Community Development Foundations are community-owned and led organisations which use self-help, trading for social purpose, and ownership of buildings and land, to bring about long-term social, economic and environmental benefits in their community.
They operate in both urban and regional areas and, although are independent, they work in partnership with the public sector, private businesses and other community groups.
(Based on the explanation in Inspiring Change: Creating a Successful Development Trust, written by Development Trusts Association Scotland).
Development foundations are enterprising organisations aiming for long-term financial self-sufficiency by generating surpluses to reinvest in the enterprise and the wider community. To do this you need to be entrepreneurial, take risks and look out for opportunities and business ideas to benefit your community.
They are about local action for local benefit. They are about communities taking control, shaping their future and making things happen. They encourage everyone to get involved and play their part.
• Build community resilience and independence
• Be curators and custodians of a place or town centre
• Develop and manage assets which create revenue to fund community projects
One or more of the following options could be investigated, depending on circumstances:
- Land sold by or leased from local or State Governments for peppercorn or reduced cost
- Loan at either market or reduced rate
- Social impact superannuation investment
- Grants (e.g. Lotterywest)
- Community share issue
- Cash at bank for a town team
- Joint venture
- Social or community bonds
- Partnerships (e.g. Rotary, Lions etc)
A town team or other community entity, as advisors and guardians, can curate and be stewards of the place because they have some means of delivery through ownership of assets, which can also deliver a long-term, relatively predictable revenue stream
Sound challenging. Well, here are some example of communities in Australia that have done it. There are 500 Community Development Trusts in the U.K. and probably thousands in North America. Let’s do it!
And there are more example of communities doing it for themselves at https://www.coopdevelopment.org.au/communitybuyouts.html