We recognise that most people who want, and should, be involved in Edge Fund often have other commitments so we don’t want to make demands on people’s time that will stop them taking part. You don’t need to take part in every round or every part of the process. The only thing we ask is that you let us know how much you might be able to do so we can make arrangements if we need to.
We don’t have a board or committee who make decisions about how Edge Fund is run or who receives funding; all our members are our decision-makers. During member meetings we decide together about any changes in the way that we work as an organisation. We collectively decide how ours funds should be distributed. This includes rating applications by email or post and attending a final meeting where funds are given out. Decision-making for a round lasts around 2 months, with a review meeting a month afterwards. The time commitment of members could be around 2 days over this period, comprising time spent reading applications and one or two meetings. There is a lot of flexibility for members, for example, whilst we would like members to come to the final meeting and review meeting, this is not mandatory. Also, if members only have time to look at a small number of applications that’s fine. So, members tell us how much time they’d like to contribute and we work around that.
Once you’ve become a member, there are several other activities you might want to get involved in:
Community Committees and Advisory Groups
Our Community Committees are first to see and score the applications relating to their own community/ identity and give advice to the membership from their perspective and experience of working in the field. They keep an eye on the process to help ensure it is as fair as possible and may also be asked for their help to reach out to communities and networks, for example, advising on wording of leaflets or being a contact point.
Similarly, the Advisory Groups are the first to see and score applications relating to issues they are actively involved in. The Advisory Groups are based on issues rather than being specific to communities. At the moment we have an environment group and a political and economic systems group.
The time commitment for a Community Committee or Advisory Group member might be around 4-6 days over the 3 months (the time it takes for a round, including the review meeting). However, we are always flexible, especially if people can tell us in advance if they feel unable to do the work at certain times.
The Facilitating Group (FG) take some pressure off members by doing admin work behind the scenes, such as preparing agendas and proposals for meetings. 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. 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.
All things to do with raising money for Edge!
All types of communication, including social media, leaflets, articles, video, press releases etc.
Building of Edge Fund community. How we can share skills and resources within the membership to ensure we offer more than just small amounts of money to a few groups? This might also include some work to make it clear who we support and how.
Recruiting members and welcoming new members, ensuring they have all the information and contacts they need etc.
Working with other funds to encourage and support more democratic, accountable and transparent processes.