FAQ

Frequently asked questions about buying a share, joining Follow This with your own shares, and about donating.

Buying a share

What happens when I buy a share through Follow This?

You become co-owner of the energy company of your choice.

With this, you support the mission of Follow This to compel oil and gas companies to stop climate change by putting their brains and billions behind renewable energy. Thanks to your shares, we are able to file and vote on climate target shareholder resolutions and speak on your behalf at the AGM.

Your share will be bought by Follow This and held in the investment account of Follow This on your behalf. However, the share is assigned to you and can be reclaimed (sold) at any time.

We will vote at the shareholder meeting on the Follow This climate resolution on your behalf. 

Do you vote at the AGM on my behalf?

Yes, if you buy a share in Shell through Follow This, we will vote in favour of the Follow This climate resolution.

Why is the price on the website higher than the trading price I can find online?

The price you can find on our website is the opening trading price of today, plus a one time contribution of 5 euros to become a member of the Follow This association. This contribution is used for administrative costs and to keep the organisation running. 

What will my donation be used for?

All donations will be used to directly support the mission of Follow This. Follow This is a small team made up predominantly of volunteers, so the financial support will be used for essential costs (e.g. maintaining the website, communication and financial platforms, wages, travel costs to AGM’s). Every year our expenditures are explained and approved at our annual members meeting, to which all members of Follow This association are invited (if Follow This buys a share on your behalf, you will automatically become a member). 

Why can I only buy one share?

We encourage supporters of Follow This to buy one share, because this makes the biggest impact. As small shareholders in Shell, our influence doesn’t necessarily lie in the percentage of the company we own (that will always remain a small percentage), but in how effectively we are able to organise shareholder support for the company to commit to the Paris agreement. We do this in particular through encouraging large investors to vote for the Follow This climate resolutions. The more shareholders in Shell we represent, the more importance Follow This carries as a discussion partner and the more weight is given to our arguments. 

This means that, in general, we achieve more impact if many people buy one share than if one person buys many shares. 

Can I buy more than one share?

We buy shares in order to work on our mission to stop climate change, not to make a financial profit. Similarly, Follow This should not function as an investment broker for our members, and we are not here to make a profit for our members. 

Furthermore, Follow This makes an impact through the number of supportive shareholders, rather than the number of shares they own, which is why we encourage people enthusiastic about Follow This to buy only one share. 

If you still would like to buy multiple shares, please send an email to [email protected] and we may be able to help you further. The 5 euro contribution will apply to every share you buy. 

Do I receive dividend from my share?

Every year, we receive a small amount of dividend per share (Shell’s dividend in 2019, for example, was around €1.44 per year per share). As this is a small amount, we ask shareholders per email whether they would like this dividend to be transferred to them, or if they would like to donate their dividend to Follow This. We hope that shareholders are willing to donate their dividend, as together, this makes a big difference for us and helps us in our mission. 

When the total amount of dividend is less than 1 euro per person, the dividend can be paid the year after when the total amount over two years is higher than 1 euro (due to the administration overload). In 2020, for example, the dividend was cut across a range of oil majors (e.g. to $0.17 per share at Shell, minus 15% dividend tax), meaning that, because of the large administrative costs, we may not be able to transfer it for 2020.

How can I terminate my membership and what will happen with my share in that case?

You can terminate your membership by sending an email to [email protected] with your request and IBAN number.
Your share will be sold and Follow This will credit the opening share price of the next trading day to your bank account.

Joining with your own shares

What does it mean to join Follow This with my own shares?

If you would like to join Follow This with your own shares in Shell, BP, Total and Equinor to support the mission of Follow This, it works differently than if you were to buy a share through Follow This. 

If you buy a share through Follow This, your share is held in the investment account of Follow This, and we are able to vote on your behalf at the AGM. If you support Follow This with your own shares (held in your own, separate investment account) you can still become a Follow This member. As a Follow This member, your support for Follow This is in the form of being counted in the total number of Follow This shareholders and shares, in your donation, and in your subscription to the newsletter. However, your shares remain on your own account and your dividend remains yours. We are also not able to vote on your behalf at the AGM, and it is not possible to transfer your voting rights to Follow This. 

It may be possible for you to vote for the Follow This resolution(s) independently. The procedure for this varies per country and oil company (see question below). 

Can Follow This vote on my behalf at the shareholders meeting?

No, it is not possible for Follow This to vote on your behalf at the AGM if you are supporting Follow This with your own shares. It is also not possible to transfer your voting rights to Follow This. 

It may still be possible for you to vote for the Follow This resolution independently. The procedure for this varies per country and/or oil company. Dutch shareholders may be able to vote via the ABN corporate broking website: https://corporatebroking.abnamro.com/shareholderlogin 

By following this link you can make a user account, where you are able to give a “voting instruction” for upcoming AGM’s. 

N.B. this does not work for all banks, but it does for many (ABN, ING, etc…). You may have to get in contact with your broker before you are able to vote. 

What if I change the number of shares I own (if I buy more shares or sell them)?

It is useful for us to know how many shares Follow This members own, so we are able to provide an accurate total of the number of shares both on the website and in our public communication, such as speeches at the AGM. If you buy or sell extra shares, you can let us know by sending an email to [email protected], mentioning your new number of shares.

Why do I have to pay 5 euros?

We ask for a contribution of 5 euros to become a member of the Follow This association. This contribution is used for administrative costs and to keep the organisation running.

What will my donation be used for?

All donations will be used to directly support the mission of Follow This. Follow This is a small team made up predominantly of volunteers, so the financial support will be used for essential costs (e.g. maintaining the website, communication and financial platforms, wages, travel costs to AGM’s). Every year our expenditures are explained and approved at our annual members meeting, to which all members of Follow This association are invited (if you join Follow This with your own shares, you will automatically become a member).

Donations

What will my donation be used for?

All donations will be used to directly support the mission of Follow This. Follow This is a small team made up predominantly of volunteers, so the financial support will be used for essential costs (e.g. maintaining the website, communication and financial platforms, wages, travel costs to AGM’s). Every year our expenditures are explained and approved at our annual members meeting, to which all members of Follow This association are invited (if Follow This buys a share on your behalf, you will automatically become a member). 

What does it mean to be a Follow This member?

Through making a donation, you automatically become a Follow This member. As a Follow This member, you are subscribed to the newsletter and invited to our yearly membership meeting. 

Does Follow This has the so-called ANBI status?

Follow This has been designated as an ANBI (Institution for General Purpose) by the tax authorities in the Netherlands. This means that Follow This does not have to pay gift and/or inheritance tax on gifts received. Moreover, gifts to Follow This are tax-deductible.

For more info, see www.belastingdienst.nl/anbi.
Follow This is registered with the tax authorities under fiscal/RSIN number: 854617425.

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