American Public Health Association Summary Guidelines for Gifts and Donations




I.              INTRODUCTION

In the 21st century, public health will face some of its greatest challenges in more than 50 years. If current trends continue, many existing public health problems will be more widespread, from HIV/AIDS and tobacco-related disease, to the chronic diseases of our aging population and domestic and community violence. Simultaneously, rising costs and decreasing public funds have the capacity to further jeopardize the public’s health and stretch the public health system.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) must have the financial resources to continue to provide high-quality services and to expand its reach into important new initiatives. To fulfill its mission, APHA must consider securing resources from external sources rather than relying on increasing prohibitively high member dues, conference registration fees and publication costs.

In 2006, the Executive Board (EB) established the Committee on Social Responsibility (CSR) to evaluate all gifts and donations, solicited or unsolicited, including gifts or contributions received in support of Sections and Special Primary Interest Groups (SPIGs). Government contracts and grants from independent Foundations are not subject to evaluation by CSR. However, such contracts or grants in amounts of greater than $100,000 per year should be reviewed by the EB, as they have the potential to shape the public health agenda of APHA.

Note: Donations will not be accepted from tobacco companies, alcohol companies, and manufacturers of firearms and weapons of mass destruction. In the event that the donor corporation is part of a corporate conglomerate with ties to tobacco, alcohol or the manufacturer of firearms or weapons of mass destruction, the donor corporation as well as the relationship between the donor corporation and the conglomerate would be reviewed.



·  APHA will solicit and accept support only for projects and activities that are consistent with the Association’s mission.

·  Acceptance of donations and gifts must enhance, and shall not impede, APHA’s ability to act in the best interest of the public at all times.

·  APHA’s name, logo and other intangible intellectual assets must be protected at all times.



The major determinants in evaluating donations will be the total amount of the gift or pledge and from whom it is received. The dollar amount will determine the level of review.

Under $10,000

·  All gifts under $10,000 will be reviewed for donor adherence to Guidelines by staff applying the criteria outlined in the full Guidelines, including:

1)    Unrestricted gifts;

2)    Gifts made in support of established APHA programs or activities, e.g. gifts made in support of a Section or SPIG; and

3)    Gifts made in support of new programs or activities.

$10,000 and above

·  All gifts of $10,000 of more, including gifts received in support of Sections and SPIGs, will be reviewed by the CSR for donor adherence the criteria as stated in the full Guidelines.

·  CSR will make final decisions about donor adherence to Guidelines on gifts of $10,000 to $99,000.

·  CSR will make a recommendation to the EB for the Board’s final decision on donor adherence to Guidelines for gifts of $100,000 or more.

High-Profile Gifts

·  All gifts for high-profile, Associate-wide recognition, regardless of the amount, must be reviewed by the CSR for donor adherence to the Guidelines and presented with recommendations to the EB.

·  The EB must review and approve all decisions related to the recognition of potential Association donors that involve high-profile, Association-wide recognition to ensure that these decisions preserve the credibility and reputation of the Association.




Overall, the purpose of the review is to determine the balance of the benefit to the public in relation to the risks and costs of collaborating with the funding organization. The following conditions should be considered in determining the benefits and risks of accepting a donation:


A.   Are the specified proposed uses of the donation congruent with the mission and priorities of APHA?

B.   Are the donor’s expectations pertaining to control, oversight and outcome(s) of the donation and/or project to which the funds are applied acceptable to APHA?

C.   Are the donor’s expectations regarding recognition or acknowledgment of their support acceptable to APHA?

D.   Would accepting the donation create any real or apparent conflicts of interest, and would the impact and/or benefits of accepting the gift outweigh the risks of partnering with the donor?

Section and SPIG solicitations must be coordinated with APHA at all gift levels. Solicitation letters and lists of prospective donor organizations and contacts, or individual non-members to be solicited, must be approved by APHA before being sent to potential donors.


APHA will administer all donations received by a Section or SPIG in accordance with the donor’s intent.


For full guidelines and review criteria, please refer to the APHA’s “Unabridged Guidelines for Gifts and Donations” found in this section of the ICEHS website.