Boston, MA

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $3,347,318
Expenses: $1,953,980
Assets: $1,998,022


Government Watchdog Organization




Michael Morisy

Budget (2022):

Revenue: $3,344,096

Expenses: $3,246,644

Assets: $2,017,927 1


  1. “MuckRock Foundation Incorporated Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed March 13, 2024.

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 MuckRock, formally known as the MuckRock Foundation Incorporated, is a non-profit news organization and online platform that facilitates freedom of information requests and investigative journalism.

Founded in 2010 by Michael Morisy and Mitchell Kotler, MuckRock aims to promote transparency and accountability in government by empowering citizens to request and access public records. The platform allows users to submit FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests to government agencies, track their progress, and publish the results for public review. MuckRock’s team of journalists and researchers also conduct their own investigations using FOIA requests and publish their findings on the platform.


Muckrock was launched as a for-profit company with a grant from the Sunlight Foundation, a government transparency advocacy group pushing for largely center-left policies. The Pioneer Institute Public Policy Research, a right-of-center group, was also an early supporter. Numerous law firms provided pro bono services to MuckRock at its launch and continue to do so. 1

In 2016, MuckRock reincorporated as a nonprofit that oversees DocumentCloud, oTranscribe, FOIA Machine, Muck.Rocks, and Quackbot. 2

MuckRock annually points out the worst cases of government transparency in articles such as the “FOIA Request Hall of Shame.” 3 In 2016, MuckRock singled out former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) for her use of a private email server while in office. 4

After the election of President Donald Trump, MuckRuck created a Slack channel to facilitate journalists making FOIA requests toward the new administration. Within days, the channel had 3,000 users. 5

Long Covid

MuckRock has been critical of the U.S. government’s response to the supposed “Long Covid crisis.” 6 In April 2023, MuckRock and Stat News published a report detailing the results of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) $1 billion spending on its RECOVER initiative to identify and treat Long Covid, stating, “There’s basically nothing to show for it.” 7

MuckRock fiscally sponsors Sick Times, a news outlet dedicated to covering the “ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and particularly Long Covid.” 8

In January 2024, MuckRock claimed credit for a group of U.S. Senators, including Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), calling for better oversight of the NIH’s Long Covid spending. 9


In 2014, MuckRock sued the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for consistently failing to comply with the Freedom of Information Act by “ignoring deadlines, refusing to work with requesters, and capriciously rejecting even routine requests for what should be clearly public information.” 10 Though the suit never went to court, MuckRock claimed that it caused the CIA to publicly release 25 years of previously classified data online in 2017.11

In May 2015, a company issued a public information request through MuckRock to attain information about Seattle’s smart meter program. The information was hosted publicly on MuckRock for a month until another company obtained a court order to force MuckRock to take the information down. Then a group of companies, including the company which got the information taken down, sued MuckRock and the city of Seattle to prevent the release of more records. The Electronic Frontier Foundation defended MuckRock in the suit and two follow-up cases on the grounds that MuckRock only hosts public disclosures but has no decision-making power over what information can be legally disclosed by governments. 12 13


Michael Morisy is the co-founder and chief executive officer of MuckRock. Morisy previously worked at the Boston Globe, Spare Change News, and TechTarget. Morisy was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University. MuckRock has received funding from both Stanford University and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. 14

Amanda Hickman has been the chief operating officer of MuckRock since October 2022. Hickman was the managing director and then interim executive director of the Association of Independents in Radio and was an open lab director at Buzzfeed. 15


In 2022, MuckRock reported revenues of $3,344,096 from a mix of fees and donations. 16 MuckRock publicly discloses donations of at least $5,000. 17

Since its founding, MuckRock’s largest donation was of $550,000 from the Filecoin Foundation for the Decentralized Web, followed by a $500,000 donation from Start Small, and a $300,000 donation from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. Other funders include the Miami Foundation, the Aspen Institute, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the Heron Oaks Foundation, Stanford University, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and the Fund for Investigative Journalism. 18


  1. Siegal, Erin. “Q&A: Michael Morisy, Co-Founder of MuckRock.” Columbia Journalism Review. February 13, 2012. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  2. “Frequently Asked Questions.” MuckRock. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  3. Brown, JPat. “MuckRock’s FOIA Redaction Hall Of Shame.” Tech Dirt. March 17, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  4. Mackey, Aaron; Maass, Dave. “The Foilies 2016: Recognizing the Worst Government Responses to Public Records Requests.” Electronic Frontier Foundation. March 14, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  5. Hare, Kristen. “Journalists around the country are joining a Slack channel devoted to FOIA and Trump.” Poynter. January 25, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  6. “About The Sick Times.” Sick Times. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  7. Cohrs, Rachel; Ladyzhets, Betsy. “The NIH has poured $1 billion into long Covid research — with little to show for it.” STAT. April 20, 2023. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  8. “About The Sick Times.” Sick Times. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  9. Ladyzhets, Betsy. “U.S. senators call for better oversight of federal health agency following criticism of Long Covid program.” MuckRock. January 24, 2024. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  10. Jardin, Xeni. “Transparency journalism site MuckRock sues CIA.” Boing Boing. June 11, 2014. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  11. Brown, JPat. “The CIA’s declassified database is now online.” MuckRock. January 17, 2017. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  12. “MuckRock Litigation.” Electronic Freedom Frontier. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  13. Mackey, Aaron. “Update: EFF Fights to End Court Case Against MuckRock.” Electronic Frontier Foundation. September 20, 2016. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  14. “Michael Morisy.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  15. “Amanda Hickman.” LinkedIn. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  16. “MuckRock Foundation Incorporated Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed March 13, 2024.
  17. “MuckRock Financial Information. Accessed March 14, 2024.
  18. “MuckRock Financial Information. Accessed March 14, 2024.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2016

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Dec Form 990 $3,347,318 $1,953,980 $1,998,022 $77,547 N $3,162,945 $183,304 $43 $0
    2020 Dec Form 990 $1,650,564 $1,281,774 $689,816 $162,675 N $1,280,949 $369,070 $581 $0
    2019 Dec Form 990 $674,844 $797,211 $202,592 $44,241 N $504,830 $169,882 $132 $0 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $774,451 $623,695 $305,195 $24,477 N $600,552 $170,121 $0 $185,930 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $399,134 $267,169 $138,489 $8,527 N $398,510 $0 $0 $59,155 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990EZ $0 $0 $8,489 $10,000 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF


    Boston, MA