WRI works with and receives support from a diverse set of partners, including foundations, international institutions, governments, individuals, NGO’s, and corporations. Our purpose in each of those relationships is to fulfill our mission, and we are guided in all of them by our values: Independence, Integrity, Innovation, Urgency, and Respect. We neither seek nor accept financial support that would threaten those values. We are proud of the support we receive and report regularly on the sources of our funding.
WRI is mission driven, non-partisan, and independent. We are not a consulting organization. We enter into contractual relationships only if they are driven by our program objectives. To ensure the quality and independence of our substantive work, our policy analyses, recommendations, and publications are subject to internal and external peer review.
WRI collaborates with and accepts funding from corporations. Because corporations are regulated entities and exert influence on policy-making, we are especially sensitive to public perception about the influence of corporate funding on the research conducted by non-profit think tanks, and we review each relationship carefully. WRI does not accept corporate funding that is restricted to specific policy research reports that issue recommendations for government policy. WRI does work in partnership with private sector entities among others to develop joint policy recommendations on key issues. In such cases, the costs may be shared among the collaborating parties. As with all prospective donors, we seek unrestricted or flexible support from corporations that we can allocate to our goals and objectives at our own discretion.
Board members, officers, development staff, and program staff may all be involved in fundraising, but all fundraising is coordinated by WRI’s development department. The department must be notified when contact is made with a prospective donor and consulted before a letter of inquiry or proposal is submitted. It is the responsibility of the development department to alert WRI’s president of potential conflicts with these guidelines. Before submitting a proposal to a new corporate donor it is the responsibility of the development department to notify all staff and seek their comments on whether receiving funding from the corporation would compromise our values or undermine our ability to achieve our objectives. Staff objections will be forwarded to the president for decision.
Board members periodically review WRI’s donor relationships to assure that they neither violate WRI’s values nor create a risk to WRI’s reputation. They will also review the composition of WRI’s funding base to safeguard against the organization becoming too reliant on a particular source or sector of funding.