Campaign update – Where’d the winter go?!
by Brandy Gallagher
What happened !? The winter months have been a blur of learning and connections. With an incredible outpouring of support, questions, ideas and new possibilities, a generous grouping of individuals have stepped up to support the continued existence of OUR ECOVILLAGE as a 25 acre Sustainable Living Demonstration Site and Education Center – an international showcase.
The “Ethical Investment Mortgage” had almost $1million in Investors show up to enquire as to what opportunities existed in creating ‘community investing in community’ as a model and a practical tool to move forward with the next phase of OUR ECOVILLAGE. Having said that perhaps 60% have not been able to/or chose not to….be able to follow through for various reasons (costs/penalties, deciding to jump in on other higher paying interest funds, inability to transfer funds, etc). In 5 months that is an incredible response and possibility that is demonstrated in the realm of how new models for ‘Social Finance‘ might be realized for OUR and projects across Canada. This mortgage becomes a testimonial to what groups of people can do not only throughout other projects in BC but across Canada….and as always all the efforts we have put out are ‘open source’ and the resources are to be shared with who might want to create a similar framework for any other organization.
With the remaining 40% of these folks we are squeaking across the deadline with the $400k….as long as the last remaining folks have no unforeseen challenges with paperwork. There are more costs associated with Appraisal Fees, admin fees etc that we are still doing a cost recovery on …and generally this has been fairly painless to set up, has created a lot of community building and wider community connections, and has been a testimonial to what community can create when everyone sees themselves as part of the process. Island Savings Credit Union has agreed to hold the current mortgage until the final paperwork and investors complete on the full populating of the Ethical Investment Mortgage. At this time there are some Investors with $10-$50K which we have ‘wait-listed’ as a back up for Investors who may need to withdrawn prior to the 1-5 year commitment they have made…and we are also still accepting larger Investors as potential partners as the Ethical Investment Mortgage evolves.
An amazing new element unfolded as so many individuals and organizations expressed their wish to help “Protect OUR ECOVILLAGE Forever“…and yet were not in the position to invest in a mortgage. With this OUR team came up with another option to support that desire. As a statement of ‘good faith’ to the Investors who have stepped up for the mortgage – we have created a parallel opportunity: “OUR Sustainers – Core Support Program“. This has huge impact as folks are able to become much more involved in OUR ECOVILLAGE through monthly giving (with tax receipts) but also are able to join in OUR Harvest Festival every fall, having large discounts from courses/activities onsite, and building community on much larger scale. Check it out and jump in to match the vision of the Investors… and gain so much more… this summer is packed with possibilities.
Join Starhawk for her Earth Activist Training, take an Organic Master Gardener Certification, send your family member on an Internship odyssey, or even just get away for a Farm Stay Ecovillage Explorer….use your Sustainer discount as many times as you like. This creates y/OUR opportunity –
Looking forward to what the ripples of community creates as we work together at OUR ECOVILLAGE, this bio-region, and throughout the planet…