Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Slow Money Quickly Gaining Momentum

Thank you! Since we reached out to you last month asking for you to share the Slow Money Principles, you have responded and the total number of signers of the Slow Money Principles have grown more than 5%! In addition, 200 people have supported our call for end of year donations and joined Slow Money as members. This month, Utne Reader named Woody Tasch and Slow Money among their "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing The World." Slow Money Maine was featured on the evening news for their work supporting local food and farming. Slow Money members in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts have launched their own loan fund. They gave their first loan to an enterprise helping local farmers get their products onto local shelves. To top that all off, investments committed to the small food entrepreneurs who presented at the 2010 Slow Money National Gathering have more than doubled this month, to $4 million.

Over the holidays, with time to reflect, please keep up the momentum and take the opportunity to share what is important to you about Slow Money with family and friends. As we get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving and the harvest, please take a moment now to forward this message and ask two more friends to sign the Slow Money principles.

One of the most heartening aspects of the launch of Slow Money has been the emergence of the Slow Money Principles. In this day of financial razzmatazz and uncertainty, more than 12,000 of us have taken the time to consider and affirm a new vision of money and the soil.

Now, Slow Money is ready to move from launch to full-scale implementation. Slow Money initiatives are emerging around the country. Money is starting to flow into local food systems, and our momentum is building.

"The Slow Money Principles are the path to a new, healthy food system. Sign them and be counted!"
- Greg Steltenpohl, Founder, Odwalla

We couldn’t agree more with our friend Greg. It’s not just about transactions. It’s about relationships and values. It’s about a new way of thinking that will catalyze a major cultural and economic shift towards preservation and restoration.

PLEASE TAKE A FEW MOMENTS TO FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO TWO MORE FRIENDS, so that they can read the Principles, and, we hope, join you and the rest of us who share abiding concerns about the fertility of our soil, the vitality of our culture and the health of our economy.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of the simple act of signing the Slow Money Principles: http://bit.ly/slowprinciples.

NPR calls us a movement. ACRES USA calls us a revolution. Business Week cited us as “one of the big ideas for 2010.”

We are still at the beginning. But what a promising beginning it is!

Of course, if you are also moved to give an end of year donation and become a member of the Slow Money Alliance, we’d love to welcome you. Our Fall membership drive has seen over 200 members give anywhere from $25 to $17,000 this month. To join that effort, click here to make a financial contribution of $25 or more, supporting our work convening national and regional gatherings and incubating the new products and services that will enable a million people to invest their 1% in local food systems within a decade.

With deep gratitude,

Ari, Woody, Michael, and David

The Broad Tent at Shelburne Farms

The Next Generation of Food Entrepreneurs

Slow Money Progress Report
November 2010

"Slow Money gets right to the heart of everything that's ailing our economy and corroding our culture. . . It offers a formula for a new kind of capitalism in which farmers' markets and stock markets both flourish.''

-Kerry Trueman, Huffington Post

The buzz surrounding Slow Money has been enormous and in 2010 we moved from vision to action. This year affirmed that Slow Money is a powerful movement that will rebuild our economy both literally and metaphorically from the ground up, by catalyzing the flow of billions of dollars into small food enterprises.

Some of this year's highlights include:

* 600 people from 30 US states and 6 countries attended our 2nd Annual National Gathering in Shelburne Farms, VT. The energy at the Gathering was inspiring.
o $4M has been invested in twelve of the small food enterprises that presented at Shelburne Farms
o countless relationships were developed among investors, entrepreneurs, foundations, and everyday people committed to addressing many of the pressing cultural, ecological and economic challenges of our time
* Slow Money has caught the attention of the mainstream media and we have been covered by The LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, ACRES USA, NPR's All Things Considered, The Sun, the Huffington Post, and more. In addition, the successes and challenges of food and farming enterprises aligned with Slow Money have been chronicled in local papers throughout North America.
* Slow Money placed 13th out of 2,500 entrants in Change.org's competition for the Top Ten Ideas for change in 2010.
* Slow Money groups are meeting regularly in many regions. In Pittsboro, NC, small loans are being made to food enterprises with help from a local foundation. In Austin, TX a steering committee meets weekly and an inaugural event drew a standing room crowd to City Hall. In Madison, WI, a series of workshops are leading to the design of a local fund. Slow Money Northwest has secured investors for its Microloan Development Fund and is collaborating with BALLE on the Northwest Washington Community Capital Project. Initiatives in the Bay Area, Maine, Santa Fe, Boulder, Santa Barbara and Hudson Valley are all moving forward.
* We formed the Soil Trust, a groundbreaking non-profit "mission-related investment" fund that will provide guarantees, seed capital and co-investment capital to slow money enterprises
* We are working with Portfolio 21, RSF Social Finance, Calvert Foundation and Mission Markets to design for-profit Slow Money products and services that will allow wide scale popular participation.
* Our incubation of Slow Munis (municipal bonds dedicated to local food investing) is progressing in collaboration with a premier group of investors and land trust professionals from around the country.
* We named our first Executive Director, Ari Derfel, this summer. Ari is a nationally recognized leader and co-founder of the critically acclaimed Gather Restaurant in Berkeley, CA
* 1200 people have joined the Slow Money Alliance, including 180 Founding Members, each of whom has contributed from $1,000 to $50,000
* More than 12,000 people have signed the Slow Money Principles
* 11,000 people have become Facebook fans. You can share the Slow Money Principles on Facebook too:
* Sales of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money, Woody Tasch's literary work of art that started this movement, surpassed 12,000 copies. It has now been printed in Italian and Korean, the paperback version was just released, and a Japanese edition is coming soon

"We're in the business of shaping messages that promote a vision of sustainability in powerful, creative ways. Slow Money has extraordinary potential."

- Jonah Sachs, co-founder, Free Range Studios, Berkeley, CA

"I've been involved with a lot of movements over the last 40 years and this one has a real chance to make a difference. I can't tell you how excited I am to be part of it."

- Michael Kanter, Owner, Cambridge Naturals, Cambridge, MA

"The Slow Money national gathering was an extraordinary event. There was brilliance about it, a brilliance of connectivity and collaboration and shared commitment to this powerful economic and cultural vision. We are on the verge of a breakthrough. Slow Money is not only planting inspiring seeds, but also creating the conditions and the relationships for fundamental change and lasting impact. I was, and am, therefore, extraordinarily pleased to have been able to make the first contribution, right there on the spot in that tent that was brimming with so many wonderful and talented folks, to the Soil Trust. In Soil We Trust."

- Barry Hollister, Pittsfield, MA

"I've attended countless conferences and seminars over the years, but it was not until I was under the Slow Money tent at Shelburne Farms that I found a community of individuals with whom I can connect and actually get something done! The quality of the attendees and their breadth of experience was remarkable, as was the obvious shared commitment to the vision of Slow Money. I cannot tell you how valuable the connections I made were. I'm doing due diligence on a possible investment and have already met with another of the attendees to explore collaboration on investing in farmland near where I live. I do trust in the soil. And I trust that the future for and with Slow Money is going to be remarkable."

- Leslie Barclay, Owner, Round The Bend Farm, South Dartmouth, MA

No comments:

Post a Comment