The purpose of this policy is to provide a set of guiding principles for Preferred by Nature in receiving and handling funds from donor organisations.
Preferred by Nature is an international non-profit organisation with a mission to support better land management and business practices that benefit people, nature and the climate. To fulfil our mission, we are engaged in different types of activities to promote sustainable practices. These can be divided between two broad categories: a) development and implementation of donor funded projects, and; b) offering certification and verification services under various sustainability standards. Our project work is run through the non-profit parent organisation registered in Denmark, Copenhagen. Our certification activities are delivered through local Preferred by Nature legal entities, with the primary entity for certification delivery being the legal entity registered in Estonia. While both activity streams are contributing to our mission, it is important to ensure that funds from donors are always used for the intended purpose, while certification activities need to be delivered with credibility and in an impartial manner.
The policy applies to monetary donations and where applicable also to in-kind support. As the donor grants are handled by the Danish non-profit entity, this policy applies primarily for this Preferred by Nature entity.
Preferred by Nature fundraising principles
Overall aim of Preferred by Nature fundraising is to maximise fulfilment of our mission while ensuring that our funding sources do not harm our independence to pursue our mission and vision, or endanger our integrity, reputation and impartiality.
To a large degree, Preferred by Nature is reliant on donations from donors for implementing development projects around the world related to achievement of our mission. The projects ideas may be developed by the donors, by Preferred by Nature itself or by a group of likeminded organisations where Preferred by Nature participates. Preferred by Nature receives donations from various funders, including government agencies, multilateral institutions, foundations, and the private sector. Donations may be unrestricted or linked to a specific project. All donations are received and administered by the Fundraising Department of Preferred by Nature´s Danish parent organisation.
Another source of funding for Preferred by Nature projects is surplus from Preferred by Nature certification activities. As the whole Preferred by Nature organisation operates on non-profit basis, surplus from the certification activities is used also to fulfil Preferred by Nature mission. Such surplus may thus be used to implement or co-finance sustainability projects.
In seeking donations, Preferred by Nature follows these principles:
- Alignment with Preferred by Nature´s mission – We prioritise the funding sources which support activities related to our mission.
- Avoidance of dependency – We seek to diversify the types and numbers of donor organisations. This helps us to avoid becoming overly dependent on single donor or small group of donors, which is good for institutional and financial sustainability and helps us to stay independent and impartial.
- Responsible fundraising – We accept donations from responsible organisations and avoid receiving funding from organisations who are known to engage in or support harmful or controversial practices. In doing this, we rely on the Preferred by Nature Policy of Association and reserve the right to refrain from accepting donations from organisations who are known to act in violation of our Policy of Association.
- Data transparency and integrity – All donations are registered in Preferred by Nature database, including data about the donor, purpose of the donations and other relevant information. As a general principle, Preferred by Nature publishes information about all donor funded projects on our public website. Exceptions to this may include projects which the donor has asked not to be published.
- Avoidance of conflict of interest – Preferred by Nature may receive donations also from private sector organisations, who are Preferred by Nature clients for certification or verification activities. Preferred by Nature's objective in managing these donations is to ensure our continued ability to deliver impartial certification and verification services. All such donations are registered additionally in Preferred by Nature risk management system under dedicated risk management category. Prior to acceptance, each such donation is evaluated on case by case basis for any risks to impartiality. In case of identified risks, these are mitigated or alternatively the donation is not accepted. Any donations provided by Preferred by Nature itself to other organisations, are also registered in Preferred by Nature database under dedicated risk management category to maintain related overview.
If any staff or Board member of Preferred by Nature is concerned that there is a threat to Preferred by Nature´s independence or reputation from donations already received, or about to be accepted, the person should contact the Preferred by Nature Fundraising manager, their line manager or the Chairman of the Board. Please also see the Preferred by Nature Whistleblower Policy in relation to this. Any stakeholders with similar concerns are also invited to contact Preferred by Nature Fundraising Manager, Executive Director or Chairman of the Board. Any stakeholder may also use the Preferred by Nature Dispute Resolution Policy to formally bring any cases of concern to Preferred by Nature attention.
This policy was approved by Peter Feilberg, Preferred by Nature´s Executive Director on 30 April 2018.