LUSH CHARITY POT FUNDING GUIDELINES
We like to look after those who look after others, and we are committed to supporting small, grassroots groups and other non-profit organisations working in the following areas:-
· Animal protection
· Human rights (including equality, peace and social justice)
All applications within these fields will be considered irrespective of their geographical location or how the organisation is registered, however we will not support an organisation that:-
- Promotes or supports violence, aggression or oppression towards others (we will only support non-violent direct action groups);
- Denies the human rights of others;
- Is involved in cruelty or subjugation of animals, including farming, tests or research;
- Forces or coerces others to change their religious beliefs;
- Harbours racism, prejudice or judges others on anything other than their own actions;
- Has not made every effort to be environmentally responsible.
We have thought very carefully about which causes we want to help and how we can make the most impact with our funding; the following information is provided to help you ascertain whether your project is what we're looking for. Please read this document carefully before applying; if you have any questions please email [email protected].
We are sorry that we are not able to offer feedback on rejected applications (we unfortunately cannot fund all applications). If your application is rejected, please consider applying again. A rejection may simply mean that we cannot afford to support the project that month, not that we don’t support what you do.
Which organisations do we fund?
The majority of our funding is allocated to small, grassroots groups that are often best placed to make a real difference with limited resources and often struggle to find funding. Almost all the groups we fund have low annual incomes and run entirely or predominantly by volunteers. If your organisation is in the fortunate position of having many supporters and corporate sponsors or able to secure mainstream funding such as government grants, you're probably not one for us.
We believe we can make the most impact by funding causes that are often overlooked by other funders, therefore we give priority to less popular issues which are more difficult to raise funds for. The most popular causes tend to be health charities (medical research, hospices etc), social welfare, religious causes, children/ young people and military related causes, so these aren't a priority for us. We're looking for organisations that take on issues that others don't, those that push the boundaries and challenge mainstream opinion.
We support non-violent direct action groups because we feel it plays an important part in bringing about social change. Non-violent direct action includes protests and demonstrations, non-cooperation and other non-violent interventions. We will only consider supporting non-violent direct action groups, i.e. those which have no intention of physically harming others or threatening to do so. We do not fund actions that may break the law nor will we pay for anything to facilitate law breaking. However, we may wish to support those who use peaceful civil disobedience by helping with costs of communications, for instance, as we strongly support the right to free speech.
We don't fund religious organisations, schools, councils, student expeditions or academic studies neither do we contribute to sponsored walks or other fundraising initiatives or sponsor events.
We also don’t fund individuals. You will have to apply for a group and the money must be paid into a group bank account. We cannot put money into an individual’s bank account, for obvious reasons.
Which projects do we fund?
As a campaigning company we particularly look for projects that create long-term change. Whilst we appreciate and understand the need for projects that care for or rehabilitate those in need (whether that's people, animals or the planet) we also feel it’s crucially important to fund projects that aim to stop the abuse from happening in the first place by addressing the root cause of the problem; for example, we would prefer to fund a project that aims to stop deforestation (e.g. by challenging the palm oil industry) over one that aims to plant trees to restore an area that’s already been deforested.
We therefore prioritise funding to projects which aim to change opinion and behaviour through raising awareness of issues, activism, education and campaigning, particularly because this kind of work is not well funded elsewhere. We're looking for initiatives that reach beyond those directly involved in the project; those that have the potential to benefit many rather than just a few individuals. However, we do also fund projects that provide aid and support where needed, such as animal shelters and refugee support and advice groups.
As well as challenging harmful practices it's important to support positive alternatives. Therefore, we also look for projects that promote and implement viable, fair and sustainable solutions to the world's problems.
We get a lot of applications for legal challenges but our experience has shown that this is not a good use of our funding. We will only consider funding legal actions if you have a favourable barrister’s opinion, and can demonstrate the national importance of your case.
We fund organisations and projects in line with our values. Some of our key principles are as follows.
Animals: All our events and meetings are catered vegetarian/ vegan; we won't fund any food costs unless the same applies and likewise won’t support farming projects involving animals. We do not agree with the culling of animals for conservation or keeping wild animals in captivity, including captive breeding programmes, the exception being wildlife sanctuaries where animals cannot be released in to the wild due to injury. We also only support animal sanctuaries that have a no-destruction policy. We also do not fund rehoming projects where the animals are going to another country.
