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Summary of the Port of Los Angeles Sponsorship Policy


It is the policy of the Port of Los Angeles to support charitable, business and civic events and programs that support the Department’s general goals and are consistent with California State Lands Commission and City Charter mandates. As required by the State Tidelands Grant governing the Port of Los Angeles, use of Harbor Department funds must promote commerce, navigation and fisheries. 

The Port receives hundreds of requests annually for financial and in-kind support of events, activities and programs.  In all cases, approval follows Port staff, City Attorney and City Controller review.

Funding in excess of $50,000 or for periods of more than one year must be approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners.


Port of Los Angeles Pilot Community Investment Sponsorship Program FY 2013-2014
(click here for sponsorship document)

 

TYPES OF SPONSORSHIP

Port sponsorship may take a variety of forms including, but not limited, to:

1. Purchase of tickets, a table at an event, advertising, educational exhibits, sponsorships which include combinations of benefits, or other activities through which the Port’s initiatives may be publicized.

2. In-kind assistance in the form of staff expertise, staff time, printing, photography or other resources, as available and appropriate.

3. Providing one-time use of meeting space or other Port property or facilities at reduced or no cost. 

4. Providing matching funds for a particular program or purpose.

5. Participating in local community or business events at which the honoree is related to Port business or international trade as a customer or tenant, employee, maritime industry leader, City of Los Angeles official, legislator or regulatory agencies that interact with the Port.

6. Hosting or sponsoring events, programs, conferences, or partnering sessions on topical issues, environmental initiatives, trade trends, job opportunities or industry roundtables which serve to educate industry members and business groups regarding international trade or technical subjects of importance to the Port.

7. Support of maritime related educational or artistic endeavors directly related to the Port and/or international trade curricula, but which do not duplicate already established and recognized educational efforts and programs.

8. Financial sponsorship of major community events intended to promote maritime tourism, use of attractions on Port properties or awareness of the Port as a regional destination and/or economic asset.

CRITERIA

Sponsorship for charitable, business or civic events must meet the following basic criteria. The amount of the approved financial or in-kind support is at the discretion of the Executive Director and is commensurate with the benefits to be accrued to the Port.

1. Recipients of community outreach dollars must show evidence of their status as a tax-exempt organization as described in Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(3).

2. The event or promotion is targeted at customers and/or civic, community, business and/or government leaders and will provide a means for the Harbor Department to increase awareness of Port programs, goals or activities.

3. Recipients are not:

        • Individuals.
        • Political campaigns or parties.
        • Groups that discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation or national origin.
        • Schools, churches and other religious organizations, where Department funds may be specifically used in support of religious activities.
        • Groups with which the Department is currently in litigation or which have sued the City or Department in the past.
        • Unions representing City of Los Angeles employees.

4. Requests for sponsorship cannot be initiated by a Department employee, member of the Board of Harbor Commissioners, or City employee if he or she acts in a decision making capacity regarding Harbor Department sponsorship.

5. Retirement events are not eligible for sponsorship unless the beneficiary is an organization whose mandate falls within Tidelands Grant and City Charter restrictions. (For example, Port funds cannot be used in the purchase of tickets or sponsorship of an event honoring a long-time City employee or commissioner.  However, such sponsorship may be considered if the retiree is the honoree at an event hosted by the Maritime Museum to benefit a youth sailing training program.)

6. Approval of sponsorship funds, or the funding level of those approvals shall be considered as one-time approvals unless other stipulated by action of the Board of Harbor Commissioners.  Neither the Department nor requesting agencies shall assume that funding is pre-approved for subsequent years or amounts unless so stated in Board of Harbor Commissioners’ actions.

POLITICAL FUND-RAISERS AND CHARITY EVENTS

The Department and its employees are prohibited from official participation in political fund-raisers, according to City Ethics Commission (Penal Code Section 424; Government Code Section 3205 and Municipal Code Section 47.03).  In addition, support for charities or events benefiting organizations such as health related associations are not deemed appropriate uses of Harbor Department funds, based on City Charter Section 656 (b) (1).  This prohibition includes memorial contributions to such organizations. 

PROCEDURE

All requests for sponsorship must be made in writing to the Senior Director of Communications, Port of Los Angeles.  The following information must be included:
 
1. Amount requested.

2. Date and location of the event or launch date of a program.

3. Detailed description of the purpose and content of the event or program.

4. State how the sponsorship benefits the Port and how the event or program is in support of commerce, navigation or fisheries. Requests for event sponsorship should also list the various levels of sponsorship and the benefits accrued for each level.

5. Nonprofit organizations will be required to provide evidence of tax exempt status.          

For further information, please contact:

Port of Los Angeles
Public Relations
425 S. Palos Verdes Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
(310) 732-3508




Note: Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 21.49(c) requires that all firms engaged in any business activity within the City of Los Angeles are required to have a Business Tax Registration Certification (BTRC). Non-profit organizations seeking sponsorship of events and programs from the Port of Los Angeles are required to have a BTRC exemption number. Please contact the City's Tax Exemption Unit at (213) 978-3050 for information, or view available forms online at www.lacity.org/finance.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

PORT OF LOS ANGELES SPONSORSHIP POLICY

Does the Port receive many requests for financial support?

Yes, the Port receives hundreds of requests annually.

What kinds of things will the Port sponsor?      

The Port sponsors a variety of events and programs including maritime education curricula, Port-related special events, events related to initiatives that reflect Port priorities, and conferences focusing on maritime industry, transportation, international trade or environmental issues related to Port operations.

Are there types of things that will not qualify for Port sponsorship?

In general, use of Port funds is restricted by the State Tidelands Grant and to qualify, events and programs must be related to commerce, navigation and fisheries. Unfortunately, that means that some worthwhile fund-raising efforts such as those benefiting student athletic, art or general programs; social events; retirement events; and civic events unrelated to the Port do not qualify for consideration.

How about charities?

Charities or events benefiting organizations such as health related associations are not approved, per City Charter Section 656 (b) (1). This prohibition also includes memorial contributions.        

Do political fund raisers qualify?

Use of Port funds or facilities  for political fund raisers is prohibited by the City Ethics Commission.

Once an event has been approved, can it be assumed that the sponsorship will be an annual commitment?

Approval of funds and/or the amount of sponsorship are one-time approvals unless stipulated by action of the Board of Harbor Commissioners.

Will the Port consider sponsoring more than one event per year for one organization?

Consideration of multiple requests from one organization is left to the discretion of the Executive Director.  

Will the Port sponsor an event outside its immediate geographic area?

As a regional economic resource, the Port will consider sponsorship if the event fits  State Tidelands Trust criteria.  However, each event, regardless of geographic location, will be considered on its own merit as it reflects the Port’s operations and goals.      

When should a request be submitted?

The request must be received at least six weeks in advance of an event or launch or program, but it is recommended that requests be sent as early as possible to allow for appropriate consideration and processing. 

If a request for sponsorship is approved, how soon can payment be expected?

At least six weeks are required to process the request, once all approvals and documentation are received.

Who can I call for more information?

Port of Los Angeles Public Relations, 425 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro, CA 90731, (310) 732-3508.

 
 
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