National Priorities Project

Annual Report 2011

Vision of an
Engaged Democracy

A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget

Our Mission

National Priorities Project makes our complex federal budget transparent and accessible so people can exercise their right and responsibility to oversee and influence how their tax dollars are spent.

Big Picture

Theory of Change

Most of us in the United States don't know where or how our federal tax dollars are spent. Many factors have distanced us from the personal and societal impacts of federal spending, and barriers have prevented us from having influence over the creation and oversight of our national budget.

The federal budgeting process should be open and participatory, with elected officials fully accountable to their constituents. Making this a reality is crucial for a healthy and robust democracy.

National Priorities Project opens the federal budget door for people to understand how and where their tax dollars are spent, and how and when they can influence budget decisions. Clear budget information—put into the hands of individuals and community organizations, policy makers and the media—empowers all Americans to influence our national priorities. By analyzing and interpreting budget information, the work of NPP strengthens movements, ensures a more just and equitable national budget, and brings us closer to the promise of democracy.

NPP takes action in a variety of ways, shifting as new technologies and communication outlets emerge:

  • Issuing timely and relevant reports that break down federal revenues and expenditures at the national, state, and local levels;
  • Providing online seminars and participatory workshops that offer essential information about the national budget and the budget-making process to build the capacity of our constituents;
  • Maintaining a unique database which allows people to assess the personal and societal impact of federal revenue generation and spending;
  • Creating highly accessible and easily shared web-based tools that foster engagement; and
  • Implementing innovative communications and networking strategies dedicated to ensuring that NPP's materials reach an increasing number and greater diversity of people and organizations.