Use of paper: We only use 100% recycled post-consumed paper for our printed materials so we wouldn't fund printing of leaflets etc if this isn't also the case. However, we do also recognise that in some countries recycled paper is not widely available and will make a decision on this on a case-by-case basis.
Flights: We do our best to minimise flights at Lush, our staff do not fly domestically in the UK for Lush business and we have a self-imposed Carbon Tax on international flights which we use to fund sustainable transport and climate change related projects and campaigns. Therefore, we are unlikely to fund flights except where absolutely necessary. We will consider alternative travel costs.
Climate change strategies: We do not support market-based solutions to climate change, such as carbon trading, carbon offsetting, clean development mechanism or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).
Top tips for successful applications
1. We prioritise campaigning over core funding
2. We favour project costs over salaries and core costs
3. We like focused, well defined projects
4. A clear, detailed Budget is essential
5. We prioritise projects that find it hard to attract funding elsewhere
6. We favour groups that are environmentally responsible
7. We prioritise voluntary groups over salaried groups
8. It is useful to know what you could do with less money, if we cannot give the full amount
9. Supply clear project activities – what will you DO?
Common reasons for rejection
1. The application is waffly and it is difficult to grasp what it is you do and want to achieve
2. The Budget is inadequate or unconvincing. Cost everything out, and do not inflate your costs
3. The application is for salaries, not project costs
4. Your organisation is religious
5. Your project does not challenge the causes of injustice, animal abuse or environmental destruction
6. Your project would be likely to attract mainstream support elsewhere and is easy to attract funding for
7. You do not give a group bank account (we cannot pay into individual’s accounts)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How do I apply for a grant from Charity Pot?
To apply for a Charity Pot grant you will need to complete a new application form (do not use old ones or it will be rejected). To request an application form, please email [email protected] with the subject "application form request". In your email please give a brief description of your organisation and the project you'd like funding for (just a couple of paragraphs). Please email your application form as a Word document only (not a PDF or ODT). Do not copyright it, as we need to cut and paste details from the forms. Please do not print and post it.
Please include links to anything you think is relevant to your applications. For example if you are applying for funding for a film, please include a link so the funding panel can view it. Do not post items as panel members are based all around the world! Please attach 1-2 photos if you think the panel would benefit from visualising what you are applying for.
2. Do you have any deadlines for applications?
No, you can apply at any time. Please note that typically we assess applications monthly, i.e. we review the previous month’s applications at the start of the next month. So please try and get your application in before the end of the month if funding is needed urgently and make the urgency clear in your covering email. We would recommend that you apply for projects that start no less than 3 months after the submission of the application.
3. When will I know if my application is successful?
We aim to let you know if your application has been short-listed or not within 4-6 weeks, after it has been reviewed by a panel. We then check references which can take a further couple of weeks, depending on how quickly your references respond (choose them carefully, as this part of the process can often take the longest). The panel may also have further questions about your application. If your application is urgent please make this clear in the covering email. Please note that applications received in November and December may take longer to assess, as this is our busiest time of year as a business.
4. How much can I apply for?
Our support ranges from $100 to a maximum of $3,000 per project. However we rarely give out $3,000 as that means we can only fund a few projects. Our average grant is $500.
5. My organisation is not a registered charity, does that matter?
No, we fund all types of organisations; it is not necessary to be a registered charity. Our focus is to support small, volunteer run grassroots groups and particularly campaign groups, which are often unable to register with the Ministry of Interior yet play an important role in society.
6. Can I apply for core costs/ general running costs?
Yes, you can apply for core/ general running costs so long as you give a detailed breakdown of those costs. Although we prefer to fund project costs, we realise that without core costs covered an organisation cannot operate at all so we do consider applications with core costs included.
7. Can I apply for salary costs?
We prefer to direct our funding to voluntary campaigning (which struggles to attract funding) and we very rarely fund salaries. We simply cannot afford to pay salaries for all those campaigning and it would be unfair to pay salaries for some, and not for others. We feel our limited funds are best spent on supporting the underfunded voluntary groups.
