Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Center for Public Integrity?  What does it do?

The Center’s mission is to serve democracy by revealing abuses of power, corruption and betrayal of public trust by powerful public and private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.

How is the Center organized?

The Center is a nonprofit digital news organization; it is nonpartisan and does no advocacy work. The Center is exempt from income taxes.  Contributions to the Center are tax-deductible. 

The Center is governed by a board of directors, who in turn hires and supervises its executive director. The executive director leads an executive team comprised of the executive editor, chief development officer, chief financial officer, and chief digital officer, and managing editors. 

The Center’s editorial staff consists of journalists, FOIA experts, copy editors, researchers, fact-checkers, and data experts who work on the Center’s investigative projects and stories.

How does the Center choose its investigations?  (See also How the Center Does its Work)

Project and story ideas come internally from across the organization and from meetings with external parties.  The stories are vetted by the executive director and managing editor who then give preliminary approval for initial investigation.  A go or no-go decision is made on the basis of preliminary research.  If the decision is a go, then the Center provides full resources, including staffing and funding, to pursue the story to its end. 

What types of investigations does the Center choose and does the Center handle submissions from whistleblowers?

The Center has conducted investigations into many topics; environmental justice, health, public accountability, federal and state lobbying, national security, and money in politics, all of which have a public integrity component.

Some of the Center’s most notable investigations were a result of information passed on by whistleblowers.

How does the Center distribute its work to the media and other groups such as Congress, NGOs, and other organizations?

The Center distributes its investigations through its award-winning website and to all forms of media; broadcast, print, online, and blogs, around the globe. If there are Center investigations that involve issues with a federal government agency, the respective congressional committees with jurisdiction over that agency will be included in that distribution. The Center also shares its work with a variety of NGOs and advocacy groups when there is interest expressed in the Center’s work. The Center keeps its readers updated with the latest Center news through the Watchdog email newsletter, on Twitter, and Facebook.

If you are a member of the media and would like to be added to the Center’s distribution list, please contact the Center’s media relations department at mediarelations@publicintegrity.org or 202-481-1232.

What is the role of the Center’s Board of Directors?

The Center’s Board of Directors lend their expertise to the executive director about trends in journalism, technology, and nonprofit best practice. The Board has fiduciary responsibility for the Center for Public Integrity.

DEVELOPMENT

Why contribute to the Center for Public Integrity?

The Center conducts investigative projects that explore the interaction between private interests and government officials and its effect on public policy involving matters of public integrity. By providing thorough, thoughtful, and objective analyses, the Center serves as a provider of factual information to inspire a better-informed citizenry to demand a higher level of accountability from its government, elected leaders, and corporations. Your contribution is vital to the work of the Center and is tax-deductible. 

How does the Center’s recurring giving program work?

The Center encourages donors to support us through our recurring giving program. By making a pledge to give on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis, you will receive a confirmation letter or e-mail. Thereafter the credit or debit card you provide will be charged for your pledge amount at the increments you selected, beginning on a date of your choosing. You may alter or cancel your pledge at any time by contacting jhryncewich@publicintegrity.org or calling us at (202) 481-1248. Every January, the Center will send you an acknowledgment of your total contributions for the preceding year. 

Sustaining gifts provide a reliable, flexible source of support for the Center’s ongoing projects, investigations, and operations. They allow us to spend more time pursuing and distributing hard-hitting stories and less time fundraising, and they make the best use of time and resources by minimizing processing fees and paperwork. Your contributions, over time, can add up to a significant difference for the Center, and we urge you to consider this among your giving options. 

How is the Center for Public Integrity funded?

The Center for Public Integrity is supported by foundations and individuals. It does not accept contributions from governments. 

If I make a donation to the Center, how much goes to fund investigative projects?

According to our most recent annual tax filing, the Center’s combined costs for all fundraising and administration were 27 percent of our total budget.  Thus, 73 percent of every contribution goes directly to investigative projects. 

Does the Center for Public Integrity lobby?

The Center is strictly nonpartisan. It does not lobby or endorse any legislation, political candidates, or parties.

Are contributions to the Center for Public Integrity tax-deductible?

Yes. The Center for Public Integrity is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and contributions are deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Are my CPI online transactions safe?

Yes!  The Center for Public Integrity’s website uses state-of-the-art encryption technology to ensure that your transactions are safe. Our secure socket layer (SSL) software is the industry standard and is the best software available today for secure e-commerce transactions. It encrypts all of the personal information you submit to us, including credit card number, name, and address, so that the information cannot be read as it travels over the Internet.

If you have questions about giving that are not answered here, feel free to call us at (202) 481-1248 or e-mail donations@publicintegrity.org.