An Alternative to Conventional Philanthropy

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The donor model for philanthropy has been around a long time. But donors are increasingly looking for ways to leverage their donations into a sustainable model that creates self-funding mechanisms for their donees.

Many nonprofit organizations are launching revenue generating programs to reduce their dependence on donor funds. And true to the “fish vs. fishing pole” proverb, they are looking to donors for the resources needed to launch those programs.

National Commonwealth Group, Inc. (NCG, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit) has developed a system that can give nonprofit organizations (and other community-oriented ventures) their fishing pole. We call it the Sustainable Communities Framework (SCF) and it is part of a broader paradigm shift that we call the WEconomy. This introduction explains how we are launching in Florida in advance of a nationwide rollout.

When a donor or anyone else purchases SanDollars, they are providing NCG and its partners with funding for our programs, including a centralized community online marketplace where SanDollars are the medium of exchange for goods and services.

But unlike a donation, the purchaser retains a fungible currency that they can still spend elsewhere. With each purchase, the total amount of money in circulation locally is increased. The purchaser can spend that money or donate it to their favorite nonprofit, as described in this document.4

To launch the SCF system, we will be establishing local offices to manage the program within defined regions. These Commonwealth Development Organi- zations5 (CDOs) will be staffed by a team tasked with driving SCF in their region, including recruiting local nonprofits and small businesses into the program, along with other targeted participants. Once a CDO is operational, it and its local partners will be generating the revenue to make it self-sustaining.

While this program is primarily aimed at local small businesses and nonprofits, large businesses and others can help bootstrap their local economy by purchasing the FL$ and spending it or donating it into local circulation.Thus, NCG would like family offices, foun- dations and large businesses to enroll in a monthly purchase program analogous to a PBS pledge drive.

SanDollars can be purchased from the local CDO or an enrolled nonprofit. A nonprofit will retain a substantial portion of the USD received along with a bonus in SanDollars, with the remainder going to support the local CDO. But the purchaser still retains a fungible currency.

If your organization is a family office, foundation, large business or other organization with a philanthropy program that has made traditional donations in the past, we encourage you to join this pledge program. By purchasing SanDollars you will not only see your dollars leveraged at an unprecedented level, but you’ll retain an asset that you can use any way you wish. No other program provides philanthropists with such a high leverage of funds.


Michael Sauvante,
Executive Director, [email protected],
805 757 1085

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

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