The Renewables 100 Policy Institute is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization, the effectiveness of which depends on our trustworthiness and high standard of integrity in the eyes of our peers, policymakers, and the public. We are aware that funding sources can influence, or appear to influence, programs they support, as well as raise questions of conflict of interest. To help avoid these problems, we explicitly lay out our ethics guidelines for sponsorship.
The Renewables 100 Policy Institute welcomes donations in support of Renewable 100’s efforts, including funds from corporations.
Donations are subject to review by our officers with a view toward ensuring our work remains free from influence by funders and our reputation for independence remains strong. Under no circumstances will donors of any kind be allowed to control or influence, edit, rewrite, or obstruct publications or other Renewables 100 Policy Institute works.
The Renewables 100 Policy Institute policy states unequivocally that the Board and Staff of the Institute will not permit any donor to influence or determine the content of any project or activity undertaken by the Institute. Donors will have no control or decision making power over:
• the development of our strategic plans or work plans;
• which projects and activities we undertake, and which issues the Institute researches and analyses;
• the content of any of our publications in any media;
• the attendance at, participation in, or agenda of any of our events;
• our opinions in the public or private spheres;
• our solicitation of funds from other sources.
Contributions may in no way limit or put unspoken expectations on actions the Renewables 100 Policy Institute may take, research we may publish, or positions we may advocate.
Occasionally, we will accept or solicit work from corporations on a fee-for-service basis where the information obtained is critical to the quality completion of our work. Under such circumstances, we will retain complete control over the analysis and final products, and all data obtained in this manner will be publicly disclosed. Under no circumstances will we accept data from a corporation for the purpose of enhancing the image of the corporation or allow them to unduly sway or contradict the results of our analysis.
While the Renewables 100 Policy Institute may acknowledge a corporate donation, we will not sell any corporation’s product or explicitly encourage anyone to buy a corporation’s product. We will maintain strict guidelines for mentioning the activities of any given donor company, limiting such mention only to their specific donation to our organization and/or to their 100% renewable goals and achievements, which is consistent with our mission. Any mention of a company’s renewable energy policies is not equivalent to an endorsement of that company, and we will not permit any messaging to the contrary.
Sponsors may not use the Renewables 100 Policy Institute to collect private or personal data from our supporters, people on our mailing list, or visitors to our website.
The Renewables 100 Policy Institute will neither seek nor accept corporate grants that may create a conflict of interest for our organization, or whose practices directly and intentionally conflict with our goals. When determining whether to accept support from specific corporations, we will review the type of support offered, any products and outcomes expected, and the reputation of the source of support. An ad hoc committee comprised of staff, board, and outside participants may be formed to both review specific cases and to recommend refinements of this policy. We will make every effort to remain updated on changes within corporations that could stand to impact our relationship with them and to make any necessary adjustments.
These guidelines are not comprehensive or exhaustive, are intended solely to provide a general framework, and are subject to revision by the Renewables 100 Policy Institute’s leadership as needed.
Corporate Donations Policies Reviewed in Preparation for this Policy:
• Pacific Institute and Circle of Blue
Gift acceptance policy
Renewables 100 Policy Institute solicits and accepts gifts for purposes that will help the organization further and fulfill its mission. Renewables 100 Policy Institute urges all prospective donors to seek the assistance of personal legal and financial advisors in matters relating to their gifts, including the resulting tax and estate planning consequences. The following policies and guidelines govern acceptance of gifts made to Renewables 100 Policy Institute for the benefit of any of its operations, programs or services.
Use of Legal Counsel— Renewables 100 Policy Institute will seek the advice of legal counsel in matters relating to acceptance of gifts when appropriate. Review by counsel is recommended for:
A. Gifts of securities that are subject to restrictions or buy-sell agreements.
B. Documents naming Renewables 100 Policy Institute as trustee or requiring Renewables 100 Policy Institute to act in any fiduciary capacity.
C. Gifts requiring Renewables 100 Policy Institute to assume financial or other obligations.
D. Transactions with potential conflicts of interest.
E. Gifts of property which may be subject to environmental or other regulatory restrictions.
Restrictions on Gifts— Renewables 100 Policy Institute will not accept gifts that (a) would result in Renewables 100 Policy Institute violating its corporate charter, (b) would result in Renewables 100 Policy Institute losing its status as an IRC § 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, (c) are too difficult or too expensive to administer in relation to their value, (d) would result in any unacceptable consequences for Renewables 100 Policy Institute, or (e) are for purposes outside Renewables 100 Policy Institute’s mission. Decisions on the restrictive nature of a gift, and its acceptance or refusal, shall be made by the Executive Committee, in consultation with the Executive Director.
Gifts Generally Accepted Without Review—
Cash gifts are acceptable in any form, including by check, money order, credit card, or on-line. Donors wishing to make a gift by credit card must provide the card type (e.g., Visa, MasterCard, American Express), card number, expiration date, and name of the card holder as it appears on the credit card.
Marketable securities may be transferred electronically to an account maintained at one or more brokerage firms or delivered physically with the transferor’s endorsement or signed stock power (with appropriate signature guarantees) attached. All marketable securities will be sold promptly upon receipt unless otherwise directed by Renewables 100 Policy Institute’s investment advisors. In some cases marketable securities may be restricted, for example, by applicable securities laws or the terms of the proposed gift; in such instances the decision whether to accept the restricted securities shall be made by the Executive Committee.
Bequests and Beneficiary Designations under Revocable Trusts, Life Insurance Policies, Commercial Annuities and Retirement Plans. Donors are encouraged to make bequests to Renewables 100 Policy Institute under their wills, and to name Renewables 100 Policy Institute as the beneficiary under trusts, life insurance policies, commercial annuities and retirement plans.
Charitable Remainder Trusts.
Renewables 100 Policy Institute will accept designation as a remainder beneficiary of charitable remainder trusts.
Charitable Lead Trusts.
Renewables 100 Policy Institute will accept designation as an income beneficiary of charitable lead trusts.
Gifts Accepted Subject to Prior Review—
Certain forms of gifts or donated properties may be subject to review prior to acceptance. Examples of gifts subject to prior review include, but are not limited to:
Tangible Personal Property.
The Executive Committee shall review and determine whether to accept any gifts of tangible personal property in light of the following considerations: does the property further the organization’s mission? Is the property marketable? Are there any unacceptable restrictions imposed on the property? Are there any carrying costs for the property for which the organization may be responsible? Is the title/provenance of the property clear?
Renewables 100 Policy Institute will accept gifts of life insurance where Renewables 100 Policy Institute is named as both beneficiary and irrevocable owner of the insurance policy. The donor must agree to pay, before due, any future premium payments owing on the policy.
All gifts of real estate are subject to review by the Executive Committee. Prior to acceptance of any gift of real estate other than a personal residence, Renewables 100 Policy Institute shall require an initial environmental review by a qualified environmental firm. In the event that the initial review reveals a potential problem, the organization may retain a qualified environmental firm to conduct an environmental audit. Criteria for acceptance of gifts of real estate include: Is the property useful for the organization’s purposes? Is the property readily marketable? Are there covenants, conditions, restrictions, reservations, easements, encumbrances or other limitations associated with the property? Are there carrying costs (including insurance, property taxes, mortgages, notes, or the like) or maintenance expenses associated with the property? Does the environmental review or audit reflect that the property is damaged or otherwise requires remediation?