Creative Commons Contributions Policy

Creative Commons (“CC”) is an international, multi-stakeholder nonprofit organization. CC is diversely-funded by individuals, foundations, corporations, governments, and other institutions and agencies. CC accepts general operating support as well as program-specific funding for specific projects and initiatives. CC’s contributions policy is intended to encourage funding of CC while make clear that we will uphold the following principles and manifest them in all cash and in-kind funding agreements:

Funding Principles

  • All contributions will always and only ever be used to advance our vision, mission, and programs consistent with our obligations as a 501(c)(3) charity.
  • CC funders, sponsors, and donors will in no instance have control or decision-making authority around CC’s vision and mission, program implementation, or events such as the CC Global Summit. All CC funding discussions, agreements, and partnerships will reflect this principle without exception.
  • CC does not accept grants or contributions to lobby for specific legislation anywhere in the world, and will never promote a candidate for political office.
  • CC’s preference is for unrestricted contributions. The generosity and trust of an unrestricted contribution enables the organization to put the funds towards their best and highest use and to respond directly to unique challenges and opportunities as they arise and evolve. Nevertheless, CC does accept contributions for specific programs and purposes provided that such contributions are consistent with the CC’s mission, vision, priorities, and corporate charter and are not unreasonably restrictive.
  • In the unlikely event that funds are granted in support of a particular CC initiative that changes course significantly or is no longer pursued, funds will be allocated to a similar initiative consistent with the agreement under which the funds were received.
  • Contributions to CC at $10,000 and above will generally be publicly acknowledged on CC’s website unless specified as anonymous, in which case all information concerning the identity of donor or prospective donors will be kept strictly confidential by CC unless disclosure is required by law.

CC agreements, contracts, trusts, and other legal agreements will be reviewed, negotiated for compliance as needed, and approved by CC’s CEO, Director of Development, and legal counsel. Any contribution agreements that do not meet the principles of CC’s Contributions Policy will not be accepted.

In addition to our Contributions Policy, Creative Commons adheres to a comprehensive Donor Screening Policy.  You can access that policy here.