Seven Days Releases Database Driving Its Series on Vermont's Nonprofit Economy | Inside Seven Days

Please support our work!

Donate  Advertise

Friday, June 29, 2018

Seven Days Releases Database Driving Its Series on Vermont’s Nonprofit Economy

Posted By and on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 at 2:01 PM

click to enlarge screenshot_2018-06-29_13.37.14.png
Vermont has eight times as many nonprofits as it has dairy farms — and unlike the milk industry, the state’s charitable sector just keeps growing.

For the past two weeks, Seven Days, Vermont’s free, independent newsweekly, has been shining a spotlight on Vermont’s 6,044 nonprofits, examining what these mostly tax-exempt organizations have in common, and what their proliferation means for Vermont, in a series called “Give and Take: Examining Vermont’s Nonprofit Economy.” 
click to enlarge Andrea Suozzo - MATTHEW THORSEN
  • Matthew Thorsen
  • Andrea Suozzo


To report this series, Seven Days’ news team relied on publicly accessible nonprofit tax filings, known as IRS Form 990s. Digital editor Andrea Suozzo turned those thousands of filings into a database, called the Vermont Nonprofit Navigator. Seven Days reporters and editors have been mining it in search of stories; now readers can, too. Seven Days has made the Vermont Nonprofit Navigator available to the public, for free, at nonprofits.sevendaysvt.com.

The database is a valuable resource that allows users to:

  • Search organizations by name, location, assets and annual revenue
  • Look up categories of nonprofits, such as those dedicated to the environment, arts and animal welfare
  • Identify board members
  • Search for top salaries
The database doesn’t include all nonprofit organizations. Some of them — including churches, semi-governmental entities and those with annual revenue of $50,000 or less — report more limited information. And a word of caution: As with any tax filings, the Form 990s may contain errors.

Still, the Vermont Nonprofit Navigator will be of use to anyone interested in learning more about these important entities, and the role they play in Vermont.

“The nonprofit sector is a huge part of Vermont’s economy that, generally speaking, gets very little scrutiny,” says publisher and co-editor Paula Routly. “In some ways it seems almost sacred. Nobody really reports on it.”
Seven Days set out to change that. “Having the 990s digitized gave us a chance to look at the industry in a more analytical way.”
Seven Days digital editor Andrea Suozzo, who built the Navigator, was motivated by a desire to make publicly accessible data easier to find and understand. “I set out to build a tool that would help our reporters understand what was in more than 13,000 public filings,” she says, “but I’m so excited that we’re able to put those same search tools at the fingertips of anyone who’s curious!”

A New York City native, Suozzo came to Vermont to attend Middlebury College, graduating with a degree in English literature in 2009. She worked as a reporter and the online editor for the Addison Independent before becoming Seven Days’ digital editor in 2014. A self-taught Python and JavaScript programmer, Suozzo conducted a workshop in using Python for data analysis at the National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting annual conference in Chicago in March.

Find the Vermont Nonprofit Navigator at nonprofits.sevendaysvt.com, and check out all the stories in the Give and Take series.

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

About The Authors

Corey Barrows

Corey Barrows

Bio:
Corey was the Marketing and Events Director for Seven Days and Kids VT 2012-2022.
Andrea Suozzo

Andrea Suozzo

Bio:
Andrea is the data editor at Seven Days. She crunches the numbers for data-driven stories and creates graphics and interactives to explain those numbers.

About the Artist

Matthew Thorsen

Matthew Thorsen

Bio:
Matthew Thorsen was a photographer for Seven Days 1995-2018. Read all about his life and work here.

Latest in Category

  • Seven Days Places Among Top Winners at the 2023 AAN Awards
  • Seven Days Places Among Top Winners at the 2023 AAN Awards

    Seven Days took home four first-place awards at the July Association of Alternative Newsmedia convention in Dallas, tying for the most wins with the Chicago Reader and the Willamette Week of Portland, Ore. We’re proud and grateful. Thanks, AAN! And thanks to our readers and advertisers for making our local journalism possible. Read on for the winners...
    • Aug 16, 2023
  • Seven Days Wins 20 First-Place Awards in Regional Media Competition
  • Seven Days Wins 20 First-Place Awards in Regional Media Competition

    Seven Days won 20 first-place awards — more than any other media outlet — at the New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) convention in Waltham, Mass., last weekend competing against other large-circulation weeklies. We're honored by this recognition. Thanks to our talented staff — and to the Super Readers, sponsors and advertisers who fund our work!
    • May 10, 2023
  • Find a Job, Make Connections and Learn About Local Innovation at the Vermont Tech Jam
  • Find a Job at Vermont Tech Jam Oct. 22

    Vermont is home to numerous innovative tech companies that make everything from underwater robots to battery-powered aircraft. Learn about them at the Vermont Tech Jam, an annual career and tech expo on Saturday, October 22 at Hula on the Burlington waterfront. This year's keynote presenters: Boston Scientific cofounder John Abele and Sarah Kalil, CEO of the Vermont-based CoreMap. (7D PROMO)
    • Sep 27, 2022
  • More »

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2024 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation