By virtue of its focus on ethics and its international reputation for the balance and integrity of its work, it is The Hastings Center’s policy to avoid both the reality and the appearance of any conflict of interest in the acceptance of financial support for its work.
The Center’s Board of Directors has adopted the following guidelines for acceptance of gifts and grants, which are intended to apply to individual, foundation, corporate, and governmental sources of support.
- The Center will not accept gifts or grants if doing so would undermine the reputation and integrity of the Center if the source of support were to be publicly disclosed, even in the case of hypothetical disclosure of an anonymous gift. The Center reserves the right to decline support from any donor with which the Center does not wish to be publicly associated.
- The Center will retain exclusive and autonomous control over its research projects and publications. In those cases where no conflict of interest is determined to exist, but an appearance of a conflict is a concern, the Center will pursue the following goals: a) Seek multiple and varied sources of support for a single research project, whenever possible; and b) Design research projects to focus on broad ethical issues, rather than more narrow topics of direct self interest to the funding source.
- The Center encourages its supporters to permit their public acknowledgement by name. The Center will not accept anonymous gifts from corporations. In all other cases, the Center will accept gifts and grants when the donor wishes to remain anonymous, if the donation complies with these guidelines.
- The Center will list in its annual report all foundation, corporate, and governmental sources of support and all individual donors with the exception of anonymous donors.
- The Center accepts gifts and grants from companies if the support is designated for general operating support of the Center. The Center does not accept gifts and grants from companies that create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.
- Acceptance of a gift or grant from a company does not imply the Center’s endorsement of that company’s policies, practices, or products.
- All members of the Center’s staff and Board of Directors will disclose any financial interest in, or consulting arrangement with, a company that is supporting the Center to the appropriate person or committee, in accordance with the Center’s written conflict of interest policies.
Approved by the Board of Directors, June 6, 2008