Corporate partnerships policy

On this page:

1. Our fundraising commitment

We aim to achieve excellence in fundraising, ensuring that all our activities are transparent, fair, honest, and legal. This is reflected in our supporter promise, a copy of which is available on our website: Our supporter promise

We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator and follow the fundraising Codes of Practice:

2. How we work with partners

Our vision is to Beat Macular Disease. To help realise this vision, we build partnerships with like-minded organisations. These include campaigning groups, companies, research institutes, and universities. 

3. Our mission and aims

Our mission is beating the fear and isolation of macular disease by funding world-class research and providing the best advice and support. 

The aims guiding delivery of our mission are: 

Finding a cure

We will be the largest funder of eye research in the sight loss sector and be known for our commitment to finding a cure for macular disease. 

The best advice and support

We want to be the trusted source of information and advice for everyone affected by macular disease. We will expand our membership and our services – face to face, telephone, and digital - so that no-one has to face macular disease alone. 

Vision Matters

We want everyone in the UK to know what their macula is, to understand how to protect their vision, and to consider routine eye health checks. Health policy makers should understand the significance of eye health and the importance of prioritising macular disease. 

We will work only with third parties sharing these aims. We do so because in this way we may be able to secure additional benefit for those whom the Society exists to support. 

4. Our fundraising principles

4.1. Working with like-minded organisations

We will actively seek to build relationships with third parties, including commercial companies, if they support our aims and share our principles whilst respecting our intellectual independence. This can include funding as well as wider pro bono support, including patient engagement and public policy campaign work.

4.2. Maintaining independence

We need to ensure that we maintain our independence and do everything we can to cure macular disease.  We will do this by working with a wide range of companies, often within the same industry. We will not work with organisations seeking to influence or constrain our intellectual independence or use a partnership solely or mainly to advance their own commercial agenda. 

4.3. Transparency

We will not accept funds derived from activities that give us reasonable grounds for supposing that they might be illicit.  We will also acknowledge the companies we work with on our website and, where any support is directly related to a specific activity, we will also recognise this support in the relevant materials. We do this not only to make our gratitude visible but also to be transparent about the source of the support we have received thereby. 

4.4. Working with the pharmaceutical industry

We will work with the pharmaceutical industry only within the guidelines of the ABPI code:

These partnerships will be driven by our shared objectives and values and will include a range of activities including, for example, sponsorship, grant giving, patient engagement, and joint policy work.

In order to maintain our independence as outlined above, we will endeavour to work with a number of different pharmaceutical companies who share our vision to Beat Macular Disease.

On occasion, a company will ask us to provide patient insights to support an activity, for example, the development of patient support materials or the design of a clinical trial. When this happens, in compliance with the ABPI code of conduct, the company will sometimes offer a payment to reflect the patient’s time commitment.

Where the patient is also a trustee of the Macular Society, the trustee will make it clear that they are undertaking the task in a personal capacity and, where payment is made, it is the trustee’s discretion whether to accept this payment or request that it is donated to the Macular Society.

Where the patient is a paid employee of the Macular Society, the payment will be made directly to the Macular Society.

We will apply the same principles to our work with companies in other industries.

4.5. Industries we will not work with

Smoking exacerbates conditions that impair vision and so we will not work with manufacturers of tobacco products.

5. How do we reach decisions on these issues?

We will undertake due diligence on all our corporate partnerships which will cover the organisation’s structure, financial position and reputation as well as the objectives of the proposed partnership, This will be approved in the first instance by the Director of Fundraising and Marketing and, where necessary, by the Chief Executive.

In turn, where appropriate, we may raise our findings to the Society’s Audit and Risk Committee, which will assess the benefits and risks and make a recommendation to Council. We will also maintain a rolling schedule of corporate partners in order to enable the Council to monitor the partnership activities and outcomes and to ensure due diligence has been completed.

Approved by: Company Secretary (Cathy Yelf)
Date: 1 January 2024
Review: 1 January 2026