ClearGov Launches Unique Content Distribution Network to Attract, Inform, and Engage More Citizens

by Chris Bullock

ClearGov Launches Content Distribution Network

Gov-Tech innovator partners with Patch, Ballotpedia, and GateHouse Media to help local agencies expand their reach and battle the growing spread of misinformation

Maynard, MA (5/8/19) – ClearGov, a leader in municipal technology, announced today it has partnered with three leading media organizations to help local governments and school districts better promote their progress and performance by distributing reliable, data-rich content across highly trafficked web portals. This content includes unique, infographic-based fiscal transparency profiles powered by the most comprehensive municipal financial database in the world. To date, ClearGov has built transparency profiles for every civic entity in the United States and for every school district in six states. Now, ClearGov plans to syndicate this rich fiscal and performance data to a growing partner network of news sites that include Patch, Ballotpedia, and GateHouse Media. The goal is to help local governments reach, inform, and engage more citizens with information they can trust.

“These three popular and highly respected news outlets form the foundation of a powerful and expansive distribution network,” said ClearGov CEO Chris Bullock. “Our goal is to give local agencies broader access to the communities they serve, while simultaneously promoting their content to residents and businesses outside their community who may be looking to relocate or invest. We’re actively seeking to connect with other media sites hungry for local content and interested in sharing our fiscal, demographic, and project-related profile data with their civic-minded audiences.”

With Americans busier than ever and physical attendance at public meetings dwindling, it’s incumbent upon local agencies to uncover new ways to communicate with their constituents. ClearGov believes that distributing municipal content on highly trafficked sites like Patch, Ballotpedia, and GateHouse will empower local agencies to get the word out about community issues to more interested stakeholders.

Newly released Pew Center findings reveal nearly nine in 10 Americans currently get at least some local news digitally. Bullock said, “With more people getting their information online, it’s important for local governments to control their narrative. There’s a lot of misinformation out there and it’s increasingly difficult for folks to discern fact from fiction. The more opportunities local governments have to get the facts out to their residents the better.”

Now, communities with an active ClearGov transparency site will have a new way to get their content in front of more of those digital consumers than ever before. Currently, Patch hosts about 1,200 ClearGov-driven profiles and Ballotpedia has published nearly 40,000. GateHouse recently launched its first ClearGov profiles and plans to extend to sites throughout its network by mid-2019.

The Patch network, which serves communities, towns, and cities in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., collectively generates about 25 million monthly unique visitors. Patch CEO Warren St. John said, “Sourcing accurate town-level government data in an age of misinformation is a challenge for both citizens and reporters. Patch’s integration with ClearGov provides both our users and our journalists with reliable and granular data about how local governments function and spend.”

Ballotpedia boasts more than 285,000 articles on its site and more than 1 billion page views since its 2007 launch. In the last year alone, the site averaged 4.3 million monthly unique visitors.  “We’re committed to providing accurate and objective information about politics at all levels of government to our growing user base,” said Ballotpedia CEO and founder Leslie Graves. “We’re excited to partner with ClearGov to empower voters with access to easy-to-understand financials so they can make better informed decisions at the ballot box.

GateHouse Media, one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the country, operates in 580 markets across 37 states and reaches more than 22 million people weekly.

In aggregate, Patch, Ballotpedia, and GateHouse Media attract over 450 million page views on a monthly basis. Bullock adds, “The distribution of ClearGov content across this growing network of frequently visited news sites will help local towns and school districts deliver their data (and tell their story) to many more residents and drive further engagement with their ClearGov transparency profile,” said Bullock.

The official launch of this unique distribution network comes on the heels of ClearGov’s release of a new project communications solution that allows agency officials to quickly create and publish project pages that shine a spotlight on capital development. Project content will also be disseminated to news sites in the ClearGov network, effectively getting timely information about important community initiatives to more viewers.

About ClearGov

ClearGov is on a mission to build a community of transparent, data-driven, modern governments. ClearGov provides a full suite of turnkey, cloud-based solutions to help local municipalities drive transparency, streamline budgeting, and better engage residents.  ClearGov’s award-winning platform is currently used by hundreds of communities across 25 different states.

CONTACT:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

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About Patch

Patch is a hyperlocal platform that currently serves over 1,200 communities, towns and cities across the U.S. Known as “The Patch” by its users, Patch is the go-to destination for hyperlocal news and discussion about your community.

For more information regarding Patch, please visit www.patch.com.

