The Association of Health Care Journalists and the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism seeks to minimize the possibility and appearance of inappropriate influence from outside parties. The association imposes strict limitations on the sources of its funding and embraces transparency, independence and sustainability when evaluating whether to accept funds from outside parties.
Any uncertainty over a potential funder or the funding arrangement will be referred to the board of directors.
We recognize that a fundraising policy is a work in progress and may need to be revised from time to time, with input from our members. In all cases, AHCJ will strive to be both editorially independent and financially viable.
The association does not intend for this policy to take the place of its statement of principles or to serve as a policy on conflicts of interest, since its purpose is distinct.
We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News. We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.
We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics and special projects. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates as a public trust, we do not pay certain taxes. We may receive funds from standard government programs offered to nonprofits or similar businesses.
Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors or any revenue source. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content. We make public all revenue sources and donors. As a news nonprofit, we avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources and government entities. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.
In an effort to create common definitions and foster richer dialogue, the association has adopted four categories of potential funders, with limitations and restrictions for each.
The status of these categories will be revisited annually by the board of directors.
- media companies; media foundations; medical journals;
- nonprofit, nonpartisan foundations not controlled by commercial firms;
- nonpartisan research organizations;
- publicly funded agencies, universities and hospitals;
- nonprofit colleges/universities;
- individual nonprofit academic medical centers that are members of AAMC or major teaching affiliates of AACOM member schools;
- and other educational institutions with an interest in improving the quality of health care journalism consistent with the mission of AHCJ.
Examples include: UCLA, Harvard Medical School, National Institutes of Health, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, New England Journal of Medicine, Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, MD Anderson Cancer Center, RTI International, the Urban Institute.
NATURE OF SUPPORT: Broad
- Sponsorship of events, educational programming and other fund-raising activities
- Grants for events, publications or educational programming
- Gifts (cash or in-kind)
WHO: Companies or groups that have no specific interest in health care but which sell or supply products or services that journalists may consider useful in their work. Examples include computers, notepads, tablets, automobile rentals, hotels, airlines and freelance agencies.
NATURE OF SUPPORT: Limited
- Advertising and exhibits
- In-kind donations for fund-raising activities, i.e. raffle, silent auction
WHO: Not-for-profit associations or societies that represent those who sell health care services or who lobby legislators on health care issues; or nonprofit, nonpartisan foundations controlled by commercial firms or their representatives. Examples include the American Medical Association, American Academy of Trial Lawyers, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the NIHCM Foundation, and Families USA.
NATURE OF SUPPORT: Limited
Generally, no support is sought in this category, however, a very limited number of organizations in this category will be allowed to exhibit at the annual conference. If you think you qualify as a Category C organization, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
WHO: Private or public corporations or not-for-profit entities that sell products or services in the health care field. Examples include manufacturers of health care products, health care insurers, health plans, individual or corporate providers or medical practitioners, medical management organizations, private hospitals, marketing or public relations companies with an interest in healthcare, and any other entities with a commercial interest in the field, whether for-profit or not-for-profit.
NATURE OF SUPPORT: Restricted
No funds or in-kind support of any kind will be sought from funders in this category.
Originally approved by the board in May 2004
Most recent approved clarifications: April 2021
Most recent board review: April 2021