Annual Review 2018/9

2018 was a year of consolidation and growth for Edge Fund, as we continued our work funding grassroots groups, influencing other funding bodies, and doing much needed internal development. We hit our target of two funding rounds in the year, and continued work on integrating our funding model more closely with the groups we fund, allowing them through inviting the to become members of Edge Fund. It was also a challenging year as we lost a Regional Organiser and were understaffed for four months. Despite this, we welcomed our new RO and some changes to the Facilitating Group as well as the energy of new members.

 

 

Grants:

Funding Round 8:

In February 2018, we held our 8th Funding Day in Stockwell Park Community Centre, London, funding 30 grassroots groups from across the UK - you can read more on the shortlisted groups here: https://www.edgefund.org.uk/round_8_shortlist_announced  

 

We asked some of the funded groups about their experience of Edge Fund and how the funding supported their work:

 

“The funds that we received from Edge Fund went towards our third annual ‘The F Word Feminist Festival’ which took place in August and incorporated the three pillars of what we do and our anti-hierarchical, self-organising approach “ Galway Feminist Collective

 

You can read more testimonials from groups on the following links:

https://www.edgefund.org.uk/galway_feminist_collective_testimonial https://www.edgefund.org.uk/divest_west_midlands 

https://www.edgefund.org.uk/highlands_against_nuclear_transport_edge_fund_testimonial 

https://www.edgefund.org.uk/living_rent_edinburgh  

 


Funding Round 9:

Launched in May 2018, our 9th Funding Round culminated in a funding day held in Manchester,  which was well attended by groups and members. You can read about the 30 groups we funded here: https://www.edgefund.org.uk/previous_grants

We asked some of the funded groups about their experience of Edge Fund and how the funding supported their work:


“On October 27th, 2018, I attended the ninth Edge Fund funding day, in Manchester, on behalf of Sandwell Youth in Action (SYIA). This day was honestly one of the most democratic and consistent modes of fund distributions I’ve ever experienced with activists and community organisers deciding where the money goes – pooling together our diverse expertise, experience and passion because every group is doing such incredible and inspiring work to share a little between a lot.” Sandwell Youth Report

 

You can read more here: 

https://www.edgefund.org.uk/sandwell-youth-report

https://www.edgefund.org.uk/open_lavs_funding_day_testimonial

https://www.edgefund.org.uk/soas_detainee_support_news

 

Fundraising and Influencing Funders:

Fundraising drive and analysis:
In October & November, we analysed the different sources of member donations - Paypal, GoCardless and Stripe as well as standing orders in preparation for a fundraising drive launched in December 2018. While this resulted in increased donations, the need for increased fundraising is still an ongoing concern for all at Edge Fund. 

 

We also held a fundraising drive from Feb to March, producing a video: https://vimeo.com/231187711, and recruiting 75 new donors, raising over £4000 in those months.

Influencing Funders

The Influencing Funders group has been lobbying and campaigning other funders to change their practices to mirror our unique model of participatory grant giving. You can read a report an indepth report on their work here.

"Edge Fund’s work inspired a group of activists and funders from across Europe to consider creating a similar initiative. They asked us to present Edge Fund’s approach, and we then supported them to design and launch FundAction, a participatory fund and platform for activism in Europe. Since it’s launch in November 2017, FundAction’s processes, many of which are modelled on Edge Fund’s processes, have funded groups such as Mwasi Afrofeminist Collectif in France, the Magacin social space in Serbia, and a Polish Climate Camp. FundAction was also one of the first supporters of FemFund, Poland’s first feminist fund - Members of Edge Fund, FemFund and FundAction continue to work together to build transnational connections." Excerpt from Influencing Funders Report

Natasha also took part in an ongoing with consultation with Resource Movement UK, who are focusing on young people in the UK with wealth and/or class privilege who are working towards the equitable distribution of wealth, land and power in society. 