About Ballotpedia

Ballotpedia is the online encyclopedia of American politics and elections. Its goal is to preserve and expand knowledge about politics by providing objective information about local, state, and federal politics and policies. Its content includes trustworthy information readers can rely on, covering government officials and the offices they hold, political issues and public policy, elections, candidates, and the influencers of politics. Headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin, Ballotpedia was founded in 2006. It includes over 270,000 professionally authored encyclopedic articles that have garnered over 1 billion page views.

For more information regarding Ballotpedia, please contact media@Ballotpedia.org.

About GateHouse Media, LLC

GateHouse Media, headquartered in Pittsford, New York, is a wholly owned subsidiary of New Media Investment Group Inc., which is focused primarily on investing in a high quality, diversified portfolio of local media assets and on growing existing advertising and digital marketing and business services. GateHouse Media is one of the largest publishers of locally based print and online media in the United States, as measured by its 146 daily publications. As of December 30, 2018, the company operates in over 580 markets across 37 states, reaching over 22 million people on a weekly basis and serves over 199,000 business customers. For more information regarding GateHouse Media, please visit www.gatehousemedia.com.

ClearGov makes news on the Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour

by Michelle Martineau

Bryan takes on Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour!

If your radio happened to be tuned to the Bloomberg Baystate Business Hour Monday afternoon, you may have heard the dulcet tones of ClearGov president Bryan Burdick making a compelling case for clarity in governance to Boston bureau chief Tom Moroney and radio news anchor Peter Barnes. If you missed it, you can listen here. Bryan’s segment begins around 13 minutes in.

Bryan made news on several fronts, announcing the launch of a new product feature called ClearGov Projects and a new partnership with Patch, a hyperlocal news platform that currently serves more than 1,200 communities, towns, and cities across the U.S.

ClearGov Projects gives local governments and schools an easy way to shine a spotlight on capital improvements and the initiatives people care about most. The new feature allows ClearGov customers to create and publish detailed project pages in a matter of minutes so they can easily share important updates about budgets, timelines, and more with their communities and the Press.

Speaking of the Press, ClearGov has also just joined forced with Patch to integrate ClearGov profiles directly into all of their local sites. After successfully piloting the new service in Massachusetts, we’re gearing up to roll it out to another 900 Patch sites across the country. Stay tuned to the ClearGov blog for more details on this exciting development and be sure to check out Bryan’s interview with Bloomberg’s Boston Bureau.

ClearGov named to GovTech 100 list for 2019 — 4th year in a row!

by Jena Skivington

2019 GovTech 100ClearGov is honored to be recognized as a GovTech 100 company for 2019. The annual list compiled and published by Government Technology magazine shines a spotlight on the top businesses committed to making a difference in state and local government agencies.

“We’ve made the prestigious list every year since we first opened our doors in 2015,” said CEO Chris Bullock. “And, we’re proud to be included among the top 100 again in what’s become an increasingly competitive space driven by innovators and trailblazers.”

In a feature article introducing this year’s top 100, Government Technology associate editor Ben Miller notes that 2018 was a remarkably active year in the GovTech market, fueled by mergers, acquisitions, and venture capital investments. Miller writes, “one thing has been made quite clear in the past year — if one asks whether investing in a gov tech company can really be profitable, the answer must now be ‘yes.’”

That comes as no surprise to ClearGov as we not only doubled our client base across 20 states last year but also raised an additional $2.25M through a second seed round of financing back in May. The oversubscribed round attracted both new investors and existing backers who upped their stake in ClearGov.

“We’re currently leveraging this latest infusion of capital to scale our sales and client services teams, bring more new products to market, and further advance our mission to help local governments be more efficient and effective,” said Bullock. To learn more about the 2019 GovTech 100 and the growth trajectory for companies that made the list, check out Ben Miller’s article.

Click here to view the full list of winning GovTech 100 companies for 2019.

ClearGov Expands Executive Team to Support & Accelerate Growth

by Jena Skivington

ClearGov expands executive leadership teamProven Tech Leaders, Sarah Webber (from Constant Contact) and Vartan Hagopian (from Monster and PeopleFluent) join ClearGov’s Executive Team

ClearGov, a leading provider of transparency, budgeting and forecasting solutions for local governments, announced today that two accomplished software professionals have joined the executive leadership team to support the company’s rapid growth and expansion.

New additions to the team include Sarah Webber, VP of Client Success and Vartan Hagopian, VP of Sales.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have both Sarah and Vartan on our executive team at ClearGov,” said Bryan Burdick, President and Co-Founder of ClearGov. “ClearGov has seen rapid growth over the last two years and is poised to accelerate this trajectory in 2019. Sarah brings a proven track record and expertise in scaling a client success team, and I am confident she will ensure every ClearGov customer has a tremendous experience working with us. Vartan has successfully led software sales teams of all shapes and sizes, and he knows how to drive rapid growth. Best of all, both Vartan and Sarah share our common vision of what it takes to build a high-performing, positive company culture, so I am confident they will continue to attract and hire top-notch talent as ClearGov continues to grow.”

