Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Art of Volunteering, Social Enterprises and Alternative Currencies

As our inequitable monetary system reveals how some people use money to control others (while isolating themselves with bigger houses and yards) we have an opportunity to explore non-monetary (alternative) currencies, like social (civic) and spiritual capital to build stronger community relations.

Three factors have motivated a change of strategy for Art of Volunteering:
  1. Ernest Chu’s book, Soul Currency
  2. My board work for non-profit, Maui Academy of Performing Arts (MAPA)
  3. The gap in financial support for Hawaii’s social services providers
Let’s just say that AOV has been “in beta” and it is time to make it the community driven “social enterprise” it wants to be. As a 501(c)3 non profit, AOV is inviting the community to supplement the gap in funds for essential social services in Hawaii with volunteer capital, both for AOVs growth as a business entity and for the volunteer capital it gathers and mobilizes.

As a non-profit, AOV will be able to provide “Call for Volunteers” announcements to the growing AOV volunteer database at no cost to the non-profits.

At the Nov. 13th Maui Non-Profit Director’s Association meeting I made a presentation about how to use volunteer capital, social networking and volunteer management software to bridge the gap in county funding. I was followed by a presentation by a county official whose financial projections for funding of Maui’s essential non-profit services was dismal at best – which served to underscore my point.

Secondly, I had the great pleasure of attending the recent Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce second Annual Business Fest at the Grand Wailea, Nov. 19-20. In my 10 years on Maui, I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the giant elephant in the room. You know, the one where American imperialism stole Hawaii. While I’m not an authority on all the issues at stake, my love of the aina (land) and its people (Hawaiians) requires that I do my own part in righting the wrong. Although there were many trespasses, the real crime is in the suppression of Hawaiian cultural values and their ancestral indigenous wisdom – wisdom that must come forward if humanity is going to survive as a species.

The good news is the opportunity at hand when a native son takes his place in the White House. With that, Art of Volunteering, Keith Ranney Solutions and One Sun Music (Bentley’s label) are forging ahead on the creation of edutainment media designed to highlight the Hawaiian cultural values that we know from experience will go a long way toward healing our world. More to come…

Invitation: if you resonate with the idea of putting your social capital to work on behalf of the community, or you have expertise in Hawaiian culture, let’s talk. I welcome your mana'o (ideas), your brilliance and currencies of all kinds.

Wish List:
  • Fiscal sponsor while going through 501(c)3 application process
  • Donations (to go through 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor) to support a state wide marketing effort and development of educational media
  • Volunteer support in realizing a statewide database of 10,000 volunteers by 1/1/11
NOTE: Tell your favorite non-profit about Art of Volunteering and send them to the website at www.artofvolunteering.org.

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