Ethical partnership policy

Brake’s ethical partnership policy

Last reviewed September 2022

Next review September 2024


Brake is a road safety charity working with communities and organisations globally to stop the tragedy of road deaths and injuries, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and to support people bereaved and seriously injured on roads.

Brake’s vision is everyone moves in a safe and healthy way, as part of our normal day.

Safe and healthy mobility is everyone’s human right wherever we are; in cities, towns, villages or moving between places.

On short journeys, it is normal, safe and healthy to travel in active ways, such as walking and cycling.

On longer journeys, it is normal, safe and healthy to use transport we share with others and get to this transport actively, by walking or cycling.

Vehicles serve our needs and don’t get in our way or poison the air we breathe. A death or serious injury on roads is a rare and unusual event.


We actively seek opportunities to work together with external organisations to achieve shared objectives. However, it is vital that we maintain our independence and do not allow external partnerships to bring the name of Brake into disrepute. Brake therefore seeks:

This policy has been devised to ensure clarity and openness to all our stakeholders.

The definition of partnership that we use in this policy is broadly that we may work in one or more ways as follows with an organisation:


Partnerships will actively be sought that complement Brake’s Vision, this includes but is not limited to:

Partnerships will be avoided where:


Brake will not accept more than 75% of its total income per annum from corporations, so as not to compromise our integrity. This does not include money raised via employee and customer fundraising as part of any corporate partnership arrangements.

A process of due diligence must be followed before approval is given for a partnership, to ensure it meets this ethical partnership policy. We must ask the questions:

Is the organisation?

  1. Involved in the production of alcohol or tobacco, or track racing or some other activity that is opposed to our goals or potentially offensive to the feelings of road victims or road victim care?
  2. Actively not concerned to prioritise road risk management through the course of their work?
  3. Distinctly associated in the public eye with activity not in line with our goals or ethics?
  4. Under criminal investigation or convicted of criminality?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions we will reserve the right not to proceed with partnership.

Contracts with partners must permit Brake to withdraw from any partnership where new developments mean that areas of this ethical sponsorship policy become breached. This approach will be written into contracts.


From time to time we will receive unsolicited requests to give to us from companies that are legally operating but whose work contravenes point 1 above in section 4.

In the interests of furtherance of our charitable work through funding, we will explain that we may not enter into partnerships with them, but that we may still accept their unsolicited giving to Brake under these circumstances:

  1. They are operating legally
  2. They can evidence to us, through provision of information, that they are demonstrably doing something positive for road safety as well as giving to the charity (for example, a motoring circuit that educates users about driving below speed limits, or an alcohol company that tells drivers to not drink and drive). We will reserve the right to return a donation for any reason, such as if positive efforts for road safety cannot be evidenced or we decide we don’t accept enough is being done or if we decide that their day to day work is so opposed to our work that we cannot accept their funding.
  3. The amount is less than 10% of our anticipated income
  4. They will not be given any partnership support for their giving (either in Brake time or branding or anything else) and they are clear we cannot provide this. We will also continue to accept anonymous donations.


Brake will communicate its commitment to this policy to the organisation's stakeholders. A copy of this policy will be displayed on our website.

A full list of our commercial partners will be maintained on our website.

A full list of funders who give more than £20,000 in any given year will be available on request. Brake cannot be expected to undertake investigations of companies, as this is outside our resource and remit. Therefore, to a reasonable degree, our decisions will be made on the information before us and good faith.