Guidelines for the acceptance of donations and research funding

The Odysseus Unbound Foundation (“the Foundation”) is aware of its responsibility to the wider community and has adopted the following guidelines regarding the acceptance of donations and research funding (“funding”). These guidelines outline the criteria against which the acceptance of funding will be assessed by the Foundation’s Trustees, along with more general principles and practices which are in place.

Acceptance (or rejection) of donations and research funding

1. Illegal activity

Funding must be rejected where it has been established, or there are reasonable grounds to suspect that, by accepting the funding:

  • the Foundation would be acquiring the proceeds of crime or be otherwise involved in money laundering activity;
  • the Foundation would be accepting a bribe or offering a bribe to the donor or funder;
  • the Foundation would be involved in terrorist financing activity (including by laundering or simply acquiring terrorist property); and/or
  • any of the conditions attached would require the Foundation to act illegally in any way.

In no circumstances will any funding be accepted or solicited if there is a reasonable likelihood that the acceptance of such funding might result in:

  • the Foundation acting illegally;
  • actual or perceived influence in decision-making at the Foundation;
  • improper behaviour by the Foundation or any of its members.
2. The Foundation as a charity

As a charity, the Foundation must ensure that the acceptance of any funding would not interfere with its core objectives: investigations into classical antiquity and specifically the search for Homer’s Ithaca. The Foundation should also be mindful of the need to promote academic freedom, and that conflicts of interest created by funding arrangements might have the potential to limit the activities of the Foundation. The Foundation should therefore consider whether:

  • the purposes for which the funding is to be used are known, and, if so, do they fall in whole or in part outside the charitable objects of the Foundation;
  • accepting the funding might impinge on academic freedom or limit freedom of enquiry; and/or
  • accepting the funding might create conflicts of interest for the Foundation and/or the individual beneficiaries of the funding.

If the Foundation decides that acceptance of the funding would not be in its best interests as a Foundation, the Foundation must refuse it.

3.   Wider interests of the Foundation

The Foundation will consider whether acceptance of the funding would be in the best interests of the Foundation. For example, would accepting the funding:

  • originate from an activity that is unethical, require or promote any activity that is illegal or unethical, or which might have other serious adverse consequences?
  • create a link, or a perceived link, between the Foundation and any person or entity which has received serious adverse public comment or media coverage?
  • seriously harm the Foundation’s relationship with other benefactors, research funders, partners, staff, or other stakeholders?
  • otherwise do harm to the reputation of the Foundation?
4. Subsequent gifts

Although every potential donation will be assessed under these guidelines, irrespective of any previous consideration of the donor, there will be an assumption that, where a gift from a donor has previously been approved, any subsequent gift will also be approved unless in the interim there has been a change in circumstance that might affect the Foundation’s decision as to whether to accept the subsequent gift.

Reconsidering funding that has already been accepted

Where funding has been accepted, acceptance will be reconsidered by the Foundation if information comes to light about the funder or the funding:

  • which might have made the funding unacceptable under these guidelines; and
  • the Foundation could not reasonably have known at the time.

Version 1.0
10 February 2022