01 September 2010

7 Ways to Finance Your Community

First National Bank of Orwell (1878) - marble ...Image by origamidon via Flickr"I believe the notion of financing ourselves is where we receive the lowest marks as a community - as perhaps it is the most difficult thing to do."

". . . we have allowed our financing to go global, which means our debt and our premiums are traded half way around the world, and we have largely lost our ability to influence them."

- From "Small is Possible: Life in a Local Economy " by Lyle Estill

I love the idea of communities financing themselves. The rise of big global banks and financial institutions has rendered money abstract, mysterious and impersonal.

What could be more real, open and personal than financing each other? Whether its with a local currency, barter, time banking or a community bank . . . there are so many ways that communities can take back some control over their local economy.

Check out these ideas for funding your community:

  • Start a neighbourhood home maintenance fund to help homeowners keep their homes in tip-top condition
  • Start a community bank which returns all profit to projects that benefit the community
  • Encourage local businesses to start a workplace giving programme to fund local charities and non-profit groups
  • Set up a community cultural foundation that encourages locals to contribute to help develop arts and culture in the community
  • Establish a local currency
  • Set up a time bank
  • Encourage locals to shop locally and support local businesses
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