Financing alternatives

List prepared by Thomas H. Greco, Jr., Revised January 10, 2012

This is a list of financing alternatives that I started preparing as a resource list for my presentation to the Financial Planning Association in May, 2011. I have since added a few items to it. It remains a work in progress.–t.h.g.

From Wall Street to Main Street

The Finance Innovation Lab.

The Finance Innovation Lab is an open environment in which people can come together to explore, innovate and evolve the financial system so that it sustains people and planet.

The Green Business Network

The Green Business Exchange

The Sustainable Business Council

Move Your Money Campaign

“The Move Your Money project is a nonprofit campaign that encourages individuals and institutions to divest from the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions.”

La Montanita Fund.

…the New Mexico State Securities Division approved the LaM FUND’s  grassroots investing program and we can now offer it to all Co-op members who want to support the growth of our local food system and strengthen our  local economy.

The investing aspect of the LaM FUND is open to all current Co-op members who reside in New Mexico. This first year the LaM Fund is working to raise $100,000 dollars, through the sale of LaM FUND “Interests.”  The money raised from the sale of the “Interests” will be placed in a Money Market account at the New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union (NMEFCU), and will be used to collateralize the loans approved by the LaM FUND’s Loan Advisory Committee. Interests are $250 each with a total 400 units in this year’s offering.

LION (Local Investing Opportunities Network)

The Local Investing Opportunities Network allows individuals to provide financial backing for businesses in Port Townsend or surrounding Jefferson County through an easy application process. A business owner submits a business plan, references, and a request in a specific amount, and LION distributes the application to residents who want to invest. From there, the business and the investor figure out the details of an equity investment or a loan. So far, LION has provided local investments for a wide variety of businesses, including a dairy, a bike shop, a nightclub, and even local schools.

Crowd Sourcing, Crowd Funding, Crowd Financing

9 crowdfunding websites to help you change the world. “Support all your favorite organizations from a single monthly donation.” Watch the 3 minute video here: Kickstarter “is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project. Every month, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.”

CREW – Connect Resources that Expand your World

“We connect people to fund small business for the common good.” Kiva’s purpose is to create new opportunities for businesses in the developing world by allowing Internet users to support them via microloans.

We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.

Since Kiva was founded in 2005:

  • 566,867 Kiva lenders
  • $201 million in loans
  • 98.63% Repayment rate

We work with:

  • 126 Field Partners
  • 450 volunteers around the world
  • 58 different countries


“The world’s leading international funding platform.” ProFounder facilitates investments structured around revenue sharing, instead of equity or debt. The entrepreneur determines how much to share, and for how long.

ProFounder is an online crowdfunding platform that provides tools for entrepreneurs to raise their investment capital from their communities.

ProFounder was created to ensure all entrepreneurs have access to the resources they need through the engagement of robust, supportive communities.

Traditional funding sources can be expensive, difficult to access, or not a great fit for many small enterprises. Instead, we believe that communities can be the best source for the energy, encouragement, tools and capital small business entrepreneurs need to succeed.

So, why can’t anyone just invest a few hundred dollars in a small business they love? We’ve heard hundreds of stories from entrepreneurs and small business owners who have tried gathering investments (real investments, not just donations) from friends, family, and other members of their community, but have struggled along the way. Unfortunately, the process is unnecessarily confusing, costly, and complicated.

ProFounder will change this. We’re making it easy for your community to contribute financially to your business, so they’re literally invested in your success.

Prosper is the market leader in peer-to-peer lending—a popular alternative to traditional loans and investing options. We cut out the middleman to connect people who need money with those who have money to invest…so everyone prospers!

Slow money.

Slow Money’s mission is to build local and national networks, and develop new financial products and services, dedicated to:

  • investing in small food enterprises and local food systems;
  • connecting investors to their local economies; and,
  • building the nurture capital industry.

The Abundance Foundation (NC):

Members pledge capital investments in $500 (minimum and) increments to be used to create loans that will strengthen our local foodshed and thereby improve resilience in our community. I understand this money will be lent to individuals and enterprises that can fail, and that there is a chance this money will not be returned to me.

I also understand that when this money is placed in a loan, 2% will be paid to me for the entire term of the loan, or as long as the loan is performing. 1% will be paid by the borrower to The Abundance Foundation for administrative costs.

Investors’ Circle.

Impact Investing Makes More Than Change

Investors’ Circle is a network of over 150 angel investors, professional venture capitalists, foundations and family offices who are using private capital to promote the transition to a sustainable economy. Since 1992, Investors’ Circle has facilitated the flow of over $145 million into more than 220 companies and small funds addressing social and environmental issues.

Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO)

AEO is a national membership organization and voice of microenterprise development in the United States. For nearly two decades, AEO and its hundreds of member organizations have helped more than two million entrepreneurs support themselves and their families and contribute to their communities through business ownership.  AEO’s strives to foster greater understanding of the importance of strong and effective microenterprise initiatives to the U.S. economy, and to increase capacity of the field to support underserved entrepreneurs in starting, stabilizing and establishing businesses. AEO represents the public policy interests of its members and, through its growing network of partners, facilitates interactions among small entrepreneurs and the organizations that seek to help them succeed.

