*Adapted from FundAction Medium
The question of power is central to philanthropy: Who decides about the allocation of funds? Convinced that decision making power should be shifted from grantmakers to grantees, four EDGE members decided to take the risk and set up a new participatory fund and platform for activists. Funded by Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation, European Cultural Foundation, Guerrilla Foundation and Open Society Initiative for Europe, the FundAction was launched in October 2017.
It is a participatory activist fund, run by a community of activists seeking social change in Europe. Their activities are grounded in these values:
Learn from and with each other without hierarchy. Trust each other, and view respect as the root of good collaboration.
FundAction seeks to expand and renew itself by being open to new people and ideas. An inclusive mindset is key to achieving this.
FundAction is run in a democratic way by the community. The process and outcomes are always visible, to contribute to engagement and accountability.
The grants offered will fit into three categories:
Resist: Small quick response grants for groups who are directly affected by political events
Rethink: Creating a pan-European activist network and community through funds for collaboration, exchange and capacity building
Renew: Support for new initiatives and ideas that promote systemic change
The Members Assembly is the cornerstone of the fund: a growing body of activist members who share the fund’s values and collaborate to:
- Build a European-wide community based on exchange and collaboration;
- Strengthen each other’s capacity;
- Give grants to specific projects; and
- Further develop the purpose and activities of FundAction
Much of the collaboration happens on the Online Assembly, a digital decision-making platform. Additionally, there will be an in-person meeting once a year to learn from each other, discuss activities and develop the strategic goals for the coming year. FundAction aims to be a growing non-issue based activist community that also aims to challenge traditional philanthropy.
Next to the (online) assembly, a Facilitation Group is in charge of carrying out the daily work of the fund. The group does communication, assure the workings of the online platform, expand the community, manage grants and sort out legal questions, among other tasks.
Currently the Facilitation Group is composed of seven activists and a representative from one of the funders. Facilitation Group membership is rotating among members in order to periodically renew perspectives and include other voices, experiences and ideas.
For more information on the fund, visit the FundAction website.