ "Get Local!" Center for Responsive Politics. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  9. ^ "Center for Responsive Politics". Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Government of the District of Columbia. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  10. ^ "Suggested Background Reading". Campaign Finance Information Center.
  11. ^ Wiist, William (2010). The Bottom Line or Public Health: Tactics Corporations Use to Influence Health and Health Policy, and What We Can Do to Counter Them. Oxford University Press. p. 149. ISBN 9780199704927.
  12. ^ Maguire, Robert (October 27, 2015). "Carolina Rising offers new low in campaign finance". The News & Observer.

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