Seedstock Community Currency announces first non-profit beneficiaries
Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, Potluck Café’s DTES Kitchen Tables Project, Village Vancouver, the Lazarus Health Project and RainCity Housing are the first handful of what Seedstock organisers hope will ultimately be hundreds of local causes finding new sources of funding for their activities thanks to Seedstock. Learn more about these non-profits at http://seedstock.ca/who/non-profit-beneficiaries.
“Seedstock will attract additional resources for community-based non-profits working to promote local food and food security, local arts, health & wellness and a culture of collaboration in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland,” says Jordan Bober, one of the currency’s co-initiators. “Non-profits are finding themselves squeezed from all directions these days, and yet the work that many of them do is essential if we are to have a livable, sustainable and socially just future in this city. Seedstock will help close the gap between what these groups need to fulfill their missions and the resources available to them by tapping into the underutilised human and material wealth that already exists in our communities.”
Seedstock is a community currency that is backed by local businesses in the Lower Mainland. Businesses who agree to accept Seedstock as full or partial payment become the issuers of a certain amount of Seedstock that they can donate to any eligible local cause.
Non-profits who receive Seedstock donations can then either spend it at participating businesses, use it to reward their volunteers, or exchange it with the public for Canadian Dollars as a fundraiser. In doing so, non-profits kickstart the circulation of Seedstock in the economy by getting it into the hands of the wider public. The organizers project being able to help local non-profits raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in this way within the first few months of Seedstock’s launch, planned for mid-August 2012.
The businesses that issue and accept Seedstock benefit when people who obtain the community currency from non-profits come into their stores to spend it alongside traditional cash. Unlike discount coupons, businesses can also spend the Seedstock that they earn. This encourages businesses to seek out local suppliers who will also accept Seedstock whenever possible.
“It’s the only kind of money that comes back to the businesses that issue it, and that keeps going ‘round in the community once its spent. By buying Seedstock from non-profits and spending it at local businesses, people not only get to support great causes without losing spending power, but they are helping to build a stronger and more resilient local economy as well,” says Bober.
Seedstock will be launching in Vancouver this summer, and is making a call for submissions (deadline July 20) to its “Art as Money as Art” event to be held in early August, where designs for the currency will be selected.