How We Are Funded
The Ethics Resource Center is a 501c(3) educational non-profit organization. Our status allows us to receive tax-deductible donations, to seek foundation grants, and to provide advisory services for a fee that is often lower than our for-profit colleagues.
At ERC, we consider that our purpose is to add value to our field and to educate--we do not exist to make a profit. Our revenues come from a variety of resources, and fall within two categories:
Funds that are donated to ERC for specific projects are categorized as "restricted," meaning that money provided can only be allocated for the staff time and expenses directly involved in that project work. ERC adds a small percentage of overhead to our requests for restricted revenues, in order to help offset a small portion of our general operating expenses.At ERC, restricted revenues fund the ERC Fellows Program and research projects such as the National Business Ethics Survey.
Despite the important work funded through restricted revenues, ERC still needs to keep the lights on. Donations that are not designated for a specific project and fee-for-service revenue constitute unrestricted revenues.
At ERC, unrestricted revenues fund:
- General operating expenses (rent, supplies)
- Staff salaries
- Other costs (annual reports, informational materials, etc.).
ERC receives funds from the following sources:
- Grants: ERC receives a portion of our funding from foundations, generally to carry out project work that advances our knowledge, and improves the organizational ethics field. Grants are often restricted, but in some cases, grants and individual donations can be applied to our operating expenses.
- Fee-for-service: ERC charges fees for our assistance when we work with organizations, or in providing some resources to the public. Fee-for-service revenue is unrestricted revenue, and is applied to our general operating expenses.
- Revenues from partnerships: ERC has created partnerships with a few select organizations, in order to assist us with expanding awareness of our organization, to supplement our expertise in working with organizations, or to make referrals to trusted resources when our stakeholders require services we do not provide. In a few cases, ERC shares a small percentage of revenue or receives a royalty fee for referral to a partner organization. This revenue is applied to our general operating expenses.
- Individual gifts: Our organization is always grateful for the contributions of our friends and stakeholders. Individual gifts constitute unrestricted revenue, and help us meet our operating needs.