Gift and Donation Acceptance Policy
The Journalism Development Network, doing business as the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), a US registered 501c3 tax exempt corporation, solicits and accepts gifts from sources that support the advancement of our core mission, including:
- our core work;
- relevant projects;
- our member centers;
- the long-term sustainability of the organization.
Donations and other forms of support will generally be accepted from individuals, foundations, charitable organizations, educational organizations, governments, and corporations.
Donations are subject to limitations and OCCRP reserves the right to decline any donation that it believes will threaten or undermine our mission. OCCRP seeks to be transparent with its funding and will err on the side of disclosing donors.
OCCRP reserves the right to decline any gift. For example, we do not accept funds:
- from elected officials, political parties, or candidates seeking public office;
- that may have been illegally obtained;
- that could otherwise pose a conflict of interest to the organization;
- that could otherwise cause reputational damage to the organization;
- that could in any way compromise our editorial or operational independence.
In all cases, OCCRP retains complete editorial independence and never promises specific stories, nor do we accept funds for specific stories or funds that require donor approval of stories. OCCRP retains full discretion, independence, and authority over our editorial content and policy on all projects. Our news judgments are based solely on matters of newsworthiness, public interest, and journalism principles and not on the basis of donor support. Accepting support does not constitute an endorsement of the activities of our donors.
Donors are not aware of specific stories the newsroom is working on, do not review them before publication, and have no influence over findings.
OCCRP is dedicated to making transparent its sources of funding and, as a matter of practice, publicly discloses its donors. Our standard practice is to cite all institutional donors and support on our website and in our annual report and tax statements. Individual donations equaling more than two percent of our annual operating budget will also be included in our annual report; all individual donations over $5,000 must be disclosed to U.S. tax authorities. The Internal Revenue Service redacts all donor identifying information before making tax returns publicly available.
Due to the sensitive nature of our work exposing organized crime and corruption, we also recognize that certain supporters may need to give anonymously. Anonymous gifts from individuals and donor-advised funds for unrestricted support will be accepted if they are less than two percent of OCCRP's annual operating budget. Anonymous gifts above this amount will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Should OCCRP receive a gift that violates this policy and is unable to return it, OCCRP will make a contribution to a charitable organization for an amount that exceeds the policy.
Gifts are defined as cash donations or in-kind contributions. OCCRP will calculate a fair market price for in-kind contributions. Gifts include unrestricted support and gifts designated for broad categories of work or restricted editorial coverage. OCCRP is required to ensure that all gifts meet the benchmark of charitable and education support for tax deductibility.
Sources of gifts may include individuals, donor-advised funds with clear and transparent origins, foundations, governments, corporations, and anonymous donors up to 1 percent of annual expenses per calendar year.
Grants to External Organizations
In agreement with the donor, OCCRP can subgrant and pass through funds to member centers, individual journalists, and partner organizations. The process for sub-granting funds to organizations is as follows:
JDN transfers funds to third parties, being individuals or legal entities, by way of grants, sub-grants, sub-contracts (in some cases) or other financial support (“forwarding of funds”). Sub-grants (also known as sub-awards), are usually for third parties charged with meeting all or a set of grant project deliverables directly, over and above merely providing related services. Sub-contracts are usually for specific services, products, or tangible deliverables. Beneficiary Agreements are usually for core support or development.
OCCRP will not sell, rent, or share the personal or contact information of donors with any other individuals or organizations. Contact information will be used only to update the donor on OCCRP activities and initiatives, send information on fundraising campaigns, and express appreciation for the donor's support. OCCRP does not store payment information: Credit card numbers and expiration dates are not kept on paper or electronically.
OCCRP's intent is to comply with the regulations and laws regarding donations of the states in which it operates. Although all software is carefully vetted, OCCRP is not responsible for any actions or behaviors of third-party payment processors.
The IRS classifies cryptocurrencies as property, so cryptocurrency donations to 501(c)3 charities receive the same tax treatment as stocks. Donating cryptocurrency is a non-taxable event, meaning you do not owe capital gains tax on the appreciated amount and can deduct it on your taxes. Please contact your tax or financial adviser for more information. Cryptocurrency may be sold immediately or held as an asset as decided by OCCRP financial policy. OCCRP can only accept anonymous donations of cryptocurrency amounting to less than two percent of its annual expenses per calendar year. Anonymous donations of cryptocurrency are not tax deductible.
Adopted by the Board of Directors on December 14, 2021.