Community groups join forces to raise funds to challenge inequality

Bristol volunteers are challenging traditional charity models and putting power in to the hands of the community to decide which groups receive funds to support their work. 21 shortlisted groups are now joining forces to raise funds to be shared between them. 

Bristol Redistro is a small collective of volunteers who fundraise to support community action in Bristol. They offer an alternative to traditional charity funding in several important ways; they will only fund groups set up by the community themselves, funding decisions are made by community activists who make decisions based on their own life experience and knowledge of Bristol communities, and the funds are given without restrictions or strings attached.

One of the collective, Sophie, said “when we first started this project we wondered how much need there was for it. How much is there going on at grassroots level in Bristol? Since our first round our applications have tripled and we now know there are many more groups out there we haven’t yet got word to”. 

In this 5th round Redistro received 42 applications, their biggest yet. Eleven community activists were involved in shortlisting 21 groups. Redistro had already raised £15,000 for this round, but the total amount needed is over £20,000. Redistro and the 21 shortlisted groups are now collectively aiming to raise the extra amount needed by 3 June, when all the groups will be coming together. The 21 groups are from across a range of communities, including the trans+ community, migrant, black and brown communities, sex workers, women and non-binary people, and includes environmental and anti-capitalist campaigns. A list of the projects is given in their crowdfund:

Sophie continued, “our original idea was that we wanted to provide a way for people who are better off financially to support communities who are most affected by inequality. The cost of living crisis means people are struggling more than ever, but the reality is that some are not affected at all, and perhaps are looking for a way to offer solidarity to others”.

Redistro has been running since 2019 and after this round will have distributed around £60,000 to grassroots groups in Bristol, many of whom have been self-funded until this point. Last year they helped to distribute £15,000 from the Colston 4 campaign in a special Racial Justice round. You can support the current round by donating to the crowdfund:

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