For lots of nonprofits, corporate sponsorships play a big role in keeping the lights on. Here at Greater Greater Washington, we’ve talked internally about how we would and wouldn’t work with corporate sponsors, and in keeping with our commitment to transparency, wanted to share that with you. The bottom line: we will take sponsorships, but we’re not going to publish any sponsored content, period.

Corporate sponsorships make up a small piece (4.2%) of our projected revenue pie for 2016. Sponsorships usually revolve around an event where the sponsor provides GGWash money in exchange for marketing visibility.

For example, we received $3,500 and donations of products around our birthday party in March 2016. As a benefit of making these donations, we publicized the sponsors on our blog and gave them a shout out during the party.

This arrangement is mutually beneficial. We get funding that supports the blog and our housing program, and the sponsor gets a chance to show readers that their business cares about the things that GGWash writes about and supports.

Both parties benefit, and GGWash maintains its editorial freedom.

Trivia prizes made possible by sponsors. Photo by Aimee Custis.

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 content at this time.

However, 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 (see a list on our About page) 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.

Once per quarter, we will 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.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about supporting Greater Greater Washington through a corporate sponsorship, let us know! Shoot us an email at info@ggwash.org!

Sarah Guidi is Greater Greater Washington's Managing Director. A social worker by training, Sarah brings knowledge of nonprofit management, policy and advocacy, and community engagement to Greater Greater Washington. When she's not working, she enjoys visiting new parts of the city by bike, doing gymnastics, and reading novels. Sarah lives in the Petworth neighborhood of DC.