Values of change
We try to work in ways that reflect the way we’d like the world to be. Some of the main values we talk about at Edge Fund as being a core part of this vision are: equality, justice, freedom, participation, self-determination, democracy, transparency, accountability, challenging power, solidarity, integrity, risk-taking, learning and evolving. We can understand what they mean to us as a group of people by looking at how we put them into practice, specifically in:
- How we work together
- Our approach to funding
- What else we do (more than funding)
How we work together
- We are run by our members. And we aim to build a membership that is representative of the groups and communities our funding affects.
- Every Edge member has equal voice: There are no members with authority over others, and decision-making power is never based on financial (or other) contribution. We don’t have a board, managers, senior positions or other authority figures. We are all equal and decisions are made together through processes we design together. The only time when a member does have more of a say is when it concerns their own community.
- We make decisions together: We decide who receives funding and design processes together.
- We take time to understand and address power and privilege within Edge: We aim to ensure everyone can take part, including working to overcome barriers to participation such as people’s financial situation, accessibility needs or location. All work is paid at the same rate – with adjustments for need. We give preference to non-privileged voices in paid and other roles.
- We foster a culture of learning: We regularly review what we’ve done and aim to continue evolve.
Our approach to funding
- We fund groups run by the affected people themselves: We respect a community’s right to determine what radical change means for them and how to get it (self-determination).
- We don’t set the agenda: We keep our funding criteria broad, and Advisory Groups have the first say about applications that affect their own community.
- We support groups that show courage in their approach: For example, we support groups taking a stand against prisons or national borders. Some may be openly anarchist or anti-capitalist. This often means we fund new and informal groups, and those that don’t often hear about or hope to get funding opportunities.
- We’re non-restrictive: We don’t restrict how funds are used or require reporting back.
- Our application process is accessible and transparent: We keep the application short and simple, allow people to apply in different ways, and offer support to complete it. We give feedback on unsuccessful applications. Applicants are invited to meet us and take part in the funding decision-making. We hope transparency helps reduce competitiveness.
- We aim for our own funds to be sustainable: We do not accept funds that have come directly from exploitative sources (although we appreciate most funds originate from unethical activities) or that have strings attached. We use ethical banking services. We’ll only announce a funding round if we have £100,000 or more in our account. We aim to raise funds from lots of people and not rely on a few larger donations.
More than funding
- We encourage solidarity: Through our funding meetings and other events we aim to bring groups and individuals together that would not normally cross paths. We also invite them to join us as members. In bringing diverse groups together and celebrating our successes we aim to build stronger, connected movements. We encourage and facilitate learning about each other’s struggles to enable us to stand by and support each other.
- We take risks: We actively try out new and alternative processes, structures and ways of doing things and encourage the same in others.