Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fund for Complementary Currencies

The Fund for Complementary Currencies is a special charitable fund launched in 2004 to support the development of new and sustainable approaches to economic exchange that complement the existing financial system. It has funded the research and development of BerkShares, TimeBanks, and GETS (Global Exchange Trade System), as well as other innovative research projects.

The Fund for Complementary Currencies (the FCC) was born out of the 2004 RSF Social Finance “Transforming Money and Catalyzing Wealth” conference. One of the themes of the conference was the mechanisms that are imbedded into our current monetary system that lead to overly competitive behavior, inequality and destructive economic growth. Complementary currencies were presented as a powerful way of promoting healthier communities and stronger local economies by mobilizing underutilized resources within a community. Further, complementary currencies are a way of creating, from the ground up, a more robust, equitable and socially responsible monetary system. It is conceivable that without this, long-term sustainability is impossible.

There is a growing international movement to bring complementary currencies more into the mainstream but significant lack of funding going into its development. Considering all of this, a group of individuals came together with the intention of mobilizing funding and facilitating collaboration to support the broad implementation of complementary currencies focusing on North America.
How It Works

The FCC is comprised of funders, practitioners and other interested parties committed to building relationships, promoting collaboration and sharing information to support its membership and build the field. The FCC membership is organized into three circles:

* Core members each commit to giving $30,000 per year for 5 years, or have a donor that is sponsoring them at that level.
* Dialog members commit to giving $10,000 per year for 3 years, or are invited in based on the preeminence of their contribution to the field of complementary currencies.
* Participating members make contributions in support if the funds activities and participate in the educational aspects of the FCC

The FCC is strongly committed to developing collaboration between funders and practitioners. We try to hold 2-3 day retreats once or twice a year where practitioners can make recommendations to the core circle on the allocation of resources and other matters of practice. The core circle meets at the end of these retreats to consider and make decisions on the recommendations of the entire membership.

The FCC will initially partner with a limited number of carefully selected organizations to establish successful examples that demonstrate how complementary currencies are viable and self-sustaining catalysts of community and economic renewal. The FCC is administered by RSF’s Philanthropic Services Program and can receive tax-deductible contributions from individuals and organizations seeking to support this field in North America. The FCC does not accept unsolicited funding requests.

See Fund for Complementary Currencies for official site.

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