So what actually happens to money I donate?
Your money goes directly to the fund. We use PayPal and money stays in our PayPal until a survivor applies and we send them funds they’ve applied for. We use PayPal as they don’t take a cut from what you donate like other fundraising platforms. We don’t have a bank because we are not a charity or official governing body (if you want to know why see here). If someone apples from a country with different currency to the pound (which has happened) they get the full amount of £10 in their currency at the current conversion rate. PayPal does charge a tiny amount for this (between 30p £1.20) which comes out the fund not the mini grant going to the survivor. We also don’t pay ourselves any money to run this or have an office space.
Who can apply and how do you monitor and asses applications?
Anyone who identifies as a survivor (regardless of gender) or who doesn’t identify as a survivor but has experienced rape, sexual violence/abuse/harassment/coercion, domestic violence/abuse, gender based violence/abuse, trafficking or FGM/C.We don’t dictate or judge who can apply we believe in self determination and we strongly believe within accessing support their is too much having to prove your vulnerability and worth, and too many assessments and evaluations that once again make us feel less, inferior and more vulnerable. We operate on a trust basis.When someone applies they fill out a very simple application of six basic questions (most are optional). The process is if we have funds and receive an application it is granted it immediately. There is no feedback or evaluation forms for the applicant.If you are a partner, friend or relative of a survivor and have no money but want to treat them, you can also apply and use the fund to buy them a gift or do something nice together. You are not expected to tell them where the money came from.
How do you sustain yourselves?
We rely on independent donations (this means no grants, sponsors or conglomerates getting involved and restricting, controlling or interfering with what we do and how we operate). This is harder to get funds (so do support us :-p ) but means we can maintain control of how we offer support based entirely on what survivors tell us they need. This is imperative to be able to stand up for what we believe in and be able to run something in a completely different way. We are not payed and work in free time when we have capacity, energy, drive and desire to. Having both experienced burnout from unhealthy working patterns in the past it is important that we have developed this more human way of working that suits us (there may be a cake or coffee along the way).
Do we use the fund ourselves?
Um yes! It wouldn’t make sense to not practice what we preach and we are survivors too. We don’t see ourselves separate from those that apply and so it is important that we treat ourselves and take breaks too. So if we want cake and coffee after we have been working we make ourselves indulge.
Can I apply more than once?
Yes. There aren’t any rules or restrictions around this and we don’t believe that support should be restricted or capped. However we believe in distributing this fund fairly so if we get a high volume of people applying we might have to look at who hasn’t already applied and work out the fairest way of sharing funds. We are still trying to figure this out so any suggestions are very welcome.
What if I don’t have a PayPal account?
If you don’t have a PayPal account give us the Paypal email address of a person that you trust and we can transfer it to them to get the money out for you. We know some people don’t have or have access to bank accounts due to immigration status or because they currently live in a safe house or have no fixed abode. We are trying to make this as accessible as possible so any suggestions are welcome.
Why aren’t you a charity?
Read our post about this here
I want to support you but don’t have any money how can I help?
If you want to support us fundraising would be amazing. We have some exciting ideas of ways to fundraise here. As there is only two of us a the moment, we always need extra help with things like admin and random tasks. Contact us directly if you want to help. We are also open to you randomly surprising us with presents and treats to keep us energised.
Who runs this can anyone get involved?
There are just two of us (Bryony and Megan, we are both survivors in case you didn’t already know 😉 ). You can get involved in ways suggested above. At the moment the main running of the project is going to stay just us. This is because we are at a really early stage of the project and we want to make sure we are really solid in how we operate and move forward. Having been involved in many charities and organisations in the past we are very careful in making sure we do this the right way and are still unlearning many of the systems that can be dangerous and problematic. We need you for this too by making suggestions or calling us out as we go. When we are a bit further along with the project we will be open to more involvement. We are survivor led so it will always be led by survivors or those who have experienced rape, sexual violence/abuse/harassment/coercion, domestic violence/abuse, gender based violence/abuse, trafficking or FGM/C.