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9 September 2014 – minutes

Fundraising Group minutes
Present (via Skype): Cath, Patrick, Joe, Sophie
9 September 3-4.30pm

Recap of last meeting: looking over budgets for funding applications (particularly getting funding for discreet projects like Radical Sharing Forum), meeting with Esmee Fairbairn (didn’t get funding in the end) and getting more ‘pledgers’.

Fundraising off-line
At the moment, almost all our fundraising efforts are online, asking members to make regular contributions. We need to get out in the real world! Some thoughts:

  • Difficulty asking members to help us raise funds as they are also trying to raise funds for their own groups
  • Members can give out leaflets etc at events they go to, can have both their Edge and own organisation’s hat on
  • We could take part in demonstrations with an Edge banner (to talk to Comms group about)
  • We could hold our own fundraising event. Some models worth looking at: Detroit Soup, where people pay £5 for soup, then vote for projects that have presented, most popular one gets the soup money; Funding Network, groups present and people give on the night.

Thoughts about the event include: having groups we’ve funded being represented in some way, perhaps through poetry/ spoken word, music, auction, networking opportunities. Perhaps an informal, relaxed setting where people can talk. Only a few performers. Probably London makes sense.

Christmas seems like a good time but there’s a lot of competition around that time.
In the New Year could be good, tie it in with Resolutions, asking people to think about who they give their money to etc. We could perhaps do some media around that. Since people are often short of money after Christmas, we could try to get people to sign up to Standing Orders instead.

  • Cath and Joe have volunteered to help get this going but need more help.

Moving money away from NGOs to the grassroots
Can we do a flier that compares the incomes of e.g. Greenpeace, with Edge? There are lots of stories about big NGOs and the problems with them. Grassroots more effective, more on the ground knowledge. Alongside the fundraising event we could work on getting the message out about NGOs and challenging people to think about where their money goes and what kind of change it could make if given to grassroots.

How controversial do we want to be? We could really rattle the cages of the big groups! Most people on the call seemed up for this, could help raise awareness of Edge as well as highlighting issues in the charity sector.

[One idea that came up after the meeting was that we could do something similar to the Move Your Money campaign, which is about switching bank accounts. Perhaps ‘Move Your Donation’ and asking people to tweet ‘I’m #movingmydonation from @Amnesty to @theedgefund/ another grassroots group’.]

Targeting NGO workers for funds
Can we find out if we can hold stalls or give talks to NGO workers? Perhaps they are more likely to give than most? We should send out a message to members to see if any work for larger groups and could perhaps get us in somehow. Maybe NGOs themselves would like to give to grassroots groups and Edge could facilitate this?

  • Sophie has already spoken to some NGOs about supporting grassroots groups (meeting space, printers, skills etc) so will follow up on this. Will also check in with New Economic Foundation and Compass about their movement review, which covered this topic.
  • Cath will draft email that can be sent to other NGOs.

Applying to foundations
Agreed this is not a priority for now. Have meetings coming up with Lankelly Chase, Young Foundation and Forward Foundation, mostly about collaborating but maybe some funding in it somewhere along the line. Will see how it develops.

Crowdfund
Could we run a crowd fund on GoFundMe or similar to raise more funds for this round? Set a target of £20,000, maybe see if we can find a donor to match it. This could be a good way of getting people to spread the word about the appeal since more money means we can fund more groups – so hopefully all the applicant groups will share amongst their networks. We didn’t feel we’d need to run this past members, couldn’t see what the objections might be.

  • Sophie will write something for the appeal page.

Media stories re inheritors
We have received some donations from people who have inherited money from sources they are uncomfortable about and therefore want to give to us. Media seem quite interested in this kind of story. Patrick has journalist contacts who may be interested. Is there a conflict with our values on this? Person would have to be anonymous (likely would prefer that anyway). We’d also want to make sure that donors didn’t feel they’d have to publish their story, it’s up to them if they want to. Need to be careful that their identity could be revealed through the story even if using different name, but being too vague means not interesting story. The other alternative for getting media coverage is through stories of members and groups, but is that a bit exploitative to raise funds through telling stories of suffering?

  • Sophie will ask some donors about this.

Future meetings
Agreed to continue with Skype calls for now. Next one Saturday 11 October. (Patrick can’t make it).

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