On Saturday, 18th of January, we held our 11th Funding Day in a sunny and very cold Bristol.
We had participants come from across the UK, with a few people coming all the way from Scotland. The day started with a short introduction to Edge Fund, and an explanation of what the funding day was for. We explained the shortlisting process, and highlighted how it wouldn’t be possible without our members… There were definitely still a lot of questions in the room, but we’re hoping that most of those got asked and/or answered throughout the day!
We then continued to introductions, so the room could get to know each other a bit better.
Everyone had two minutes to introduce themselves and their group - with around 40 people attending, this took a while, but it was great to learn about everyone and their work. After the introductions, we had a quick break, and moved on to the “market-place.”
In this, we split the room in two, with some groups sitting in stalls, and other groups wandering around. People got to know each other and their work, and after a delicious lunch cooked by Edge members, the roles were reversed and the people in stalls got a chance to walk around and meet the other groups. On this, Protest Justice said:
“Networking with others was a crucial part of the day, hearing campaign stories and learning from their experiences. Questions, conversations, ideas - all flowed. Connections made and plans formed; a good day. Meeting so many diverse groups was an absolute pleasure and it quickly became apparent that, whilst campaigns focussed on the homeless, LGBTQ+ and immigrant groups, travellers, social care, anti-fracking and the environment - the one thing we all had in common was the prejudice and injustice that we face.”
After one last break, we explained the voting process, gave out the chickpeas, and started voting! The process had to be done twice as in the first round, one group was unrepresented and thus, unable to get votes. We then announced the results, and the day was over!
The Fossett’s for the People Campaign said:
“The Fossett's for the People Campaign Community group is a relatively new endeavour, as we try to mobilise the local community in fighting for the development of council housing and key worker homes on public land sold off to the government housing accelerator, Homes England. We really didn't know what to expect when coming for the funding day in Bristol and were quite nervous.
However, we were warmly welcomed, valued and fed, which was great. We were very humbled by the fantastic work done by some of our colleagues on the day and learned about all of the projects and campaigns, making some valuable contacts and gaining some fantastic information. Thank you to everyone who took part, particularly those who shared their experiences with us, directed us to resources and signed our petition!”
We’d like to end this post with an acknowledgement that the day was not perfect, and that we received a few comments on how to make the agenda and voting process better. Please rest assured that we are working on these, and are very grateful to those that were honest with us and gave suggestions on how to improve the funding day.
A massive thanks to everyone that came, participated, facilitated, and cooked - we couldn’t have done it without you.
Edge Fund 2019
In January 2019, we announced our 10th Funding Round, supporting groups to apply to it with application workshops held in Glasgow and London in February. In March we welcomed long time Edge Fund member Aderonke to the Facilitating Group, the group of volunteers who manage the running of Edge Fund. You can read more about our Facilitating group here and email us at email@example.com if you’d like to take part.
Following the work of our Influencing Funders group, we received a grant from Lankelly Chase, so that they could learn more about participatory grant making, shadow and support us in our model of participatory, member-led funding. This grant allowed us to run a funding round, 3 sharing forums and a workshop on fundraising for grassroots groups.
On Saturday 1st June, we held our Round 10 funding day in Liverpool, giving out grants to 30 grassroots groups in the UK & Ireland. You can read more about the day here and here and the amazing groups we funded here.
Groups at our tenth funding round in Liverpool
In July, 27th, we held our Annual General Meeting in London. You can read our annual report for 18/19 here. Members from across the country heard reports about the work our staff members and Facilitating Group had been doing over the past year, and discussed Edge Fund’s work. The following day Edge Fund staff members and Facilitating Group held a training session with Hum, an organisation which encourages decentralised and non-hierarchical decision making. This training was focused on how we can ensure that our decision-making best reflects the values we hold, and how we can improve members participation in Edge Fund.
In August, with the help of a grant from Lankelly Chase, we opened our 11th funding round with over 150 groups applying for funds. Rakesh, a new member of Edge Fund joined the Facilitating Group. In September Natasha, a long time Edge Fund member and Southern Regional Organiser left Edge for pastures new. After interviewing a number of great applicants, we hired our new Southern Regional Organiser - Melissa Cespedes del Sur. Melissa is based in London and has a background in anti-racist and feminist organising, and is currently busy getting stuck-in with everything Edge Fund related.
This year, we brought back the Radical Sharing Forums, a space for activist and grassroots groups to connect, share, and possibly collaborate. We held one in Glasgow on October 12th, alongside Tripod, a facilitating and training collective based in Scotland. We have plans to host more of these in the North and South of England. You can read more about our Glasgow Sharing Forum here!
Members at Glasgow Sharing Forum
In November we announced our shortlist for Round 11. The groups we’ll be funding can be found here. Our 11th funding round will take place in Bristol, on the 18th January. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to attend. One of our facilitating group members, Isis, took part in the Global Engagement Lab run by the Edge Funders Alliance Europe. She attended the first retreat in Montreal in November. GEL is a six-month international learning, organizing and community-building cohort for funders.
