Charity Pot Grant Guidelines and Application
Our Charity Pot grants support small, grassroots organizations in North America and around the world that are working on the root cause of issues and creating long-term sustainable change.
We support organizations working in areas of animal protection, environmental justice, and human rights.
We recognize animals as sentient beings, deserving of care and protection, and who should not be subjected to cruelty or exploitation for human gain.
We partner with those who are defending the rights of nature and standing up for a healthy, sustainable environment for future generations.
We support groups standing for the rights, visibility and equality of all people worldwide and for the defense of those most vulnerable.
How to apply
Applications are submitted via our online granting system. We ask about your organization’s purpose, main activities, governance structure and annual revenue. Additionally, a description of the project that you’re seeking funding for is requested along with an itemized budget, timeline and how the project’s success will be measured. Most grants range from $3,000 to a maximum of $15,000 per project. You are invited to apply for what you need; however, it is rare to receive the maximum amount. Funding decisions are made democratically through a panel review. The panel will decide if a proposal is to be approved, and if the proposal will be approved at the full amount requested or a partial amount.
Please be sure to read our funding guidelines below before applying for a grant to ensure the organization meets our requirements.
Charity Pot funding guidelines
We want to progress the way traditional philanthropy is done by being responsive to the needs of grassroots groups and organizations. Offering space in our shops for outreach events, giving visibility to movements and connecting organizations with our staff and customers through internal and external storytelling are examples of how we go beyond financial contributions.
Organizations can apply for any grant amount up to a maximum of $15,000. The sales of Charity Pot Body Lotion determine the amount of funds available for monthly allocation, therefore we cannot commit to multi-year funding. We are happy to discuss the possibility of a future grant after the completion of your group or organization's one-year grant term which includes a short report-back.
We believe in relationship-based philanthropy and allow for flexible funding within a vetted project. Meaning, we will 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.
We use the word partner when referring to our grantees because of our relationship-based funding practice and wish to remove the transactional feel of traditional corporate giving. We in no way expect our partners to do anything for us in return and are not obligated to provide content for our benefit. Rather, we are partners in solidarity and advancing movements for change.
To shift the power dynamic and ensure democracy in decision making, we have moved to 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. By engaging both experts in the field and staff with knowledge/lived experience, grants will be disbursed to where they will have the greatest impact in creating systemic change.
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 colonization. Although Lush advocates against animal cruelty and use for human gain, 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, activism, campaigning and holding governments accountable. Grants can be awarded to registered or unregistered organizations/charities, non-profits, or Indigenous and community groups with an annual revenue of $500,000 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.
- 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.
- We look for projects that promote and implement viable, fair and sustainable solutions.
- We support organizations who are making the effort to be environmentally responsible (when accessible) .
- We believe in grassroots-led solutions; therefore, we support community-led decision making.
- Our international grants fund grassroots organizations where decision-making is held by local leaders. Organizations based in North America/Turtle Island but 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 organizations 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 subsidiaries at any level.
Additional proposal considerations
We do, however, 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 is outsourcing of services which are not considered salaries and can be considered for funding.
- 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 elder 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 organizations working with fiscal sponsors that exceed our $500,000 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 organization.
How long will it take for grants to be approved?
You will be notified about the status of your application within three months. To advance transparency, democracy and inclusion in our grant making, we currently review grants via a panel of 18 people: 12 Lush stakeholders from around the business and six external subject matter experts. The final approval decision for grants averages one additional month of panel review. If your grant is approved, payment remittance can take between three to four weeks on average.
*Please note that we are experiencing a back-log of Canadian proposals and will not be able to review any new Canadian proposals until August of 2023.
What are the next steps if your application is approved?
If your application is successful, you’ll receive a welcome email from our Charity Pot team. In it, we will ask you:
- The bank account information for your organization or fiscal sponsor (please note, we can’t send funds to a personal bank account).
- To look for an email from Docusign that will contain your grant terms.
- To submit an image, logo and description of your organization for potential use on the Charity Pot Partner page of our website or in other communications with your permission. This will be optional.
- Some organizations will also be featured on the lids of our Charity Pot Body Lotion using the photo provided, a short description of your work and website address. If you would prefer that your organization not be promoted in any way through Lush communication channels, you are not obligated to provide these assets.
We’ll never ask that our Charity Pot partners provide marketing or promotion of Lush. We prefer to keep the focus on the incredible work our partners are doing! If at any time a partner feels it would be beneficial to use our logo on a website or newsletter, we are happy to speak with them for consideration.
We’re excited about redefining the way corporations work with non-profits and finding innovative ways to go beyond monetary donations. We’re open to new ideas and are continually evaluating the way we work with our partners.
Please note: we offer applications in English, French and Spanish.