Participation in Cy Pres Awards

Absent exceptional circumstances, the Foundation will not seek to receive cy pres funds arising from the settlements of class action lawsuits. If nominated by others and selected to receive them, the Foundation will take reasonable steps to refuse.

Exceptional circumstances justifying the Foundation's participation would include the following circumstances:

  • The subject matter of the suit and the purposes sought to be accomplished by the settlement are relevant to a program area where the Foundation has expertise.
  • The Foundation is particularly well-positioned to advance the underlying purposes of the settlement and can do so efficiently and effectively in light of the amounts at stake.
  • The Foundation's participation will not be adverse to existing grantees or contrary to the Foundation's policies.
  • Participation will not adversely affect the Foundation's reputation or require it actively to defend its acceptance of the funds.

A determination that the Foundation should participate in a cy pres fund will be made by the President with advice from the Vice President and General Counsel and will require the Board's approval.

If the Foundation receives funds from a cy pres award, it will seek to re-grant the funds to organizations with expertise in the subject matter and would further the settlement approved by the court.