About the Penn State Sunshine Fund

The Penn State Sunshine Fund is a grassroots effort dedicated to the institution of meaningful transparency at the Commonwealth’s flagship institution. It distributes funding for legal action, lobbying and other initiatives geared toward eliminating the secrecy that persists in Old Main.

Since the Sandusky scandal emerged in 2011, Penn State has fought attempts by average citizens to obtain information about what went on behind the scenes. A key Commonwealth Court ruling in July 2013 allowed citizens to request records from some members of the Board of Trustees. Now, Penn State’s administration is attacking your right to information. And your help is needed to defend that right.

Using its vast financial and legal resources, the university is expected to mount several court challenges over the coming months. Fighting those challenges will be a costly endeavour. But with the help of students, faculty alumni and other supporters, we can take on the administration’s attempts to revoke your right to information.

Few citizens can take on the Penn State administration alone. But together, we can make a difference.

Join the 370 dedicated Penn Staters from 259 cities in 36 states who believe a transparent Penn State is a more accountable Penn State. Donate today.

Financial Report

Total raised: $53,847 (as of March 28, 9:23 a.m. )

Bank Statements

Follow the money, and ensure it's being spent where it should.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Penn State Sunshine Fund?

    The Penn State Sunshine Fund raises money to provide legal and lobbying services for advocating greater transparency at Penn State University.

  2. Who administers the fund?

    The fund is managed by Ryan Bagwell, a Penn State alumnus and Wisconsin resident who has fought to obtain public records about Penn State since May 2012. His efforts have uncovered a number of records that question the conclusions reached by Louis J. Freeh.

  3. How is it organized?

    The Penn State Sunshine Fund is a Limited Liability Corporation (“LLC”) registered in the state of Wisconsin. It’s sole owner is Ryan Bagwell.

  4. Is the Penn State Sunshine Fund affiliated with The Pennsylvania State University?


  5. How can I donate?

    By check, credit/debit card or PayPal. Click here for more information.

  6. Is my contribution tax deductible?

    No. Though the fund does not aim to make a profit, it is not a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

  7. Can my contribution remain anonymous?

    Yes. Except for the amount of your contribution, we will never release details of your contribution without your consent, including your identity.

  8. How much money to you hope to raise?

    We’d like to raise at least $50,000. The cost of pursuing Bagwell v. Dept. of Education amounted to $15,000, and two similar challenges will likely be filed by early next year. In addition, we’d like to pursue information from other state agencies, which will also require legal funding.

  9. How do I know my money will be used for its intended purpose?

    The PSSF aims to practice what it preaches, and will make its financial activities publicly available to the greatest extent possible. It may not be possible to release some information due to requests from contributors or if such information will reveal legal strategy.

    In addition, we hope to establish an oversight board in the near future that will ensure that money is used the fund’s established purpose.

  10. What's your privacy policy and terms of service?

    Our credit card processor requires us to have the following policies:


    By accessing this web site, you are agreeing to be bound by these web site Terms and Conditions of Use, all applicable laws and regulations, and agree that you are responsible for compliance with any applicable local laws. If you do not agree with any of these terms, you are prohibited from using or accessing this site. The materials contained in this web site are protected by applicable copyright and trade mark law.

    In no event shall Penn State Sunshine Fund, LLC or its suppliers be liable for any damages (including, without limitation, damages for loss of data or profit, or due to business interruption,) arising out of the use or inability to use the materials on Penn State Sunshine Fund, LLC's Internet site, even if Penn State Sunshine Fund, LLC or a Penn State Sunshine Fund, LLC authorized representative has been notified orally or in writing of the possibility of such damage. Because some jurisdictions do not allow limitations on implied warranties, or limitations of liability for consequential or incidental damages, these limitations may not apply to you.

    Any claim relating to Penn State Sunshine Fund, LLC's web site shall be governed by the laws of the State of Wisconsin without regard to its conflict of law provisions.

    Privacy Policy

    Your privacy is very important to us. Accordingly, we have developed this Policy in order for you to understand how we collect, use, communicate and disclose and make use of personal information. The following outlines our privacy policy.

    • Before or at the time of collecting personal information, we will identify the purposes for which information is being collected.
    • We will collect and use of personal information solely with the objective of fulfilling those purposes specified by us and for other compatible purposes, unless we obtain the consent of the individual concerned or as required by law.
    • We will only retain personal information as long as necessary for the fulfillment of those purposes.
    • We will collect personal information by lawful and fair means and, where appropriate, with the knowledge or consent of the individual concerned.
    • Personal data should be relevant to the purposes for which it is to be used, and, to the extent necessary for those purposes, should be accurate, complete, and up-to-date.
    • We will protect personal information by reasonable security safeguards against loss or theft, as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.
    • We will make readily available to customers information about our policies and practices relating to the management of personal information.

    We are committed to conducting our business in accordance with these principles in order to ensure that the confidentiality of personal information is protected and maintained.