I recently returned to Seattle after three years in Salt Lake City. I’m re-acclimating to the privilege of a water view and good restaurants in any given direction as well as the community of mission-driven businesses which thrive here. While I’m thrilled to be back in my home town, I’m also coming to appreciate my time in a smaller city and the unique things I learned in that environment. SLC has tenaciously hung onto its emigrant/pioneer spirit which fuels a highly self-sufficient, entrepreneurial business environment. For a person with both right and left brained tendencies, it suited me well.
While in Utah, I worked with the state’s brand new Community Foundation, helping donors set up individualized funds which best matched their long-term philanthropic objectives. I also networked these donors together with the non-profits who were doing the coolest, most impactful work on the ground. I love connecting people and resources and watching beautiful things start to happen–because they always do.
While many people have a strong sense that mission driven work can be very fulfilling, they also may think that many nonprofits live hand-to-mouth existences–reliant on donors to keep their doors open. This perception persists because non-profits often speak a language of scarcity as a part of their institutional culture. My philosophy has always been to shine the light on the abundance within any institution, organization, or community, a world view which requires seeing paramount value in non-tangible assets such as goodwill and social networks.
Community Sourced Capital is a wonderful laboratory experiment about abundance. The proposal is simple and elegant: how do small businesses turn their existing social capital into financial capital? In aggregate, the story may appear to simply be about businesses getting loans. But if you zoom down to the micro level, it’s about authentic connections between people who have common goals. Each connection made through a Square beautifully illustrates the culture of abundance. A Square is money that does a job, creates a connection, and then returns to be deployed again.
I have an art degree and a business degree. This makes lots of sense if you meet me. I think business structures can be a beautifully expressed manifestation of creativity (with a much wider audience than any of the arts). I’m excited to be working with CSC and helping to build more purposeful and authentic connections within communities, and at the same time, spreading the word and values of abundance.