Grants / Projects we are funding

Positive Money – Core Funding

Grant details


Awarded on:01/01/2018

Duration:5 years


Area of interest

Systems change

Themes covered

Systems change

The money and banking system causes many social and economic problems, including the housing crisis, high private debt, inequality, environmental destruction and financial crises. The exclusive and privileged power we have given to profit-driven commercial banks to create new money as debt has contributed to these problems. It inflates asset prices, drives inequality, diverts money away from productive activities, and ensures an economy dependent on increasing levels of public and private debt

What this project will try to achieve

This grant makes a contribution to Positive Money’s core cost in support of its aim to achieve a system that contributes to low household debt, affordable housing, and an economy with a long-term focus, which does not automatically increase inequality or damage the environment.

In this vision monetary policy would work with fiscal policy in a democratic way through accountable and transparent processes. The money system would be redesigned to remove implicit subsidies for traditional banks. A new monetary policy tool would be implemented; ‘monetary financing’, also known as sovereign money. A sovereign money system would remove from banks their power to create money, and
return it to a democratic and accountable process. Money would be created free of debt. This ‘sovereign money’ could be spent on projects that society needs, such as a green energy building programme or affordable homes.

Who might be interested in this project?

The organisation aims to win support among three stakeholder groups, corresponding to their three programmes:
• Supporter network – the public
• Research – ‘experts’ (economists, academics)
• Influencing – parliamentarians, policy makers, regulators, journalists
There are three key ways Positive Money seeks to reach these different audiences, each of which is mutually reinforcing upon the other.

1. Network-building
People are more likely to support ‘radical’ ideas if they hear people they respect saying similar things. Influential figures such as Lord Adair Turner (former Chairman of the Financial Services Authority), and Martin Wolf (FT chief economics commentator), who are now discussing money creation help draw the debate into the mainstream. Positive Money
therefore builds relationships with such influential figures, and brings people together at events and in meetings to create change.

2. Inside – outside strategy Positive Money uses both ‘inside track’ (working with key decision-makers), and ‘outside
track’ (influencing change through public confrontation) approaches to create change. For example, many MPs first hear about the organisation through their constituents. Nearly every single MP has received an email from a Positive Money supporter about its campaigns and several of Positive Money’s local groups have held meetings with their MPs.

3. Strategic interventions -Positive Money would like to build on successful tactics they have deployed in the past and
experiment more at strategic moments. This grant will allow Positive Money to seize opportunities such as launching a populist campaign, doing new research, creating viral videos, running supporter actions, or hiring temporary staff.
In terms of Positive Money’s wider network: over the last seven years, the organisation has built up a vibrant and growing movement with the public and influential economists and policymakers. They established the International
Movement for Money Reform which includes groups in 22 countries.