Richmond, Virginia

The 32nd in our continuing series of Community Wealth Cities is Richmond, Virginia. Richmond has a complex history; once the capital of the Confederacy, it was also the first city to host a bank chartered by African- Americans. Its unique legacy as a site of both racial tension and progress creates interesting challenges and opportunities for community wealth building. Last fall, Richmond gained national attention for Mayor Dwight Jones’ anti-poverty plan, which calls for broad expansion of community wealth building and social enterprise activity.

Dill Pickle Coop

Dill Pickle Food Co-op offers healthy food choices and the benefits of cooperative practice to build a vibrant local community and more sustainable world—meeting community needs and strengthen area diversity through products, services, and education. 

The Dill Pickle is an Illinois for-profit co-operative corporation incorporated under Illinois Cooperative Law. Dill Pickle is owned and governed by its member-owners who annually elect a nine-member board of directors to oversee activity and set policy. Read more about Dill Pickle Coop...

Whatcom Community Foundation

Though small in assets, Whatcom Community Foundation is active in impact investing and economic development. With outside grants and support from activist donors and community partners, the foundation helped to develop the Whatcom Farm-to-School program, which supported local-food purchasing at 15 schools, a farming cooperative, a workplace-community supported agriculture (CSA) program at the area’s largest employer, as well as the Whatcom Farm Incubator Fund, increasing farmland accessibility to local, organic farmers. Read more about Whatcom Community Foundation...

West Central Initiative

West Central Initiative (WCI) is the second Minnesota Initiative Foundation profiled in this report. It is particularly unusual in that WCI has been formally named by the U.S. Department of Commerce as the region’s Economic Development District designee. In this capacity, the foundation receives an annual planning grant from the Economic Development Administration, enabling it to oversee regional economic planning and to provide technical assistance to communities who apply for federal grants for public works infrastructure. WCI also runs a series of loan programs for business. Read more about West Central Initiative...

Telluride Foundation

In 2012, the foundation launched the Telluride Venture Accelerator, drawing on its entrepreneurial donors to work as mentors to high-growth businesses focused on outdoor recreation, tourism, natural products, health, energy, water, and education products. Through its Paradox Community Development Initiative, partially funded by a USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant, the foundation also provides technical assistance and low-interest loans to nonprofits and locally owned small businesses in rural communities. Read more about Telluride Foundation...

Santa Fe Community Foundation

Santa Fe Community Foundation has embarked on a seven-year pilot, in which it has committed 5 to 10 percent of its pooled assets to impact investing. In 2014, it closed on three $250,000 low-interest loans, the first investment to assist low- and middle-income familiespurchase homes through a second mortgage program; the second to provide loans, training, and business consulting to small business owners and nonprofits; and the third to provide initial funding for development of an early childhood center in a low-income community. Read more about Santa Fe Community Foundation...

Santa Fe Community Foundation

Santa Fe Community Foundation has embarked on a seven-year pilot, in which it has committed 5 to 10 percent of its pooled assets to impact investing. In 2014, it closed on three $250,000 low-interest loans, the first investment to assist low- and middle-income familiespurchase homes through a second mortgage program; the second to provide loans, training, and business consulting to small business owners and nonprofits; and the third to provide initial funding for development of an early childhood center in a low-income community. Read more about Santa Fe Community Foundation...

The San Francisco Foundation

In the last 20 years, The San Francisco Foundation (TSFF) has guaranteed 17 loans totaling $5.3 million. The success of the foundation’s zero-loss loan guarantees, which leveraged over $50 million, encouraged the foundation to expand its impact investing activities. In 2009, TSFFlaunched a formal impact investing initiative, its Program Related Investments Fund, carving out $5 million from its endowment for direct investments and loans to intermediaries. Donors are now able to participate as co-investors. Read more about The San Francisco Foundation...

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Featured publication

  • Policies for Community Wealth Building: Leveraging State and Local Resources

    The Democracy Collaborative

    Fostering resilient communities and building wealth in today’s local economies is necessary to achieve individual, regional, and national economic security. A community wealth building strategy employs a range of forms of community ownership and asset building strategies to build wealth in low-income communities. In so doing, community wealth building bolsters the ability of communities and individuals to increase asset ownership, anchor jobs locally, expand the provision of public services, and ensure local economic stability. 

    Read more...

Featured media

What is Community Wealth?

How do you build community wealth? Here's some of the basic principles of a successful approach:

Community Wealth Cities

C-W City: Cincinnati, Ohio

Incorporated as a city in 1819, Cincinnati grew steadily through the mid-1900s due to its prime location on the Ohio River.  In fact, the Queen City—so dubbed by Longfellow, who referred to it as “the Queen of the West”—weathered the Great Depression better than most cities of comparable size because of the resurgence in river trade, which was less expensive than rail.  By 1950, Cincinnati had grown to its peak of nearly 504,000 residents, making it the 18th largest city in the country. Read more about C-W City: Cincinnati, Ohio...

Community Wealth Interviews

C-W Interview: Ai-jen Poo

Ai-jen Poo has been organizing immigrant women workers since 1996. In 2000 she co-founded Domestic Workers United, the New York organization that spearheaded the successful passage of the state’s historic Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010. In 2007, DWU helped organize the first national domestic workers convening, where the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) was formed. Ai-jen has served as Director of NDWA since 2009 and works on elevating women of color and domestic workers rights issues at a national level.

Spotlight

Featured from the toolbox

  • Community Capital

    In this new guide to community investment, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) identifies finance options and other investment tools to reinvigorate regional economies, create high-quality jobs, and restore the environment. BALLE offers this guide as a resource to help re-shape financial capital flows to support local self-sufficiency and ingenuity.

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