News & Notes 826:From the FAMC re the activity "Funding Auroville"

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826 icon.jpg   News & Notes 826
11 July 2020

From the FAMC re: the activity “Funding Auroville”

The FAMC has reviewed the application for Funding Auroville to be registered as a Unit and unfortunately cannot approve it. Our reasons are as follows:

Fundraising is not comparable to an activity or unit engaged in commercial or service related activities where products or services are sold. In the current Trust and Unit structure, Executives are appointed, and after a probationary three- year period, they become executives for life. This would vest the Executives with the power to decide what and who is funded in Auroville without the need to consult or collaborate with Working groups or the Residents Assembly, which are mandated to help the community prioritize its needs. Effectively, the Executives would be empowered to decide upon community needs without engaging in any community process.

The FAMC is not comfortable with vesting such power in any individuals and has expressed to this group on multiple occasions that for fundraising, there must be a Managing Board that could ensure adequate consultation, collaboration, and cooperation with other interest groups and working groups within the community. This Board would also ensure that there is in place adequate review of the provenance of funds, and where applicable adequate review of project applications, and project evaluation, monitoring and accountability, which again, is significantly different from a normal unit. Most units do not need to consider donor needs or government statutory compliance that accompanies the receipt of donations.

The proposed name of the unit, Funding Auroville is also not acceptable. It implies that there is a broader scope in mind than the stated scope of work: land and land-related activities. And, it gives the impression that this unit is the mandated fundraising entity for the entire community. This could effectively undermine other valid fundraising efforts present and future.

Finally, there is already a successful fundraising initiative, Acres for Auroville, engaged in the same work. It is imperative that any fundraising activities with the same scope of work, and particularly for one as critical as land, have a formal cooperation agreement in place to ensure that they do not overlap and approach the same donors, which would confuse potential donors and undermine our efforts to raise funds; or contribute to double funding of projects. No such cooperation agreement was submitted with [the would be unit’s] proposal.

See also