Data Byte - FundRace takes off here in Sarasota County

With Mitt Romney coming to town for a fundraising event on June 16th, it might be interesting to see what the political donor landscape is like here in Sarasota County. The Huffington Post has created an interactive mapping tool that makes it possible to see which residents and businesses of our community are contributing to the presidential race and more. Click here to access this cool tool.

Using the “FundRace” tool, you can identify which candidates or political parties people are contributing to. You can find all contributors of a specified city, zip code, occupation or employer, by political party.

So, for example, while the Herald-Tribune recently reported that local people supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney include county commissioner Joe Barbetta and developer Henry Rodriguez, “FundRace” makes it possible to find all the people who have made contributions to the Republican party who are:

· County Commissioners (turns out there were 40 county commissioners across the country in 2010, making contributions totaling $21,158).

· Developers (turns out there were 351 developers across the country in 2010, making contributions totaling $884,734).

· Sarasotans (turns out there were 397 people in the City of Sarasota in 2010, making contributions totaling $489,005).

Are there any local donor trends relating to employers/people/occupations that are surprising to you? Anything residents of Sarasota should notice? Any ways that donor trends correspond (or not) with voting patterns, as posted online by the Supervisor of Elections Office? If so, leave a comment here on our Blog!

Also, how might we use this technology not just for identifying political campaign contributions, but for other community data innovations as well? Could we use it to look at how people are contributing money to other community efforts? Or to track not just money, but contributions of other kinds, such as how people are investing their time, talents and passion in our community? What are some other ways in which we could translate this technology for the purpose of improving the places where we live and work?