Outreach and Events:

Along with our AGM and face to face Facilitation Group meetings we attended a number of conferences and community gatherings to discuss Edge Fund’s work and meet with other groups:

 

Attending the Ariadne European Human Rights Funders Network Conference:

In March 2018, Patrick (Edge Fund treasurer) attended the Ariadne policy review conference in Paris, France. Ariadne is the European Human Rights Funders Network & along with Fund Action, we held a participatory grantmaking workshop as part of our work influencing other funders to adopt a more participatory grant making model.

 

Civil Society Futures

We input into the Future of Civil Society Report and Isis attended subsequent events.

 

Euclid led Peer Exchange Programme in Poland

Natasha presented at this weekend of exhanges with women’s rights and Feminist organisations, which included fellow participatory grant funders the Frida Fund and FemFund. Some really timely conversations were had against the backdrop of protests in Poland demanding abortion rights.

 

Northern Festival of Resisting Borders and Prisons

Natasha attended this event led by funded groups Empty Cages Collective, Manchester No Prisons, Smash IPP, & Unis Resist Border Controls on the urgency of not only discussing and pushing against border regimes and the hostile environment policy, but also fighting prison injustice.

 

We were mentioned in an article in the Financial Times as an organisation with a solution to the lack of diversity and inclusion on charity boards.

 

“Another solution is to bring in a “re-granting” organisation that involves the people it aims to help in its funding decisions. One example is the Edge Fund.” Financial Times Online

Staff, Membership and the Facilitating Group:

Jon Black, Regional Organiser (North England, Scotland and Ireland) left the organisation. We are thankful for his exceptional input to Edge Fund, particularly setting up new administration processes and developing our website, as well as his community organising skills particularly with his work with groups based in Scotland.

 

In order to build the capacity of the organisation, Natasha Nkonde’s hours were extended to ensure the organisation could deliver Round 9 and prepare to recruit a new person.


In September 2018, we welcomed Andrew Nesbitt, based in Manchester in the role of Regional Organiser and Administrator (North England, Scotland and Ireland).

We continue to work to improve our HR policies to reflect a supportive working environment, particularly in recognising the challenges of activist based, remote working. For more information on this you can request to read our ‘How we Work Together’ document.

 

Membership:

We continue to have a healthy membership. Constantly revising ways we work to ensure membership participation. New changes including faster responses to membership requests from the Facilitating Group. Read more on our Extraordinary General Meeting to change membership rules.

Other Work:

GDPR:

We updated a number of our internal communications processes to comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations - you can read more here: https://www.edgefund.org.uk/privacy_policy

 

AGM in Glasgow:

We held our annual general meeting in Glasgow in June, reviewing the previous year, and discussing membership involvement, long term funding for groups, and widening membership to include previously funded groups. 

 

We reviewed membership of the Edge Fund board, with Isis Amlak continuing in her role as Chair, Patrick Boase being appointed to the role of Treasurer (there had previously been no official appointment for this role) and Louise Foreman being appointed to the role of Secretary (Sophie Pritchard had stepped down from this role earlier in the year). Thanks to Sophie for her work in this role and with Edge Fund to date.


Extraordinary general meeting:

In November, we held a meeting to change our rules to allow previously funded groups to become members of Edge Fund - moving us closer to the groups and organisations we fund, and embedding them in the decision making process of Edge.

Fundraising Toolkit:

Our Southern Organiser and Comms officer, Natasha, began work on a fundraising toolkit for grassroots groups. This was reviewed at our October funding day, with hopes of publishing this in 2019.

Online membership applications and NationBuilder:

As part of our ongoing work to better understand our membership, donors, supporters and groups we fund, we imported all members and supporters data into our Nationbuilder database as well as moving our member application form onto our website. This enabled us to perform a survey of our membership in January, giving us a better understanding of how our members want to be involved in Edge, from scoring applications to being part of the Facilitating Group which keeps Edge running. We had an encouraging response from our members, resulting in the Facilitating Group welcoming Aderonke, from African Rainbow Family - a group Edge Fund has supported a number of times, onto the Facilitating Group.

Round 10 Launched:

We planned the launch of our tenth funding round, with deadline for applications 24th Feb 2019 and the funding day itself in Liverpool in June 2019.


You can find a PDF of the annual accounts here.


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