Global Voices Fundraising Ethics

Global Voices Funding Principles

At Global Voices, our work is driven by our community, in service to our readers. Our contributors and editorial staff decide what stories we tell and how we tell them.

We evaluate all funding sources based on the impact they have on our mission, values, and work. We accept funding that will not interfere with our goals, hurt our reputation, or threaten the security of contributors.

We prioritize independence from external agendas regarding how we can spend money, and we reject funding that seeks to influence our decisions, regardless of source.

We articulate clear principles for our own ethics and behavior, and only work with funders who do not ask us to compromise those positions.

We will consider any funding source that meets our standards, including: foundations, individual giving, major donors, fiscal sponsorship revenue, mission-related services and projects, governmental and intergovernmental grants, corporate support, and other funding sources. We recognize that every form of funding is also a form of dependency, and brings both explicit and implicit influence over our work. We therefore evaluate all potential funders on the basis of possible influences.

Fundraising Ethics Policy

We may take funding from any source that does not compromise our principles. We evaluate potential funders against the following criteria:

  • Threats to the safety and security of our contributors, including:
    • Funder activities pose risk
    • Funder political positions and relationships pose risk
    • Funder reputation poses risk
  • Interference in activities, including:
    • Editorial effects: interference with outputs, pressure to slant coverage
    • Restrictions on topics, sources
    • Restrictions on relationships with sources, communities, audiences
  • Reputational risks, including:
    • Funder values and ethics: may compromise Global Voices principles and mission (both actual and perceived)
    • Instrumentalization: funder association with Global Voices serves an end that interferes with our principles and mission
    • Branding and Promotion: funder requires branding or promotes relationship in ways that suggest influence
    • Non-transparency: funder conceals true identity or interests
  • Relationship requirements and contractual restrictions, including:
    • Unreasonable or overly burdensome financial and programmatic reporting requirements
    • Funder interferes with or requires significant changes to our internal decision-making processes or outcomes
    • Funder evaluates our work on the basis of criteria at odds with our principles and mission
    • Contractual terms allow funder to change project goals without consultation
  • Financial risks, including
    • Funder offers large percentage of total funding for Global Voices, creating dependency and possible single point of failure
    • Payment schedules require us to bear unreasonable costs up front
    • Contracts and grants do not cover their administrative costs