If CEPOS' secretariat or individual employees are subjected to influence by a donor whose purpose is to challenge CEPOS' independence, this must be immediately reported to CEPOS' director, who in turn will immediately inform the chairman. If the donor does not respect CEPOS' independence, our co-operation with them will be terminated.
In order to ensure the independence of CEPOS' work and research, our objective is that no one donor provide more than 15 per cent of all contributions to CEPOS in any given year. CEPOS has a corresponding objective to spread donations broadly in order to protect its independence.
In addition, CEPOS strives, at all times, to have sufficient funds of its own to finance at least 1½ years of the think tank's operation with no changes in spending.
CEPOS receives three different kinds of donations:
- General support (not earmarked)
- Support for a certain activity (earmarked)
- Project support
General support is not earmarked for any particular activity or project. Donors who provide general support have the right to receive periodic information about CEPOS' activities and performance. Donors have no influence over CEPOS' analytical work, conclusions, or recommendations, including how these are carried out and presented to the public.
In fiscal year 2020, 90,6 per cent of CEPOS' support was given for general activities.
Support can be given for a particular activity, e.g., CEPOS Akademi or Tank&Tænk. These donors have the right to receive periodic information about CEPOS' activities and performance, particularly including detailed information about the activity they supported. Donors have no influence over CEPOS' analytical work, conclusions, or recommendations, including how these are carried out and presented to the public.
In fiscal year 2020, 0,9 per cent of CEPOS' support was given to specific CEPOS activities.
Projects are distinguished by having a project description with a defined purpose, deliverables, budget, and usually also a time frame. Projects are limited in time, with a beginning and end, unlike activities, which continue until CEPOS' management or board decide to end the activity. Donors have no influence over CEPOS' analytical work, conclusions, or recommendations, including how these are carried out and presented to the public.
In fiscal year 2020, 8,4 per cent of CEPOS' support was given to a project.
Anonymous donations are those for which CEPOS does not make the donor's identity public, unless the donor him- or herself wishes to discontinue the anonymity. CEPOS only accepts anonymous donations as general support (not earmarked), and as support for particular CEPOS activities already in operation, such as CEPOS Akademi or Tank&Tænk.
CEPOS, therefore, does not accept anonymous support for projects and analysis work. CEPOS only accepts support for projects and analysis work from donors who accept the publication of their identities in connection with the relevant analysis or analyses. Thus, if such project support occurs, it will appear in all publications of the project, whether written or in sound and/or images.
The only activities for which CEPOS receives an income are lectures, fees for seminars and conferences, the sale of books and payment for articles in journals, magazines, and newspapers.
In fiscal year 2020, 0.2 per cent of CEPOS's income was from these income-producing activities.
CEPOS does not perform consultant work for payment.
As an independent institution in civil society, CEPOS contributes to greater pluralism in access to societal research and analysis, and in public debate. It does this, among other ways, by challenging, refining, and supplementing publicly financed analysis and research institutions, such as the Economic Council and VIVE, the National Research & Analysis Centre for Prosperity.
To carry out this work and remain independent of the state, CEPOS does not accept donations from the public sector out of principle, instead being financed by private donations. For similar reasons, CEPOS does not accept donations from political parties.
The vast majority of private support is given to CEPOS generally, without being earmarked for specific uses, while a smaller proportion goes toward specific projects. CEPOS publishes the names of donors who support specific projects. Project donations are not accepted from donors who desire anonymity. However, CEPOS does not typically publish the names of donors who provide general support.
A donor's desire for anonymity may, for example, stem from the donor's wish to maintain good relations with politicians who disagree with CEPOS. Periodically, politicians and other contributors to public debate use harsh words to describe CEPOS. This might intimidate donors if they do not have the opportunity to remain anonymous.
The protection of privacy is an important principle of a liberal democracy. As a citizen, one has the right to keep political views to oneself, thereby avoiding pressure and intimidation. As a voter, one has the right to expect that elections proceed in a confidential manner, such that which party and candidate one votes for or supports are not made public. Anonymous voting is thus a key requisite to be able to say that an election is fair. Whether or not one is a member of a political party — and if so, which — is also private information. In laws on data protection and privacy, political opinions and leanings are also strictly protected. In the same way, one also ought to be able to keep to oneself the causes one chooses to support financially.
Who knows donors' identities?
In order to ensure that anonymity is maintained, CEPOS' donors are known only to a select few at CEPOS, including the board and CEPOS' director. Other employees generally do not know the identities of anonymous donors.
While CEPOS maintains donors' anonymity, donors are naturally free to discuss or publicise their support if they wish.