To maintain our work, we rely on our members and donors giving their time and money to help us, so thank you. Please do stay in touch and remember to tell friends, family and people in your network about us and follow us on Twitter - @theedgefund.
From all of us at Edge Fund, we're sending good wishes to you for the festive season, the new year and all the very best with your organising for a better world!
Andy, Melissa and Edge Fund’s Facilitating Group
Edge Fund members have finished scoring applications, and groups have been notified of their results. We’re very happy to announce that our shortlist for Round 11 has been finalised!
The following groups will be considered for grants from £1500 to £3000 at our Funding Day in Bristol on Saturday 18th January:
- Friends of Detainees, Lesbian Immigration Support Group, Positively UK, Ealing Reclaim Social Care Action Group (ERSCAG), Queer AF Brighton, Climate Action Scotland, African Rainbow Family London, Mental Health Resistance Network, Climate Action Scotland, Manchester MiSol, Northern Police Monitoring Project, Bradford's Survivors Alliance, African Rainbow Family Birmingham
The following groups will automatically receive the grant they asked for based on their position on the shortlist:
- Glasgow Autonomous Space, Recovery in the Bin
The following groups will receive a small grant between £500 and £1000 based on their position on the shortlist:
- Action for Trans Health Edinburgh, UK Youth Climate Coalition, Kurdish Solidarity Cymru, BASE for Anarchy & Solidarity in Easton, 1500 & Counting, College Bank Support Group, The Fossett’s For The People Campaign Group, Islington Homes for All, Ladies of Rage, Ledbury Action Group, Protest Justice Network, Rent Strike, 4WardEverUK, Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, History of Women’s Liberation, Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland, Kushti Bok
The next step in our (lengthy, but worthwhile) grant-giving process is our Funding Day, where the shortlisted groups and Edge Fund members will come together to meet each other and decide which groups will get the larger grants. This will take place in Bristol on Saturday, 18th January, at the Quaker Central Meeting House.
If you’re an Edge Fund member based in/around Bristol and would like to help out in January, please email myself (email@example.com) or Andy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Keep an eye out for more information on all the groups we're funding this round.
We’d like to end with a massive thank you to all our members and previously funded groups for their work scoring applications. Participatory grant-making only works if people participate, and we are very grateful for everyone’s work!
On Saturday, 12th October we held our first Sharing Forum after a few years without them. It took place in the Quaker Meeting Centre in Glasgow, and was attended by around 30 people from different activist, community, and support groups around Scotland, plus a few Edge Fund members and our allies. It was facilitated by a member of Tripod, a social justice training organisation, and Edge Fund member Rose.
We started the day (after teas and coffees) by introducing ourselves in pairs and to the wider group. The facilitators then outlined the agenda for the day, and asked us how we’d like to work together. We came to some agreed values for the day, which included “take space, make space”: an invitation for those who normally don’t feel confident to contribute to do so, and for those who are more confident to take a small step back to listen. It really did feel like we stuck to that through the day!
(ID: A group of about 15 people sitting in a circle, having a discussion in a bright room)
We then discussed our various campaigns’ successes and challenges, breaking up into small groups to do so. Out of that, we highlighted some topics to discuss after lunch - they varied from broad topics like “accessibility in organising” to group-specific “how to resist evictions.” We had a really delicious lunch provided by Soul Food Sisters, and after having a deserved break, launched into the second part of the day.
After discussing in small groups, we came together to feed back and identify common themes. Then, we discussed how Tripod and Edge could support groups, and what their experience (if any!) of us had been until now. The day ended with participants reflecting on our conversations and what we had learnt. Solomon, from LGBT Unity Scotland, said:
“Saturday’s event was so wonderful and interesting. I felt so comfortable meeting other members and sharing my ideas with them and I learned something new that I can deliver to LGBT Unity Group to make it great.
I am really proud of the organisers and they are so friendly.”
(ID: Five people sit in a small circle around flipchart paper with notes on it. One person is speaking and gesticulating.)
Arianna, from Autonomous Centre of Edinburgh, said:
"Attending the Glasgow Sharing Forum was a wonderful experience - extremely encouraging, inspiring and informative.
I met groups active in Scotland that I was not aware of, and was inspired by the amazing work they are doing. I hope I have made friends I will meet again soon, and certainly I have already learned so much from them.
The Forum was encouraging because I realised that the difficulties the groups I am involved with are facing are common amongst activist groups, and there are strategies to resolve tricky situations.
The facilitators from the Edge Fund and Tripod were fantastic, and I cannot thank them enough for the positive energy and learning they shared with us."
On a personal note, I really enjoyed getting to know the Scottish activist scene a bit more, and meeting organisers from different groups. It was also my first Edge Fund event, and I was happy to get stuck in!
