WELL LAUNCHES “PAY IT FORWARD” FUND
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After a series of public forums during 2012, WELL (Willits Economic Localization) is now launching a “Pay It Forward” fund as one strategy for investing in our local economy. Pay It Forward seeks donations from the community for a revolving fund earmarked exclusively for the purpose of assisting local enterprises that meet the triple bottom line: good for the planet, people, and profit.
Donations to the fund are fully tax-deductible and can be made in a lump sum or a monthly amount of the donor’s choosing. There will not be any “profit” to the donors nor to WELL. However, the fund’s investment in a profitable enterprise will enable the recipient to eventually pay back the loan so the fund can “pay it forward” to other recipients.
This fund has already received substantial one-time and monthly donations, and on Nov. 12th, the WELL Coordinating Committee voted to contribute $2,000 of WELL’s own funds to this separate Pay It Forward account.
In addition to accepting donations, we encourage new or expanding businesses to apply! Proposals for loans from the fund will be reviewed by the WELL Coordinating Committee. Initial loan amounts may be small but we hope the fund and its effectiveness in stimulating “green” enterprises will grow.
Other Strategies: WELL’s Local Investment committee continues to research what we can do legally and practically. As a non-profit, volunteer organization, setting up actual investments -- where investors pool their funds and expect a return of principal and/or interest -- is beyond WELL’s scope and is subject to rigorous regulations. The idea of a regional financial institution, however, is being looked at by a recently-formed county-wide group of agencies and non-profits, including a WELL representative. It is also being considered in Sonoma County and through the northern California Transition Town network.
Meanwhile, our WELL meetings – and a “business fair” that WELL is organizing in early 2013 – can serve as a “LION” (local investment opportunity network) for individual investors and entrepreneurs to connect informally. Individuals who already know each other socially are allowed to invest without the rigors of SEC regulations.
Let WELL know if you would like to be informed of new developments. In the meantime, consider donating to WELL’s Pay It Forward Fund to benefit our local economy and community.