Sarah Webber has over 20 years of experience in strategic leadership roles with a core focus on driving client satisfaction and success in order to build lasting relationships and increase retention. Sarah brings a unique set of leadership skills to ClearGov and is dedicated to creating a service environment that drives immediate impact and long-term value for ClearGov clients. Sarah specializes in mentoring and building a client success organization that will delight ClearGov customers and exceed their expectations.

“I am profoundly impressed by ClearGov’s mission to build a community of transparent, data-driven, modern governments,” said Sarah Webber, VP of Client Success. “It is both personally and professionally rewarding to work with a company that is truly making a difference. Helping to make democracy work better – especially at the local level – has significant, positive impact for everyone involved.”

Vartan Hagopian is a proven sales leader with over 20 years of experience in SMB and enterprise sales. Vartan’s experience in developing and implementing sales strategies that drive company revenue goals will be critical in attaining ClearGov’s long-term growth strategy. Vartan specializes in building and scaling sales teams and using data to identify areas of improvement and drive strategic direction. He is a developer of people and high-performing sales organizations.

“I am excited to join an incredible team that has already built a thriving business,” said Vartan Hagopian, VP of Sales. “ClearGov has produced cutting edge technology to make municipal organizations significantly more efficient. I’m excited to bring these timely data solutions to local governments nationwide.”

ClearGov is a leader in government transparency, benchmarking, and budgeting solutions and works with hundreds of local governments and school districts in 20 states across the country. The Massachusetts based startup recently raised a round of seed capital and has consistently grown their customer base 250% year-over-year. ClearGov’s mission is to build a community of transparent, data-driven, modern governments.

To learn more about ClearGov visit www.cleargov.com.

About ClearGov

ClearGov is building a community of transparent, data-driven, modern governments. ClearGov drives this mission by offering a suite of SaaS solutions for town, cities, schools and other municipal entities that includes transparency, benchmarking, budgeting and forecasting solutions. ClearGov’s award-winning platform is utilized by hundreds of communities across twenty different states.

PRESS CONTACT:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

ClearGov Makes Top 25 List for Best Companies for Perks & Benefits Through Comparably

by Chris Bullock

ClearGov is honored to be in the top 25 for the Comparably Award for Best Companies for Perks & Benefits! We pride ourselves on fostering a company culture, that promotes a work hard, play hard attitude. 

ClearGov’s story started in 2015 when serial entrepreneur, Chris Bullock, had a simple question – “where do my tax dollars go?” What started as a question, has turned this startup into a million dollar business who prides itself on creating a community of more informed, data-driven and modern government entities.

ClearGov is dedicated to creating an exceptional culture for their employees that promotes the same values as our product lineup – transparent and accountable leadership. Our company was founded upon these six core values; be clear, be trustworthy, be considerate, be positive, be better, and be fun. 

We also make sure to provide benefits for our team that keeps them motivated and excited to be part of this community. Core benefits include competitive pay, medical, dental, vision, 401K, life insurance, and an unlimited vacation policy.

Added perks include access to a free gym, indoor putting green (and putting competitions, of course!), company sponsored happy hours, free parking, monthly events, quarterly team outings, chili cook-offs, salsa making competitions, and even a company-wide day of service.

At ClearGov, we work hard and play hard. Our team members are a vital part of this community that continues to drive this company’s rapid growth.

To learn more about open positions at ClearGov, click here! Or check out our team’s Instagram feed, @cleargov.  

ClearGov and eSchoolView Announce Strategic Partnership

by Chris Bullock

eSchoolView to Offer Fiscal Transparency Module Powered by ClearGov

Maynard, MA (9/12/18) – ClearGov, a leading municipal and school district transparency, and benchmarking platform, announced today a strategic partnership with eSchoolView, an award-winning education website provider. The partnership will enable eSchoolView clients to integrate a financial transparency dashboard seamlessly within their district’s website to offer citizens more accessible budgetary figures and student performance metrics.

“ClearGov is the leader in local government transparency and benchmarking,” remarked Michael Maloney, Vice President of Business Development for eSchoolView. “We are excited to offer the ClearGov platform as an additional service for eSchoolView clients as we continually strive to bring state-of-the-art websites and promote communication within the communities our clients represent.”

ClearGov specializes in transforming government-sourced financial and demographic data into easy-to-understand infographic profiles. Hundreds of local government agencies and school districts across the U.S. leverage the ClearGov platform to increase transparency and gain financial insights through the company’s sophisticated benchmarking tools.

