Ownership and Funding

Editorial Standards > Ownership and Funding

Highlands Current Inc. is a New York State not-for-profit corporation begun in 2010 as Philipstown.Info, Inc., to provide balanced reporting of the news and events of the communities of Cold Spring, Garrison, Nelsonville, Philipstown and Beacon in the Hudson Highlands region.

In order to provide our newspaper free to the communities we serve, we rely on the generosity of members who believe in our mission. Our corporation has tax-exempt status as a federal 501(c)(3) enterprise, and donations to it are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. As a nonprofit that operates as a public trust, we do not pay certain taxes. We also may receive funds from standard government programs offered to nonprofits or similar businesses.

Highlands Current Inc. is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News and subscribes to the policies it sets forth, as follows:

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We will maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization also may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public the names of all donors who give $1,000 or more. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN’s Membership Standards.

Fundraising for Highlands Current Inc. is focused on local community support and grants from foundations interested in sustainable community journalism. The funds raised go beyond the organization’s advertising revenue to help to support the operations of both the organization’s news website at highlandscurrent.org and its print edition, The Highlands Current.

Our policy is open to contributions of cash, non-cash and in-kind donations without prejudice. We are open to all donations from individuals or groups who support our vision, mission and values. Donations are acknowledged in writing. We do not disclose any individual information about our donors other than the names of persons or groups who give more than $1,000 within a year. No more than 5 percent of our annual budget may come from anonymous sources.

As a news nonprofit, we avoid accepting substantial charitable donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. 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.

Our fundraising to the local community takes the form of:

Directed campaigns (mail, email, personal calls and written proposals/requests) seeking donations from individuals and groups several times a year.

Various events in the local community, such as panel discussions on local topics of interest.

Fundraising requests at highlandscurrent.org and in the print edition.

In our solicitations to foundations, multi-year support will be sought and encouraged. These efforts could be for ongoing operations support or for special projects important to the local community and consistent with the donor’s criteria for giving.

All fundraising efforts are reviewed quarterly by the board of directors of Highlands Current Inc. The various fundraising campaigns and grant requests are planned by the development committee of the board with support from volunteers.

Our website contains links to our annual 990 tax filings with the IRS. A copy of our most recently filed financial report is available by contacting the New York State Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 28 Liberty St., New York, NY 10005. You also may obtain information on charitable organizations from the New York State Office of the Attorney General at charitiesnys.com or 212-416-8401.