Ethical Grants Policy
As outlined in the 'Applying for a Grant' section, Ethical Giving has a strict policy on the type of organisations that can apply for a grant. We are well aware that there are many organisations that are involved in projects that benefit society, the environment, animal welfare, or who further religious aims but we look beyond this to the ethical values of the organisation itself.
We have always taken issue with the disconnect between the objectives of a charity, as defined in the Mission Statement, and the day to day activities of the charity. Whilst most of a charity's funds will be directed to its work, it is reasonable that some funds are used to support the administration of the charity, as well as to build long term reserves. Charities, like any other organisation, need good administration and the security of reserves to see them through leaner times. At Ethical Giving, we look at whether or not the administration and reserves policies of charities are run in line with their Mission Statement.
Pensions ' any good employer will make provision for the long term retirement needs of their employees. Charities and NGOs have the same responsibility, but this needs to be tempered with the fact that money spent on staff pensions removes money from the charity's activities. This dilemma will cease from 2012 when compulsory pension provision is introduced and employers and employees will have to make payments to the new state scheme, or to a private arrangement. At Ethical Giving, we expect to see charities and NGOS aligning their mission statement with the money that is used to fund pension contributions. For example: -
There is no point whatsoever in raising funds from the public to end child suffering in developing countries if some of the money raised is invested in pensions for staff where the underlying investments are in companies that are exploiting children. The same principle applies to environmental groups, animal welfare charities and Faith groups. We expect charities and NGOs to ensure that, at the very least, all employer contributions are invested in line with the organisation's mission statement.
Invested Reserves ' ideally, no charity or NGO should live a 'hand to mouth' existence if this is possible. Through prudent stewardship of resources, or from legacies received, it is sensible for any charity or NGO to build long term reserves. This provides stability to the charity, its staff and the work of the charity, and facilitates long term planning. At Ethical Giving, we look at where these reserves are invested, to ensure that there is no disconnect between the published Mission Statement and the underlying investments. Where applicable, we would expect to see a written ethical investment policy (in accordance with Charity Commission guidelines ' CC14) that covers the investment of reserve assets.
In addition to the monies donated by Ethical Investors via Ethical Giving, an increasing number of individuals and businesses are making their donations via us. Whilst it is not our responsibility to 'police' these donations, we are asked by most individuals to vet their chosen organisations. The majority of individuals ask us to confirm whether or not their chosen groups are being run holistically and our answer will influence their donation policy. We will be encouraging individuals and businesses to ask their chosen charities to complete our Ethical Questionnaire and to base their donation decision on the answers given in these questionnaires. If groups are not aligning their activities with their mission statement (this includes reserves and pensions) then individuals will increasingly redirect their donations to the groups who 'join all the dots'.
Detailed below is an alphabetical list of some of the groups and charities that have qualified for grants and donations from Ethical Giving*:
Baby Milk Action
British Institute of Human Rights
British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection
Campaign Against the Arms Trade
Care for the Wild
Centre for Alternative Technology
Charities Advisory Trust
Compassion in World Farming
Dr Hadwen Trust
Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility
Environmental Investigation Agency
Environmental Law Foundation
Forum for the Future
Free Tibet Campaign
Friends of the Earth
HIV Aids Alliance
International Centre for Conservation Education
Intermediate Technology Development Group
The Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture
Peace Pledge Union
Quaker Housing Trust
Respect for Animals
Southampton Women's Aid
War on Want
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
Women's Aid Federation
Women's Environmental Network
World Land Trust
* most projects have been supported in the past directly by Ethical Investors, but have been included because we think you might be interested.
Failing the test
Where the source of the donation is Ethical Investors
- If the Trustees of Ethical Giving find that a charity or NGO is operating in a way which conflicts with our Ethical Grants Policy (EGP), then the organisation may fail the donations test and the trustees may not be able to make a grant. We do not intend to operate a 'naming and shaming' policy.
Where the source of the donation is an individual or business
- individual and corporate donors will be able to see from the list above if their selected organisation has already passed the EGP and if not these individuals and businesses have the following choices: -
- Contact us and ask if we have ever considered a grant to the groups in question
- Download our Ethical Questionnaire and send it to the charity/NGO and ask them to complete it. If they do, and this is sent to us, then we will be able to confirm whether or not we will be able to make a donation, i.e. do they pass the ethical test.
- Choose an organisation operating in a similar area from the list of already approved groups.