Open source, driven entirely by volunteers, with the hard hosting costs donated, See Through Carbon’s zero-budget approach guarantees its integrity. As its strapline says:

If you can’t sell integrity, why should you be able to buy it?

Or in business jargon, See Through Carbon’s Unique Selling Point (USP) is that it’s UP is that it has nothing to S…

But if See Through Carbon scales up following the Pilot, these hard costs will increase significantly. Even with a growing international team of expert volunteers, the standard will have to provide a rock-solid, responsive, secure IT infrastructure at scale. This incurs costs.

How can See Through Carbon:

  • Keep its standard free to all SMEs for ever?
  • Guarantee it won’t be influenced by funders once it starts needing money?
  • Maintain its objectivity and integrity when money usually comes with strings attached?

Below are a few options, in no particular order. Any one may be sufficient, or a combination of one or more.

The precondition for all of them is that the only conditions of funding are:

  • The Trustees have complete discretion over disbursement.
  • See Through Carbon must be completely transparent about how it spends the money.

If any funder wants to change these conditions, or loses faith in See Through Carbon’s integrity, they can simply cease funding it. In its spirit of radical transparency, See Through Carbon will make their reasons public.

Some funding options, in no particular order:

Philanthropy

The simplest route. One or more wealthy individuals covers all the costs.

Crowdfunding

Small donations from a large number of individuals.

Public funds

Grants from the wide range of government funds earmarked for carbon reduction.

Big business’ sponsors

See Through Carbon solves a big problem for big businesses to conform to government reporting requirements, for which they’re already paying money to proprietary standards. So long as they attach no strings, they can simply divert these budgets to become donations to support See Through Carbon.

Donations

The most elegant and straightforward option, as it enables See Through Carbon to continue without a bank account. Instead of donating money to pay for service providers (such as web hosting and cloud computing), companies providing those services simply donate their services in kind. This model has already proved successful for the See Through Carbon Competition.