As part of the partnership agreement, eSchoolView customers will have access to a module for their financial transparency and student performance dashboard that can be embedded directly on their district’s website. These dashboards will provide citizens with a clear picture of their district’s budget and key performance metrics.

“eSchoolView has established itself as a leading provider of custom websites for school districts that are easy to manage and update,” said Bryan Burdick, President of ClearGov. “We are excited to partner with eSchoolView to help their clients more effectively engage with their citizens and drive community support through transparency.”

To explore ClearGov’s local government transparency and benchmarking platform visit http://www.cleargov.com.

 

About ClearGov

ClearGov is building a community of transparent, data-driven modern governments. ClearGov transforms municipal and school district financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  School districts use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, manage their budget process and improve communication with citizens.

About eSchoolView

Founded in 2008, eSchoolView offers award-winning, customized websites to educational organizations. Beyond the easy to use Content Managements System (CMS), eSchoolView offers a wide array of tools to enhance communications between schools and the communities they are in. As a company, eSchoolView has been ranked on the Inc. 5000th list the last four consecutive years and has won numerous awards for educational websites.  

 

PRESS CONTACT:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

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Government Transparency Startup Raises $2.25M in Seed Funding

by Chris Bullock

Seed Round to Fuel Sales Growth, New Product Development and Client Services Expansion

Maynard, MA (5/31/18) – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, announced it has raised an additional $2.25M through a second seed round of financing bringing the total raised to $3.75M.  The oversubscribed round was lead by new investments from Launch Capital, Riverpark Ventures and Hub Angels, along with current investors Kepha Partners and MassVentures both increasing their stake in ClearGov.

“We are thrilled by the support we’ve had from our initial investors and excited to bring new investors onto the ClearGov team as well,” said Bryan Burdick, President of ClearGov.  “The response that we’ve had from the market has been tremendous, so we are ready to put this additional capital to work to scale our team and continue our mission to help local governments be more efficient and effective.”

ClearGov provides local governments and school districts with an online platform to better communicate complex financials in an easy-to-understand, infographic format.  The platform is now used by more than 400 municipalities across 16 states to drive trust and support through enhanced transparency. ClearGov also provides tools to help municipalities compare financial performance against similar communities to better inform budgetary decisions.

Following 400+% YoY growth in 2017, ClearGov will use the funding to fuel sales team and client services growth, as well as expand the executive leadership team.  The funding will also be used to bring key new products to market over the next twelve months.

“The public is increasingly demanding accountability and transparency from our government agencies, so we feel that ClearGov is offering an incredibly timely solution,” said Eric Hjerpe of Kepha Partners.  “We were impressed with traction the team was able to generate after the first seed round and are excited to continue to support their growth and product expansion.”

As part of the latest round, ClearGov has also named Bill McCullen of Launch Capital to its Board of Directors.

“ClearGov’s mission to help government leaders make better, data-driven decisions is powerful,” said Bill McCullen of Launch Capital.  “With their innovative market approach and proven team we believe that ClearGov can have a significant impact on how local governments engage and serve their constituents.”

To explore ClearGov’s local government transparency and benchmarking platform visit http://www.cleargov.com.

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions and improve communication with citizens.

PRESS CONTACT:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

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ClearGov Launches Artificial Intelligence Platform to Compare Local Government Finances

by Chris Bullock

Machine Learning Automatically Standardizes Municipal Accounting to Enable Peer-to-Peer Benchmarking

Maynard, MA (5/8/18) – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, today announced an artificial intelligence platform to more accurately and automatically compare finances across municipalities.  The new technology helps local governments benchmark spending and funding across a state and national standardized chart of accounts developed by ClearGov.

“Municipalities and school districts will often look to compare finances against similar agencies as a way to identify opportunities to be more efficient with taxpayer dollars. Yet the task of benchmarking municipal finances is made difficult by the lack of a standardized accounting structure across municipalities,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.  “For example, one town may categorize an expenditure such as ‘Maintenance of Town Hall’ as a function of Public Works, whereas another town may categorize the same spending under Parks & Recreation.  Without a standardized accounting structure, comparing municipal finances is a challenging, if not futile exercise.”

In response to this problem, ClearGov has developed an artificial intelligence platform that can ingest government agencies’ raw accounting data and automatically translate it into a standardized chart of accounts.  The platform analyzes many elements of the accounting data, including accounting ID structures and line-item keywords, to accurately restructure the data.  By automatically placing similar accounting line items in like categories, the system produces truer “apples to apples” financial comparisons across municipalities.

