I know where I would put the $100 million from MacArthur in and around our projects. I’ve thought about it. Instantly build out Rodney Foxworth’s $30 million philanthropic evergreen fund that operates out of the Impact Hub Baltimore that he leads. We want hubs to be the center of a community wealth building movement in their cities, with funds to invest. That’s enough to make a difference, if you leverage it wisely. Rodney  has shown he knows how to bring in multiple layers and sectors of support, so he’s the perfect person to try that fund at fast. Maybe in conversation with MacArthur’s other $100m bet, in Chicago that also has this same kind of fund in the middle of it. That money would make micro-businesses, sole proprietorships and small businesses and startups able to launch. We expect he will do this in combination and sometimes coordination withThe Runway Project , which is a tools and co creation network of a few pilots to solve the friends and  family gap for African Americans. 

Then I would put up half of the $3m that Derrick Braziel needs to build out his identically profiled fund in Cincinnati to support Mortar’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. I would build a sales team to sell the above market certificate of deposit being created by Napoleon Wallace to invest in entrepreneurs in your communities helping themselves, and bootstrapping themselves upward.

I’d do that in communities with Impact Hubs in our network, seeding a new kind of investing happening at hubs, and helping them become centers of community wealth building, with inclusive wealth seen as the foundation for the whole community to be wealthy and healthy. Indy Johar has best codified this approach through is work on Impact Hub Birmingham, UK with Imandeep Kaur.

We could use $12 million or so on that, the engagement needs to be deep and built off a holistic analysis of the wicked problem we are tackling in trying to work with the poorest part of the population, and using the sales as a bridge building thing for black and white people in town; they would both invest in the neighborhoods. We’d probably sell it with networks of students like door to door Bible salesmen; those networks of motivated students making money for college work well. They they could follow with a SOCAPLocal event, where they want to commit to making some measureable collective impact  within 18 months after the event. So the event has to be timed within the growth of the community putting it on, for when they think are 18 months away from showing something worth measuring. And they would join the learning network when they engage, not when they put on their SOCAPLocal event.

That seeds the ground for us to build the philanthropic evergreen funds, in  each place, on top of that installed based of cd owners who’ve acted their way into a new way of thinking. And Runway Projects and Impact Hubs that have evolved into town halls for community  wealth building would be perfect partners helping guide the funds to under represented entrepreneurs and provide the support to do it well. The multicultural merchant bank led by Sidney Hargro would be able to deal with the institutional players we will be partnering with as this starts to work, if it does.

The Runway Project needs attention and capital. We could replicate the runway project all across the country, and that’s another $25 million, to really build the network in the way that would create an easily replicated (though not easily implemented, of course) models of creating community wealth, using our analysis and strategy and action tools coupled with friends and family gap crossing tools. The Runway Project would ride on top of the CD buyers network in Impact Hub communities  where people had seen, lots of the city had seen, that you really can invest in justice and make money. We could build the SOCAPLocal or Neighborhood Economics Network event off of that movement and rippling epiphany. And the evergreen philanthropic fund fits in; in Cincinnati, it came before the wealth building hub, in Baltimore, the Impact Hub came first. Either way the hubs need to be platforms for community wealth building and town halls for social change as Indy calls them.

Using the financial tool that changes the way people think, we end up, through the events, creating a low cost, low friction network of resilient communities, sharing what works and what doesn’t. As we get to 20 of these SOCAPLocal sites some might evolve into the same kind of thing as our deep tight pilot network of three  sites and three people helping the entrepreneur working with black businesses with Rodney, Derrick and Jason as our focus.  I’m ready to work on it and use it as at least a way to build the story.

I am focusing on how to tell the story to white allies, if that wasn’t clear before. That’s where I am focusing. And applying for that grant and getting into the white philanthropic places, global philanthropy forum, which is important but I never really paid attention to. I could go out and kind of campaign in the philanthropic world for this. I don’t know how to do it but people do that all the time.  That may not be the right approach. Sidney, I need help thinking about this from your foundation world view. Or maybe Jessica leads the philanthropic ask, since she’s done it well. I just know I am ready to go out and sell

I’d keep the rest for follow on investments or infrastructure building in a more long term play. 

Applying for that $100 million might be a great way to crystalize our story. Jessica and Sidney, you know my Neighborhood Economics partner Tim. Mathew is working with me on some tools to codify our story; something I need. He suggested we apply for the $100 million.

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