Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "nonprofits" ...

  • Why is it ‘easy’ to steal from youth sports?

    Our investigation exposed how a prominent youth sports league that went to the Little League World Series was being ripped off by adult leaders. When we looked statewide, we found gaping loopholes in youth sport finances.
  • Cory Briggs

    This series dug deep into the legal and ethical practices of San Diego attorney Cory Briggs who built a business and a reputation suing developers, municipalities and state and federal agencies in the name of the little guy. The results found major undisclosed conflicts of interest (which immediately resulted in a $143,000 reimbursement for taxpayers), a web of more than 40 nonprofits used as shell companies, highly questionable business practices, discrepancies in personal land deals and close business ties to the people he sues.
  • Following political money in a post-Citizens United world

    The Center for Public Integrity’s “Following political money in a post-Citizens United world” project was produced to help people understand which special interests are trying to influence U.S. elections, specifically by tracking the entities saturating television airwaves ahead of the 2014 elections and by following the money flowing from corporations to politically active nonprofits that generally do not disclose their donors. Together, the Center for Public Integrity’s widely used “Who’s Buying the Senate?” and “Who’s Calling the Shots in the States?” web apps allowed journalists and the General public to see what groups and power players were behind more than 2.5 million TV ads that aired in U.S. Senate races, statewide ballot measures and state-level contests such as gubernatorial elections and state Supreme Court races. Separately, the Center for Public Integrity’s seven-month-long analysis of voluntary corporate filings uncovered more than $173 million given to politically active nonprofits — such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — that have been major players in elections and public policy battles.
  • Who’s calling the shots in U.S. elections? How big money and secret contributions influence politics

    The Center for Public Integrity “Who’s calling the shots in U.S. elections? How big money and secret contributions influence politics” was produced to help people understand which special interests are trying to influence U.S. elections and the political process. The series tracked where the money was coming from and where it was going. It also looked at how the government regulates this new territory in the post-Citizens United era when nonprofits that don’t publicly disclose their donors can take on unprecedented political roles.
  • An Inside Track

    A groundbreaking investigation by Dallas Morning News reporters Ed Timms and Kevin Krause exposed questionable practices by a nonprofit agency created by local governments in part to avoid public scrutiny of the certification process for minority- and woman-owned businesses.. The reporters and their newspaper fought a lengthy legal battle for more than a year that resulted in a strong legal precedent that may deter other governments from trying to circumvent open records law by forming nonprofits. The investigation revealed that the local governments had relied on a temporary employment firm had operated the nonprofit agency for more than a decade. Employees of that private firm certified their own company as a minority-owned business, even as it won millions in contracts from those same governments. The employees also decided whether their company's competitors and subcontractors got certified. It also disclosed that the company, and other contractors, failed to adequately screen temporary employees provided to Dallas County.
  • Who benefits from Supervisor grants?

    San Diego County supervisors have long had what many call a “slush fund,” millions of dollars they can spend in any way they wish. inewsource investigative assistant Leonardo Castaneda analyzed 16 years of records to find that while the funds are meant to help improve neighborhoods, generally through grants to nonprofits, half of the money has gone back to the county itself. Each supervisor had $1 million a year in these discretionary funds, but when Castaneda began his inquiry, the board was considering doubling that amount. In this rolling investigation, His project exposed the the loose rules for grantmaking and the fact that some supervisors take personal credit and acknowledgement for the funding — when that’s not allowed. Those practices fuel the critics who say the “slush fund” is less about improving neighborhoods and more about securing the supervisors’ re-election bids.
  • The Koch Club

    The Investigative Reporting Workshop's “The Koch Club" focused on the growing influence of the billionaire brothers who now use their foundation arm to extend their economic and philosophical reach through nonprofits, educational groups and universities. It was coupled with a story on their direct influence in Congress regarding climate change.
  • The Congressman, the Safari King, and the Woman Who Tried to Look Like a Cat

    The specific focus of this series was the International Conservation Caucus Foundation and the lawmakers, polluting corporations, and environmental groups who benefit from it. The political genius of the foundation is that it has allowed ICCF member companies such as ExxonMobil to greenwash their reputations by funding ICCF member nonprofits, such as the Nature Conservancy. Meanwhile, corporate and nonprofit contributions to the foundation paid for "educational" lunches, dinners, galas and junkets, giving foundation members access to grateful members of Congress. These events -- and the foundation itself -- make a conscious effort to avoid discussing politically contentious topics like climate change, arguably the biggest conservation challenge of our time. The ICCF, which was founded by the former lobbyist of a Nigerian dictator who ordered the execution of nine nonviolent environmental protesters, is certainly notable in its own right. But what makes this series more important than a simple expose about a deeply conflicted foundation is that the ICCF is just one of many congressionally affiliated nonprofits that have popped up in part to skirt lobbying reforms instituted after the Jack Abramoff scandal. The most shocking thing about the ICCF and its ilk, according to government transparency advocates, is that most of what they are doing appears to be completely legal.
  • Pest Control: Syngenta's Secret Campaign to Silence Atrazine's Critics

    These stories detailed a secret campaign by Syngenta, the Swiss agricultural chemical giant, to spy on and discredit critics of atrazine, its highly profitable weed killer, used on three-quarters of all the corn grown in the United States. The main story was based on roughly 1,000 pages of documents under court seal that 100Reporters obtained under the Freedom of Information laws and a review of financial and other statements of nonprofits that defended and supported use of the herbicide. The company at the time faced a class action lawsuit over contamination of drinking water in six states, and maintained that the cost of clean-up could end atrazine sales in the United States.
  • Shadow Money

    With our ongoing investigation of "dark money" in politics, OpenSecrets Blog (run by the Center for Responsive Politics) has repeatedly broken new ground in revealing the cash pipeline of some of the groups that have been most active trying to influence elections and national policy. These groups -- tax-exempt nonprofits that don't have to reveal their funding sources -- spent more than $300 million in the 2012 elections, mostly on TV ads, and have continued to spend to set the stage for the next election cycle. No other news organization has done more to shine light on these secretive groups that use confusion and ambiguity in both tax law and election law to spend big money in elections around the country.