Consider environmental factors when weighing up accepting donations, guide urges charities

Charities should consider environmental factors when considering whether to accept donations, according to new guidance from the Institute of Fundraising

The membership body has today published Environmental Change: A Toolkit for Fundraisers, which sets out measures that charities should consider in their fundraising activities to minimise their environmental impact. 

The guide says that when thinking about accepting or refusing donations, charities should take into account any factors relating to the environment that might affect their reputation.

“If trustees think that this might lose donations, volunteers or current and potential staff, and that this outweighs the positive benefits of a donation, then they can refuse to accept the money in line with their charitable objectives,” the guide says. 

The publication also recommends that charities publish records of their investments to help them demonstrate their commitment to environmental responsibility. 

“A public statement of intent or making sure the broad strokes of your environmental policy are published on your website can take this further by making sure you put your values front and centre,” it says. 

The guide says the sector as a whole has a role to play in lessening the effects of the climate emergency. 

“The public have an expectation of charities to fulfil social good, so we need to think about how our choices can help us meet those expectations and, in many cases, further our charitable missions,” it says. 

“As we enter the last decade where we can take action to limit global warming to 1.5°C, we hope charities will decide to be at the forefront of the necessary change. 

“To minimise our sector’s collective environmental impact, every charity needs to make sure they are not only having these important conversations inside their organisations, but acting on them.”

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