At SRA supplier Vegware, sustainability isn’t an add-on, it’s what they ‘live and breathe’. The day-to-day business is creating the UK’s only completely compostable food packaging. In 2010, Vegware decided to set up a Community Fund as a simple but effective way of supporting sustainability in the wider community.
Vegware gives small monthly grants to non-profit organisations. Unlike many sources of funding, Vegware’s grant is designed to help with core funding rather than specific projects. It is not just a one-off payment but a monthly commitment to help plug a funding gap. Some use it for tea and coffee for volunteers, some for renting portaloos or covering overheads – it’s up to them. All that’s asked for in return is a short monthly update on what they are doing for Vegware’s news and facebook pages.
Says Vegware’s Lucy Frankel: ‘The great thing about our funding model is that it’s very easy to administrate. Potential recipients just fill in a simple form telling us very briefly who they are, what they do and how much they need, between £20-£200 a month. We pick our favourite and start a direct debit. It’s as simple as that!’
As Vegware grows, so will the fund. They currently support ten projects, covering a diverse range of activities promoting sustainability in the widest possible sense. These include training in sustainable land management and agriculture in Swaziland, a healthy eating project in Edinburgh and hardy cyclists delivering local veg in Wales.
Lucy adds: ‘Our fund helps non-profits make a difference in their community. It also makes working at Vegware more satisfying, knowing we help alleviate a little financial pressure while the fund recipients focus on delivering their chosen projects.’