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8 May 2013 – minutes

Facilitating Group meeting – review meeting follow up

Funding criteria for religious groups

We have not yet agreed on the criteria for religious groups. The most recent suggestion is:

We will not support groups whose primary purpose is to promote their religion, however we will not discriminate against groups or individuals for whom religion is important.

We would like to ask that a small group of members come together to work on this and propose wording for the membership to agree at the next meeting.

Funding in Ireland

Currently we only fund UK groups working on UK issues. We propose expanding this to include all of Ireland:

Edge Fund is committed to working internationally in future. For the first year we only have resources to fund work nearer to home. Our first grants were restricted to the UK but we are now open to applications from Scotland, Wales, all of Ireland and England.

Barriers to participating in Edge

We aim to be a diverse and inclusive organisation and have started looking more closely at what we need to do to achieve this. We have begun to identify the barriers and how we can overcome them: https://edgefund.org.uk/get-involved/barriers/

Small grants

In round 1 some groups received grants of £1,000 or less and we felt the time they had to spend applying for the funds was not proportionate to the funds they received. In round 2 we have many more applications requesting small grants. It doesn’t seem fair to ask groups to provide more information for grants less than £1,000. For Round 2, we propose short-listing the top 25 or so applications and giving grants of £1,000 or less to around half. The groups receiving the small grants will be those who have asked for small grants and those in the bottom half of the top 25. As last time, the groups in the bottom half will receive grants of £1,000, £750 or £500 depending on their rating.

This will also mean the groups requesting smaller amounts get a decision much faster (less than 6 weeks). The Advisory Group will look over the short-list and if necessary make contact with the groups before agreeing the small grants.

Full applications

We propose making the first and second stage questions better integrated and that we ask fewer questions. We will send the original application back to the applicant and add in an additional 5 questions for them to answer, we’ll ask for any clarifications needed for the original 5 questions*:

  1. * Who are you? (especially in relation to the issue you’re working on e.g. if you are a group working on gender equality, are you a group of women, men or a mixed group?)
  2. How are those most affected by the issue you’re working on involved in your work?
  3. Who makes decisions about your work and finances, and how do they do that? What checks do you have in place to ensure funds are spent as they should be?
  4. * What do you do?
  5. * How do you fit our guidelines?
  6. Do you reach a wide range of people in your work? If so, how?
  7. Do you collaborate with other groups? If so, which?
  8. * What is your group’s annual income from donations, grants, trading etc?
  9. What are your existing sources of funding and how much money do you currently have? Have you been turned down by other funders?
  10. * Briefly, how much do you need and what might this be spent on?

Applicants at the last meeting said they wanted to know more about the other groups before the meeting, we also spent a long time rating applications and calculating grants according to the rating. There was also a problem that some groups could not attend the day and therefore only received member scores (rather than applicants too). We propose that for Round 2 the full applications are shared with both members and the final applicants before the meeting to ensure everyone at the meeting has the same information. The scores will be translated into a percentage of the amount the group requested and these results will then be discussed and grants agreed at the meeting.

Timeline

The timeline has been revised since the last meeting. It may change slightly but we hope the final meeting will not change.

Members short-list applications: 13-27 May.
Advisory Group look over short-list to ensure balanced, no concerns etc: 28 May – 3 June
Top 15 groups are asked for further information (with assistance where requested): 3-17 June.
Advisory Group look over information submitted, raise any concerns etc: 17-23 June.
Full applications sent to final applicants and members for final rating and comments: 24 June – 13 July.
Final meeting to agree grants: 20 July.

Member roles

We have written some descriptions of the roles within Edge Fund and the approximate time commitments of each to help people decide if Edge membership is right for them. They are on our website here: https://edgefund.org.uk/get-involved/become-a-member/member-roles/

We need new Facilitating Group members! Details about the role are below:

The Facilitating Group (FG) take some pressure off members by doing admin work behind the scenes, such as preparing proposals for meetings. During the first round they played a major role in proposing ways that members could make decisions about funding and writing values statements etc for review. The FG give support to the co-ordinator, perhaps by looking over articles and leaflet text, or helping to organise meetings such as finding suitable venues and reviewing agendas. Other things might come up, like opportunities to attend or speak at events or issues relating to donations and banking, which the co-ordinator will often consult the FG about. They also review comments from members about new member requests and make the final decisions on new members. All decisions made by the FG will be minuted and can be reviewed by members.

It is hard to estimate how much time this might take as it varies from time to time and the role is still very new, but it should take no longer than 2 or 3 days a month depending on how much time people have available.

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