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Community Fund Research and Resources

By Hélène Lesterlin

Starting today, we are hosting community forums to learn about, discuss, and create a vision for this new project that we are launching at GWI: the Kingston Community Fund. This page is a growing resource vault for anyone who might like to explore links, articles, case studies, and summaries that we are unearthing as we go on this learning journey together. It is organized by category and we will continue to add to it as we go. 

Questions? Do you have something you want to add here? Please contact us!


What is Local Investing?

An overview we pulled together of local investing terms and general concepts; check out further resources at localinvesting.org

Shared Leadership

GWI published Sharing Power, a blog series on our own transition to a shared leadership structure, called a worker self-directed nonprofit.

 

What is Participatory Decision-Making?

Citizens’ Assemblies: Democracy That Works A citizens’ assembly is a new form of democracy which allows the making of decisions at a city, national or even at the international level. A citizens’ assembly is a randomly selected group of residents according to the demographic criteria such as gender and age. It constitutes a city or a country in miniature. A role of a citizens’ assembly is an in-depth analysis of a given issue, a deliberation over different solutions, hearing of the pros and cons, and then, making informed decisions.

Regional Orgs and Funds:

A growing list of aligned local initiatives:

The Hudson Valley Prosperity Network (HVPN) is a community of practice focused on developing a shared understanding of what a resilient economy looks like, and how to build it with our local communities. They believe that the current economic system is in need of a radical re-imagining and restructuring as we look to leverage the tools of community finance to create a more just local economy. You can read their overview here or email them directly.

The Radio Kingston Community Fund gives out funds directly to community members facing financial hardship.

Economic development or emergency funds for businesses can address challenges resulting from COVID19. The Ulster County CARES Small Business Assistance Program funds eligible expenses like payroll. Fund II is open for applications October 31-December 11, 2022.

The Hudson Valley Startup Fund brought together a group of 60 angel investors  deployed 2 rounds of investment into 14 startups.

Angela DeFelice (GWI’s partner in shared leadership work) is launching Co-op HV, a fund for cooperatives, which is as a member fund of the Seed Commons network of values-aligned loan funds.

Rondout Savings Bank is offering low and no cost loans for small businesses through its Midtown Kingston Business Capital Program, launching in fall 2022.

Allies and Approaches

Funds and organizations we are looking at and learning from:

In May, Betty Francisco from the Boston Impact Initiative and Olivia Watkins from Black Farmer Fund joined us for Democratizing Access to Community Capital, a panel discussion, along with Hélène from GWI and Ethan Pomerance and Tim McQueen from HVPN as part of the Rooted Resources Festival.

The Democracy Collaborative is a research and change-agent organization building a people-powered vision for a new, democratic economy run on shared prosperity and inclusion, not exploitation. We develop and advance bold policy frameworks, like community wealth building, to aid policy-makers, academics, researchers, and legislators in the United States and across the world working to realize a more just and equitable world for all.

Ujima Fund (Boston Ujima Project): The Ujima Fund is a democratic investment vehicle raising capital to finance small businesses, real estate and infrastructure projects in Boston’s working-class Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color.

Center For Economic Democracy and the Solidarity Economic Initiative: The Solidarity Economy Initiative (SEI) is a Massachusetts-based project that creates space for grassroots organizers working in working class communities of color to lead a Just Transition to a Solidarity Economy.

Community Wealth Builders: Fostering more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable neighborhood economies by promoting community wealth building models and strategies across Baltimore City.

Schumacher Center for a New Economics works to envision the elements of a just and regenerative global economy; undertakes to apply these elements in its home region of the Berkshires in western Massachusetts; and then develops the educational programs to share the results more broadly, thus encouraging replication.

PVGrows Investment Fund (PVGIF) provides financing and technical assistance to local farm and food businesses through community investments. 


Do you have suggestions for additions? Please email us!

By sharing the workings of vital initiatives, the Rooted Resources series provides a clearer vision of what “democratizing wealth, communities, and work” means, refracted through the living experience and the emerging projects of the people who are making change today.

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