Linking Policy

Policy regarding links to other sites, or Website Linking Policy

We provide links to other organizations through this website when doing so serves a public purpose of the City of Charlotte. We are not responsible for the availability of these outside resources, nor do we endorse them. We are not responsible for any of the content or advertising on sites we link to, or for any products, services, information or other materials that you may obtain through such sites. 

Once you leave the City of Charlotte website and link to an external site, the City of Charlotte’s website’s policies no longer apply and you will be subject to the new site's policies. Any concerns regarding an external link should be directed to the site administrator for that particular site.

The mission of the City of Charlotte is to provide governmental and other public services to and for the benefit of the local community. Our policy is to exclude from this website all commercial advertising, links and promotional material which do not serve or promote a public purpose of the City or County.  

The following guidelines are used in determining when advertisements or links will be allowed for inclusion in this website.

Public facilities and other enterprises where the city has a financial interest.  We may allow advertising, links, logos and promotional materials on this website for:

  • Public or non-profit facilities that fulfill a public purpose of the City such as promoting the arts, science, cultural studies or recreation.  Examples include City and County parks, Discovery Place, Memorial Stadium, Spectrum Arena, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Knights Stadium, Bojangles Arena and the Nature Museum, etc. We may also allow links, advertising and promotion from commercial enterprises that market tickets or other means of access to these facilities or that foster participation in their programs.&
  • Commercial enterprises that operate on City owned property, where such links and materials will enhance the department's customer service.  An example is food vendors at Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.
  • Commercial enterprises in which the City has a financial interest.

Public service lists.  In the following circumstances we allow links for lists of persons or entities that provide a service or benefit to the public which is directly related to a City mission or service ("Public Service Lists"):

  1. When Public Service Lists are directly maintained by public agencies (such as lists of community partners on the Housing & Neighborhood Services Department), this website may display the list or provide links to the public agency that maintains it.
  2. When Public Service Lists are maintained by private commercial agencies but the services listed are directly related to a mission of a City department, the department may display the Public Service List on its website or provide a link to the Public Service List or the commercial agency that maintains it.  However, in such cases, the City Department Director must make a good faith determination that:
  • The department's clients, service recipients or interested local residents would benefit from the Public Service List; 
  • It would be duplicative for the department to independently create or maintain the Public Service List; and,
  • The commercial agency maintaining the Public Service List has represented that it includes all legitimate or licensed service providers within the City or within the geographical area served by the department.

When links to a list are permitted under subsection 1 or 2 above, the allowed link is to the Public Service List only. No link may be provided directly on this website to a person or entity included in the list, unless such link is permitted under other provisions of this Policy.   

Links to commercial sites with information critical to or vitally enhancing a city department's mission or services where replication of information by the department is not feasible. Certain private commercial sites maintain and display information that provides a community service or benefit not generally available through a governmental agency due to the cost of compiling, maintaining and/or displaying such information. To support the cost of compilation and maintenance of this information, these private commercial sites may include advertising or promotional material in the information display.

Although the city neither supports nor endorses entities advertised or promoted on such sites, they recognize that a public benefit is served by providing the underlying information to assist city residents. Accordingly, links to such sites that contain this information but also display commercial advertising or promotional material may be included on city departmental websites when the Department Director has made a good faith determination that:

  1. The department's independent replication of the information targeted for linkage is infeasible due to financial or other considerations; and,
  2. No non-commercial site provides the information targeted to linkage; and,
  3. The information targeted for linkage is critical to a service provided by the department, or
  4. The information targeted for linkage is a vital enhancement to the department's mission.

City program sponsors and donors.  We may acknowledge organizations that donate cash or services to sponsor specific city programs by posting the following information on this website:

  • The sponsor’s name, logo and a link to their website;
  • The sponsor’s organizational slogan if it identifies rather than promotes the organization or its products or services;
  • The sponsor’s product or service line, described in brief, generic, objective terms - generally, only one product or service line may be identified; and
  • Brief contact information, such as sponsor’s phone number, address, or Internet website (provided that contact information must be stated in a manner that avoids an implication of urging the reader to action).

Sponsorship recognition messages should not promote or endorse the sponsor or its products or services, nor should they advocate, contain price information or an indication of associated savings or value, request a response, or contain comparative or qualitative descriptions of products, services, or organizations. 

Sponsor recognition messages and links may be posted only during the sponsored event, during a limited promotional period prior to the event and for a short time after the event.

Government agencies; academic institutions; public-private partnerships; professional, cultural, community-based And non-profit organizations.   City Departments may link to and post logos and promotional materials for:

  1. Other government agencies and accredited academic institutions; and
  2. Professional, cultural and community-based non-profit organizations: (i) that receive city funding; or (ii) that the city is a member of; or (iii) that partner with or have a contractual relationship with the city to provide a service to the public.

Outsourced government service providers.  Some city departments contract with private firms to provide services to the public that would otherwise be provided by the city ("Outsource Service Providers").  Departments may link to Outsource Service Providers when the department's mission is best served by providing citizens direct access to the Outsource Service Provider.

No links To sites containing political endorsements. To avoid the appearance of city endorsement of political content, links shall not be made to sites that are associated with, sponsored by or serving a candidate for elected office, any political party or organization supporting or seeking to defeat any candidate for elective office or ballot proposal.  The one exception to this rule is the Board of Elections.  Due to the unique nature of its mission, the Board of Elections may link to political party web sites, as long as it allow links for all political parties that request them.

Notice of leaving the city's website and a disclaimer. When providing links to non-city sites, departments must include a disclaimer on their home page disavowing endorsement or responsibility for the material on sites being linked.

Contractors that create websites for city departments. Departments that hire website contractors to design or assist with their websites shall provide such contractors with a copy of this policy and all website design guidelines that may be adopted from time to time by the city. All city contracts for website design shall require the contractor to comply with this policy and the city’s website design guidelines. City Charlotte Communications & Marketing shall enforce the website design guidelines in approving web pages for departments.

Link maintenance. Departments shall routinely check links on their websites to ensure they are functional and contain no material that violates this policy. City department directors are responsible for ensuring that all material posted on their department web pages are accurate and in compliance with this policy and the city’s website design guidelines.

Authority of City Charlotte Communications & Marketing. City Charlotte Communications & Marketing is authorized to order removal of material non-compliant with this policy or the city’s website design guidelines from city department websites.

Disclaimer. Linked websites are not under the control of, nor maintained by the city. The city is neither responsible for the content of linked websites, nor for any internal links that the linked web sites may contain. Inclusion of linked websites does not constitute an endorsement or promotion by the city of any persons or organizations sponsoring the displayed websites.