Basic Income Month — Our crowdfunded basic income pilot
In 2021 we crowdfunded a basic income pilot. Working with the London Solidarity Funds we ran the Basic Income Month, funding £50 payments to 71 people.
We collaborated with SE15 Community Fund, SE16 Community Fund, Brent Solidarity Fund and Newham Solidarity Fund on this project. Together we ran a crowdfunding campaign that 182 people donated to, the money raised was then distributed through the solidarity funds during a Basic Income Month. Consider supporting the ongoing work of the solidarity funds with a donation if you can.
The Basic Income Conversation did an impact assessment of the London Solidarity Funds to understand the difference the payments make for people and what they can tell us about basic income. Our findings are summarised in this report (you can find the short read version here).
With this report we wanted to:
- Share insights from people who are currently being let down by our social security system to demonstrate the need for change
- Use the example of our Basic Income Month project with the London Solidarity Funds to explore how we collect data on basic income through pilots and studies
- Investigate some innovative ideas for understanding and implementing a basic income
The London Solidarity Funds may not quite have implemented a basic income, but they have put unconditional cash into people’s hands at this difficult point in history.
There is an opportunity for the basic income movement to do something similar, whilst continuing to work towards a national basic income for all as the overall goal.
Our research found that the London Solidarity Fund payments were a lifeline to people at crisis point. We were told that the payments were most frequently used for food, that they disproportionately benefitted mothers and people with no recourse to public funds and that the structure of the funds gave people a sense of dignity and trust.
- 96% of expensers said the solidarity fund made them feel less stressed
- 93% of expensers said they were “Able to deal with challenges I was facing in my life” as a result of the payments
- 89% of expensers said the existence of the fund in their area made them feel “Financially secure”
The report explores the similarities and differences of the solidarity fund payments and a basic income, compares the impacts to evidence on basic income and considers what lessons we can learn from the funds when working towards a basic income for all in the UK.