Sep 23, 2019
In episode 57, we talk to Rose Longhurst about participation in
philanthropy and her experience of radical approaches to
grantmaking with Edge Fund (and others). Including:
- What is Edge Fund, how did it come about, and what are its
- Where does Edge Fund fit in the wider landscape of
- How does its approach help to overcome some of the concerns
about existing models of philanthropy? i.e. that they are
undemocratic, that they fail to redistribute power, that they are
incapable of addressing structural inequality?
- Could more traditional funders replicate the Edge Fund
approach? Which elements? And what would they need to change in
order to make this happen?
- There is a lot of focus on participatory approaches to
grantmaking at the moment as part of the solution to the criticisms
being levelled at philanthropy. How much of the rhetoric is
reflected in reality?
- Are there limits to participatory grantmaking? i.e. are there
some situations in which it is better for expert funders to set
aims and design programs?
- Edge Fund itself has adopted a fairly radical, non-hierarchical
structure. What is the rationale for this?
- What are the strengths of non-hierarchical or decentralised
structures? What are the weaknesses or challenges?
- Does a flat structure without clear leaders limit a
non-hierarchical organisation’s ability to maintain sustained
- How do you prevent the emergence of hidden elites, or some
groups prospering at the expense of others within a
non-hierarchical network? (i.e. “Tyranny of Structurelessness”