Home | Living Life Lab | Money Matters | The Community Trust Project Idea
Giving back to those in genuine need is part of building a community. Except the needs far outweigh the financial means of most individuals. A community may have a specific need (like covering the costs of funerals or a concentrated population of former military personal needing resources to reintegrate to life) or a wide array of needs stemming from poverty and unemployment. In most cases it would take a community as a whole to address these problems.
My way to do it would be to call a meeting of the area businesses and ask if there would be the will to start a not profit where between 1% and 3% of all businesses sales go into a community trust fund to offer financial relief for the community members it serves. I'd further invite the community at large to contribute once a year to this fund with a central event. A 3 person board review committee would need to be available on a rotating basis throughout the year to respond as needs are presented.
In turn for the businesses who respond should have a plaque available to be displayed with a heading of something like "Our Business Supports This Community". Following the heading a 1 paragraph description of this service and the web site address should appear. Then at the bottom of each plaque should be a heart felt thank you in the management's own words to their customers who make this happen by their purchases.
Finally once cash begins to build up I'd reach out to the local police, hospital, fire department, doctor, dental, lawyer and other similar professionals held in high regard to let them know the service is available if they come across someone who is genuinely stuck and in need. As part of this I believe you'd want to be transparent. I'd suggest displaying a ledger showing the income and disbursements so there is a level of trust within the community. Then instead of an individual giving away the shirt off their back and closing their business over the lost revenue it is indeed the community truly supporting it's own residents.