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Choosing Grant Options

There are innumerable ways a community might issue Common Good Credits for the greater good. How do we decide which ones to put on the ballot? Common Good recommends the following procedure, or the equivalent:

In order to keep the community from getting overwhelmed with too many small grant or loan possibilities, only nonprofit organizations are eligible to receive a grant or loan in Common Good Credits. Of course they in turn can distribute funds to a wider variety of initiatives.

Second, to qualify for a place on the ballot, an organization must have significant support from the Common Good Community, in the current year:

  1. The organization must be supported financially by at least ten members AND
  2. The organization must receive (in aggregate) at least $1,000* in individual donations from members.

This qualifying procedure encourages members to contribute to the nonprofits of their choice and to recruit additional contributions from other members. This increases financial support for local, national and international nonprofits even before any grants are made.

* $1,000: This minimum will vary from community to community.

Recommending Investments

Members of a Common Good Community discuss and vote on the community's investment priorities.

An elected group of three or more Trustees identifies and vets local investment opportunities. The Trustees judge each opportunity both as a business proposition and for its alignment with the community's investment priorities:

  • how credit-worthy are the borrowers?
  • how sound is the business plan?
  • how well does the proposal agree with the community's chosen investment priorities?
  • how well does the proposal serve the common good?

Member depositors can influence the community's approval of specific loans to small businesses or for specific community initiatives by investing in them directly, contingent on the community's participation. Members can choose to invest any amount in a given project, at any interest rate up to the rate of inflation. This gives the Trustees a clear sense of how much community confidence and support there is for that project, which will result in safer investments, strongly aligned with the community's values.