The Kindling Trust's Ethical Funding Policy
1.0 Statement of Intent
This policy has been drawn up to govern the activities of The Kindling Trust and its associated projects such that they remain in line with these overall aims. It is designed as a checking tool to ensure that the needs of the organisation are balanced against its principles.
1.1 Evolution of the Policy
The Kindling Trust is a dynamic organisation always seeking to push out the boundaries of its activities. As such any policy must be sensitive to the changing nature of what The Kindling Trust does. This policy is based on the policy developed by MERCi.
This policy is a set of principles that can be used to evaluate the correct course of action within a certain situation. As time goes on a body of precedents will grow up around each principle. In this way the policy will remain reflective of the needs of The Kindling Trust and all who are involved with it. It is the role of the membership to periodically evaluate The Kindling Trust activities and check they are in line with all existing policy, and it is everyone's role to observe and implement it on a continuous basis.
1.2 How the policy works
Below are a number of areas that have been identified as having a possible ethical angle that needs to be considered. Under each heading an explanation of The Kindling Trust's position has been provided in terms of overall principles.
1.3 General Proviso
Any group or individual considered to be breaking any of The Kindling Trust's other policies, especially the equal opportunities policy. However before this exemption comes into force there will be attempt on The Kindling Trust's part to raise awareness with this group or individual around the area that we feel is breaking our policy.
2.0 Who Funds Kindling?
The Kindling Trust does not accept any funding from companies directly involved in activities that run contrary to our overall aims. These include companies who block or actively work against social justice, companies whose activities harm the environment, companies who block or work against community empowerment and companies who do not use or subscribe to the principles of human scale development .
It is impossible to produce an exhaustive list of the areas that The Kindling Trust would consider to be contrary to our aims. However as a starting point companies involved in any of the areas below would definitely be seen as working against our aims:
Animal testing, the fur trade; genetic engineering; petroleum; human rights abuses; intensive farming; manufacture of hazardous products or chemicals; military contracts; mining; ozone depleting chemical production; nuclear power; pesticide production; road building; third world debt; third world marketing; tobacco; tropical hardwood sales; water pollution.
The Kindling Trust is likely to receive funding from statutory bodies or charitable trusts. We accept this funding because it is intended to promote work that contributes to our aims and because it is necessary to The Kindling Trust operation. We do recognise however those statutory bodies are not necessarily ethical just by virtue of being statutory bodies. In recognition of this we always attempt to promote good practice by disseminating our methods and asking for ethical policies from the bodies we are involved with.
However we recognise that occasionally trusts are set up with the express purpose of making an otherwise unethical company seem more ethical and responsible through positive advertising: the greenwash effect. We therefore do not accept money from any charitable trust if it is a requirement of grant receipt to advertise any company or organisation whose activities run contrary to our aims.
3.0 Who can The Kindling Trust be in partnership with?
In this context partnership means any work that The Kindling Trust does whereby the responsibility for the end result of that work is jointly owned between The Kindling Trust and another group.
The Kindling Trust will not work in partnership with any organisation, either company, statutory, voluntary or community-based whose purpose is contrary to our aims. Please see section above for reference of what this means to us, and how we would determine this.
The Kindling Trust will aim to be in partnership with organisations that are working towards the same or similar aims and are using a similar approach. It will also aim to work with organisations, which may have not considered such issues, but who are willing to listen and possibly change their practices through dialogue with The Kindling Trust. However this does not apply to organisations that directly work against what we are trying to do.
4. Unforeseen situations
The list of areas above is in no way exhaustive and it is clear that many more questions will arise in the course of The Kindling Trust's development than have been covered within this policy. To try to develop a policy that did cover all such areas would be an endless process and result in an unwieldy policy. The above statements of principle are meant as a working guide to assist in making decisions about these unforeseen situations.
In general it is the case that The Kindling Trust would wish to avoid supporting or working with any organisation that was working against our overall aims. The only exception to this might be an organisation that The Kindling Trust considered to be making a genuine effort to re-adjust its operations in line with our principles of sustainable development.
Policy reviewed in: September 2009.
New Review: September 2010.