Policy on Sources of Income

This policy applies to financial donations, deferred gifts, in–kind support and prizes awarded to International Rivers. It does not apply to payments received for International Rivers services (including speaking fees), goods, membership fees and the reimbursement of expenses.

International Rivers accepts support from individuals, the charitable sector, private companies and governments. International Rivers accepts support for general operations and projects that fit its mission and strategic plan. International Rivers does not alter its positions, work program and strategic plan to meet the wishes of funders.

International Rivers will not accept support in the following cases:

  • Conflict of interest: International Rivers does not accept support that would create a conflict of interest or a clear perception of such a conflict. More specifically, International Rivers does not accept support from entities or individuals whose core activities are in conflict with International Rivers’ mission (e.g., dam building, fossil fuel and nuclear industries, private water companies or the World Bank). This restriction does not apply to institutions whose activities may marginally conflict with International Rivers’ mandate (e.g. governments that are members of the World Bank, companies and banks that have a minor involvement in building dams).
  • Unethical origin: International Rivers does not accept support from donors responsible for gross acts of human rights violations, environmental degradation, social injustice or corruption.
  • International Rivers reserves the right to reject funds for other reasons, for example if the administrative conditions under which they are granted are considered too burdensome.

Matching donations from companies will be considered as support from individual employees. Accepting support from a private company or state institution does not imply an endorsement of their activities by International Rivers. Acceptance of contributions from private companies over $10,000 will be decided by the Management Team in consultation with relevant staff on a case–by–case basis. When staff have concerns that a donation or any other form of support might contravene any term of this policy, the Management Team will consult with the Executive Committee of the Board before taking a decision on whether to accept the support.

International Rivers accepts the following types of deferred gifts:

  • Bequests. International Rivers receives bequests from persons who have directed in their wills or revocable living trusts that assets be transferred to the organization.
  • Charitable lead trusts. A donor may set up a trust that pays an annuity to International Rivers for a term of years or for the lifetime of the donor. When the lead trust terminates, the remaining balance is returned to the donor or to the donor’s heirs.
  • Charitable remainder trusts. A donor sets up a trust that pays an annuity to the donor and/or other beneficiaries for life or a term of years. The trust pays the remaining balance to International Rivers.
  • Life Insurance Policies. International Rivers accepts life insurance policies for which the donor has relinquished ownership by assigning all rights, title, and interest in the policy to International Rivers. If the insurance policy is not fully paid, the usefulness of the gift may be judged on a case-by-case basis. If the policy is accepted, International Rivers may either cash the policy for its current surrender value or pay the premium
  • Retirement assets. A donor can name International Rivers as the successor beneficiary of all or a portion of his or her IRA, 401(k), or other retirement accounts.

International Rivers makes its sources of support transparent in its annual report. Requests for donor anonymity will be considered by the Management Team on a case-by-case basis, in keeping with the terms and spirit of this policy.

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