How to Find Out If Your Neighbor Is Donating to a Politician

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Ever wonder whether your neighbors, friends, relatives or co-workers have given money to political campaigns? Turns out the answers are at your fingertips.

Have you ever wondered about who all those people are who give money to political candidates? Do you speculate about whether neighbors, friends, relatives or co-workers have pledged money to any campaigns?

Turns out the answers are at your fingertips. That’s because several free tools are available online, thanks to organizations that seek to help improve the transparency of political campaign financing.

What follows is a breakdown of the tools that enable you to look up specific individuals and find out whether they’ve donated to politicians — and, if so, how much money they gave to which politicians and when.

U.S. Federal Election Commission

The FEC is an independent regulatory agency of the federal government. It’s tasked with administering and enforcing the laws that govern the financing of federal elections.

All candidates for the presidency, U.S. House and U.S. Senate must report the details of their campaign finances to the FEC on a regular basis throughout their run for office.

The FEC publishes that data online publicly, but so much information is available via the FEC’s Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal that it can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate, especially for laypeople.

Fortunately, the website’s Individual Contributor Search tool makes it easy to dig into donor data.

You simply enter a person’s name — in the blank boxes at the bottom of the page — and click on the gray “Send Query” button. You can also enter other information — such as a city or ZIP code — to narrow down the results if the person has a common name.

If that person has donated to any federal political campaigns since 1997, the details will be listed.

You can even enter just a city or ZIP code, for example, to see a listing of every donor within a city or ZIP code, although that could yield a long list of results.

Center for Responsive Politics

The Center for Responsive Politics, often referred to as Open Secrets or OpenSecrets.org, is a nonprofit research group devoted to tracking money in U.S. politics.

The center’s Donor Lookup tool is similar to the FEC tool. However, the center’s tool allows you to select how you want search results to be sorted, such as by donation dates or amounts.

The center’s Get Local! tool breaks down a variety of donation data about each state and each ZIP code. For example, if you select a state, you can click on the “Donors” tab to view a list of the top contributors in the state.

National Institute on Money in State Politics

The National Institute on Money in State Politics, also known as Follow the Money or FollowTheMoney.org, is another nonprofit research group.

But while the Center for Responsive Politics focuses on the federal level, the institute focuses on the state level, boasting that its database includes data on all state-level candidates.

The institute’s Ask Anything! tool can be a little trickier to navigate compared with the previously mentioned tools, but that’s because it allows for more complex searches — such as searching for multiple donors at once — and more options for how the results are displayed.

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Click on the red “Start here” button.
  2. Click on the red “Contributions FROM…” button.
  3. Click on the “specific contributor” option.
  4. Enter a donor name.
  5. Click on the red “Go!” button.
  6. Choose from the many visualization options. (If you’re unsure where to start, begin by checking just the “Record” box next in the row labeled “Contributor’s Info.”)

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,067 more deals!