Raisely empowers thousands of charities across the world to take control of their revenue and improve the wellbeing of people and our planet. In response to Australia’s Climate Strike, we are encouraging all to divest their finances and take action now for climate justice.
At Raisely, we feel incredibly privileged that our work directly supports the service delivery of our charity and non-profit clients. We make creating fundraising websites easy and we celebrate the success of our charities going above and beyond their fundraising goals.
Raisely processes tens of millions of dollars every year. What if we told you that those funds could be worsening the climate crisis?
All of us are likely conscious of our energy footprint, and make efforts to minimise waste and contribute to a safe environment. Yet we often overlook the impact of our financial savings and investments. Unless your organisation campaigns on climate (in which case, thank you so much!), the decisions about where you bank, where your employee's put their retirement savings and who you insure with are likely the most impactful decisions your organisation can make on climate action.
As a for-purpose social enterprise, we are always looking for ways to make an even bigger impact in this world, particularly around issues like climate change.
So in line with #Climate Strike, we want to nudge you to divest your finances as a powerful step towards climate justice.
What is fossil fuel divestment?
As a quick re-cap, fossil fuel divestment is taking money out of banks, investments and insurers who are worsening the climate crisis by loaning to, investing in, insuring or somehow supporting industries that are destroying our future. By divesting, you choose to give your business to the institutions that are investing and supporting renewable energy and other work that’s positive for people and the planet.
If all of the charities we work with did this, it would represent billions of dollars, a huge signal to banks and other financial institutions that they shouldn’t be undermining life on earth and need to be investing in our future.
The recent report of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been the clearest yet that coal, oil and gas are destroying our future. We must take huge steps towards ending pollution and moving towards net zero carbon emissions. It's time to stop digging up and burning coal, oil and gas, and replace our energy and transport systems with renewable energy and batteries, swap combustion engines to electric vehicles, and electrify industry. We need to do this and so much more.
Despite this knowledge, the fossil fuel industry is still pushing to expand, and banks that continue to invest in the fossil fuel industry have their heads in the sand about the harm they are doing. By simply divesting your finances, you are taking significant action against climate change in your refusal to support and prop up these polluting industries.
As a bonus, moving to an ethical institution probably supports your work too. Institutions that avoid investing in environmental destruction will usually also avoid supporting other harmful practices like tobacco, weapons manufacturing, and slavery in the supply chain.
(Does this list look familiar? We apply a similar screen to who we work with at Raisely)
At the end of this month, the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, UK will kick off. In the lead up to this summit, we'll see some very inspiring events calling for our leaders to take immediate action on climate change.
The recent Global Climate Strike on 24 September 2021 saw hundreds of thousands of people gather across 99 countries to demand climate action. On 15 October 2021, people across Australian cities will be striking for a better future.
We can support and join these movements by taking steps to divest - now is the time!
How is Raisely responding to the climate crisis?
As a fundraising platform, we at Raisely are aware of the collective strength we have in our charity and non-profit clients. Together, we can send a huge message of disapproval to the fossil fuel industry and their investors. When we move our money out of the institutions that support fossil fuels, we are making it clear that these are not wise investments for our future - ethically or financially.
Raisely has already taken this leap to divest. We have made sure that our company is not being used to prop up any coal, oil or gas projects. We bank with Bank Australia and Bank First - both are fossil fuel free 🙌 .
We encourage all our Raisely clients to consider where your fundraising money is invested, your default retirement fund for your employees and for individuals to scrutinize their savings accounts, retirement funds, and home loans.
Want to make an impact on climate change? Here’s how!
You don’t have to do everything at once. Choose which one you’d like to start with, your bank? Default investment fund for your employees? Your insurer?
Whichever you choose, here are some simple and powerful steps to make a difference:
1. Find out if they’re supporting the climate crisis
There are many online tools where you can find out whether your bank or retirement fund or insurer supports fossil fuel projects. If you can't find this information, you can contact your institution and ask for confirmation about their stance on investing in this industry.
Hot tip: Check out these websites that list ethical banks and insurers for these locations:
🇦🇺 Australia: Market Forces has compiled lists of banks, super funds and insurers
🇳🇿New Zealand/Aotearoa: Fossil Free Banks and Ethical KiwiSavers
🇺🇸 United States: Bank.Green and Fossil Free Funds
🇬🇧 United Kingdom: Bank.Green and Go Fossil Free
🇨🇦 Canada: Stand.earth
🌎 Other parts of the world, try Bank.Green or MarketForces
2. Write to your bank/super fund
If your bank or super fund does invest in fossil fuels, write to them and tell them that you want them to stop investing in fossil fuels. Many banks in Australia are currently considering their climate plans. Talk to them! Let them know this is a big issue for you, and you expect them to stop their polluting investments... or you will look elsewhere for a more ethical option.
3. Champion the cause
Spend a few months engaging with your bank or super fund. This can be a great option if it's not possible for your organisation to divest immediately. As a customer or shareholder, you may have some leverage over the decisions made by these companies. There’s a growing concern amongst shareholder groups who are making shareholder resolutions to change the direction of the industry and set more ambitious targets for reducing emissions. Get engaged and use your voice - it's really important.
4. Divest from fossil fuels
If they are not going to listen, then it's time to switch. There's actually not much involved in changing your superannuation fund or bank. This can often be done in a few moments. If you're running an organisation, there is likely going to be some extra paperwork, yet you're going to feel so good for making the effort and knowing you are part of positive change.
5. Share your divestment journey with your friends
This step can happen at any time. People power can make change in the world, and the more people you can engage, the better!
Inspire your friends, family and work place with your divestment story and how you’re championing our future. Explain to them how simple it is to find this information and the process you took to make an ethical investment. You might just inspire them to do the same and create ripple effects.
We’d love for you to let us know that you’ve taken these steps to divest so we can celebrate too!
Let’s do this!
There’s no better time to respond to the climate crisis than now. We can’t delay any more!
Fossil fuel divestment might seem daunting but it’s a powerful response that can cause big change. By naming this industry’s destructive influence we hope that the fossil fuel divestment movement can help break the hold that the fossil fuel industry has on our economy and our governments.
The future is in our hands!