8. Do you fund films?
Generally we don't fund feature length films apart from exceptional cases. When we do fund films this would be as a donation rather than investment in the film and we'd expect the project to be a non-profit venture. We would like to see evidence of plans for any film produced that demonstrate it will be useful and widely viewed.
9. Do you sponsor events?
We have a policy against paid advertising so we do not sponsor events. However, we are willing to consider giving a donation towards the costs of running an event if its aim falls in to one of our three focus areas. Please note that as public events would usually attract hundreds of participants these projects tend to have a much better opportunity for raising funds than many of those we are asked to support and our priority is to help those projects which need our help the most.
10. Do you fund individuals?
No, we usually only support organisations and projects, although will consider salary costs, as above. We do not pay grants into an individual’s account either, and will need a group bank account (see below).
11. Do you fund start-ups and new organisations?
Yes. We recognise that many new organisations and start-ups struggle to find the funds they need to get up on their feet and we like to give people a chance to make a difference. We ask that you provide references for, and track records of, the main individuals involved in the organisation, which we can use to assess the application.
12. If my project costs more than $3,000, can I apply for part of the costs?
Yes, you can apply for funding towards a project with a total budget of over $3,000, but we prefer to fund small projects. We would need to see evidence of how you plan to raise the remainder of the project cost. If the total budget is substantially over $3,000 we may ask you to come back again once you have raised the balance of the funds.
14. Can I apply for more than one project?
Yes, you can do this and can include all projects on the same application form so long as each has a detailed budget, and the total is under $3,000. However, the funding panels may choose to fund only one or some of the projects.
15. Does it matter if we don’t have a bank account for our organisation?
We prefer to fund organisations that show commitment to their project by setting up a bank account. However if this is not possible or time scales do not allow it, we may consider paying the donation in to an account of another organisation that you work closely with. We do not pay money into individual’s accounts, for obvious reasons.
Please ensure all your account details are correct. Many applications have incorrect bank details which causes a huge administrative burden on Charity Pot staff. We will reject all applications with incorrect bank details, so it is your responsibility to get these crucial details right.
15. How do you decide who to fund?
As above, there are certain organisations and projects we prioritise for funding. We will use the application form to assess the project and will also ask for two references (see below). Our funding panels will short list, based on our priorities to fund grassroots campaigning. Please note that on average Charity Pot raises around $300 a month which means funding has to be restricted to those projects which most closely meet our guidelines. Please consider applying again.
16. Which individuals/ organisations would be considered suitable referees?
Referees should be as unbiased as possible and independent of your organisation. They should also have some experience and expertise in the area in which you work, for example, your printing company may know you well as individuals but probably aren’t best positioned to vouch for the quality and integrity of your work. As a small team, we are unable to visit all the groups we support or are considering supporting; therefore good referees are crucial. However choose them carefully as referees can often delay the approval of funds by weeks/months if they don’t appreciate the urgency of your application. We will notify you if you have been short listed, so you can alert your references to expect an email or phone call from us.
17. If my application is successful, what will my organisation need to do to acknowledge Lush's support?
Nothing; we are happy to help and don't expect anything in return. However if you feel it would be beneficial to you to use our logo on your website or send out a press release about our donation, please always discuss this with us first as it can create a lot of extra work for us. We do list our donations on our website, to provide transparency to our customers and staff about how Charity Pot funds are spent. Many groups welcome this publicity, however if you would prefer that our donation to you is kept confidential, that is absolutely fine and please discuss this with us and make this clear on your application form.
18. What reporting requirements are there if I am successful?
We expect all successful applicants to report back on how the money was spent, and the outcomes. We will ask you to complete a report form at the end of your project, and certainly within a year of receiving funds. In the meantime, we'd love to hear from you regularly to hear how the project is progressing; this also gives us the opportunity to share your news with our customers (i.e. your potential supporters!) if you’d like us to.
19. Can I apply for a second grant?
Yes. We give repeat grants, after at least a year of receiving previous funding. This wholly depends on funds available, the success of the first project and whether reporting requirements have been satisfied.