Gallery Climate Coalition (GCC) is a registered charity and membership organisation. The goal of GCC is to facilitate a greener and more sustainable art world. GCC maintains a member-led, non-hierarchical organisational structure, which promotes transparency and collegiality but above all effective action on climate issues.
GCC's primary aim is to provide information and the necessary tools to collectively reduce the art sector's carbon footprint by 50% by 2030 (in line with the Paris agreement), and promote near zero-waste practices.
All funding that GCC receives will be used to continue this work without compromising its values. GCC recognises that in order to protect its reputation and maintain its independence, it needs to evaluate and assess all sources of income and support. This document gives an overview of GCC's fundraising strategy and its policies relating to ethical financial support.
Overview of Fundraising Policy
This fundraising policy is designed as a tool to:
- Ensure that the needs of GCC and its members are balanced against its principles and mission.
- Protect GCC's reputation.
- Maintain the independence and integrity of the charity.
- Provide guidance on the types of companies and funders GCC will or will not be associated with in pursuing fundraising to support delivery of its mission.
- Outline the type of funding relationship GCC will and will not enter into.
This policy focuses on GCC's aim to be a responsible, ethical and transparent organisation, mindful of its responsibilities to its membership community, the wider art world and the environment. The policy will be agreed on and upheld by the GCC Team and Board of Trustees who will be accountable for upholding it.
GCC is and always will be funded primarily by its members; the galleries, artists, collectors and art businesses it was set up to serve. Donations via the Supporters Circle will remain the bedrock of the GCC's funding and will cover the essential running costs; staff salaries, offices, equipment and core activities. This is for several reasons:
- The companies that profit most in the arts are usually the biggest CO2e emitters and therefore have a responsibility to support a non-profit instigating effective action on sector-specific climate impacts.
- It guarantees the focus of GCCs operations will remain on serving and communicating with members.
- It will avoid the risks of the charity becoming too dependent on any one funding source.
This is an important detail and fundamental to the identity of GCC as a membership organisation. Any funds raised beyond this will be used for expanding research, additional consultants, projects and developing new resources. GCC will welcome support from a variety of supporters, funding partners and grant providers that fulfil the criteria outlined in this document. GCC aims to have productive and mutually impactful engagement with all donors.
GCC gratefully receives support from the following sources:
At the point of registration, members are invited to voluntarily donate to GCC. These donations usually range from £50 - £500. GCC also accepts non-member voluntary donations.
The GCC Supporters Circle is made up of three levels of giving; Patron (£10k), Donors (£5k) and Supporters (£2k). These are suggested as annual donations for a minimum period of three years, in order to establish a stable structure of sustained donations from industry leaders. The sector's biggest earners and emitters of CO2e have a responsibility to support the initiative. To date all Supporters have been directly associated with galleries or art sector businesses.
As a sector-led initiative, GCC receives support from skilled individuals and leaders in the field that contribute professionally to the charity free of charge, as an in-kind donation. Volunteers own or work for a business that is able to provide these services without loss of earnings, or have offered their time whilst under the salary of their employer. GCC will not ask professionals to work for free and will only accept donations of labour from non-contracted individuals if they voluntarily waive their fees.
GCC has received specific grants relating to the different strands of research, or in relation to the International Volunteer Teams in the various cities GCC operates in. Further grants will be applied to in the future. This funding may come from governments, foundations, NGOs or other grant giving bodies. Ethical guidelines and due diligence will also be applied to this form of donation.
On occasion, artists choose to generously donate works to GCC in a bid to assist with fundraising. This may take the form of auction series', private sales, collaborative editions, etc.
Funding Partnerships are formal arrangements used to support GCC with high-level and sustained donations. Partners will be carefully selected based on the criteria in this document. Whilst partnerships will be credited on the website, they do not equate to a Sponsorship and there will be no expectation for GCC to use the organisation's branding or promote their interests. GCC will not be required to engage in any additional activities after accepting or in order to qualify for the funding. GCC will only accept funding on a 'no-strings-attached' basis.
GCC has a responsibility to its members to consider the ethical issues that may arise in working with or accepting funding from an organisation/individual and the associated risks to reputation and organisational objectives.
Donations, funding and partnerships which may pose a reputational risk to GCC include those which could lead to:
- Negative publicity.
- The loss or disillusionment of members.
- The loss of donations from members and supporters circle.
- The loss of volunteers whose services would be of equivalent or greater value than the gift or partnership.
- The loss of staff or the inability to recruit staff or freelance contributors and advisors with the necessary skills and dedication.
- The loss of credibility by being implicated in Greenwashing.
GCC recognises that occasionally trusts are set up with the express purpose of making an otherwise unethical company seem more ethical and responsible through positive advertising, also known as greenwashing. Under such circumstances, the guiding principle of this policy prevails: GCC would not knowingly accept money from a trust whose activities run contrary to its aims.
