Banbury Community Action Group (Banbury CAG) exists to support the residents of Banbury and its surrounding villages in arranging community based environmental projects to raise public awareness of sustainability in the local area. Grants and donations to support and encourage this work are warmly welcomed and gratefully received.
However, the nature of Banbury CAG gives us a responsibility to be confident that no donation or grant we receive risks undermining our purpose, or risks a reduction in goodwill or support from current or potential volunteers from any part of our community.
So, there are circumstances in which we might feel that it is appropriate to decline a donation or grant, or not apply for it in the first place.
Banbury CAG is a small organisation whose committee members are volunteers. It is likely in practice that any donation offered or grant available can be discussed and agreed on a case-by-case basis at one of the group’s monthly meetings. It is also recognised that definitions of sustainability and perceptions of an organisation’s approach to these are always matters for open-minded debate and discussion. These guidelines are intended to guide discussions and decisions.
The responsibility for carrying out ‘due diligence’ (finding out enough about the company in question) rests with the committee or, with the agreement of a monthly meeting, an individual chosen by them.
We are unlikely to accept donations or accept/apply for grants which:
- Appear to endorse or support organisations, products or activities which are of particular concern from the perspective of sustainability. This could include: fossil fuel extraction or distribution; unsustainable travel options such as air travel, road building and much of the car manufacturing industry; intensive and factory farming; arms and ‘defence’.
- Appear to endorse or support individuals, organisations, products or activities which risk significant harm to community cohesion. These could include some political or religious groups, or individuals or groups whose activities are known to, or may, have a particularly negative impact on a certain sector of a community (e.g women, the elderly, a certain ethnic group, people in poverty, people with or at risk of poor health, people with additional needs, children, people with alternative lifestyles,etc.)
- We have reason to believe are being offered by someone who is vulnerable or unable to give informed consent.
We will be particularly attentive to the risk of appearing to support ‘greenwashing’, where an organisation with a poor record on sustainability or community engagement seeks to engage with community organisations focused on sustainability and community action merely with an intent to promote their green credentials, but with no corresponding attention to their practice.