How Much Can We Fund?
Pilot. After 10 years in development, we tested this system on a small scale for 5 years in Greenfield, MA, Ann Arbor, MI, and Goshen, IN. Then members in Greenfield used our innovative democratic system to fund 22 awesome projects with $30,000 from the Community Fund (a combination of grants, loans, and investments), over the course of two years.
Results. And look what happened! The arrow in this graph shows where the first $10,000 of funding decisions were announced in 2017 and the Community Fund balance gradually dropped by $10,000. But then almost immediately it went back up again, even beyond where it started, because there were all these new organizations accepting Common Good payments, so members on average put a little more money in their account, so there was more Common Good credit going in circles and more money in the Community Fund.
If we make wise funding decisions as a community, the Common Good system can give us the same amount to spend again the next year. This is true not just in our growth phase, but even at a steady size, we can start new businesses, improve efficiency, and improve quality of life in our region, attracting money from outside.
Scaling up. Now it’s time to scale up. In the mainstream economy, there is also money going in circles — in a typical county about $250 million being used every 2 weeks to pay salaries and buy goods and services. So if most people and businesses in that typical county participate, that quarter-billion dollars would be in the Community Fund and we can fund 100 times what we funded those first two years in Greenfield — every week! In any average-size county in the country.