The Soil Trust
It's a simple idea. Very much in keeping with the Slow Money Principles and the idea of putting back into the soil what we take out.
And it's a radical idea. Leading us towards a new kind of philanthropy and a new kind of investing for the 21st century.
Imagine: a new generation of foundations dedicated to investing rather than grant making, providing a major new source of capital for the great economic transition away from faster, bigger and more global, and towards slower, smaller and more local. Imagine: creating such an entity via small contributions from thousands or millions of Americans. Imagine: a philanthropic investment pool designed to pave the way for a million people to invest 1% of their assets in local food systems.
The Soil Trust will do just that.
The Soil Trust will provide guarantees, seed capital and co-investment capital for Slow Money investors and new Slow Money funds that are emerging around the country. Boston, Madison, Seattle, the Bay Area, Raleigh/Durham, Santa Fe, Boulder – in these and other places, folks are coming together to begin slow money investing. The Soil Trust is dedicated to catalyzing these efforts.
The Soil Trust will collect small donations, aggregate them, then invest them as catalytically as possible. Financial returns coming back to the Trust will be reinvested for the benefit of future generations, creating a permanent, non-profit investment fund dedicated to soil fertility.
Is this traditional investing? No.
Is this achievable? Yes.
We offer a special thanks to those intrepid early supporters who chipped in to the Soil Trust when it was first announced at our national gathering in 2010.
We will complete design work and strategic planning for the Trust by the end of 2012, for a full launch in the spring of 2013. In the meantime, if the vision for the Soil Trust excites you, and you want to join the ranks of early supporters or get more information, sign up at http://the.soiltrust.org/
Paul Newman said, "I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out." Recognizing the wisdom of these words, let us begin rebuilding our economy from the ground up, asking:
* What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?
* What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?
* What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?
If 4 million Americans contribute $35 per annum to the NRA, will one million Americans contribute $25 per annum to the Soil Trust to begin fixing our economy from the ground up?