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13 April 2015 – minutes

Facilitating Group meeting

Present: Sophie, Nim, Elena. Yula and Ian fed in beforehand

  1. Survey – where next?

49 members have done the survey now. Hopefully a few more to come in.

For all the questions Sophie will contact the members who disagreed with the majority, let them know the result of the member vote and whether a) they are willing to stand aside or b) whether there is any way we can address their concerns within the current proposals.

Values statement and funding criteria:

Vast majority have agreed with this. One disagreed with both values and criteria: they have been contacted and feel reassured by level of agreement from other members and now fine with it. One other person disagreed with criteria but didn’t say why. Will contact them.

Some people have made grammatical edits, one or two have made more significant changes. Agreed to go ahead with the current wording as this is what people have agreed to. We should look into getting translations done.


Most people agreed with Facilitating Group proposal but some concerns were raised; main points were that there’s no fundraising role, employing 4 people difficult to manage, working one day a week means its hard to make progress and the amount of funds going to staffing.

We agreed to keep it as 6 days a week paid, but to split this between 3 people, 2 days a week each. Also to add fundraising into this. Each post would take on co-ordination role for either communications, fundraising or welcome workings groups (the influencing funders and sharing group seem to be doing ok without needing that extra capacity). This would provide more accountability and support. We did also feel that there were benefits to having 4 staff, as it creates more of a team and they could work better in a co-operative model, but on the whole felt perhaps 3 staff better (as per issues raised). We should try to employ all three at the same time so that they can be inducted at the same time.

Sophie will upload job descriptions and job ad to Google Doc for FG to comment on. We need to add in a blurb about Edge at the top. This will then go out to members. Although there was some concern about putting this out to members for comment again, we felt there should be an opportunity for people to object if they had strong feelings against it. We’ll give context to the decision when sending out to members.

There were some anxieties about the cost of employing workers – we should consider fundraising for salaries if it means that there are more funds to distribute in funding rounds. Rose was looking into this. We did feel that the salaries were fair, despite the couple of objections. It’s not a race to the bottom and it’s important to pay people fairly. £20,000 does seem very low for this type of role which is quite demanding. We’d also hope the new roles will allow us to raise more money by raising our profile. We can try this for one year and then review.

Scoring System:

Majority agreed with having Community Committees and Advisory Groups. The people who disagreed seemed to disagree with the whole concept of having Advisory Groups. Will need to explain more why we have them (re accountability to communities/ protecting community against potentially harmful applications).

Everyone agreed with having meetings to discuss applications. Some people objected to allowing people from funded groups to come to meeting and score applications. We felt this was strange as we used to allow people from funded groups to automatically join the membership and there didn’t seem to be objections to that (which is more risky than just allowing them to score since we don’t need to ask them to do it again if we felt they weren’t on our wavelength). We felt that allowing them to score would give more power to funded groups and increase the number of scorers. Hoping that we can find a way to address concerns of those who disagreed with this proposal.

Only one person objected to marking out of ten rather than the points system and has already been contacted. Much more mixed views about new averaging method and reweighted range voting. Less than half agreed to these, with around 10%-20% disagreeing and 14 people ‘don’t know/ don’t mind”. People still seem uncertain about how these new systems work and how much impact they’ll have. We will ask Sami whether it might be possible to apply the new maths to the last round to see how big an impact it has. How different will the short-list be? Maybe it will help people understand the new systems.

Decision-making outside of meetings:

Majority agreed to stick with what we have until we have a meeting to discuss. One disagreed. A few people disagreed with keeping the members list as an announcement list, perhaps we can encourage them to use edgeinfo list as discussion list if they want?

Longer-term funding:

Whilst there were concerns raised eg about the amount of money this might take out of our funds, some groups ‘capturing’ all the funds, accountability etc, more than 75% of people agreed to it and 12 people have offered to work on the idea. Doesn’t seem possible for the next round, but it seems there’s enough interest to explore it for next time.

Some of the comments raised concerns about power and privilege – these go to the heart of what Edge is about and we do need to be careful not to replicate structures we seek to eliminate. Hopefully concerns raised about long-term funding can be addressed when group gets together to work on this.

New FG members

Several people offered to join: A’Ishah, Habiba, Mick, Linnea (although travelling lots), Patrick, Chris, Suresh, Aderonke and Dan would like more info (but has also been on FG before).

Agreed on A’Ishah, Habiba, Mick and Linnea. Unsure if Aderonke ok to do this now. The others have been on FG before (although Suresh and Dan for short period only, so perhaps ok).

Agreed to draft policy:

  • We will prioritise people for FG who have not been on FG before
  • We need to be accountable to membership about who FG members are and if/ when we’re in a situation where we don’t have enough FG members etc
  • We don’t want same people to keep joining, year on/ year off, and would suggest something like, no more than 18 months over a 5 year period (so people who were only on for short time could join again)
  • FG should have at least one representative of each Community Committee/ Advisory Group

Concerns were raised about loss of skills and knowledge due to many FG members stepping down (as done their 18 months). Some crossover with Ian, Yula and Sophie. Elena has agreed to stay on a bit longer. We need to be more careful in future to ensure crossover.


Update from Sophie


Sophie started new job 1 April. 3 days a week. Will continue doing Edge work and will invoice for hours worked from now until when staff employed, as needed. We felt she should stay on FG for while longer as there’s still a lot of knowledge to be passed on to FG and new staff.


AGM date


We need to submit returns before end of July. Set AGM date of 20 June, in Manchester. We need 10 people for quorum but we can do proxy votes.


Next meeting
Yula can’t do Mondays or Tuesdays now. Sophie can’t do Wednesdays. Suggest first Thursday of the month, although will need to speak to new FG members. Next meeting Thursday 7 May. We will discuss announcement of next round at that meeting. If we want to pay out grants in this financial year we will need to announce a round before July. (July, August – round open, Sept, Oct, Nov – assessment process, Dec – funding day, Dec, Jan – pay out grants).

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