How GGWash does and doesn’t work with corporate sponsors

For lots of nonprofits, corporate sponsorships play a big role in keeping the lights on. Here at Greater Greater Washington, a portion of our annual revenue comes from corporate sponsorships in a few ways. This page lays out how we will work with businesses, and how we ensure doing so does not affect our editorial independence.

The bottom line: we will take sponsorships, but we’re not going to publish any sponsored editorial content, period.

How companies can sponsor GGWash

There are a few ways we take sponsorships from companies:

  • General sponsorships. Some companies want to support GGWash because they appreciate the work we do. These are listed on our supporters page and sponsors do not receive any specific benefit or influence over our coverage.
  • Event sponsorships. We ask companies to sponsor events, like our birthday party, and our forums. Depending on the sponsorship, they will get a shout-out at the event, mention and logos on the event materials and social media, and sometimes are part of the panels. We write recap posts about what happened at the event, but sponsors do not have any review or approval of those recaps.
  • Advertising. We have display ads on the site. We do not have sponsored articles and are working to try to keep the ads unobtrusive, such as not having animated ones or other annoying elements. (Of course, that decreases the revenue we can bring in.)
  • Calendar events. Companies with events of their own they want to promote (as opposed to sponsoring our events) can pay to have their listing featured in an event post and on the calendar. In these cases, the listing is clearly marked as being a sponsored listing. Our volunteer Editorial Board reviews these to ensure they’re aligned with our mission.
  • Job listings. Organizations with open jobs can sponsor us to list the job in the daily Breakfast Links and on a dedicated page.

Interested in a sponsorship? Contact Jane Green to discuss further.

How we won’t work with companies

Editorial integrity is one of our a core values, so we’ve set a firm policy against any kind of sponsored articles at this time.

Sometimes a sponsor is going to be working on something that we might write about anyway. We support building more housing, and maybe a developer is also building some housing. Or, maybe a transportation consultant is working on a project for a bike lane or street redesign, which we might support anyway. We certainly don’t want the fact that we got a sponsorship to suddenly mean we can’t write about that company’s project.

But what we don’t want to happen is for someone to sponsor us with the expectation it will lead to a favorable article. We won’t do that.

To help ensure that we do not let relationships with corporate partners influence our content, GGWash’s volunteer Editorial Board will review any posts a contributor or editor might write about a sponsor’s activities. Our staff won’t write any posts about them. Members of the Editorial Board aren’t getting paid by GGWash, and won’t benefit personally from any sponsorships we get. Therefore, their only interest is in maintaining our integrity, quality, and organizational effectiveness.

How we’ll stay transparent

As we fundraise to support this site and our organization, we are committed to maintaining the flexibility to say whatever we want, and being open with readers about the sources of our funding.

We list all of our corporate sponsors, with tiers of levels of support, on our supporters page. Once per quarter, we will also publish a post thanking our sponsors. We offer this as a benefit to our corporate partners, but this practice also helps provide transparency around the corporate sponsorships Greater Greater Washington has received.

How this policy will evolve over time

Over time, we may add more sponsorship opportunities. If we do, the Editorial Board will discuss the proposal and make a decision about whether it’s okay. We’ll keep this page updated when that happens.

GGWash is supported by our members, corporate supporters, and foundations.

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