Closing statement : Revolution in Kindness
"How lucky are we to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard"
It is with true, deep sadness that we announce that Revolution in Kindness (formerly known as The Body Shop Foundation) will cease operations and close its door on 30 April 2017.
We knew that this day was coming and that this would possibly be the most difficult communication that we would have to write. We were right, sadly.
We have been operational since 1989, when our founder Trustees Dame Anita and Gordon Roddick decided to open a corporate Foundation with a difference.
We have been known for and proud of our part in seed funding small organisations, giving them support and funding to ‘launch’ themselves. Groups like The Big Issue, National Association for Peoples Abused in Childhood (NAPAC), Environmental Justice Foundation and Children on the Edge amongst many have all come via this route. We were so proud to fund and mentor these groups, projects and people on the brink of an idea, giving a support to those with fire in their belly and a determination to bring about positive social and environment change.
But the seed funding is just a part of what we’ve done; our little tiny team bursting full of commitment and a determination to bring the best global impact we could as an organisation.
We are so proud of all our grant making achievements. Over our history we have:
- Funded 1,707 human rights organisations – from campaigning on the rights of indigenous people with groups like Survival International to the global cutting edge policing and peaceful message promotion of groups like Cybersmile Foundation.
- Funded 579 animal protections organisations – from funding alternatives to animal testing with Dr Hadwen Trust to helping fund the protection and prosecution of criminals who trade in the exotic pet industry with LAGA (Last Great Ape Organisation)
- Funded 646 environmental protection organisations – from funding the full of depth of the e-waste situation with Basel Action Network to Village Water, developing sustainable water sources for communities for the first time.
In summary, we’ve donated over £23 million to 2,932 different groups in over 100 countries, impacting over 6 million people and changing the lives and habitats of communities and animals everywhere.
And throughout it all, we’ve done it in our own inevitable style. With passion, with panache and with the participation of the best people you could hope for.
We are immensely proud of our collaborative achievements; amongst these:
- Fundraised with unwanted or discontinued stock donated by the company and its suppliers, raising just under £5 million and preventing approximately 2,500 pallets of stock from being landfilled or destroyed.
- Developed a superb Volunteering Programme – with approx. 1,000 people taking part over our 28-year history and with the last 15 years maintaining a 95% retention rate of people committed to help with our fundraising activities.
- Ran 7 challenges bringing 120 international challengers together on adventure based volunteering experiences, benefitting 10 charities and raising over £200,000 whilst raising awareness on issues including disability, conservation, access to clean water.
- Run several volunteering & community based projects for the staff of The Body Shop International, including 5 years running the corporate staff volunteering programme (linking teams and departments to locally
- supported charities by the Foundation) and introduced the local ‘Giving Tree’ appeal at both Head Offices based in Littlehampton and London, which the company have since taken ownership of.
CEO, Lisa Jackson says “Revolution in Kindness (formerly known as The Body Shop Foundation) has a grant making reputation to be proud of. We have done our best to provide funding for those who find it difficult to receive conventional funding, ensuring that these ground breaking, trail blazing groups realise their potential.
In our 28-year history, we have funded some truly extraordinary and exceptional groups and we stand by our decisions, our approach and our unwavering support to these charities and projects.
We have had to contend with a shift in focus by our former Funder that would have fundamentally changed the core of our objects as an organisation. We undertook a range of measures to try and diversify our funding base, cut costs, dealt with significant logistical challenges imposed, office moves and finally redundancies. Ultimately, none of these steps were enough to save us.
So it is with the heaviest heart imaginable we have to say goodbye as we close our doors. Our final “heritage” grants round has been very bitter sweet for us here. Sweet because we had an opportunity to fund for one last time; groups we know, admire and respect realising that they will create positive global impact with the funds. Bitter because during many of the calls placed to the groups to discuss funding, most organisations made mention that they didn’t know where they would be without our initial funding and support.
This we have found extremely difficult and incredibly sad, concerned about the future organisations on the brink of an idea and wondering where their funding will come from. I only hope that another grant making organisation sees the brilliance in taking a chance on these groups of tomorrow and break with the traditional CSR box ticking of supporting large, generic organisations, rather than the cutting edge, at the coal face, community based groups who have incredible impact with the funding on offer.
It has also proved impossible to say goodbye to trustees, volunteers and staff that started as interested strangers and turned into a beloved family. We would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank everyone who has supported, donated, volunteered or worked in some guise for our organisation – thank you. People participation was at the heart of our work and together, we can all be incredibly proud of the global impact felt by our organisation. How lucky we all are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
And our final note goes out to all the groups, charities, dreamers, activists, supporters, campaigners, peace makers, ambassadors, visionaries, leaders and world changers – keep on keeping on. The world has never needed more kindness, more compassion and more positive social change – keep being brilliant you, campaigning, raising awareness, changing laws and lives. We’re just sorry we won’t be around to help you achieve this.
We’ve loved every second of this crazy charitable journey and wouldn’t change one laughter filled, fancy dress wearing, adventure packed, fast fundraising paced minute of it. We stood for something, even though it meant that now – at the very end – we had to take a stand alone. As the irreplaceable, Dame Anita herself said “Be daring, be different, be just”. Well, we’ve been daring, we’ve been different and we’ve been just; delivering true philanthropy in the vision and fire of our original Founding Trustees.
And this – along with all the achievements we’ve mentioned here in this statement – makes us oh so very proud indeed.
With fond love,
All at Revolution in Kindness