Should science centers and museums adopt ethical guidelines regarding corporate sponsorships? If so, what should these guidelines be?January 3rd, 2012 - Posted in 2012, Dimensions, Viewpoints by Emily Schuster
This is an extended discussion of the question that appeared in the Viewpoints department of the January/February 2012 issue of Dimensions magazine.
Science centers and museums should adopt overarching gift acceptance and ethical fundraising policies that should be approved by their governing boards. In addition, in order to ensure accountability and informed decision-making regarding corporate sponsorships, institutions should develop written and board-approved policies and procedures to protect their assets and reputation and to guide institutional actions consistent with their mission. The American Association of Museums (AAM) has developed a document on this topic: Guidelines for Museums on Developing and Managing Business Support, which is available on the AAM website; the Association of Fundraising Professionals provides additional resources, including the Donor Bill of Rights; and Board Source provides sample policies and a variety of white papers related to this topic.
Erik G. Pihl, vice president for development, Pacific Science Center, Seattle