The inaugural meeting of EDGE Funders Alliance in Europe took place in La Bergerie on 2-4 July 2015. The meeting...
EDGE Funders – Europe
We are developing a community of foundations in Europe to mirror the work that has been undertaken in the USA. A significant European membership already exists within the EDGE Global Funders Community, however having activities operating in Europe will provide an exciting prospect for foundations to engage in the activities of EDGE Funders more intensively. Furthermore there are many European specific issues that are developing and with the European Parliament having an ever stronger pan-European role there are very good reasons for progressive foundations to share in a community at a regional level in order to have more of an influence on change.
EDGE Funders Europe will offer regular opportunities for people who work within progressive foundations in Europe to come together through a series of events and thereby share their experiences, thinking and ideas on current progressive issues, themes and work. There are inherent and significant challenges with any work that progressively challenges the issues we face at the societal and global levels. Through EDGE Funders Europe those with an active interest in current progressive work within European foundations can come together and engage in conversations with like minded people. We will offer forums and platforms where people can feel more together as a community rather than isolated in silos. Alongside this people will be empowered from hearing the current grass-roots activities which are taking place at the heart of progressive work in Europe.
Participating in EDGE Funders Europe will give direct access to the current thinking, ideas and experiences within the current sphere of progressive issues, themes and work. In addition EDGEFunders Europe will build a bridge between the activities in Europe and those taking place in the USA which will bring the work between continents closer together and allow for wider sharing opportunities.
In essence the EDGE Funders Europe vision has three pillars:
- a shared idea of a just transition for systemic change
- a focus on grassroots organizing
- an inter-sectional approach.
Members can organise telebriefings – non-committal spreading of information, mainly one way and to large group of participants. EDGE Funders Europe will offer the technology and an engaged audience for members to utilise through the delivery of telebriefings. Presenters can share examples of their current work to tackle the issues faced by progressive foundations e.g. social justice, human rights, climate change, environmental issues, gender equality and so on.
- Alternative Developmental work
- Idea and spread
- Solidarity economy
- Theory of change
- Just transition.
- Resilience in a time of austerity
- Ethical Investment
- Ethical investments – how and where to start, gain insight and tips from those who have direct experience.
- Divest / Invest
- Non impact investing
EDGE Funders Europe will add value to the telebriefing session by offering a series of webinars. The themes will be similar to the telebriefing sessions however in webinars there are less participants is smaller and the technology allows for dialogue and interaction between presenters and participants. This provides opportunities to present issues and themes participants in a deeper and more meanigful way.
As with the telebriefing sessions EDGE Funders Europe will host the webinars with members presenting their work, topics, issues etc. In this sense EDGE Funders Europe provides the support and technology together with an effective audience and people within the EDGE Community will utilise the webinars to share their work, experiences and learning.
Access to the webinars will be at no cost to members and non members will be able to take part through subject to the payment of a reasonable fee
In addition to the telebriefing and webinar opportunities, EDGE Funders Europe will also facilitate direct networking opportunities where members can engage in further conversations and networking opportunities. We will be facilitating activities at some of the key events in Europe e.g. Climate COP 21 summit in Paris (December 2015). At these events EDGE Funders Europe will provide logistical support, briefings with key representatives in these processes, strategic discussions, peer engagement labs and other services.
Through this process we can offer tailor-made services for funders attending such key events. This will add significant value to those members who ordinarily attend such events. At EDGE Funders Europe we understand the value of networking at large events but we also appreciate how difficult it can be to network with so many people in a short time. We will provide members with valuable and effortless opportunities to network with key players in the field of progressive European work. Furthermore this will provide opportunities for conversations to operate at deeper levels and build stronger relationship with and between members of the EDGE Funders Europe community.
Through all EDGE Funders Europe activities we seek to build, develop and support a Community of Practice. This will give a valuable opportunity to learn from others and share your own learning and experiences. Through the development of a community we seek to promote, support, strengthen and enhance the work of individual EDGE Funders Europe members.
Possible themes we will address through the Communities of Practice
- progressive philanthropy:
- theory of change – (Key strategies of the „our power campaign“, Smart CSO, Movement Action Plan, Protest and Opportunities: The Political Outcomes of Social Movements)
- just transition – what do we mean and how will we achieve it
- approach: – how do we support our grantees in the best way?
- good governance
- participation – how can grantees become involved in decision making processes, how can a large group of individual donors decide more effectively when making grants.
- ethical investments
- how can we invest our funds whilst reducing the harm our investment can potentially have.
- individual donors
- rich and left wing – balancing the money while also balancing one’s conscience. or how to hide the privilege?
- family and wealth.
- race and wealth.
We hear these words often and they can seem broad terms which we aspire towards rather than achieve or overcome. Gaining a real and true understanding of what underpins these terms comes from hearing and learning from others who are working to achieve these aims. Through this process we can widen both our perspective and learning whilst also gain confidence from the efforts we all make to achieve our goals.
We will soon be setting out a program of themes, issues and work which will be presented to members through the Community of Practice. If you would like to be kept informed you can get in touch with us here email@example.com.
These will be conducted on an ad hoc basis and will be influenced and informed by the telebriefing and webinar work referred to above. When an area of work or issue is identified that merits more investigation or fact finding then we will consider making a study trip to gain a deeper understanding.
A study trip report would then be written (summary, findings, outcome etc) and made available to members through their log in facility. Members would also be able to attend any such trip at their own expense (travel accommodation etc).
Through this initiative foundations in Europe will come together to learn, discuss and develop our understanding of ‘Just Transition’ and ‘Progressive Philanthropy’. This will take place over 2 separate weekends with some webinars in between allowing for continuous learning and contact. Through this process participants will hear from key players in the field, exchange views and understandings of these broad principles and develop strategies for achieving more from their work.
A programme for the Learning Institute initiative will be developed soon. To find out more or register your interest firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jörg Rohwedder, EDGE Europe Coordinator
+49 – 451 -300 869 13
+49 – 0178 – 4078433
contacteurope [at] edgefunders.org