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7 May 2015 – minutes

7 May 2015 Facilitating Group meeting

Present: Kwesi, Habiba, Linnea, Rose and Sophie

7 May Facilitating Group meeting
7-8.30pm via Skype/phone

1. Staffing

Everyone was happy with this, with a few amendments:

  1. In the personal details form we add a section for skills relevant to the job description not related to education or paid work, for those whose relevant skills have come more from voluntary, unpaid work (make the question similar to Q4 in the application form but more specific)
  2. We should put a space under the section about ideas for the recruitment process (they might forget to do it otherwise)
  3. We add that we aim to let applicants know between 2 – 4 weeks after the deadline if they’ve been short-listed
  4. We should provide a one page summary on Edge (on website and as PDF) to include values, groups funded and structure (eg working groups)
  5. We should use the opportunity to recruit new members (being specific that we are looking for active members who can contribute to Edge and who are currently under-represented and that we’d like them to score applications as a priority but they could also take part in fundraising etc if they wanted)

We also talked about the fact that staff would work with Working Groups, which also provides extra support and accountability as well as encouraging members to take part. They would join Facilitating Group calls and Sophie would support, especially in initial period. The jobs will be advertised widely.

2. Results of the survey

We discussed the two new amendments to the proposals:

  1. Scoring system, point 4 (p7) People from funded groups can come to meeting to discuss applications and score afterwards – two more things added: they must sign confidentiality agreement and we allow them to join the Community Committee or Advisory Group.
  2. Long-term funding (p12) – if long-term funding is to help with financial sustainability we should ensure that the groups are in a better position after the 3 years by organising fundraising skills shares etc.

We agreed that people should sign the confidentiality agreement, but felt that they shouldn’t be able to join Community Committees or Advisory Groups as we can’t be sure they share our values or really understand our aims. However, they could choose to score eg migrant applications if they are migrants, which would help us ensure applications affecting migrants are scored by a good number of migrants.

However, this is just a short-term fix for this round, we need to address the reasons why some communities are under-represented in Edge and make the necessary changes. It could become a specific piece of work to find out the barriers to engaging eg migrants and recruiting them as members. Staff could do this with members (Habiba would be interested in doing so).

Everyone agreed with helping groups with long-term financial sustainability although we noted that some groups purposefully only run for 3 or 4 years and therefore perhaps we can help people to move on to new projects.

We could offer groups funding at intervals rather than giving them the funding for 3 years in one go. We should try to support the groups in as many ways as we can, particularly as we have members who are legal experts, fundraisers, accountants etc. We could also use the database of applicants that the Influencing Funders group are working on to help connect groups. They could have access to it to look up groups they’re interested in working with.

3. Proposed next step email to members

We amended the middle part of the email to members as follows:

  1. We start advertising the new staff posts 15 May with an application deadline of 15 June. We would aim to short-list applications within 2 – 4 weeks depending on how many we receive and how many members help with the process. Ideally staff would start around 17 August;
  2. We announce a normal £40,000 round on 22 July with an application deadline of 21 September (hopefully giving staff time to do outreach work before the deadline). This would mean the final funding day for Round 5 would be 19 December.

We were unsure about how long the process might take so wanted to allow more flexibility. We also need to ask members to come forward to help with the recruitment process.

4. Event around the AGM (it’s in Manchester this time (20 June)

The next AGM is in Manchester, 20 June. We’d like to arrange an event around the AGM to make the most of us being there. The group who attended the Forum for Radical Sharing in Manchester had an idea about a fundraising ball. We agreed to contact the groups to see if they are still interested and if we can help organise it. We could potentially get a good deal on a room rate.

5. Resolutions to pass at the AGM

Saved for next time.

6. Next call

Next call Wednesday 3 June at 7pm. Kwesi will suggest a good location in central London for London members to meet for the call.

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