Guiding Principles of Fundraising
- The Smithsonian actively solicits and gratefully accepts financial and in-kind gifts in support of activities that advance its mission.
- As the steward of the nation’s treasures held in trust for the American people, the Smithsonian upholds the highest principles in exhibiting objects and preserving its collections, and accepts gifts that do not compromise control over exhibitions, research, and programs.
- The Smithsonian accepts a gift when it achieves the intended purpose of the donor in a manner consistent with the Smithsonian’s standards of excellence.
The Smithsonian is the trusted, authoritative organization for credible, impartial scholarship. It provides diverse audiences access to its vast collections, research data, public programs, and staff. The Smithsonian delivers the highest quality products and services in all its endeavors.
- The Smithsonian seeks philanthropic support from a broad array of individuals and organizations. It welcomes and seeks to engage donors from all backgrounds and interests.
- The Smithsonian uses donors’ gifts strictly for the purpose for which they are intended.
- While acknowledging the generosity of its corporate donors, the Smithsonian does not promote or endorse the donors’ products or services.
- The Smithsonian avoids association with products or services that are widely considered to be harmful.
- The Smithsonian is transparent in explaining to the public the nature of the funding that supports its operations, programs, and research.
The Smithsonian honors its responsibility as the steward of the nation’s collections and protects its reputation and status by carrying out its work with the greatest responsibility and accountability. The Smithsonian is transparent in explaining to the public the nature of the funding that supports its operations, programs, and research.
- The Smithsonian articulates the standards that it uses in offering recognition and acknowledgment commensurate with the level of the financial or in-kind gifts it receives. It applies these standards fairly and consistently across the Institution.
The Smithsonian’s gift policies and procedures are clear to donors and the public, and are based on sound non-profit practices, and ensure fair and respectful acknowledgment of donors.
The Smithsonian makes its gift acceptance policies and procedures clear to potential donors and the public, consistent with accepted best practices of non-profit organizations.