How to help
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How to help

At ARC we are lucky to have many people asking us how they can help us in our work. Here are the most common questions – and some of our answers.

What can I do to help?
How can I donate to ARC?
How can I join ARC?
Can I volunteer?
What if I have no particular religious beliefs, but am interested in helping?
There is a polluted well/overgrown pilgrim path/dilapidated chapel/etc in my neighbourhood. What can I do about it?

What can I do to help?

ARC’s aim is to help people protect their environment, through working with their different beliefs and cultures. The first thing we invite people to do is think about why they believe that caring for the environment is important. What is so crucial about Creation that it is worth conserving? If you have an allegiance or affinity to any of ARC’s eleven faiths, or if you are inspired by or interested in what they have to say, then take a look at the relevant pages in our Faiths section.

Then read our section on thinking the ARC way. It will probably give you many ideas of how you can improve things in your own environment – at work, at home, at school, in your neighbourhood or at your place of worship – as well as in other places you visit. Look at our list of ARC projects – Sacred Gifts, Sacred Land, 3iG, Asian-Buddhist Network and Climate Change - and have your own ideas about things that you can change – whether it is your own petrol consumption, your neighbourhood’s recycling campaigns, your church’s holy well, your temple’s financial investments or your country’s development strategies. One of the most important things is to bring your beliefs about Creation into your everyday life.

Of course, you can also help ARC directly, by donating money.

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How can I donate to ARC?

ARC works on very tight budgets and we are always grateful for donations for our projects. We can receive cheques made out to "The Alliance of Religions and Conservation" in euros and other currencies as well as sterling, although we have to pay bank charges of about £15 for each non-sterling cheque.

Some people have said they would like to leave a legacy to ARC in their wills. This can take several forms.

• a residual bequest - after making provisions for your family and friends, the balance of your belongings (legally referred to as your “estate”) is donated to ARC.

• a percentage of your estate - where a specific percentage of your estate is left to ARC.

• a pecuniary bequest - where a specific sum of money is donated to ARC.

• a life insurance/assurance policy.

• a life income plan - where you set up a trust for your dependants, providing them with a regular income, while the principal of the trust (the original amount invested) is paid to ARC after a specified time period - this can also be known as a 'charitable remainder trust'.

We recommend you make an appointment with your legal adviser to help you decide what sort of bequest to choose, and make sure your will is legal and valid.

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How can I join ARC?

ARC’s members are the faithful of the eleven religions - Baha’ism, Buddhism, Christianity, Daoism, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shintoism, Sikhism and Zoroastrianism. To cut down on administration costs we do not have an organised membership of donors, although we do have a number of people who have shown support over the years, and who like to keep in touch with our projects and activities.

If you would like to join their number we would like to invite you to join our emailing list to keep up with ARC’s latest news – which will also be posted on this website. You will receive emails once every one or two months. A donation when you join would be very much appreciated. You can download a form on our contact page.

If you decide to set up a Sacred Land project, then your group could become an associate of Sacred Land – for a minimum donation of £10 although we would suggest at least £50 if you can afford it, to cover our basic administrative costs.

And as you will see in this website, there are many other things you can do to make a difference – including making sure you minimise your own impact on the environment, through conducting an energy audit, recycling, or buying environmentally-certified materials including FSC timber.

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Can I volunteer?

ARC does not have vacancies for volunteers. We are a very small organisation, and in each of the 68 countries where we have projects, our work involves collaborating with local groups, helping them conserve their own environment in line with their existing beliefs and the values of their culture.

It does not often involve sending outsiders, and when the project does require this, then ARC sends paid consultants who are experts in their field whether this is palaeobotany, Buddhist thanka painting restoration, forest management, vernacular architecture or web design.

However there are many excellent organisations – both conservation groups and religious bodies - that do have volunteer programmes or operate eco-tourism projects. And although we cannot vouchsafe for each of them personally, below are a few useful web links. We most strongly recommend you discuss your enthusiasm with members of your own faith community. Many religions now run their own projects, which can enable you to work with them on local, national or international conservation programmes.

Evangelical Environmental Network
Islamic Relief
National Council of Churches USA
Australian Volunteers International

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What if I have no particular religious beliefs, but am interested in helping?

Many people are interested in the worlds of religion and spirituality yet would not wish to be specifically identified with one religion. If you do not actively belong to a faith community there are still many ways to contribute. Indeed ARC itself is a secular organisation, and we have colleagues of all faiths as well as of none. You might not necessarily believe in an all-encompassing God or in a divine purpose, but perhaps you believe that Creation – or the environment – is special and should be looked after. Much of what ARC does might be of interest to you, and – as several secular organisations and businesses have already found – there is something important to be learned from religious wisdom even if you don’t follow the rules the whole way, or agree with everything they say.

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I’ve got a polluted well/overgrown pilgrim path/dilapidated chapel in my neighbourhood. What can I do about it?

You can probably do a great deal! Through our Sacred Land project, ARC has had a great deal of experience dealing with all of these situations. Take a look at a few of our model projects on this website and read our guidelines on how to think in the ARC way. But most of all think adventurously and imaginatively. Think about what you would most love to see happening in your neighbourhood, and work in partnership with other people to help make it actually happen. You might be surprised: you might reach higher than you had ever imagined.

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Related information

What makes a project successful?
The five ways a faith-based conservation project can succeed
Do an energy audit
By working with your community, you can start reducing Climate Change now
How to start a Sacred Land project
What to do if you have found a special place that you want to protect or create.