At the beginning of the financial year we were in the process of a review. Edge Fund has grown very quickly and we needed to respond to this by assessing where we were at and what changes were needed. The review consisted of writing a new values statement, devising a new staffing structure as well as making some more minor changes to the application process. You can read about our values on our website
The review process consisted of meetings held in both London and Manchester and then a final survey which 50 members took part in.
Year ending 31 January 2016
Following the review, we adopted a new staffing structure, moving from one co-ordinator working 3 days per week to three regional organisers working 2 days per week in three different regions. In total we received 146 applications, 15 of whom were interviewed by Skype and then 7 in person. The selection process involved our members and was done collectively. The co-ordinator post ended in March and the new staff started in August on a year’s contract.
Our fifth funding round opened in August and we received 244 applications. The final funding day, where applicants and members get together to allocate funds, took place 23 January in London. Grants totalling over £40,000 were agreed. A list of groups funded is on our website.
Outreach and events
We organised fundraising workshops at Spark! Festival (July), Earth First summer gathering and Peace News summer camp (August). At Spark! We also ran a session called My Art is my Weapon: A People’s Art is the Genesis of their freedom. We ran a session on funding and power at the Institute of Fundraising National Convention (July) and ran stalls at both the Bristol and London Anarchist Bookfairs (April and October) and had a small space at Green Gathering (August). We also took part in a fundraising skillshare for New Economics Organisers Network.
We also organised our own events. We continued with our trial of events, named Forum for Radical Sharing, which are designed to bring different groups together to learn from each other. The first was held in Manchester in 2014, we then held one in London (May) and Glasgow (November).
Three groups (Migrant Artists Mutual Aid, Lesbian Immigration Support Group and Action for Trans* Health) that met at the Manchester Forum for Radical Sharing then got together to organise Resilience Festival of Solidarity (July). We worked with them to put on the event which included performances, a raffle and auction.
Our Influencing Funders Group remained our most active working group. We attended events and continued working with other funders to spread the word about participative and democratic funding processes. For example, we ran a session on Flat Philanthropy at NPC Ignites (October), We held a ‘Philanthropy Cafe’ at Understanding Philanthropy conference (June) and, having been nominated for an award, attended the Beacon Awards ceremony (April).
An Edge member attended the Engaged Donors for Global Equity (EDGE) Funders Alliance 2015 Just Giving Conference in Baltimore USA (April) on a panel titled ‘Why Structural Change in Society Will Require Structural Change in Philanthropy’. This also lead to giving a presentation to US foundation Heinz Endowments who later attended our funding day, with the aim of applying the process to their own funding streams. We also attended the EDGE Funders Alliance in France (July).
|Summary of finances – 1 Feb 2015 – 31 Jan 2016|
|Grants paid out||£27,400|