Funding Model Policy

This page sets out the Internet Watch Foundation’s (IWF) policy on membership subscriptions following consultation with Members and discussions with Board during 2013.It is effective from 1 April 2016.

General Principles

The following general principles apply:

  • IWF Membership is voluntary.

  • Membership subscriptions are set by the IWF Board.

  • The levels of membership subscription (all quoted exclusive of VAT) are shown below

    • £76,500 p.a.

    • £51,000 p.a.

    • £25,500 p.a.

    • £20,400 p.a.

    • £15,300 p.a.

    • £10,200 p.a.

    • £5,100 p.a.

    • £2,550 p.a.

    • £1,020 p.a.

  • Membership subscriptions are determined by a “by sector by size” approach, based on the primary business of the organisation in relation to the IWF, using formal criteria (metrics) where possible.

  • IWF welcomes offers from Members of in kind support and/or additional financial contributions, e.g. sponsorship, donations and would not discourage any company from contributing more than £75k, should they wish to. In kind support will not affect subscription payable.

  • An exception to the standard fee levels may be made for a Member undergoing a merger or acquisition.

  • A Negotiation and Appeals process for membership subscriptions has been developed and is included below.

  • Membership subscriptions are subject to annual indexation based on the Retail Price Index (RPI).

  • Membership subscriptions will be reviewed in March 2015 and thereafter metrics and subscriptions will be reviewed every three years.

Principles for specific Industry Sectors

Members are grouped into categories and then defined by sector, each sector has a metric which is used to determine size and therefore fee level.

The categories, sectors and metrics are shown below. All metrics are based on global data.



 Assurance Provider

Domain Registry, Filtering, Financial Services

 Internet Industry

Search providers, Portals, Social Networking sites


Newsgroup provider, Hosting provider


Mobile Operator, MVNO, ISP (further broken down into Residential, B2B, WiFi)

 Corporate Social Responsibility   

Datacentre, Moderator, Device Manufacturer, Games Developer, Postal Service

 Trade Association

Trade Association

Assurance Provider - Domain Registry

Metric: Number of Registered Domains

Assurance Provider - Filtering

Metric: Turnover (see definition below). Exemption for 20 or fewer employees.

Turnover is defined as the amount of money taken by the company during the last full financial year.

Assurance Provider - Financial Service

Metric: Global Value of Transactions processed p.a.

Internet Industry

Metric: Internet Activity (see definition below)

The allocation of a band will be assessed against annual average of Comscore data on monthly unique visitors (global) and secondary metrics such as services provided, size and reach relative to peer companies.  

Hosting - Newsgroups

Metric: Number of subscribers

Hosting - Hosting Providers

Metric: Number of customers

Connectivity - Mobile Operators and MVNOs
Metric: Subscriber numbers

Connectivity - ISP Residential
Metric: Subscriber numbers

Connectivity - ISP (B2B or WiFi)

Metric: Standard fee of £10k, Exemptions for <20 employees OR >£500m turnover

Corporate Social Responsibility                                 

Metric: Negotiable for organisations such as                                     

  • Datacentres                               

  • Moderators                                        

  • Device Manufacturers

  • Postal Services

  • Games Developers   

Trade Associations

Metric: Negotiable

Negotiation and Appeals Processes

Independent Oversight of the Fee Setting Process

Fee setting is subject to an oversight process to ensure transparency, fairness and sustainable levels of revenue for the IWF. This process will be overseen by the IWF Board according to the rules outlined below.  The objective of this process is to maintain confidence in the integrity of the setting of fees, promote compliance and to guard against dispute.  Metrics will be reviewed every three years.

The Member or Prospective Member Must
  • Ensure that the person with whom the IWF negotiates fees has the authority to do so within their organization.  If this contact changes it is incumbent upon the Member to inform the IWF. 
  • Provide evidence to the IWF of their performance against the metrics used for their sector or category.
  • Inform the IWF of any changes in circumstance which would have a material effect on the fees payable such as merger, acquisition or disposal and changes relating to the metric used for the sector eg number of customers/users/subscribers or levels of profit/turnover etc etc. 
  • This information should be provided to the IWF prior to the following year’s invoice in order for the changes to be reflected in the fee level.

The IWF Executive Must

Publish the metrics used for each sector and make Members aware of this upon application to join the IWF.

Set fees according to the published metrics unless the Member requests a negotiation or appeals against their set fee.


A negotiation maybe entered into between the IWF Executive and a Member or prospective Member where the following criteria are met:

  1. The Member or prospective Member disagrees with the category or sector they have been placed in by the IWF membership officer

  2. The Member or prospective Member cannot provide evidence against the metric used for their sector or category

  3. The Member or prospective Member would like to be considered for an alternative fee level based on circumstances outside the metrics process eg they wish to overpay, there are changes in circumstance on the horizon, they support IWF for CSR reasons etc


If the IWF Executive and the Member or prospective Member cannot agree on the category of membership, the metrics that apply or the fee that is levied the Member or prospective Member has the right to appeal.

The IWF Board Must

In the event of an appeal the IWF Board must convene a Panel to consider the Member or prospective Member’s representations.  The panel should consist of three members drawn from the Board, the Funding Council and an independent body familiar with membership organisations (TBC).

The Panel should consider the points made by the IWF Executive and the Member or prospective Member and should make its decision based on the evidence provided.  The Panel should give its response within 10 business days of considering the appeal and this decision is final.

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