Help TheyWorkForYou make sense of Parliament

by mySociety in United Kingdom

Help TheyWorkForYou make sense of Parliament

£9,603

raised of £25,000 target
364
supporters
38% 8 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by December 20th 2019 at 12:00pm

TheyWorkForYou needs your help to continue holding Parliament to account. Pledge now to keep it running for the next 12 months!

by mySociety in United Kingdom

Making sure they work for you

TheyWorkForYou makes it easier to understand what goes on in Parliament, and to make an informed choice in the election. With just a few clicks, you can check up on your MP and find out: are they working for you?

But the site is currently operating without dedicated funding, and that’s a problem. In order to keep it running for the next 12 months, we’re going to need your help. 

We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to keep an eye on their elected representatives and hold them to account.

Now more than ever, the UK public needs clarity over what’s said and done in Parliament. TheyWorkForYou helps to provide that clarity and oversight, with over 300,000 people visiting the site in a typical month.

If every person who visited TheyWorkForYou in a single day donated just £1, we'd reach our target in just 3 days – and be able to run the site for another year. 

If you enjoy — or even rely on — TheyWorkForYou’s services, then be a democracy hero and donate now to ensure we can continue to provide them.

Why we need your help

TheyWorkForYou is run by mySociety, an independent charity. We built it because we think everyone in the UK should be able to understand what’s going on in their own Parliament quickly and easily – and without the need for a degree in politics. And we keep it going because we think it’s still a vital service. 

But we can only continue to run and improve the site with support from people like you. TheyWorkForYou receives no direct funding from government or large donors – it relies on donations from the public.

In recent years the role of Parliament has become more visible, more complex and faster moving. However, a lack of funds means TheyWorkForYou has been unable to keep up with these changing political circumstances. An election – and a new parliament – also mean more work than usual is required to update the site.

What your donation will fund

With your support, we can continue running TheyWorkForYou for the next 12 months – and make improvements based on the needs and ideas of users like you. Without funding, the site will become out of date and less useful in keeping people informed.

Depending on how much we raise, we’ll be able to do some or all of the following:

  • Update MP profiles and other essential information after the election. We’ll be working through the night to update TheyWorkForYou as each new result is announced!
  • Fix issues arising from changing political circumstances – eg. many more MPs are switching parties, which has implications for how we present their voting records.
  • Essential work to keep TheyWorkForYou running day to day, such as analysing and converting data from Parliament, translating motions or amendments into plain English, and helping users find the information they need.  
  • Make improvements and add new features based on feedback and ideas from users of the site.
  • Reach new audiences, especially those who’ve never considered reading Hansard or checking their MP’s voting record. 
  • Spend more time explaining and classifying votes, and responding to MPs or public queries about voting records.

Please give what you can to help us make Parliament accessible to all and keep our elected representatives accountable.

Why is TheyWorkForYou important?

TheyWorkForYou takes open data from the UK Parliament and presents it in a way that’s easy to follow. It makes it easy to find out who the MP is for your area, what they've been saying, and how they've voted. 

You can find out what your elected representative is deciding on your behalf – and if you disagree, it also shows you how to contact them and let them know what you think.

TheyWorkForYou is a vital public resource, visited by 300,000 people in a typical month — and that rises significantly in the run-up to a general election, when people visit the site to find out their MP’s track record and share that information with others.

The value of an independent service

As an independent service, TheyWorkForYou can do things the official UK Parliament site can't or won't. For example:

  • MP voting records summaries are one of the most used features on TheyWorkForYou – these are unlikely to ever be provided by an official service, as it requires manual reviewing and categorising of votes.
  • Email alerts, so you don’t have to come to the site to see what your MP is saying or how they voted, or when a subject you’re interested is mentioned: it drops straight into your email inbox instead.
  • The latest updates from the Register of Members Interests are shown on each MP’s profile – so that you can easily see information about any financial interest your MP has, or benefit they receive.
  • Votes are discoverable by commonly known names, such as ‘bedroom tax’ (rather than ‘Spare Room Subsidy’) and ‘fracking’ (rather than ‘hydraulic fracturing’). 
  • We make it easier to follow debates by highlighting who’s speaking, and allow you to search and link to them, so you can share precisely what someone said, via email, Twitter or Facebook.
  • A searchable archive of debates means that TheyWorkForYou is a rich, accessible and searchable historic resource – so you can find mentions of any topic, in debates as recent as yesterday or as far back as 1919.

Our target

We’re aiming to raise at least £25,000 to support TheyWorkForYou throughout the general election period – and in the critical days, weeks and months that follow.

Your donation will help secure TheyWorkForYou’s existence into the next twelve months, and ensure we can develop and improve the site based on the needs of the people who use it.

Thank you for your support!

FAQs

Is TheyWorkForYou run by government?

No: it’s a completely independent project, which has been run by the UK charity mySociety since 2006. You can find more information about TheyWorkForYou here

Who is mySociety?

mySociety is a UK-based charity established in 2003 that aims to help people be active citizens. We build web tools that make democracy more accessible, and that help hold power to account. 

mySociety is not politically aligned, and its projects are free for everyone to use. We believe that strong democratic accountability and a thriving civil society are vital to our common welfare, and that these only survive when people engage with government and within their communities.

You can find out more about us at www.mysociety.org.

How are you funded?

mySociety is a registered charity (our registered charity name is UK Citizens Online Democracy). We're funded by people like you, and by charitable trusts. You can find full details of our funding here

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