Why a blog
We feel as part of our commitment to transparency and accountability, we wanted to share a more detailed blog about our work, how and why we make decisions, lessons we learn from those decisions and how we can improve. Please do give us feedback in the comments or reach out to us at email@example.com.
How we got to where we are
Resource Justice (RJ) began in the UK in 2018 when the founding members met through the Edge Funders Alliance and decided to try a pilot praxis group together based on the Resource Generation USA curriculum. The group met in person, but we were facilitated over zoom by a member of Resource Movement in Canada who kindly joined us for 3-hour sessions despite the big time difference.
After the initial pilot praxis group over six months, some of the group continued to meet and began to plan how we could build this work further in the UK. We found a couple of new members through our networks and started another round of praxis. In December 2019 we had our first strategy weekend, which led to the creation of 4 working groups as a starting point of our organisational structure. Members of the group committed their own financial support to the organisation in order to support administration work and compensate movement organisers through the strategy process, and future advisors.
We also created a framework for an organisational strategy that we then consulted on with a group of movement organisers with who we held relationships.
The four working groups guided the main pillars of our work for 2020, which were being delivered by a majority voluntary team:
- Organisational Development: Develop the organisation: create a logo and identity for the organisation, build a website, create our organisational structure and figure out getting an RJ bank account (still in progress!).
- Movement Partnerships: Developing relationships and partnerships with social movement organisations and activists to inform our work. We wrote a strategy document and have worked with key advisors to consult on this document and have started a process of inviting Movement Advisors and Movement Partners in a paid and formal role.
- Education group: mostly this has involved editing the US focused praxis curriculum to fit the UK context and language better, along with organising new praxis groups and workshops.
- Transforming philanthropy: some of our members are already linked into philanthropy networks and have used our access to these spaces to push the sector on shifting power and social justice philanthropy principles. In partnership with Thousand Currents, we organised a Thousand Currents Academy for UK participants for a 5 day intensive online academy to explore solidarity as practice.
In 2020 we launched four more praxis groups, expanding beyond London. Initially, we started in Brighton but since we went online due to Covid-19 we ended up running groups with new members from across Europe and the UK.
In 2020 we reached 45 members of our community and we began running occasional workshops alongside the praxis curriculum to encourage people to make giving plans and facilitate moving money. We ran workshops on Pandemic Rapid Response funding and how to start Giving plans. In 2020 RJ members collectively reported moving £197,382 predominately across the following areas: Climate justice, Migrant Support, Housing, Racial justice, Worker organising, Arts/Culture movements, LGBT+ rights, Feminist organising and Local Mutual Aid.
Since the start of 2021 we have begun a Basebuilding working group to contact people who sign up via our website, sent regular monthly newsletters to our members, are organising monthly workshops and have begun working with new Movement Advisors. We’ve run a workshop on How Change Happens (exploring different theories of change) and are about to run one on Decolonising Wealth and Philanthropy. We are trying to balance this political education work alongside formalising our structure as a co-op, which we are working on with the help of mentorship from the Hive, and managing our schedules, as we have a limited organising capacity of a small number of core members.
Our goals for this year is to build more volunteer capacity and support for self-organisation so we are able to work alongside more Movement Advisors who are covered for their time. By doing this we can keep building a space for political education and organising as more young people with wealth find us. We hope to develop partnerships with member-led social movements that we can support and be accountable to, alongside encouraging our members to become more radical moving money as well as redistributing access to land and power.
We are also keen to use our influence to support campaigns for Tax Justice and transforming the philanthropic sector. We are also excited about our new sister organisation, Resource Transformation, in German-speaking countries. We are in conversation with them about what this work could look like across Europe. Crucially to do all of these things we need to grow our active organising membership, so please get involved!