At the start of June we wrote a post saying that we had been offered a substantial donation and were wondering wjat the most effective way to spend it might be. Make a one-off lump sum donation, perhaps – many organisations we speak with are desperate for finance after lockdown. Or perhaps break up that money into smaller grants, spreading it across a number of smaller organisations or groups to help them fund their work?
Well, clearly, while there were numerous charities and sanctuaries that we will always support and like to help, we decided that setting up an ‘equipment fund’ to help smaller groups buy items to use in the field like video cameras, trail cams, night vision scopes, go-pros, recording equipment etc would be the most effective way to distribute the money we’ve been given.
So how – and what – have we been doing in the past month?
We won’t bore you with the financial side of things, but safe to say that once we’d set up a robust process to ensure things run as smoothly as possible, we turned to responding to applicant requests, checking they agreed to the T&Cs (outlined below), and buying equipment.
As we wrote in the original post we are particularly respectful of confidentiality so won’t be saying which groups we’ve supported (though if someone is kind enough to thank us on social media we’ll happily post that – see below!), but we can say that we have sent out kit to sixteen applicants so far, and that in terms of geographic spread that kit has gone to Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, the Peak District, South Yorkshire, North Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Cumbria, and southern Scotland.
Thanks to our donors we have been able to provide six Guardian Body Cameras, two Badger Cages, several multi-packs of walkie-talkies, night vision monoculars, a Batbox Duet, and three Browning Trail Cams – as well as SD cards and batteries. We have requests from three more applicants in the pipeline that we will hopefully be fulfilling next week.
Many of the items we’ve been able to buy are already being used in the field to help tackle the war on wildlife – which is just fantastically rewarding for us and for our wildlife.
The good news is that there is still money left to distribute, and we are still aiming to make everything as easy as possible for groups to access it.
Rather than a series of back and forths, asking you to fill out long forms asking for references and describing what equipment you need and why, we would prefer to talk to you over the phone instead. That way we can make sure that you are who you say you are (providing a website or social media links would be very useful), find out what you need, and – if eligible for a grant – how we can get the equipment to you as quickly as we can.
The grants come with a small number of Terms and Conditions which we will ask you to agree to in advance:
- Unless specifically agreed beforehand the maximum grant we will provide will be worth £500.
- Only one grant can be made per individual/group/organisation.
- Equipment we fund must be used in the field to tackle the war on wildlife.
- By accepting any equipment from us you promise that it will be used legally, and if the equipment is used illegally in any way you accept all responsibility for any complaints or actions that might result.
- You also agree that equipment we fund will be used as per manufacturer instructions and that we are not responsible in any way for any misuse.
- You are responsible for any insurance of the equipment and for any repairs that may be necessary (if the equipment is still under warranty we will help pursue any claims on your behalf, but we almost certainly won’t be able to replace damaged equipment).
Please note that we can not offer cash instead. The fund can only be spent providing equipment for use by you in the field. And as we have a limited ‘pot’ to dip into we will prioritise putting funding where it can do the most immediate good for wildlife. Also note that in some instances it may be that we can source used equipment that will do exactly the same job as new: this will help lower costs and help spread the fund as far as possible.
If you’re interested please email Charlie (Moores) at firstname.lastname@example.org. We really need just a few lines from you. Please include your name, a contact number, the name of your website or social media feed if you have them, and a line or two about what equipment you would like and how you would use it. We will verify your address by emailing you back, and at that stage also ask you when a good time would be to call you.
We’re asking you to make us some promises, so here’s one we’re making to you. We respect confidentiality and privacy and absolutely guarantee that we will never share or pass on any of your details and will only ever contact you to discuss the equipment fund and if we have your written permission to do so.