Portfolio 21 Investments.

Portfolio 21 invests exclusively in companies with an explicit commitment to the environment, this includes attributes like greener products, sustainable business practices, efficient production methods, and use of renewable energy.

Root Capital.

Root Capital is a nonprofit social investment fund that is pioneering finance for grassroots businesses in rural areas of developing countries. We provide capital, financial education, and market connections to small and growing businesses that build sustainable livelihoods and transform rural communities in poor, environmentally vulnerable places.

Since our launch in 1999, we have provided $256 million in credit to 320 small and growing businesses in 30 countries, maintaining a 99% repayment rate from our borrowers and a 100% repayment rate to our investors.

Good Capital

Good Capital is an investment firm that increases the flow of capital to innovative ventures creating market-based solutions to inequality and poverty. Using a high engagement model, we invest in the most promising social enterprises and give them the tools and guidance they need to succeed. In addition, Good Capital actively leads the development of the emerging social capital market. We share a deep commitment to the creation of a new, informed, and passionate world of investing that strategically moves more capital to good.

Our first financial product, the Social Enterprise Expansion Fund, is seeking to fill the risk-taking expansion capital gap for social enterprises while providing investors with an attractive blend of financial and social returns. Our innovative model enables a new class of investors to put their money to work to change the world.

GoodCap’s Social Enterprise Expansion Fund (SEEF) provides growth capital to social enterprises that create innovative and self-sustaining solutions to the root causes of inequity in the U.S. and around the world.

Organizational Resources.

An extensive list of related organizational resources is provided at this site.


One PacificCoast Bank (OPCB). ( was born in 2007 — on the eve of the national banking crisis — for a reason.  From the outset, OPCB was designed to counter the unfairness of banking as we had come to know it.  Upon creation, our founders granted 100% of the bank’s dividends, when declared, to a foundation dedicated to the communities and environment upon which we all depend.  This unique structure ensures that the bank’s interests are aligned with the needs of its customers and communities. We call this “beneficial banking.”

OPCB started as a commercial bank, focused on lending to small businesses, nonprofit organizations and community facilities that are local, independent, and care about sustainability.  Our focus was (and continues to be) on creating jobs, building community wealth, and supporting ecological health.  Shortly into our journey, we recognized the importance of fair and transparent banking services for consumers, especially in the face of predatory alternatives.  To that end we are currently piloting products designed to assist low-income families… One PacificCoast Bank is pioneering a new kind of “beneficial banking,”

where communities benefit from its success.

New Resource Bank (NRB).

NRB is “a courageous group of guerilla evangelists” committed to making investments that serve good causes. “Slow-banking” is not concerned with traditional banking goals like profitability, market-share, and growth. Instead, NRB’s goal is to “influence the flow of capital to businesses that are doing good.”

ShoreBank International.

ShoreBank International Ltd. (SBI) delivers a broad range of financial services to financial institutions and their funders globally, dedicated to expanding access to capital for small businesses, entrepreneurs and households. Within our core sectors of small business finance, microfinance and housing finance, SBI develops innovative solutions to catalyze the financing of entrepreneurial and housing investments around the world by working with interested financial institutions and by introducing independent platforms.

Urban Partnership Bank (formerly ShoreBank)

Common Good Bank (in formation)

“Common Good Finance™ creates democratic, community-based economic solutions for sustainability, economic justice, and the good of all.”

“The Bank: So we designed Common Good Bank™ as the framework for a community-based democratic economic system that can also compete effectively within the current economic system. This design combines the spirit of a credit union with the power and growth potential of a stock savings bank.

Any geographic community can have its own democratically-guided virtual bank, simply as a cooperative depositor group within Common Good Bank. Deposits, investments, and profits will be tracked separately for each community. All profits from the community’s investments will go to schools and other nonprofits as decided by the members.”

e3 Bank (in formation).

“Our name, e3bank, is shorthand for our focus on the triple bottom line. We build prosperous and sustainable enterprise through sound investments in people and our planet, protect the health of our environment which supports life and our economy, and increase social equity by being fair to all people and communities affected by our decisions.”

6 responses to “Financing alternatives

  1. Pingback: Models to Emulate | Crowdfunding & Co-ops in Canada

  2. Thank you for this short list of resources!


  3. Pingback: Weekly Annotations Round-up (weekly) | Creative Destruction

  4. Dear Tom;

    Sorry to keep responding the same old way. I just got into the game so late and did not have any focused direction. I love, admire and respect you Tom, but as I have said before “You can not solve problems with the same thinking that created them.” To me any thing associated with the current paradgim must be discarded to allow for the birth of a transendent system. I would very much like your input, reguarding my latest video post on 11/11/11. When you have a chance I would appreciate your thoughts.

    In Lak’ech Love&Peace David

    Where are you?


    • David, I fully agree that You can not solve problems with the same thinking that created them,” and with your statement that “any thing associated with the current paradigm must be discarded to allow for the birth of a transcendent system.” What makes you think otherwise? Be specific, please.


  5. Pingback: Financing alternatives « Beyond Money

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