Edge Fund is a member-run fund supporting grassroots groups working for radical social change. Members and applicants decide how funds are used. All donations come from individuals. Here's why that's important...
Every year over sixty-four billion pounds is given to registered charities in the UK. The charity sector has become big business, and incredibly there are now over 1,000 charities with an annual income of over £10 million a year. And as competition for money gets tougher, the larger groups continue to take a larger piece of the pie.
Smaller groups struggle to get heard over the big brand charity names, but there’s good reason why they’re worth backing.
The government lures groups to register as charities with tempting benefits such as claiming tax back on donations. But once you’ve become a registered charity you’re restricted by Charity Commission rules, which are being tightened all the time to prevent groups seeking real change. Most larger charities take government and corporate money making them puppets of the very systems that create inequality and injustice. Since often they are carrying out government contracts they literally become an arm of the state, limiting them to work that only provides short-term solutions.
Small grassroots groups, those run by volunteers in their own time, and often with their own money, are closer to what’s going on on the ground. Many of these groups spring up to challenge an injustice their community is facing and are determined to bring about long-term systemic change for themselves and others. They know what their community needs much better than some of the larger charities who claim to work on their behalf, and their independence means they are free to challenge power and tell it like it is.
If just 1% of the £64 billion that goes to registered charities every year went to small independent groupschallenging the status quo and demanding radical social change, we’d stand a much better chance of creating a just and equal world that works for us all. In fact, just 0.1% of Save the Children’s £342.6 million annual budget would be revolutionary in the right hands.
For your New Year’s resolution, will you pledge to back radical grassroots groups?
The average annual income of groups that apply to Edge Fund is £2,500. Small amounts of money go a long way. Make your donation count, move it to the grassroots.
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