Has BP Tarred Its Charitable Beneficiaries?

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A charity's fallout from a donor's problems will likely be most serious in a situation where a co-branding relationship exists, as in the case of the Aquarium of the Pacific's BP Sea Otter Habitat. The examples of tainted relationships with BP serve as important lessons in co-branding relationships. In recent years, many nonprofits have turned to co-branding with for-profits as a means of generating additional revenue. When the for-profit brand turns sour, however, such associations can do more harm than good. Prior to entering into any such relationship, organizations should require a co-branding agreement that ensures the ability to terminate the relationship upon any event that could tarnish the nonprofit's reputation and goodwill.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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