Other Reputational Risks
GCC will refuse donations from those that are known to instigate or repeat views of an inflammatory or derogatory nature concerning someone's race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, culture, or any other aspect of that person's life which may be counter to the GCC's purposes and values.
Funding Partner Management
To manage funding partnerships within an ethical framework, GCC may develop a protocol which outlines expectations. For a partnership considered to have some level of risk, either because it is higher amount, multi-year, high-profile, involves use of logos or other collateral, or because of donor track record, GCC may request a full disclosure principle, requiring the partner to provide information on its business practice, in relation to specific ethical / avoidance criteria, so that GCC can make an informed decision.
Ethical Fundraising Guidelines
GCC will only accept financial support from individuals and companies following these Ethical Standards:
- GCC will not enter into a relationship with a potential supporter whose work or activities negatively impacts on the mission of GCC, i.e. profits from fossil fuels or resource extraction leading to environmental destruction¹.
- GCC will only accept funding from an organisation that is genuinely committed to reducing GHG emissions, in line with GCC's targets.
- GCC will not enter into any relationship with an organisation that poses a risk to GCC's reputation which could lead to loss of support and credibility.
- GCC will not accept funding that might compromise the mission, or independent status of GCC, or from a company or individual in exchange for influencing GCC's policy or actions either explicitly or implicitly.
- GCC will avoid any individual or organisations whose primary motivations are to present themselves as 'Green' or 'Sustainable' by association in a way that contradicts their business practices.
- GCC's priority will always be its members. Accepted funding will need to demonstrate that it will result in a benefit to GCC's members. GCC will not accept sponsorship² if the partner's expectations impact GCC's primary activities. Funding Partnerships must be 'no-strings-attached' arrangements.
- GCC will prioritise Funding Partnerships with organisations who's mission and practises best align with its own³.
- Any funding agreement that continues over a period of time must contain a provision allowing GCC to terminate the relationship at any time, with no penalty, if the Trustees or GCC Team perceives negative reputational impact or that the Funding Partner is not fulfilling GCC's criteria on an ongoing basis.
GCC acknowledges that this list includes broad definitions, and issues of direct and indirect ownership and/or control can be complex to identify and understand. GCC will therefore use its best efforts to appropriately carry out due diligence on donations of £10,000 and above on a case-by-case basis.
(2) Sponsorship: GCC will not accept funding if there is an expectation to promote the partner's interests or engage in any additional activities after accepting or in order to qualify for the support in a way that would get in the way of GCC's primary activities. According to gov.uk 'Sponsorship is similar to a donation in that persons sponsoring a charity or social project are usually motivated by a wish to support it but where the sponsor also expects to receive something in return'.
(3) Prefered Funding Partners: As a priority, GCC will actively pursue funding and support from organisations that make a positive social, cultural or environmental impact in a fair and transparent way and generate profit from ethical and sustainable methods. GCC will prioritise financial contributions from those whose practices align to its mission and that will:
- Contribute to research, resources, content and events.
- Assist the organisation to develop meaningful relationships with external contributors, advisors as well as its own staff.
- Actively adhere to the sustainability guidelines of GCC as well as pursuing their own carbon reduction targets.
- Demonstrate a genuine concern for the environment and a commitment to make a positive difference.
- Support circular economic and zero-waste practices.
- Support the GCC-SCF process and individual schemes over 'conventional offsetting'.
The list of areas above is in no way exhaustive and it is clear that more questions may arise in the course of GCC's development than have been covered within this Policy. This statement is meant as a working guide, and GCC will use its best efforts to effectively implement this Policy. Any final decisions will be governed by the Board of Trustees.
Commitment to Members
GCC is committed to the members it works to support. Members will be informed of the fundraising policy and the GCC Team will work with them to address any concerns that they have about particular funders. The members will remain GCC’s priority and fulfilling the commitment to them will be more important than fulfilling any obligations Funding Partners may impose. A cross-section of members may be consulted as part of the decision making process. All details of the relationship with Funding Partners will be outlined on the website and communicated to members.
Communication with Members
When deciding whether to accept funding support from a non-member organisation, it is important that GCC members are kept informed and given a say on the decision outcome. This will be done through:
- Member feedback survey.
- Content on the website contextualising the relationship with funders and responding to specific concerns.
- Ongoing direct communication with members via email, phone, video conference call and in person meetings.
Decision Making Checklist
- Establish a clear understanding of the potential Funding Partner's offer and what it might entail.
- Conduct background checks on the potential Funding Partner considering the ethical fundraising guidelines.
- Discuss the offer with GCC advisors network and relevant external consultants.
- Consult with members.
- Complete Due Diligence Report, whilst considering the ethical guidelines and avoidance criteria.
- Board of Trustees & GCC Team to review Due Diligence Report and make final decision.
- Formal approval or rejection of offer.
- If approved, the decision must be clearly communicated with members and web-content will be produced outlining the nature of the relationship, the context and the implications.