Funding & Support Policies
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society was founded in 1997 with a generous gift from Jack N. and Lillian R. Berkman. Over the past decade the Berkman Center has received financial support from foundations, corporations, private donors, international organizations, and government entities. These relationships are vital to the pursuit of our ambitious educational and public interest goals.
We are committed to autonomy in our research and transparency in our relationships. These traits are essential to our continued credibility and success as an institution. Our funding model is possible due to the robust, strict, and clear policies that govern our association with donors and preserve the Berkman Center’s intellectual independence.
Our research and outreach modes depend substantially on being able to convene and engage parties that span the spectrum of viewpoints, and for our research results to have impact, our work must not only be intellectually rigorous, but also fair and impartial.
To that end, we do not accept grants that limit our ability to carry out research in the way we see fit – free of outside influence and consistent with our organizational mission and values. We do not undertake research or accept funds at the request of outside organizations unless it is consistent with our existing research agenda, mission, and overall philosophy. We are transparent about our funding sources, announcing the receipt of funds through our normal communication channels.
All corporate donors agree to give their funds as unrestricted gifts, for which there is no contractual agreement and no promised products, results, or deliverables.
Foundations, international organizations, government entities, and other non-private entities may offer unrestricted gifts, but in most cases they are required to offer grant funding for sponsored research. The terms of these grants are set forth in contracts negotiated between the donor and Harvard’s Office of Sponsored Programs and include specific parameters such as budget guidelines, timelines, and deliverables.
These policies complement the relevant policies of Harvard Law School and Harvard University. We will continue to review these policies to ensure that we are doing our utmost to maintain the integrity of the Berkman Center, our work, and our community.
Sustained institutional support is both of the utmost importance and a great fundraising challenge. We are fortunate to enjoy the tremendous generosity of The Berkman Family, which has been stalwart in backing (and fronting) us for more than 15 years, and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which has supported specific research projects and our core functioning. We are unfailingly grateful to both for having been essential partners in both creating and realizing our mission, having shared not only financial resources, but their ideas and camaraderie.
Support for Current Activities
We warmly thank the following sponsors for their sponsorship of the Berkman Center's research and events.
- Arcadia Fund
- Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing
- Ellen Berkman
- Ford Foundation
- The Getty Foundation
- Google, Inc.
- Stella P. Holt Foundation
- International Development Research Centre
- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- McCormick Foundation
- The Microsoft Corporation
- National Science Foundation
- Craig Newmark
- The Open Society Institute of the Soros Foundation
- United States Department of State
We remain indebted to our past supporters for their generosity and collaboration.
- Anonymous Harvard Law School Alumni Donor
- Best Buy Co., Inc.
- The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
- Cooley LLP
- Digital Media and Learning Research Hub
- The Ernst & Young Foundation
- John I. Forry
- Gartner Group
- Philip L. Graham Fund
- Harnisch Foundation
- The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
- Institute for War & Peace Reporting
- InterCulture Foundation
- Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
- The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
- Martin H. Levin, Esq.
- Linden Lab
- McCormick Tribune Foundation
- John Francis McQuillan, Jr.
- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
- The Craig Newmark Philanthropic Trust
- The Oak Foundation
- Omidyar Network
- Oracle Corporation
- Reed Elsevier
- Reuters, Inc.
- The Charles H. Revson Foundation
- Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
- Sun Microsystems
- Trend Micro
- Turner Broadcasting
- VeriSign, Inc.
- Viacom/MTV International