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28 August 2014 – minutes

28 August 2014

Facilitating Group call

Present: Elena, Ian, Sophie.

1. Accounts

The final accounts have finally been finished and signed and in the post to the FCA (has to be with them by Sunday). We said in Leicester that 10 members should sign it off but we ran out of time. These accounts are only for the FCA though and we can write our own for members/ supporters to include who we’ve funded and some of our successes etc.

2. AGM

According to our official Rules, we should have signed off the accounts at an AGM. There are other things we also need to do during the AGM (like elect/ reelect board members, change Rules around whether our accounts need to be audited, officially appoint accountants).

As we have the introduction to Edge session in London 20 September 2-5, we propose having the AGM at 12-1 just to do this official stuff.

We also felt that it would be good for the Facilitating Group to get together in person to get to know each other better and work out some proposals around new members etc. Perhaps if people are available we could meet 11-12 on the 20th, before the other meetings?

3. New member requests

One person who applied to become a member, suggested some questions we could ask people, 2 of which we really liked as we felt there were less vague than the others we came up with before, although we may amend the wording slightly:

  • What is the most radical campaign you are actively involved in? (but add something so it doesn’t exclude people who aren’t active at the moment – what radical campaigns have you done in the past, what would you like to be involved in) (SP: is ‘campaign’ the right word?)
  • Describe one new contribution you could bring to Edge Fund’s current radical work? (give examples such as, can you speak as a member of a particular community, to make clear we don’t just value skills but also perspectives and lived experience).

In light of the number of membership applications we receive from people from privileged and professional backgrounds we also talked about a third question to get a feel for how they would get on in an organisation with a flat structure, where we try to listen to and support people with lived experience of the issues we’re trying to address – rather than the potentially very hierarchical structures they might be used to which favour privilege and qualifications etc. We want to get a feel for whether people are prepared to stand back and support others and agree with the general values of everyone being equal and people affected by issues being at the forefront of developing solutions to those issues. Also want to acknowledge that we strive to give everyone equal say but there are always informal hierarchies to be wary of and we’re working on it ourselves.

Elena has offered to work on the wording for these three questions.

We were also quite keen on the scoring exercise (simpler version attached), particularly as the multiple choice option needs lots more work, but were worried about asking people to do too much. So we’re suggesting that we explain to people that we’re trying to work out what’s going to work best and we’re not too sure about it and would like to ask for their help. We give them the option of answering the questions or doing the scoring, or both if they have the time. They can also ask to do this on the phone or at the 20 September meeting (perhaps come early!). This is only for people who have been flagged by members.

Since currently the agreement is that the FG can ask member applicants for more info and make the final decision, we feel we have authority to get on and do this now but would then like to make a more formal proposal to the members for the future. We can use this as a test to see what works.

We’re hoping that with this extra info it will be much clearer if people share our values or not. But we still have to make some decisions about who can join… (SP: perhaps we need to think about asking AG members, as suggested before).

4. Schedule regular FG calls

We wondered whether FG calls every 3 weeks might be better, to keep things moving along. At the moment we have calls scheduled for Sept, Oct and Nov. Next call is 28 September but need one before 20 Sept meeting. So suggest next one Wednesday 10 September 1pm.

We didn’t get to:

  1. Co-ordinator role
  2. Thoughts on paying members for jobs – clearer criteria?
  3. Update on Working Groups, power and privilege session, funding applications etc
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