To help Positive Money make the right choices about what to work on in the year ahead, we sent out a survey to all our supporters. Respondents had the chance to choose our priorities for the year ahead, vote for their favourite tactics and share new ideas.
This survey is a key part of our work as a people-powered movement and after thousands of you seized this opportunity, we’re now pleased to bring you the results. Many thanks to all of you who contributed.
Knowing what issues most concern our supporters helps us to prioritise areas of work. The climate crisis was the most concerning issue to our respondents, gathering a quarter of all votes, followed by inequality and the impact of Brexit.
The Bank of England has a vital role to play in helping us tackle the climate crisis. Our work on this brought great success last year and will remain a top priority for us in 2020 in the lead up to the COP26 summit.
We’ll be targeting new Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey with a campaign on the issue when he takes up his post in March, and hosting a roundtable with prominent economists and policymakers on the topic of financial regulation in a post-Brexit world later in the Spring – so keep an eye out for both of those!
The initiative that excited most people was our work on escaping growth dependency, so we’re pleased to confirm that we’ll be publishing a sequel to our original report, in May. Whilst the first laid bare the relationship between our current monetary system and the endless pursuit of destructive growth, the sequel will further develop this argument and lay out a raft of potential and positive solutions for change.
We’ll continue our work to protect access to physical cash following on from our efforts during the general election, and boost other opportunities when they arise, for example this latest tool from Which? to request new ATMs in your local area.
As with last year, the top spot for this question on tactics went to ‘Get more articles and appearances in the mainstream media’. Across 2019 we appeared in 169 pieces of print and online coverage and had 10 broadcast appearances, and in January alone we’ve added to this by appearing in the pages of The Guardian and The Telegraph – and popping up on BBC Radio Somerset as well.
Publishing open letters signed by prominent economists, politicians and civil society leaders came in second so I’m happy to tell you we’re currently drafting our next one aimed at new Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, calling on him to prioritise action on climate. We aim to get this into a national newspaper the week he starts the role.
Meanwhile, our work to strengthen the international movement, which came out with a notable 9% of votes, will continue with our attendance at the International Movement for Monetary Reform’s annual conference in Copenhagen next month.
Keeping supporters up to date is a key part of our work as a people-powered organisation so we were thrilled to discover that we’re getting the number of times we email you pretty much spot on!
Email also continued to dominate as the chosen medium for how you’d like to hear from us so we’ll keep using this as our main method of communication. For the 25% of you interested in more frequent updates and visual content to share on social media, please check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.
Positive Money’s impact is magnified and strengthened by our network of 12 local groups around the UK. When asked about their involvement with the wider network, 43% of respondents said that whilst they hadn’t attended a local group event before, they would be interested in finding out more. We’ll be reaching out to those individuals in the next few weeks but if you can’t wait to get started, you can find your nearest local group here and see if there are any upcoming events in your area here.
In 2019 we launched a new website called The Money Question, to share and publish articles and academic papers on the topic of monetary reform and host an interactive public forum.
Although most respondents hadn’t come across it before taking the survey, after just a quick overview, we were pleased to see almost two thirds of you wanted to learn more!
We also garnered some great ideas for new Money Question content with our question ‘What is the most important unanswered question to do with money or economics you can think of?’ Popular topics included; what we could replace GDP with, what would a steady-state economy look like and what impact would negative interest rates have.
When asked what wider Positive Money resources respondents would find most helpful in 2020, the most common suggestion was leaflets. You can find our current crop of leaflets to print and distribute here. Videos were also a popular option. We regularly release short responsive campaign videos on social media, and longer-lasting content gets added to our videos page and Youtube channel.
At Positive Money, we’re committed to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive movement. To understand how we’re progressing with that commitment and to get an idea of who we’re reaching with our message, we also asked a number of demographic questions.
Compared to 2019, our results showed a significant improvement in terms of gender balance across the network, with a shift of nine percentage points from 72/26 to 63/34.
That said, other questions showed our movement remains predominantly non-diverse, particularly in terms of ethnicity and age.
We included a question on social class question for the first time which will allow us to measure our progress on this indicator in future years.
We also wish to extend an apology to those respondents who rightly called us out on our failure to include a question on disability. By failing to measure for disability in our network we render it invisible and in doing that, prevent ourselves from learning how inclusive our practices currently are and how they can be improved. We promise to include a question on disability in future surveys.
Ultimately these questions are all important reminders of how much work there remains to be done on broadening our reach to younger and more diverse audiences. It’s work we must do if we’re ever to ensure our campaigns and proposals are relevant to, and representative of, the whole of UK society.
We were enthused to see a significant portion of respondents are fairly new to Positive Money; with 40% coming in under the 2 year mark. This is reassuring given our efforts to expand and we hope we can continue to repeat and build on success momentum in the year to come.
Our final question asked respondents to describe Positive Money to a friend in a single sentence. We realise this was a tricky ask, that’s why we wanted your help. I’ll finish by sharing some of my favourites.
Positive Money is…
- “arguing for a more equitable money system.”
- “not particularly sexy, but extremely important.”
- “working with commitment towards a monetary system that is fair and ethical and doesn’t just make the rich ever more wealthy.”
- “an antidote to bonkers economics.”
- “a people-powered movement which seeks to democratise the UK economy for the benefit of its people.”
- “a voice against the insanity of financial systems reliant solely on growth.”