Statement Regarding Special Events Funding

Why the Dyson Foundation Does Not Support Benefit Events

The Dyson Foundation does not sponsor events, underwrite advertising or purchase tables at events for the following reasons:

  • Our support for nonprofits primarily takes the form of grants, and we prefer that 100% of this support goes toward programs or core expenses. We feel that special events are not a good use of our limited available funding.
  • Special events are not always the best use of an organization's fundraising dollars. Many local groups barely break even when holding a special event, and sometimes even lose money when expenses are fully accounted for.
  • The sheer number of our grantees who hold special events makes it impossible for us to consider support for this purpose.

We recognize that organizations hold special events for many reasons, including introducing potential new supporters to its work, and that raising money is only one of them. However, we encourage all nonprofits to give significant thought to whether special events are really the best use of their time, money and resources.

The Dyson Foundation will continue, on a limited basis, to purchase individual tickets for events when that event fits within the programmatic requirements of Dyson Foundation staff or board for monitoring and/or oversight of grantee organizations and programs.

Guidelines for Accepting Honors

Generally speaking, the Dyson Foundation prefers not to be publicly recognized or to receive honors for our grantmaking. We would consider accepting an honor if:

  • a staff member or board member has a close affiliation with the organization,
  • if the honor is collectively honoring all funders in the region,
  • or if the Dyson Foundation has worked closely with or partnered with the organization, providing assistance above and beyond our standard grantmaking.

If the Foundation agrees to be honored, this agreement should not be conditioned upon our sponsoring or buying a table at the event.