Gift Acceptance Policy
Purpose: To provide guidance to staff and to prospective funders interested in making gifts to the Alfred and Jean Friendly Foundation and its program, the Alfred Friendly Press Partners (AFPP). This policy also will guide the Friendly Foundation board and leadership.
Background: The Friendly Foundation’s mission is to uplift journalism around the world by preparing journalists from information-hungry societies to practice professional, ethical and innovative journalism that meets globally recognized, high standards of journalism. We accomplish our mission through hands-on training and education at the Missouri School of Journalism and in U.S. and international newsrooms.
Outside funding raised by the Foundation covers the training, education and living expenses of journalists accepted into an AFPP program, as well as program expenses. This gift acceptance policy defines how we accept and recognize donations to the Foundation and how we relate to funders.
The Friendly Foundation and AFPP program are committed to journalistic ethics and institutional accountability and believe that there are many individuals, foundations, organizations, companies and government entities that share those objectives.
We seek to protect:
- The reputations of participating journalists, while they are in the U.S. and when they return home.
- The reputations of our existing funders.
- The reputations of the newsrooms in which the fellows work during and after their fellowship.
- The reputations of the Friendly Foundation, AFPP and the Friendly Fellowship program.
- The reputation of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, which hosts our program.
*The Center for Public Integrity’s gift acceptance policy heavily influenced this policy, and in some cases the language is similar.
Protecting the mission: Funding sought and accepted by the Friendly Foundation will be driven by priorities set during the Board of Directors’ strategic planning process. Donations will fund the ethical and technical training, education and support of visiting journalists. Donations will not fund specific journalism articles.
Responsibility for the policy: The Friendly Foundation board is responsible for setting the policy and for ensuring that it is followed. The executive director and advancement director are responsible for vetting prospective donors and preparing donation proposals in accordance with this policy. The board will review this gifts acceptance policy regularly and update it as needed.
Funding accepted by the Friendly Foundation for the Alfred Friendly Press Partners:
The Friendly Foundation generally accepts donations made by individuals, foundations, non-governmental organizations and media companies to fund the Alfred Friendly Press Partners and its participants.
While the Foundation does not generally accept donations from governments or corporations, exceptions may arise, and these exceptions would be reviewed by the board before a formal proposal is made.
When weighing proposals for government or corporate donations, the board will discuss questions including:
- Does accepting this gift influence or give the appearance of influencing the journalism produced during the fellowship or in the future?
- Does affiliating with this government or corporation adversely affect the brand and reputation of the Friendly Foundation or the Alfred Friendly Press Partners?
Separately, governments or government agencies may occasionally seek to pay the Alfred Friendly Press Partners to design and conduct briefer training programs for specific groups of overseas journalists. In those cases, the money received will be directed to cover the costs of the specific training program only and will not be viewed as a donation. In general, we believe these journalism trainings extend the impact of our core mission. Proposals for government-funded training programs will be reviewed by the board before they are submitted to the funding entity.
Protecting AFPP’s reputation as an educational program that upholds the ethical practice of journalism:
AFPP is not a news organization, however we seek to protect the free and unconflicted practice of ethical journalism by our fellows. Therefore, the Friendly Foundation designs its relationships with funders to ensure that these relationships neither directly or indirectly influence editorial work nor pressure the journalists during the program or in the future. We seek to maintain a proper separation between journalists and funders while at the same time providing excellent stewardship of the donation.
In essence, we ask funders and supporters to trust that we understand what ethical and professional journalism is, and that after 30 years managing fellowships, we know how to ground our fellows in these values and practices that will strengthen their journalistic work throughout their careers.
Recognizing and disclosing our donors:
We will be transparent in recognizing and publicly disclosing donations. We also will adhere to professional fundraising standards and treat our funders with integrity. We will disclose funding sources in this manner:
- Donors of $250 and higher will be listed by name on our website and reportedly annually to our board of directors.
- The number of donors below $250 will be disclosed on our website and reported annually to our board of directors.
- Donors of $5,000 and above will be listed on the IRS 990 as required by law.
- We will not accept donations from a source that is unknown to the executive director and advancement director, even if we honor the donor’s request for anonymity in our lists and materials.
- All press releases and other announcements of a donation will be made with the full knowledge and approval of the Friendly Foundation or AFPP officials.
Adopted March 24, 2018
Alfred Friendly Press Partners
501 (c) (3)