GCC's International Volunteer Teams are semi-autonomous groups that represent the coalition at regional levels, either nationally or for specific cities. These groups are responsible for developing localised content and resources in line with GCC’s guidelines, hosting events, and engaging with their immediate networks on environmental issues within the sector.
We currently have volunteer teams operating in Berlin, Los Angeles, Italy, Taiwan and London, with several more forthcoming. You can learn more about each group via their individual pages.
These teams are self-organised and self-motivated whilst remaining closely aligned with GCC’s core targets and commitments.
Coalition Volunteers are registered members who contribute professionally to the charity on a voluntary basis, as an in-kind donation. All these volunteers own or work for a business that is able to provide their services without loss of earnings, or have donated 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 waive their fees voluntarily.
GCC’s general resources provide broad-stroke instructions that are universally applicable, but lack localised details and directions on how to apply the recommendations. The Volunteer Teams are instrumental in providing this region-specific information via their own sub-sites. It is this granular detail that makes such a difference.
At present the challenges we face can seem insurmountable. But by working together - simultaneously on local and global scales - necessary changes become possible and the transition to a sustainable future, smoother and faster.
Starting a GCC International Volunteer Team
As GCC’s decarbonisation strategy is based on sector-wide and international alignment, International Volunteer Teams are crucial in implementing the principles of environmental responsibility across the visual arts.
Whilst limited administrative and financial support is available from the full time UK based GCC team, the vast majority of work required will be the responsibility of the volunteers themselves. The commitment should not be underestimated, and only those groups who have the capacity to build and maintain active and effective teams should consider applying.
Below are frequently asked questions about Starting a GCC International Volunteer Team. For further information or to speak to a member of staff, contact: email@example.com
1. How do I set up an International Volunteer Team?
The first step is to bring together a group of members who are interested in researching and developing regional guidelines, and representing GCC within their specific community.
We recommend that volunteers nominate a Team Coordinator. The Team Coordinator will be responsible for chairing the group’s meetings, representing the group’s interests nationally and internationally, and reporting back to the core GCC team.
Everyone involved in an International Volunteer Team must register as a GCC member and be genuinely committed to reaching the Coalition’s targets and delivering on commitments.
Once a group has been established, volunteers should submit a letter of intent to GCC, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
GCC has the right to conduct background checks or ask for references as part of the application process. This is to ensure the potential volunteers are appropriate representatives for the charity.
2. Who should be in the International Volunteer Team?
Criteria for appointing members to local committees:
Appoint individuals with a genuine concern for environmental issues, a keen desire to make systemic changes within the sector, and who can commit to supporting the initiative for an extended period (we suggest that volunteers agree to a minimum one year commitment).
A variety of professional backgrounds within the team is preferable. It is important to have a range of experience that represents a cross-section of the local art community. This may include artists, individuals from institutions, academics, fabricators, etc.
Appoint members who are respected and well connected in the local art community.
There should be a mix of different professional levels and experiences in the group.
GCC is committed to encouraging equality, diversity and inclusion among our membership, and eliminating unlawful discrimination. We treat all people equally, regardless of age, disability, gender identity or gender expression, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economic circumstance or any other equality characteristic.
The size of groups may vary. Between five and 12 members is advised.
Team Coordinator: Chairs the meetings, coordinates projects, and ensures that agreed tasks are completed.
Coordination Support: Advises and supports the Group Coordinator and fulfils their responsibilities if they are unavailable.
Administrator: Schedules meetings, takes meeting minutes, maintains regular communication with the committee members, uploads content to the website.
Expert contributors: Provide advice and guidance specific to their relevant experience, connect the group with valuable contacts, and contribute to events.
Researchers: Oversees research, develops resources, uploads content to the website.
3. What are the responsibilities of the International Volunteer Teams?
The key responsibility is producing localised guidelines, which should align with the international guidelines on the GCC’s main resources page. It is advised that the content is produced collaboratively or in consultation with a verified environmental advisor who is familiar with the region’s laws and regulations. Once complete, the material must be approved by GCC’s environmental advisors before being uploaded on the individual team pages. Web management training will be provided to a nominated committee member who will then be responsible for maintaining the group’s pages going forward.
Other key responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Furthering the GCC mission in their region.
- Scheduling regular meetings - suggested at least once monthly.
- Conducting thorough and relevant local research.
- Engaging actively with local cultural and environmental communities.
- Consulting with approved environmental experts and industry leaders when appropriate.
- Managing the regional group’s web pages
- Conducting local member recruitment.
- Encouraging local members to complete carbon reports using the GCC carbon calculator and implement best practice.
- Establishing positive relationships with local suppliers, services and product providers, as well as encouraging them to adopt best practices in line with GCC commitments.
- Communicating details of region-specific laws and regulations to members, particularly where it intersects with GCC guidelines.
- Supporting coalition lobbying and launching local campaigns.
- Hosting local events and discussion groups.
- Contributing to GCC’s international subcommittees, resources, events, blog content and social media.
- Encouraging local members to adhere to GCC’s commitments and guidelines.
- Operating within the framework of the GCC and maintaining the standards that have been established.
- Remaining dedicated to reducing the environmental and social impacts of climate change.
- Highlighting the most pressing regional environmental concerns.
- Committing to being a genuinely positive and visible presence in the region’s art community. Virtue signalling and greenwashing should be avoided.
- Proactively interacting with the international GCC network. Regular communication is essential.
4. How are the groups funded?
As these groups operate within the existing GCC infrastructure and are run by volunteers, spending should be minimal. We kindly ask members to consider small expenses incurred during GCC operations such as research materials or stationary as a contribution to the initiative.
Limited funds will be available for each international team from GCC’s UK bank for consultations with a local environmental expert. Potential consultants must be verified by our expert advisors before being hired. Funds may be requested for specific projects by application. These should include a budget, clearly defined targets, and intended outcomes.
If further support is required for essential operations, volunteer teams are encouraged to fundraise for this within their professional communities, as long as GCC’s Ethical Fundraising Policy is followed. Teams can be supported by local benefactors who may cover some essential costs e.g. events or training. Some groups have received funding via the sales of an artwork donated to the group by a generous artist supporter.
GCC will not be responsible for any debt incurred by volunteers. Any significant financial activity conducted under the umbrella of GCC must be approved by GCC’s board of trustees.
5. Can Volunteer Teams be set up as independent non-profit associations in their countries?
Following a period of successful activity (a suggested minimum one year), International Volunteer Teams may explore the option of establishing themselves as an independent association registered as a non-profit in their respective territory. This should only be considered if the group is in a secure enough position and there is clear benefit in doing so.
If the request for independent status is approved by the trustees, the team coordinator would be responsible for overseeing the process, which will likely involve appointing a dedicated board of trustees, hiring an accountant (and possibly a lawyer), registering as a company and opening a bank account, and completing the necessary official paperwork. The costs associated with the process will not be paid by GCC UK and must be secured by the local team prior to commencing application.
If independent status is achieved, the teams will still be answerable to the GCC UK office and must remain aligned to GCC’s policy and strategy. The teams must maintain their commitment to the values and targets of the coalition and uphold the principles and reputation of the charity without deviation. GCC UK will reserve the right to intervene in projects as it deems appropriate.
Being registered as a non-profit association would make the group eligible for funding from governments or grant-giving bodies in their region. They may also be able to offer a tax break to their donors, depending on the local laws. In this case the teams will be expected to contribute proportional donations of unrestricted funds to support GCC’s general operations. GCC UK will not be responsible for any debts incurred by independently registered groups.
For more information on starting a GCC volunteer group: email@example.com