The Corporate Research Project is a non-profit center that assists community, environmental and labor organizations in researching and analyzing companies and industries. The Project is designed to be a resource to aid activism. Consequently, our focus is on strategic research, i.e., identifying the information activists can use as leverage to get business to behave in a socially responsible manner.
We play this role by:
- producing profiles of specific companies or industries. We have done analyses in areas ranging from agribusiness and mining to private prisons and insurance. In addition to producing custom profiles for organizations, we publish dossiers on some of the world's largest corporations; they can be found in the Corporate Rap Sheets section of this site.
- helping groups identify and obtain access to more specialized sources of corporate information from government agencies, private organizations or commercial vendors. We subscribe to a number of databases that would be too expensive for the typical non-profit organization to afford. Based in Washington, DC, the Project has easy access to the Library of Congress and the libraries of all federal agencies.
- training staff members or activists in research techniques. Corporate research is not an esoteric activity that should be restricted to the initiated few. The Project can help spread business information-gathering skills to everyone in an activist group. This website contains a guide to doing corporate research on the internet.
- helping to coordinate campaigns in different places involving the same company. Since the Project is working with groups around the country, we are in a unique position to see connections between campaigns whose activists may not know of each other's efforts. When we help a group research a company, we look for ways that information can also be useful to other groups with which we may work.
- publishing a blog called the Dirt Diggers Digest that deals with corporate misbehavior and how to research it.
Most of our work is used by groups for campaign planning purposes and is not published, but we also produce reports for public distribution. Among the latter are:
A Good Deal for Mississippi? A Report on Taxpayer Assistance to Nissan in Canton, Mississippi, which was commissioned by the United Auto Workers.
A report profiling 12 companies that received large contracts for hurricane cleanup and reconstruction along the Gulf Coast, which was done for Interfaith Worker Justice.
Chapter 1 of A Matter of Trust: How the Revolving Door Undermines Public Confidence in Government--And What to Do About It, which was done for the Revolving Door Working Group;
USDA Inc.: How Agribusiness has Hijacked Regulatory Policy at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which was done for the Agribusiness Accountability Initiative;
Your Tax Dollars at Work...Offshore: How Foreign Outsourcing Firms are Capturing State Government Contracts, which was done for WashTech (a local union of the Communications Workers of America); and
Corrections Corporation of America: A Critical Look at its First 20 Years, which was done (in collaboration with Stephen Nathan) for Grassroots Leadership.
Apart from those mentioned above, some of our other clients have included:
- Greenpeace USA
- Institute on Money in State Politics
- National Family Farm Coalition
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Oxfam America
- Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
The Corporate Research Project is an affiliate of Good Jobs First, which researches and promotes accountability standards for economic development subsidies given to corporations by state and local governments.
If your organization needs corporate research help, please contact us.
Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First
(202) 232-1616 ext.212
Dirt Diggers Digest
Guide to Corporate Research
You don't need to be an expert to do critical corporate research. See our online Guide to find the best sources.
The first national compilation of company-specific information on economic development subsidy awards from around the country. Search the database here.
The Corporate Research Project is affiliated with Good Jobs First, a resource center on economic development accountability.