Six more to go!
With just a few more days to go before the end of the year, we’ve nearly reached our target of 50 monthly donors. We only need six more people! Could you, or someone you know, be one of them? All amounts are very welcome and appreciated, as are one-off donations.
Who do we fund?
You can find out about all the groups we’ve given grants to in our first year here:
Groups include Disabled People Against Cuts, Why Refugee Women, Tottenham Rights, Brighton and Hove Unemployed Worker’s Centre, Coal Action Network, Foil Vedanta, Joint Enterprise: Not Guilty by Association, Million Women Rise, Stop G8, 8 April Movement, Black Triangle Campaign, International Federation of Iraqi Refugees, Space Hijackers, Shafted?!, Hands off our Homes, Border Forum, War On Welfare (WOW) Petition and many more…
What might the money be used for?
We support groups that bring people together, build community, campaign for change… Since they don’t provide services, such as food and shelter, their needs are quite simple, they include:
- a place to meet
- a place to run public events, such as fundraisers
- printing of leaflets and posters
- funds for travelling to events and meeting with other groups
- use of phones and internet
Larger organisations take these resources for granted, but when you’re working on the ground, on your own time and using your own money, a few hundred pounds to cover these costs can make a huge difference.
Edge Fund’s running costs are very low. All our members work as volunteers. We have one part-time paid member of staff who works from home. Our costs, other than grants, are: hiring rooms for meetings, covering travel costs for members where needed, co-ordinator part-time salary, providing food at meetings and printing materials.
How do we decide who receives funding?
Edge Fund is member-run, so our 109 members decide together how we operate and who we fund. Most of our members come from the very groups we fund. Everyone has an equal say, regardless of whether they’ve made a financial contribution or not, or how much. We have a decision-making process that aims to be democratic, transparent and accountable. It’s an evolving process which we review after every round.
For each application, the first members to have a say about whether the applicant should be funded are those who share the same community/ identity with the people the applicant aims to help. For example, when we receive applications from groups that are run by migrants or aim to support migrants, our members from migrant backgrounds have the first say. After this, other members also take part, with guidance from those with relevant backgrounds. The process involves giving scores and feedback from home, and then meeting with applicants to make the final decisions (applicants take part in deciding too).
How much have we raised so far?
We’ve raised around £200,000 in our first year, and after this round will have given out £120,000. All our funds have come from individuals, most from a handful of people who kindly gave us enough to get us on our feet. But now we need lots of individuals to commit to giving a small amount every month so that we can be funded in a way that is more inline with our aims to be democratic and grassroots. It’s also more sustainable and allows us to plan ahead. We receive monthly donations ranging from £3 to £150, it all adds up! Larger one-off donations are also welcome.
Why give to Edge Fund?
The majority of the groups we support literally have nowhere else to go for funds. Many are not recognised as being ‘charitable’ as they exist to push for radical social change rather than providing support and services. Many are more informal in structure, as they don’t have the capacity to formally register and keep up with the necessary paperwork (it’s also not a great use of their time). These two factors mean that they can’t apply to the vast majority of foundations. We specifically look for groups that are run on passion, resourcefulness and a determination to bring about justice. Groups of people who are no longer prepared to put up with the status quo. They don’t have teams of paid staff (or any at all in most cases) or access to the resources of larger organisations, but they are independent and therefore free to tell it like it is.
Besides what we fund, Edge Fund in itself creates change by bringing diverse communities together to learn from each other and support each other’s struggles.
Please support grassroots action for real change
Please sign up for monthly donations to Edge Fund. If you’d like to directly support any of the groups we’re previously funded please let us know and we can help organise that. Please also get in touch if you can provide any of the resources listed above or can share skills such as fundraising, legal expertise or communications (PR, media etc). As a new fund, what we need most is more awareness of who we are and what we’re doing, so please do help us spread the word.
We wish all our members, groups and supporters a wonderful break; we’ll need it for 2014 – times are a changing!
**** UPDATE 31 December 2013 ****
We welcome all donations of any sizes and both one-off and regular contributions. The more we raise, the more we can pass on to all the amazing groups who come to us for some financial support. Please give if you can: make a donation here.