Donations/Contracts/Ethical Fundraising: who will we refuse to work with?

Hello all! I’m looking for any kind of document that puts limits around who you take money from or work with. How do you decide who are beyond your limits of partners or donors, and what do they need to do to show it’s right? I love the work of groups like the Right Relations Collaborative but am looking for documentation that is a framework for these decisions - things like an ethical fundraising policy. My group is a feminist organisation. We’re sometimes asked to do paid work on, for example, sexual violence happening to employees in companies whose existence or practise is contentious.

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Great question! Keen to see what others have on this, as I’ve been a part of several discussions around this in different orgs, but none of which have ever managed to get pinned down into a policy. I think the most notable part of the conversations has been establishing the most-widely-accepted ‘red lines’ (ie - we wouldn’t take money from arms companies, oil and gas, mining, etc) and building in from there, to see what the consensus might be beyond that, re: money to say ‘no’ to. The biggest challenge I’ve found is that basically every funder would fail to meet even a fairly liberal organisation’s values, so it’s generally been an exercise in deciding on collectively-acceptable levels of compromise… which is often difficult territory!

Very keen to hear what others have to say though, as it’s something we’ve discussed as RadHR and haven’t managed to figure out ourselves yet, so would also benefit from any insights from the community!

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I’m part of a group that has been working on a toolkit for organisations (with a focus on the arts sector) to support them in developing an ethical fundraising policy. It’s not quite ready for wider sharing yet but will ask whether we could share a draft with this group at some point soon as am sure the feedback would be valuable too.

thank you laura! we’d appreciate it and happily write reflections/endorsement on using it

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Hii, we have a policy around this :). I’ll ask my team if I can share the full one, but in short, it lists:

  • Who do we actively exclude as funders?
    (e.g. companies with distructive activities or directly linked to them, companies on this list: https://www.whoprofits.org/, …)

  • What do we try to avoid (acceptable if we are really in financial troubles)
    (e.g. funders with too many reporting requirements or that limit us in our activities)

  • Who do we want as funders
    (aligned with our values, limited reporting requirements, etc.)

  • an Internal due diligence process for new funders
    (someone proposes new funder, team researches funder and makes decision on whether or not to accept money from them)

Mari this sounds like my dream! Thank you so much, would love to see it (and will keep confidential) if the team agrees. Do you have any limits on individual donors beyond links to those companies? (For example, individuals who donate to political candidates you find beyond your boundaries?) Thank you!

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Here you go :slight_smile:

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This would DEFINITELY be appreciated by folks, if it happened to find itself in the RadHR Library, @Mari_Gastivists!