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Guidelines for an Ongoing CPSR Project

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Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility

Guidelines for an Ongoing CPSR Project


An ongoing CPSR project is defined as the means and structure through which a CPSR activist can formalize their activities as CPSR program by establishing a semi-autonomous cost-center oriented on an appropriate and Board approved CPSR area. This structure is intended to encourage serious ongoing program work by members while expanding CPSR expertise on appropriate issues.


An ongoing CPSR program area is initiated with the submission of a formal proposal outlining program objectives, intended activities and annual budget for Board approval. Thereafter program objectives and budget are submitted on an annual basis for Board approval. If compensated, the program director is considered a consultant of CPSR.


The CPSR Board of Directors can cease support of the program by a majority vote at a regularly scheduled Board meeting. Justification for dissolution must be formally presented to the program director at least 30 days prior to the actual cessation of the program. The CPSR Board of Directors may rescind commitments of future CPSR funding upon separation. Control of monies raised from outside sources will be retained by the principle investigator of the grant upon notification of the grantor of the change in program status.

A CPSR program area can separate from CPSR with at least 30 days prior notice to the Board of Directors. Notification to all grantmakers is the responsibility of the Principle Investigator or Program Director. The CPSR Board of Directors can withhold any previously committed CPSR funding at that time.

Financial Support

It is understood that the Program Director is responsible for raising the costs of program work including any compensation the Program Director will receive. The Program Director is responsible for all required reporting responsibilities with granting agencies.

CPSR administrative overhead will be set at 15% with external funding sources. This percentage can be changed by a vote of the Board of Directors.

The CPSR board can approve a cash grant directly to the project.

The CPSR board can approve a cash reserve fund to be made available as an advance of anticipated expenses and funding. It is understood that an upper limit would assigned to this account, beyond which the director could not request additional CPSR monies. This funding will be made available at the discretion of the Board. Monies raised by the program directors beyond immediate costs will be used to replenish the reserve fund and are otherwise retained by the program.

The program is responsible for all insurance coverage pertaining to program activities unless otherwise arranged with the CPSR Board of Directors.

The CPSR Board can support the program directly from the operational budget of the organization.

Financial Reporting

The program director agrees to report cash flow of all monies granted and spent in CPSR's name to the main office on a monthly basis. Failure to submit the monthly check register and bank statement to the CPSR Office may result in the dissolution of the program or the removal of the program director.

The CPSR Board of Directors retains final oversight authority of the program finances.


Program activities might include fundraising, hosting conferences, speaking engagements, publications, developing a volunteer base, hiring help, developing online resources, hosting events, creating and overseeing working groups, developing strategic relationships with outside organizations, developing activist and PR campaigns, and any other activities appropriate to the program objectives. Official program positions can be taken without the approval of CPSR Board of Directors as long as the position is attributed to the "ongoing program name of CPSR" and not simply "CPSR".

Program Reporting

The program director will submit a formal report to the CPSR Board of Directors on program activities and administration at each Board Meeting, minimally - and more frequently if so requested by the Board of Directors.


  • All program work funded by CPSR is done in the name of CPSR.
  • All program work is consistent with the CPSR mission statement.
  • CPSR privacy and personnel policies apply.
  • All program work includes organizational development efforts such as membership solicitation, fundraising, and using the CPSR affiliation with speaking with the media.
  • All program work is performed in a professional manner in keeping with the CPSR image.
  • Program directors represent CPSR in a positive manner.

Director Compensation

Program directors can be compensated for their work by program funds. They will be considered a CPSR consultant for tax status purposes. Every effort will be made for compensation to come from outside funding but it can come from CPSR operations account.

Directors on the CPSR Board as Program Directors

Should Program Directors occupy a position on the Board of Directors, all compensation must be raised from outside sources. Program Directors will recuse themselves from all Board votes on any matter concerning their program.

Last updated February 2002, by Paul Hyland

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Archived CPSR Information
Created before October 2004

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