Tarbell is pioneering journalism that informs, galvanizes and changes America.

We take a unique approach to coverage of money in policy, not just politics. We uncover how powerful people and companies use their influence to shape a system that works for them, not you. We highlight solutions to pressing problems. Our fiercely independent, unbiased news inspires people in all 50 U.S. states to take action.

Tarbell is proudly based in Philadelphia (and proudly not based in New York or Washington). We hire journalists nationwide. Tarbell is reader-funded. We are nonprofit. We do not accept advertising, money from corporations or from corporate foundations. Tarbell is a proud member of the Institute for Nonprofit News.

Email questions@tarbell.org with any inquiries about Tarbell’s model or funding. Our team is growing. Email hello@tarbell.org if you want to pitch a story or work for us.

Our inspiration

Ida Tarbell | Creative Commons

Tarbell is named in honor of Ida Tarbell, who was a Gilded Age reporter often credited with founding investigative journalism. She took on the corporate titans of her day and inspired many “muckraking” journalists. She inspired us.

our founder

Wendell Potter | Emily Assiran for Philadelphia Magazine

Wendell Potter is best known for his crisis of conscience in 2007 that led to him abandoning a seven-figure payout in corporate America for the life of a rabble rouser. Eight years after Wendell’s historic Congressional testimony changed the future of American health care, Tarbell aims to carry on the legacy of all whistleblowers: Exposing bad actors who prevent progress while ushering in change for the public good.

Become a Founder-level member of Tarbell to receive a weekly email from Wendell. And contact him anytime at wendell@tarbell.org. Watch Tarbell’s most recent crowdfunding video below.

editorial and transparency statement

Tarbell’s mission is to uncover and explain how powerful individuals, special interest groups and corporations wield influence on policies and laws that affect everyday Americans. We also highlight proposed solutions to pressing social, economic and political challenges and encourage our readers to find out more and get involved.

Tarbell’s journalism is fiercely nonpartisan.

As a nonprofit, Tarbell accepts donations and grants from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics related to our editorial mission, and special projects.

While we appreciate the support of our donors, they never have editorial input. Our editors and writers determine what we assign and publish independent of any donation or grant by any individual or organization.

No donor may review Tarbell articles before they are published.

We know our readers want to understand how money works behind the scenes — and as you support us, know that we hold ourselves to the same transparency standards regarding our funding.

We publish a list of all donors who give $1,000 or more per year.

Tarbell will not accept donations from corporations, anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

Tarbell files a report annually with the IRS that shows how we’re spending your money. For our most recent report, click here. We also pledge to send our members a quarterly email that highlights stories we have told, new projects we’re planning and how we’re managing our resources.

donor transparency

Each individual or organization listed below has contributed at least $1,000 since Tarbell’s launch. Tarbell does not accept advertising or corporate money. We are entirely funded by the tax-deductible donations of readers.

Laura and John Arnold of Houston, Texas

David Jay of Akron, Ohio

Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation of New York, New York

Honorable John “Jay” Rockefeller IV of Washington D.C.

Chuck D. Smith of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Nancy Petersmeyer of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

California One Care Foundation

Richard Master of Easton, Pennsylvania

David Gerson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Betsy Sheerr of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Deborah Turton of Mandeville, Louisiana

Peter Grant of Bellevue, Washington

Muriel Pollia Foundation

Jim Tarbell of Encina, California

Jim Miller of Knoxville, Tennessee

Joan Borsten of Malibu, California