We are working towards the creation of a Community Fund - a fund designed and run by the Kingston community.
At GWI, we are committed to building local economic power and encouraging projects to democratize wealth throughout the region. In alignment with that mission, we are excited to announce that we’re taking a step into action, into new territory for us. Starting in fall 2022, we will be exploring how to build a community-controlled fund. We will facilitate a journey with the community to learn, collaborate, and collectively design a fund that is dedicated to advancing Just Transition in the city of Kingston.
The questions that drive this work come from a deep desire for solidarity in our economy. How can we nurture community resources, rooted in local values and stewarded by the people who live and work right here? What are ways we can bring abundance and collective thriving, from within the community? Who can we learn from and what models can we adapt for our own context?
Will it be a loan fund, an investment fund, a grant fund, an emergency fund, some kind of hybrid? We don’t know: we’ll have to see what emerges. What gets created is up to the community.
- Our announcement post has more info on this project and why we are doing it: “Making a Community Fund Here in Kingston”
- If you are interested in learning more, please come to an upcoming event! Take part in imagining and building a people-powered fund that benefits the long-term health and vitality of Kingston.
- The Rooted Resources Festival took place in May 2022, and was a gathering that honored the wide scope of what we mean when we say “democratize wealth.” Check out our festival archive to get a glimpse of what happened.
What we are planning to do:
- We are starting with outreach and connection, to make known what a fund like this can be and find the people who want to help create it.
- We want to bring what we’ve been learning out into the community; we want to share more about projects like the Boston Impact Initiative, the Black Farmer Fund, the Ujima Fund, and get inspired by their examples of empowering communities to take the decision-making in hand when it comes to funding community priorities.
- Starting this fall, with a series of community meetings, we plan to spark and facilitate a dialogue within the Kingston community, and start to envision what it would be for this community to create a community fund.
- This is the beginning of a journey that we hope will result in a diverse group of community members coming together to design a democratically-controlled fund with input from the larger community.
- We don’t know how long this will take, but we do have a commitment that once this community fund is designed and ready, that it will launch with initial funding in place.
- GWI’s role is to facilitate the process of creating a fund, and we’ll bring our Just Transition-aligned work around shared leadership and navigating conflict to the forefront. We believe in order to change the outcomes we also have to change the process. How we work together is just as important a part of democratizing our communities, wealth and work as achieving the creation of a fund.
- We are co-learners in all our work, which means we bring an open beginner’s mind to this project too.
- We’ll be adding information, resources, and documentation from our community meetings here, as we gather input and ideas along the way. This is only the beginning.
Do you want to get involved or do you have a question? We want to hear from you!
Partners and Supporters
We are actively looking for partners to support the development of this community fund and to join as initial funders. Contact us to learn more and offer your support.
We are grateful to the Novo Foundation for their early support of this project, and look forward to working with them as initial funders for the Kingston Community Fund once it is created.