project leader
Gavin G
location
Battleground Avenue
(East Greensboro)
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the project

Like many cities across North Carolina and the United States, many communities in the city of Greensboro have been suffering the impact of deindustrialization and a chronic lack of economic opportunity that has resulted in a crisis of widespread poverty with devastating effects of food and housing insecurity, chronic health problems, and high levels of violent crime. We started this project because we have recognized that if someone was going to rescue us from this crisis it would have happened already, and every day that we wait to address this is another day that countless people in our communities suffer the demoralizing impact of poverty.

So we are taking action now, to work to meet our common social, cultural and economic needs by working together: organizing ourselves under a cooperative model to inform the members and leaders of our local communities on the potential that the cooperative model has to address their needs as well as assisting them in taking practical steps towards making this potential solution a source of real, effective and direct change.

the steps

In the time leading up to the end of our fundraiser (the remainder of 2021 and the first half of 2022), we will be working on setting up the framework for our project's activities by constructing a website, establishing regular procedures, starting regular distribution of informational materials, and beginning our efforts with networking among our local communities and the cooperative movement.

Once we obtain the funds from our fundraiser we will be able to afford the costs associated with the legal and consultative services that will help us to transform our project into a legally incorporated non-profit that will lead the movement to establish a local cooperative community in Greensboro. Once we obtain incorporated status, we will be qualified to join local and national networks of cooperatives and local self-reliance organizations. The funds from our fundraiser will enable us to afford the dues associated with these organizations, and in turn, we will be able to take advantage of the services and networking opportunities that they offer, which will significantly aid our efforts.
With the base support of these cooperative networks and the legal security and legitimacy of incorporation, we will be able to take more active measures to promote cooperative education and organization, including efforts to address poverty and lack of economic opportunity in a variety of ways, including:

  • Creation of worker cooperatives to provide stable jobs and widespread business ownership,
  • Establishment of housing cooperatives to enable more people to have a greater degree of security and ownership of their homes,
  • Utilizing other forms of consumer cooperatives such as grocery and childcare cooperatives to ease the strain of the rising cost of living, and
  • Setting up programs for mutual aid and community service that will help to relieve the immediate symptoms of economic distress until we are able to overcome this poverty crisis.

We intend to do this by working with a wide range of actors, including local government officials, other organizations in the cooperative movement, and the organizations, leaders and members in our local community. We hope that each one of these participating groups will play an important role in our project:

  • Local government officials can use their position to contribute some of the city’s resources,
  • Other organizations in the cooperative movement can contribute various forms of technical and financial assistance to these cooperatives, and
  • Community organizations and leaders can use their organizational power to engage members of our local community.

If we meet our goal for fundraising, we hope that the remaining funds will allow us to continue the work of our movement. It is our intention that the funds left over after operational expenses, consultation costs, and membership dues will keep our organization running until it builds up a base of financial support that is large enough to sustain it.

why we're doing it

As mentioned previously, we are undertaking this project because we have recognized that our local community is suffering a serious crisis of poverty which has terrible consequences, and will not get better unless we do something about it ourselves. We recognize this poverty crisis as something that is more than the discomfort we feel when we see unemployment or income statistics, dilapidated buildings, and the like. Approximately 1 in 5 residents of Greensboro face the dehumanizing reality of living in poverty, and for those in our community who face homelessness or violent crime, it can even be a matter of life and death.. A large proportion of workers in Greensboro earn an income that is insufficient to cover the cost of living. The money they earn is quickly eaten up by rent and other costs that continue to increase at a rate much higher than their own income. Many people in Greensboro rely on charitable services for necessities as basic as food. The lack of economic opportunity has led to some people to resort to crime, leading CBS to rank Greensboro among the top 50 most dangerous cities in the US for a number of years now. Property crime is a daily reality for nearly all residents of Greensboro, regardless of their poverty status, but those in poverty suffer the worst. There is rarely a week that goes by in Greensboro without a homicide and multiple counts of other violent crimes, which disproportionately impact communities with higher poverty.

We believe that cooperatives have the potential to provide people a way out of poverty. Worker cooperatives are directed and owned by the people that work in them, enabling them to provide themselves with stable and dignified work. Consumer cooperatives are similarly directed and owned by the people that use the services that they provide (be it housing, insurance, childcare etc.) allowing community members to pool their resources and save on costs that burden them currently.

So, this is why we do it: we see a problem in our community with terrible consequences, we recognize that no meaningful progress is being made to address it, and we see a solution that we believe is truly capable of delivering this much needed change. Recognizing this solution that we can realistically achieve, the need to act is nothing short of a moral obligation on our part. We are motivated by a desire to see the people in our local community doing well, and believe that inaction in these terrible circumstances is unconscionable when we see a solution.

budget

We are setting a goal of $5000 to transform our movement from a local informal project to an established and incorporated cooperative non-profit. The budget will include:

$250: Base annual expenses for website maintanence, cooperative organization dues, and other services

$250: Public outreach expenses

$1500: General costs for legal consultation for tax and incorporation purposes

$3000: Our goal for establishing a base for funding our community education, service, and coordination projects.



TOTAL PROJECT FUNDING NEEDED $5,000
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $272
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%)
(Donation processing fee does not apply to match funding.)
$163
TOTAL TO RAISE= $5,435
Donation processing fees apply to donations only. 100% of match funding goes to projects. Please note, fees are estimated here and final numbers may change based on the final amount raised and amount of match funding applied to this campaign.  

 

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