Camcycle’s trustees are pleased to publish our policy on funding, donations and sponsorship.
Download our full policy (PDF).
Camcycle, like many other organisations, has found itself under increasing pressure to spend more time scrutinising transport proposals and policies from the Local Authorities and new developments. This is hard work – there is a massive scale of change in Cambridge; strategies come forward from local government faster than we can cope with, and developers often aim to push through proposals which do not have genuine community involvement and can often make things worse for cycling and walking.
Additionally, our charitable remit is to promote the positive virtues of cycling as a healthy, relatively cheap, and efficient solution to Cambridge’s transport problems. Some decision-makers in Cambridge recognise these benefits, but others are more sceptical. Our work, therefore, aims to show that cycling already reduces congestion and that giving people the choice to be able to cycle can help improve things for everyone, including those who drive.
Our organisation is member-led, with democratic structures and opportunities for involvement that aim to ensure that our campaigning work is driven by members’ views. But this still takes a lot of time and often specialist knowledge. Therefore, we took on our first member of staff almost five years ago to support the work of our many volunteers. Together with other costs of campaigning work, like producing materials, organising events, and creating our magazine we have needed funding to cover this – all with the aim of facilitating and increasing members’ activity, rather than replacing it.
To ensure the sustainability of our charity, it has been vital to diversify our income across a number of channels. In addition to membership subscriptions, we have been increasing our income from donations, charitable grants and through trading activities such as advertising, sponsorship and merchandise sales.
We strongly support the principle that all organisations working for the public interest, whether charities or campaign groups, should be transparent about how they are funded so that potential for conflicts of interest can be clearly seen and prevented.
Our last Annual Report (PDF), produced before this new policy, states a single figure of £44,757 from major donors. The bulk of this is a single very generous donation by a long-standing member for the employment of staff to relieve the pressure on overburdened volunteers. The rest of this is from other existing and long-standing members pledging additional smaller sums for the same aim.
Camcycle’s trustees recognised that as our fundraising activity increased, our reporting should be improved and in February started work on a formal policy for our approach to income. This policy not only aims to ensure there is greater openness and detail, but also that staff have a clear instruction over how fundraising should be undertaken and how we avoid taking on funds that would cause conflicts of interest. The policy additionally makes our default position to make donations public clear to potential donors.
Download our full policy (PDF).
A guiding principle of the policy is those giving income receive no special influence over Camcycle’s activities. Strategy and campaigning activities are set democratically through discussions of our members, predominantly via our online forum but also by seeking views through regular meetings and other channels. We aim at all times to keep people informed of what is going on and ensure that there is ample opportunity for involvement, with no special favouring of particular people. We are proud of this member-led, bottom-up approach.
Trustees have retrospectively reviewed previous major donations against the finalised policy and are satisfied that no conflicts of interest have arisen.
We are now in the process of contacting this year’s donors and retrospectively seeking their consent to be listed in line with this policy.
Donations made after the approval and publication of this policy will be subject to and listed in line with this policy. We think this will strengthen our democratic basis and ensure that everyone can have confidence in our work.
This policy will be regularly reviewed to ensure it aligns with best fundraising practice and our values and covers all of our fundraising practices.