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22 October 2013 – FG minutes


The plan was for the Working Groups to recruit more members and nominate someone from their group to join the Facilitating Group. Members of the FG have been chasing them up but the progress has been slow. However, the Fundraising Group and Sharing Group now have meetings planned and the Welcome Group ran a stall recently, so they are starting to become more active. The Communications Group is taking a little longer to get going. None of them have attempted to recruit new members yet. This is not unexpected as it often takes a while to establish new groups.

The final meeting of Round 3 is scheduled for Saturday 11 January. As discussed at the last FG meeting, we need to take a break for a few months after this round to properly address and follow up on the ideas and concerns that have come up throughout our first year (we launched Dec 2012).

As per Round 1 and 2, we’ll have a Review meeting a month after the end of Round 3, which will be mid-February. This meeting will be for Working Groups to present their plans, terms of reference etc to be agreed by the members. We will need another meeting after this, possibly a weekend meeting/ retreat (for which we potentially have a place in Dorset we could use) but we’ll have to see nearer the time if there is interest in this idea.

Between then and now, Working Groups should be meeting to prepare for February but they can also use their initiative and plan small projects, so long as it’s not in any way contentious. If WGs need funds to e.g. print leaflets, run a stall, hire a space, they can request funds of up to £100 from the FG to do this. If they would like to do anything before February requiring more funds, or which might be contentious, they can propose this to the members for a vote, via the Facilitating Group. We’d expect WGs to let the FG know of any plans and report back.

We’ve been having a discussion about the lack of people in the membership from the Gypsy, Traveller, Roma community. A member has offered to organise for a group of GTR community leaders to meet to review applications but feels that a payment should be offered. In the past we have agreed that people should not be out of pocket through being an active Edge member, and that we would compensate an organisation if having someone from their group take part in Edge affected them financially. We have also discussed that we may need to pay people for their time if it would not be possible for them to participate otherwise, although this has not yet come up.

Whilst we feel it is important to get members of the GTR community involved, there are some issues around payment:

  • How would other members feel about this given that they give their time for free?
  • Offering payment/ incentives can change the way people feel about something, it becomes a transaction instead of an act of goodwill or personal importance.
  • It would not be correct or transparent for the Facilitating Group to decide that payment should be given in this case without wider agreement from members/ an agreed policy.

We agreed that we would ask some other members with connections to the GTR community if they know of anyone who might want to join as a member or look at applications on this one occasion, without payment (except covering costs). We also need to find out if there are any particular reasons why we don’t have many GTR members and what can we do to enable them to take part. We’ll need to work out some guidelines on when we should offer payment in future.

As a separate point, there is also a risk that we may be inadvertently supporting/ engaging with only a particular part of the GTR community and we need to be careful not to favour some groups over others.

We had a long discussion at the Round 1 review meeting about being inclusive. Notes and action that needs to be taken resulting from this are on our website: Unfortunately, although we’ve made some changes, we’ve dropped the ball on this a bit. We need to ask members to give us information about what they need to be able to participate and at the same time can gather information to enable us to monitor the make-up of the membership better. We have a survey set up to send members, but realistically it is probably better to wait until after this round and start the conversation in person at the February meeting, sending the online survey as follow up.

We have a small admin team looking over applications to make sure clear and complete. Previous Advisory Group members and people who joined in response to the Advisory Group call out will be contacted, ready for scoring applications 28 October. Everything going to plan so far. FG all ok with the Guide to Scoring applications. Sami may be making some changes to the scoring spreadsheet?

Some concerns have been raised about three of the new proposed members. There’s a lack of clarity about criteria for new members. On the one hand, we want people to join who share our values and radical thinking, but on the other, we don’t want to become an exclusive club, turning lots of people away. Therefore, we felt it best not to admit any new members until this is clearer, since the make-up of the membership has such a huge impact on the direction of Edge and what we fund. We will let the 8 people who have asked to join know that we’ll look at their requests after this round.

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