We’ll be holding more of these in the future: one in the North of England, and another in the South. If you’d like to get involved, or have any ideas for a Radical Sharing Forum in your city, do get in touch with Andy for the North (email@example.com) or myself for the South (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We've received over 150 applications in this funding round from grassroots groups across the UK and Ireland. Our members and previously funded groups will now be reading applications and collectively working out how to share out the funds.
Some key dates for your diaries:
Early December - Shortlisted groups announced
18th January - Funding Day in Bristol with members and shortlisted groups
If you have any questions please contact us on email@example.com
Are you working to create change in Scotland? Join us for the Glasgow Sharing Forum!
This is a chance for grassroots groups working on social change in Glasgow and Scotland to meet each other, reflect on challenges and opportunities, and explore different ways we might support each other.
We'd love to have people from a range of backgrounds attend, especially people of African and Asian heritage and those from LGBTQI, disabled, working class, migrant, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. The venue is wheelchair accessible, and a free lunch and refreshments will be provided. If you have specific access needs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with these, so we can do our best to accomodate you.
There is no cost to join the event, and we can pay for public transport expenses for those who need it.
This event is hosted in participation with Tripod Training and Lankelly Chase Foundation. We hope that you will join us for a day of sharing, learning, and thinking about the future!
We are now open for our second funding round of the year! We will be giving up to £40,000 to around 30 grass-roots groups, campaigning for effective social change. We will be accepting applications until Monday 16th September.
How to apply
To apply for a grant of up to £3,000 you need to fill in a relatively short application form. You can find all the details here and apply here. Make sure you have read our funding criteria and values, to see if you are eligible. If you need any support or assistance please get in touch!
The funding process is democratic and participatory, and involves people directly affected by the issues you are campaigning on. We hope this makes the process fair and accountable to applicants and out members. Please check out this page for a little more information about our funding process works.
The deadline for applications is midnight on 16th September.
You will find out if you are short-listed toward the end of November, and grants will paid out from the end of January.
This funding round has been made possible by an action inquiry with Lankelly Chase Foundation, who will be learning about Edge Fund's participatory grant making methods during this funding round.
We need your support!
We can only open for applications when we have raised enough money for a funding round. We welcome donations large and small, and particularly small monthly donations of £5 or £10 as they help us plan for the future. Please donate if you can, so we can keep supporting those taking action for a just and equal world.
Help us get the word out! Follow us on twitter or sign up for our email list here. Please help us reach people and groups who don’t normally hear about funding opportunities – share this post or via social media and email but don’t forget to also tell people at meetings, events etc, especially if you know they are not often online. We have leaflets and cards we can send to anyone who can help distribute them to people and groups who might be interested in applying. Get in touch if you can help. Thank you!
Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is a grassroots user–led direct action group, although we also carry out other activities like research, lobbying MPs and councillors, peer support and a host of other things. As well as a national group there are many local groups which operate autonomously around the country.
Most recently we have been removing thousands of Metro newspapers around the country every Wednesday as they have been paid over £250,000 of our money by DWP to publish a series of lies about Universal Credit. We also delivered thousands of these back to Amber Rudd at DWP Head office where our activists were locked into the building by security.
Edge Fund is one of the few sources of income we have and without this funding neither national or our local groups would be able to undertake as much as we do now and we wouldn’t be able to support our activists to travel to take part in our actions.
Foil Vedanta is a grassroots solidarity group focused primarily on challenging the systematically injust mining practices of British multinational mining giant, Resources, once called the world’s most hated mining company, and one of the largest contributors of CO2. They have operations in Zambia, South Africa, Australia, India and more with plans to continue expansion.
We use our privilege and access as residents of the UK and act as a conduit to disseminate knowledge as a tool of resistance. We aim to strengthen and support the movements by linking communities, through critical research, gathering testimonies and scientific evidence, meeting with lawyers, politicians, calling for true accountability for human rights abuses, illegal operations and ecocide and the transformation of such systems. The funds we secured will go towards sustaining this work, extending outreach and vital updates to our website to maintain the flow of communication. As a grassroots organisation and due to the nature of our work it is a struggle to secure funding that doesn’t come with invasive conditions.
Edge Fund’s application process is simple and transparent. The questions offer a chance for reflection on where your group is at with the work and the team at Edge Fund is easy to reach. It’s clear they trust the groups as the experts to use the money to enhance the work where needed. The funding day brought together activists and organisations from around the country to share their work, successes and challenges. It is one of the few spaces that accommodates so many causes while giving them all equal platform. In addition to the funding, the connections formed here are invaluable.
The funding day was excellent, and I am really glad I went. I have found that socio-political campaigning is one hell of a personal development program, and the day spent in Liverpool was a great time to reflect on what we are doing and regain some perspective as to why we do it.
Thank you very much for the funding day. It restored my faith to know that there are so many conscientious people acting to prevent evil from succeeding.