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Gift-Acceptance Policy

Updated April 4, 2023

The mission of the Chronicle of Philanthropy is to strengthen the nonprofit world by providing unbiased and accurate news, data, advice, and other information. We offer professional development for nonprofit executives, including online briefings and webinars.

Just as important, we work to educate the public about the nonprofit world through our collaboration with other journalism organizations.

One of our most prominent partnerships is with the Associated Press, the Conversation, and a group of fellows we support annually to help them produce sophisticated coverage of the nonprofit world.

In January 2023, the IRS approved our application for charity status, and on April 1, 2023, we spun off from our parent organization, the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Philanthropy has played an important role in funding our work since 2019, but we have always earned most of our revenue from fees, such as advertising and subscriptions. We expect to continue to drive growth in earned revenue as we transition to a new structure.

Still, we are in the unique position of covering philanthropy as journalists while also being partially supported by it.

This policy is established to avoid conflicts of interest. What follows is an explanation of the types of funding we accept, our processes for maintaining editorial integrity, and what our donors should expect.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy will do nothing that compromises its ability to provide the best and most accurate information to our audience.

Our senior director of philanthropy is Michael Brown.

List of Gifts & Grants Received

General Rules

These conditions apply to all gifts:

  • The Chronicle maintains editorial control over everything it publishes. Donors do not direct our coverage nor do their organizations, initiatives, or ideas receive preferential treatment. We may produce content with which they disagree or that includes criticism of their organizations.
  • Donors will not receive or review content produced by the Chronicle of Philanthropy before it is made publicly available.
  • Accepting a gift is not a sign that the Chronicle endorses a donor, organization, or viewpoint.
  • We do not accept gifts from political parties, candidates, or nonprofit organizations closely aligned with them.
  • And we do not accept anonymous gifts. We disclose every donor’s identity to our audience. As an organization with journalism at its core, we believe in complete transparency regarding our philanthropic support.
  • We reserve the right to reject any gift that we feel would compromise our editorial integrity or harm our financial sustainability.
  • All gifts must be approved by the Chronicle’s chief executive. A grant-acceptance committee consisting of the Chronicle’s editor-in-chief, chief revenue officer, senior development officer, and others may also contribute to those decisions.
  • The Chronicle of Philanthropy is a nonprofit organization. The Conversation serves as the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s fiscal sponsor for a grant from the Lilly Endowment. Philanthropy New York is a fiscal sponsor for our grant from the Open Society Foundations.

Types of Funding We Accept

The Chronicle of Philanthropy accepts financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporate donors for the following:

General operating support

Donations to cover operating expenses may be applied to printing, facilities, staff salaries, technology, or any other new or ongoing need of the organization. All donors acknowledge that the use of their gifts is at the discretion of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Specific areas of operation

The Chronicle accepts gifts to support specific internal teams, such as data and interactives, online learning, enterprise journalism, fundraising coverage, and others. Donors will not have influence over the priorities of these teams or the employment of specific staff members.

Coverage areas or specific projects

The Chronicle of Philanthropy accepts gifts supporting ongoing coverage of broad issues or specific one-time projects, such as articles, reports, or webinars. To avoid straying from our mission and journalistic values, and to ensure our editorial independence, all gifts to support coverage areas and projects must be approved by a three-person newsroom committee appointed by the Chronicle’s editor-in-chief and chief executive. The newsroom committee will not know the source of the gift. All contributions for specific projects must be made in full before work begins to avoid even the appearance of biased coverage.


To protect editorial independence, donors, grant makers, and readers should address questions or concerns about gifts to the chief executive, not to reporters, editors, copy editors, web producers, designers, or others in the editorial department. All editorial staff are instructed to direct gift inquiries to the chief executive immediately and to inform their editor and the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s top editor of the interaction.

Potential gifts will not be discussed with editorial staff until finalized.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reserves the right to reject any gift that we feel would compromise our editorial integrity or harm our financial sustainability.

Noncash gifts will be reviewed by the grant-acceptance committee.


The Chronicle of Philanthropy is dedicated to transparency in regard to philanthropic support. We disclose our relationships with donors in the following ways:

  • The names of all donors, their gift amount, and its purpose will be listed online at the time that the gift is made. This record of the gift will stay online indefinitely.
  • The names of all donors from the previous calendar year will be listed in print in the January edition of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, with their gift amount and its purpose.
  • All mentions of donors in published articles, webinars, or other editorial products of the Chronicle of Philanthropy will at minimum be followed by an endnote for one year after the gift is made or one year after the end of a multiyear gift. The endnote will state that the donor is a financial supporter of the Chronicle of Philanthropy, and it will include a link to our full list of donors. More prominent disclosures may be made in instances in which the Chronicle’s editorial leadership believes they are warranted.
  • Donors supporting particular coverage areas or projects will also, at minimum, be disclosed in an endnote stating their support. That note will include a link to our full list of donors.

Updates to This Policy

This gift-acceptance policy will be reviewed at least once a year by a three-person newsroom committee and our board. Updates will be posted online and made available to donors.

Rights of Donors

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is guided by this amended version of the Donor Bill of Rights created by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Giving Institute.

Philanthropy is based on voluntary action for the common good. It is a tradition of giving and sharing that is primary to the quality of life. To assure that philanthropy merits the respect and trust of the public, and that donors and prospective donors can have full confidence in the organizations and causes they are asked to support, we declare that all donors have these rights:

  1. To be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. To be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. To have access to the organization’s summary financial data.
  4. To be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. To receive appropriate acknowledgment and recognition.
  6. To be assured that information about their donation is handled with respect and confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. To expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. To be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization, or hired solicitors.
  9. To have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists that an organization may intend to share.
  10. To feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful, and forthright answers.