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AU Charity Pot Funding Guidelines

Charity Pot grants provide funding to small, grassroots groups delivering projects in the areas of animal protection, human rights, and the environment. This includes campaigning, activism, non-violent direct-action, and implemented projects for rights, regeneration, and rewilding.

We want to progress the way traditional philanthropy is done by being responsive to the needs of grassroots groups and organisations. Offering space in our shops for outreach events, and giving visibility to movements and connecting organisations with our staff and customers through internal and external storytelling, are examples of how we go beyond financial contributions.

Organisations can apply for any grant amount up to a maximum of $15,000 AUD. The sales of Charity Pot Body Lotion determine the amount of funds available for monthly allocation, therefore the average project grant size is often in the range of $5,000-$10,000. We are happy to discuss the possibility of a future grant after the completion of your group or organisation's one-year grant term which includes a short report-back.

We believe in relationship-based philanthropy and allow for flexibility within a vetted project. Meaning, we aim to build a connection with the group, determine if they are conducting projects or actions that align with our values and fit our funding guidelines, and agree on a project that makes the most sense for Lush to fund. Within that project, we trust the group to ask for what they need, and spend the funding to best move that project forward. We do, however, have a few ethical parameters that prevent us from including select items detailed in our funding guidelines.

To shift the power dynamic and ensure democracy in decision making, we have a panel review system for nearly all Charity Pot funded grants. By implementing a more participatory approach, we will increase accountability, transparency and inclusion in grant making.

Statement acknowledging Indigenous communities’ relationship with animals

As Lush has committed to reconciliation and decolonization, we recognize the relationships Indigenous people have with animals is inherent in cultural identity, practices and tradition, and has been damaged through colonisation. Although Lush advocates against animal cruelty or animal use for human gain and cannot fund these activities, we do not equate Indigenous practices with exploitation and respect original peoples relations with animals in cultural preservation and teachings.

Funding guidelines—What types of groups does Lush fund?

We look for projects that create long-term systemic change, addressing the root cause of the problem, and aim to challenge mainstream opinion and behavior through raising awareness of issues. This can include activism, campaigning and holding governments accountable, or the implementation of regeneration or rewilding projects. Grants can be awarded to registered or unregistered organisations/charities, non-profits, or Indigenous and community groups with an annual revenue of $650,000 AUD or less.

  • We support non-violent direct action because we feel it plays an important part in bringing about social change. Non-violent direct action includes protests, demonstrations and other non-violent interventions. Charity Pot grants do not fund or facilitate law-breaking. 
  • We believe we can make the most impact by funding causes that are often overlooked and underfunded.
  • We're looking for initiatives that are far reaching, meaning that they aim to positively affect many rather than a few. We prioritise projects working toward systemic or catalytic change that challenges the root cause of issues.
  • We look for projects that promote and implement viable and fair solutions that do no harm to people, planet or animals.
  • We support organisations who are environmentally responsible.
  • We believe in grassroots-led solutions; therefore, we support community-led decision making.
  • Our international grants fund grassroots organisations where decision-making is held by local community or local leaders. organisations based in one country but are working internationally will need to demonstrate how local knowledge and expertise are part of the decision making process and how local people implement projects.

Funding guidelines—What groups are Lush unable to support?

We’re passionate about our values and we want to be sure the organisations we support match our ethics. As a result, our Charity Pot funding does not provide grants to those that:

  • Promote or support violence, aggression, prejudice, oppression or any infringement on human rights.
  • Are involved in cruelty or subjugation of animals, including testing on animals for research or using animals for human gain, including the use of animals in entertainment, animal husbandry and therapy.
  • Influence others to change or adopt their religious beliefs, or exclude others based on religious practice.
  • Are connected to political parties, specific endorsements, political rallies or otherwise partisan in their work.
  • Are not making the effort to be environmentally responsible.
  • Are schools, university programs, sponsored walks/runs/sporting events or fundraising initiatives.
  • Are social enterprises (for example, we cannot support any group designed with a for-profit model).
  • Operate under a chapter system.
  • Are government subsidies at any level.

Additional proposal considerations

We aim to limit the amount of support we give to staff salaries (preferred not to exceed 50% of the total grant). Compensating through honorariums, stipends, facilitator or contract work for project management can be considered for funding because it is outsourcing of services which are not considered salaries.

  • We don’t fund domestic or international flights.
  • We can fund convenings, trainings and meetings themselves, however we do not provide individual or group costs to attend. We are also happy to consider campaigns and actions that result from such convenings and make exceptions for Indigenous elders and leader attendance.
  • We cannot fund scholarships, event sponsorships or bail.
  • We can only fund vegan or vegetarian food items.
  • We CAN issue grants to small organisations working with fiscal sponsors that exceed our $650,000 annual revenue limit but otherwise fit our guidelines.
  • We cannot fund groups that require grant remittance to a personal bank account. Funds must be issued to an account officially associated with an organisation.

Applicants who are writing a proposal relating to a regeneration or rewilding focused project can apply within the Environment channel. Charity Pot funds regenerative organisations that do not keep captive animals. We encourage applicants to show us how they are integrating their work into the community, for example how the project was co-designed with feedback from local people, or if the work is completed on private or publicly accessible land. We acknowledge that regenerative paradigms, principles, and processes can be applied not just in land-based practices like plant-based farming and agriculture, but across the board - for example with agriculture, housing, governance, and more. Socially-regenerative programmes may wish to apply under the Human Rights channel, whereas rewilding programmes focussed on species reintroduction may wish to apply under the Animal Protection channel.

How do I apply?

Thank you for your interest in our Charity Pot funding program. We appreciate your dedication to making a difference for people, animals and the planet. At this time, we are not accepting new funding applications. We invite you to please check back at a later date for updates on when we will welcome new applications. Your patience and understanding are appreciated.

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