Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Grass for Cash: Update on Common Good Finance

Common Good Finance News
democratic economics for a sustainable world

Grass for Cash
At last! After two years trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole, we finally saw the light and drilled a square hole: financing the Common Good Bank system entirely from the grassroots. That means all of us! (We are the grass...)

We had tried to finance a Common Good financial institution the standard way: through a private offering. That meant accredited investors only and no publicity. That strategy was completely at odds with the democratic nature of the Common Good Bank project. But we did not see any viable alternative.

Finally this summer, one of our organizers (John Root, Jr., in Great Barrington, MA) proposed a simple fast-track membership campaign that combines and simplifies ALL of our fundraising and publicity efforts. Just like the Common Good Bank plan itself, our new funding plan is a unique new combination of well-tested methods. The wonderful thing about this new plan is that once we have enough members, we will have ALL the funding we need, for all three phases of the Common Good Bank project.

For the past month we have been testing this new membership campaign in Great Barrington MA, Salem OR, Eugene OR, Michiana, Inland Empire CA, and Gunnison CO. The results are very encouraging. In response to feedback from those test areas, we will be making small adjustments in software and publicity materials over the next couple weeks before formally launching the campaign nationwide. If you are in one of those six communities, please support your local organizers by joining now as a Founding Member (when they ask). Otherwise you can expect a newsletter announcement in a couple weeks.

Ah! At last we are at one with the grass. Many thanks to all of you for your patience.
Our new powerhouse board of directors met for the first time at 7:30 last Friday morning (10/8). With its high level of financial experience and expertise, this board will oversee the membership campaign, chartering process, and preparations to launch the Common Good Bank system late next year. Here's the new board:

William Spademan (President)
Carol Lewis (Treasurer) Former CFO, Institute for Community Economics
Chris Rawlings (Secretary) Owner, Waterhouse Pools
John Waite Executive Director, Franklin County Community Development Corporation
Karen Ribeiro Former Vice President, Bank of Western Massachusetts
David Hurwith Former Chairman, FirstCom Bankcorp
Catherine Ratté Principal Planner, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission
Andrew Baker Former Executive Director, Hilltown Community Development Corporation
Mary Gravel Accountant, Administrator
John White Carpenter, MBA
Java Jobs
Common Good Finance is developing open source banking software, specifically geared to the Common Good Bank project. We are seeking Java EE/SOA software engineers with experience using the Spring Framework. Before we advertise this opportunity more widely, we are looking for candidates who already support the Common Good Bank idea. If you know someone who would be interested, please feel free to forward this email to them.
By the Way
If you are not intimidated by technological complexity and registration forms, please consider voting for the Common Good Bank project on the NetSquared site. Like this:

1. Register
2. look for your password in an email from ""
3. Login
4. Go to the Common Good Bank project page,
5. vote by clicking on the check box just under the project title
6. leave a comment at the bottom of the screen (optional)
7. Browse other projects and vote for at least 2 more (required)

Voting closes Friday, 10/15 at 8pm Eastern US Time.

Thank you for reading and thank you for supporting the Common Good Bank Project.

Wishing you happiness and prosperity throughout the year,



William Spademan
Common Good Finance Corporation
democratic economics for a sustainable world
PO Box 21, Ashfield, MA 01330 USA
+1 413-628-3336

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