Friday, August 15, 2008

100 Freinds of Dayton?

Matt, host of Great n’ Dayton blog made a suggestion at DDM about restarting a community giving circle for Dayton, on a thread I parented on the Cleveland Collectivo.

The concept is philanthropy with punch

The Cleveland Collectivo is a way for people who are not activists per se to affect change by pooling dollars and making grants to activist groups and projects that have an urban or community emphasis.

In the fall of 2004 a small circle of people decided it was time to stop talking about Cleveland’s problems and start investing in solutions. They gathered together friends and neighbors to begin building a new giving circle and The Cleveland Colectivo was born. Inspired by the traditional practice of immigrant neighbors who invested in each other’s businesses in order to build community, the Cleveland Colectivo is a group of like-minded friends, neighbors, and colleagues who have joined together for the purpose of collective giving.

You can find examples of what they funded here

The way it works is the members buy in via $400, which gives them one vote. Folks (say friends, family, a group of co-workers, etc.) without $400 can pool resources to come up with the $400, and they collectively get a vote. So it’s sort of like buying lottery tickets for some big jackpot, except here you actually get a social or community payoff…different kind of jackpot. And, unlike lottery tickets, this is tax deductable, since it is a 501c3 nonprofit philanthropy

In the case of Dayton this would be a great way to affect change, to put your money where your mouth is. And it would be a legitimate way for suburbanites and the “Dayton Diaspora” contribute to positive change in the city, instead of bitching about city leadership (who they don’t vote for anyway) and how Dayton sucks, sucks, sucks. With this one supports action, not talk.

The only problem I see with this is that it was tried before.

A response at the DMM thread mentions “Dayton People's Fund”, which went defunct. So I wonder if this makes sense to do again. After hearing about the failed earlier attempt, my response at the thread was “why bother”.

Perhaps the failure of Dayton People's Fund was an example of Dayton region not having the capacity...people and money… to make things happen , though I don’t know the details of that effort (nor even heard of it).


Anonymous said...

The Dayton Foundation is one of the wealthiest of it's type.
They are sitting on a ton of money.
We had South Park Social Capital in my 'hood- bought a couple of bad buildings- fixed them up (one is now the South Park Tavern) and- had our original tenant been better- we'd have done more.
I still think it comes down to leadership. We are afraid to say: all these weak mayors, "strong" city managers- don't amount to a hill of beans.

Jefferey said...

Dayton Foundation is too distant. This Collectivo concept is more hands-on, and the little guy can play.

I'd like to hear more about SP Social Capital.