The purpose of this policy is to provide a set of guiding principles for NEPCon in receiving and handling funds from donor organisations.
NEPCon is an international non-profit organisation with a mission to build commitment and capacity for mainstreaming sustainability. 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 NEPCon 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 NEPCon entity.
NEPCon fundraising principles
Overall aim of NEPCon 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, NEPCon 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 NEPCon itself or by a group of likeminded organisations where NEPCon participates. NEPCon receives donations from various funders, including government agencies, multilateral institutions, foundations, and the private sector. Donations may be unrestricted or linked to specific project. All donations are received and administered by the Fundraising Department of NEPCon Danish parent organisation.
Another source of funding for NEPCon projects is surplus from NEPCon certification activities. As the whole NEPCon organisation operates on non-profit basis, surplus from the certification activities is used also to fulfil NEPCon mission. Such surplus may thus be used to implement or co-finance NEPCon sustainability projects.
In seeking donations, NEPCon follows these principles:
- Alignment with NEPCon mission – We prioritise the funding sources which support activities related to NEPCon 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 NEPCon 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 NEPCon database, including data about the donor, purpose of the donations and other relevant information. As a general principle, NEPCon 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 – NEPCon may receive donations also from private sector organisations, who are NEPCon clients for certification or verification activities. NEPCon objective in managing these donations is to ensure NEPCon continued ability to deliver impartial certification and verification services. All such donations are registered additionally in NEPCon 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 NEPCon itself to other organisations, are also registered in NEPCon database under dedicated risk management category to maintain related overview.
If any staff or Board member of NEPCon is concerned that there is a threat to NEPCon´s independence or reputation from donations already received, or about to be accepted, the person should contact the NEPCon Fundraising manager, their line manager or the Chairman of the Board. Please also see the NEPCon Whistleblower Policy in relation to this. Any stakeholders with similar concerns are also invited to contact NEPCon Fundraising Manager, Executive Director or Chairman of the Board. Any stakeholder may also use the NEPCon Dispute Resolution Policy to formally bring any cases of concern to NEPCon attention.
This policy was approved by Peter Feilberg, NEPCon Executive Director on 30 April 2018.