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Common Good seeks grant applicants



Staff Writer
Thursday, August 09, 2018

GREENFIELD — If you have an idea that could help the community but don’t have the money to bring it to fruition, a local group may be able to help.

Common Good Greenfield is looking for applicants for grants that can help them achieve their goals of helping the common good. The money is available to fund projects that support sustainability, small business development, social justice, food systems or the arts, according to the group.

A total of $20,000 in grant funds are available from the Ashfield-based nonprofit group. Applications for the funds are being accepted by the group until Oct. 1, with winners announced in November and money awarded in December.

The funds come from the group’s Common Good credit system, which is used similar to cash between participating businesses and patrons. The system, first launched in Greenfield in 2013, works by members exchanging US dollars for Common Good credits at a one-for-one rate.

The U.S. dollars are kept in a community fund that continues to grow as more people put money in, said Ivan Ussach of the group. More than 300 members participate, Ussach said, and can use the credits at more than 50 Greenfield-area businesses, with products and services including groceries, medical services and entertainment.

Ussach said the money in the community fund can be accessed by members, who can exchange their Common Good credits for actual money.

However, Ussach said the fund has grown to over $100,000 over the past year and when the group completed a pilot program of the project, he said “over $1 million in transactions” occurred between members and participating stores.

The money for the grants comes from the community fund. The members participating in the project vote on how much money can be distributed for the grant funding, which they decided would be $20,000.

Last year, during the group’s first year of funding, $10,000 was distributed for eight projects that included small business development, community art outreach and low-income farm shares.

In order to receive the funding, those applying must become a member of the Common Good system but can trade in the credits for U.S. dollars, if necessary.

For more information, including how to apply, visit commongood.earth/greenfieldma/funding.