We’re overwhelmed by the generosity and support this fundraiser has received have the past few days. We wanted to update this page with a section that answers some of the most common questions we’ve been asked about the fundraiser.
Q. Why was this set up as a crowdfunder, and not as a direct donation to a charity?
We knew that being forced to cancel our originally planned vigil would be incredibly disappointing for the many women who planned to attend. We wanted to be able to redirect that disappointment and anger into something constructive and with a lasting benefit to women and women’s causes – which was why we decided to simultaneously launch a charitable fundraiser.
This decision took place very early on Saturday morning, and we were faced with making a quick decision on the technical option of choosing between fundraising for one charity or a crowdfunder. We wanted to be able not only to do our due diligence on the charity/charities chosen, but also have the ability to split the funds raised between various causes so that a diverse range of charities could benefit. We therefore chose to go with the crowdfunder option.
One downside of this approach has been that money donated to crowdfunders are not eligible for Gift Aid. If ensuring a charity is able to claim Gift Aid is important to you, please do donate directly to a women’s charity of your choice.
Q. What kind of transparency will be put in place to ensure this money is well spent?
We will be putting in place transparent and rigorous governance arrangements for the funds raised, including diverse, representative women from around the country, to identify and work with charities so that your donations are as impactful as they possibly can be. We are conscious that our own experiences of misogyny and sexism are not universal and want to make sure this fund is inclusive, intersectional, and representative.
Q. What do you mean by “women’s charitable causes”?
This money was donated in the aftermath of the disappearance and subsequent death of Sarah Everard and the resulting public conversation about women’s safety. We anticipate that the charities that will benefit will include those tackling women’s safety issues, such as those supporting women suffering sexual and domestic violence and helping victims access justice. Any final decisions will be based on a rigorous governance structure and no money will be spent until that transparent structure is in place.
We’d like to reaffirm women means all women, including trans women. ALL women, femmes, non-binary people and gender non-conforming people all deserve to be safe.
Q. Will this money be used to pay protesters’ fines?
When we set up the fundraiser, we wrote on this fundraising page:
“Weʼre raising £320,000 to donate to women’s charitable causes on behalf of #ReclaimTheseStreets”
“We were told that pressing ahead could risk a £10,000 fine each for each woman organising. Even if we came to this amazing community for help in meeting those costs, we think that this would be a poor use of our and your money. We do not want to see hundreds of thousands of pounds contributed to a system that consistently fails to keep women safe – either in public spaces or in the privacy of their homes. Women’s rights are too important.
“Instead, we are setting up a fundraiser to raise the money we would have been liable for in fines to donate to supporting women’s causes around the country instead.”
As this fundraising page clearly states that money raised would be going to charity and not fines, we have a responsibility to those who have already donated to uphold this purpose and it is not our place to change it.
The behaviour of the Metropolitan Police towards those who went to Clapham Common on Saturday was abhorrent, and we have met with the Metropolitan Police to press them to waive the fines issued. We have shared supportive free legal advice here to help anyone who was issued with a fine in Clapham on Saturday night to challenge these Fixed Penalty Notices. There are also several funds specifically for paying the fines of those who attended, and we would encourage you to make your donation there if you specifically want to support the women shamefully manhandled on Saturday.
Q. Will you be providing further updates on how the money is spent?
Yes! Because we want to ensure a rigorous legal and compliance structure is put in place to ensure this money is spent as effectively as possible, we will be consulting with experts in this field to do so. We will be fully transparent about that process, and provide regular updates via JustGiving and our Twitter page.