Government clients of ClearGov’s Insights platform can utilize this standardized accounting structure in a series of custom benchmarking and analytical tools. For example, the platform can inform a town how its spending on “Snow & Ice Removal” compares to other towns with similar road miles in a given proximity.  The peer-to-peer comparisons are also utilized in a public-facing transparency profile to provide context that help bring a town’s financials to life for everyone in the community.

“We believe benchmarking our budget against other towns is important because it allows us to better understand and communicate our own spending in context, but this has been near impossible since every town categorizes their spending differently,” said John Frye, Financial Services Director of the Village of Pinehurst, NC.  “ClearGov’s standardized municipal financial database and budget comparison tools have afforded us a viable means to benchmark our finances against relevant communities”

ClearGov’s new artificial intelligence platform also dramatically reduces the time needed to onboard new clients’ data on to its transparency and benchmarking platform.  A process that was measured in days now takes minutes to analyze and categorize new clients’ data allowing clients to get up and running quickly.

To explore ClearGov’s local government transparency and benchmarking platform visit http://www.cleargov.com.

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions and improve communication with citizens.

 

PRESS CONTACT:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

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ClearGov and Virtual Towns & Schools Announce Strategic Partnership

by Jena Skivington

Virtual Towns & Schools to Offer Fiscal Transparency Module Powered by ClearGov

Maynard, MA (3/21/18) – ClearGov, a leading municipal transparency and benchmarking platform, announced today a strategic partnership with Virtual Towns & Schools (VTS), a leading municipal website provider.  The partnership will enable VTS clients to embed fiscal transparency profiles seamlessly within their municipal websites to offer residents more accessible and digestible budgetary figures.

“Fiscal transparency is top of mind for towns and school districts, but communicating complex financials to residents is a challenge,” said Millard Rose, President of VTS. “ClearGov has created a turnkey plug-in for our clients that communicates their budget in a simple, digital format that everyone can understand.”

ClearGov specializes in transforming government-sourced financial and demographic data into easy-to-understand infographic profiles.  Hundreds of local government agencies leverage the ClearGov platform to increase transparency and gain financial insights through the company’s sophisticated municipal benchmarking tools.

As part of the partnership agreement, ClearGov has created financial transparency dashboards that can be embedded in VTS clients’ websites.  The Town of North Attleborough, MA is the first municipality to integrate a “Fiscal Transparency Center” powered by ClearGov on its VTS website, which can be explored here.

Additionally, VTS clients that claim their ClearGov profile will have access to expanded features, including additional demographic metrics and tax bill customization.

“Virtual Towns & Schools has established itself as the leading provider of turnkey government websites in the Northeast,” said Bryan Burdick, President of ClearGov. “We are excited to partner with VTS to help our mutual customers more effectively engage with their citizens and drive community support.”

To explore ClearGov’s local government transparency and benchmarking platform visit http://www.cleargov.com.  To explore Virtual Towns & Schools services visit https://www.vt-s.net.

 

About ClearGov

ClearGov transforms city and town financial statements into accessible, easy-to-understand infographics to help citizens better understand how their tax dollars are being put to use.  Local governments use ClearGov’s SaaS solutions to reduce operational inefficiencies, make informed budgetary decisions and improve communication with citizens.

About Virtual Towns & Schools

Virtual Towns & Schools’ websites support 600+ clients with a wide variety of populations and needs – including special districts and agencies.  2017 was VTS’s 7th straight year of record new contract growth and it’s award winning Drupal based CMS provides an extensive list of features and responsive design.

PRESS CONTACTS:

Jena Skivington

585.507.5733

jskivington@cleargov.com

 

Millard Rose

978.461.5848

mrose@vt-s.net

ClearGov Recognized Among New England’s Top Innovators

by Chris Bullock

We are excited to announce that ClearGov has been nominated for the 2018 New England Innovation Awards.  Established in 1986 by the New England Business Association, the Innovation Awards recognize those companies that have transformed their innovative ideas into a product or service that delivers proven value to customers.  The Program has recognized almost 200 companies from a wide variety of companies in fields such as technology, manufacturing, service, non-profit, and retail/distribution.

“ClearGov prides itself on providing innovative solutions that help local government agencies better leverage data to become more effective and efficient,” said Chris Bullock, CEO of ClearGov.  “So, we are especially honored to be chosen for consideration for this prestigious award.”

The New England Business Association has selected 200 local companies for consideration and will be announcing 20 finalists on mid-April.  The 20 Finalists will each have 3 minutes to present to the entire group of judges, our Partners, our Board members, and other invited guests.  The Gala Awards Presentation and Dinner will be held in early May where the winners will be announced at a formal dinner presentation.