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Background

All nonprofit organizations require funding to achieve their goals. Corporate donations and sponsorship are important sources of funding by which a nonprofit organization achieves its mission. Concerns often arise, however, that accepting corporate funds may give the appearance of or actually compromise the ethical integrity of an organization. The establishment of a Board-approved Corporate Donations Policy safeguards against such compromises by clarifying for both potential sponsors and the community at large the requisite criteria used by the organization in soliciting and accepting corporate funding.

Corporate Donation Statement

This policy applies not only to contributions from a corporate entity but also includes contributions from a company’s foundation, either in the form of cash, in-kind donations, or sponsorships/cause marketing agreements.

Corporate Eligibility

The Sentencing Project will gratefully accept donations from any business entity (“Corporation”) that meets the following eligibility criteria: 

  • All donations made by the Corporation adhere to The Sentencing Project’s Gift Acceptance Policy.
  • The Corporation is not engaged in or endorses activities that conflict in whole or in part with the goals of The Sentencing Project. Specifically, The Corporation’s primary revenue is not generated from industries that perpetuate mass incarceration and over criminalization.
  • The Corporation has not attempted to manipulate or influence the activities, policies, mission, and/or goals of The Sentencing Project. 
  • The Corporation is not involved in litigation with The Sentencing Project.
  • The Corporation’s donation is unrestricted, i.e., no conditions or requirements are being proposed by the Corporation that must be satisfied by The Sentencing Project to secure the donation. This does not preclude a Corporation from making a donation that is earmarked for a specific purpose or program activity.
  • If The Sentencing Project enters into a marketing partnership with the Corporation, the Corporation agrees not to use The Sentencing Project’s logo, assets, or intellectual property without prior approval and only as described in the corresponding gift agreement.

Conflict of Interest

In addition to the aforementioned eligibility criteria, potential conflicts of interest will be avoided by adherence to the following requisite criteria for all corporate donations. 

  • Donations will not be accepted in exchange for a position on the Board of Directors of The Sentencing Project, nor will The Sentencing Project solicit funds in exchange for a position on the Board of Directors of The Sentencing Project. 
  • No more than 33% of members of the The Sentencing Project Board of Directors will be affiliated with any individual Corporation donating to the organization. 
  • Board members affiliated with a Corporation will recuse themselves from any Board vote related to The Sentencing Project’s relationship with that Corporation. 
  • Any Board member who has an ongoing affiliation with a Corporation donating to The Sentencing Project shall disclose that affiliation according to the Conflicts of Interest policy.
  • The Sentencing Project Board members and persons employed in key staff positions by The Sentencing Project may not have a financial relationship with a potential corporate sponsor such that their personal financial interests and the financial interests of The Sentencing Project or its programs may be perceived to be or may actually be in conflict.  Serious financial conflicts of interest as described herein must be resolved before The Sentencing Project may accept a donation from a corporate sponsor with which a conflict exists.

Open Disclosure

The Sentencing Project will provide a copy of the Corporate Donations Policy to any individual or organization that requests it.