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RHD's Equal Dollars Community Currency honors public service with Community Engagement Fund grants

10/30/2011 5:37:00 PM
Contact: Kevin Roberts RHD Communications 215-951-0300 (ext. 3714)
or kevinr@rhd.org

Contributions in our communities often go unrecognized. But thanks to Equal Dollars, Philadelphia’s community currency, they’ll no longer be undervalued.

Philadelphia-based community currency, Equal Dollars, has created a Community Engagement Fund in order recognize the value of individual contributions to social service organizations. Equal Dollars members can donate their currency in order to build the fund and local social service organizations can then receive grants in order to recognize volunteer service. 

The Community Engagement Fund, created by the Equal Dollars Community Currency Steering Committee, not only honors individuals who provide community service but also provides individuals an alternative financial tool during difficult economic times. The Community Engagement Fund will make grants to local social service organizations, and those organizations can then offer gratuities in the form of community currency to individuals who perform any number of service activities. The Equal Dollars Steering Committee, along with local community service organizations, will evaluate these community service projects in order to determine the amount of gratuity given.

“Equal Dollars Community Currency only has value if it circulates and is used,” said Deneene Brockington, Equal Dollars director. “Our group decided to design a new intervention that would significantly veer from standard practice in the larger community. Specifically, we wanted to establish new rules that would permit the steering committee to issue some currency into the community.”

Equal Dollars Community Currency is a companion currency system and rewards program that issues Equal Dollar incentives to its members for providing a service that improves their communities and/or the lives of other members within the Equal Dollars community. Equal Dollars are then redeemed for goods and services that are made available by the Equal Dollars community members and outside donations. Equal Dollars is a program of Resources for Human Development, a national human services nonprofit with corporate headquarters in Philadelphia.

“Every day in our communities, there are people who volunteer to coach a children’s team, or help the elderly manage daily chores such as shopping or traveling, or provide free labor to improve local facilities,” RHD CEO Bob Fishman said. “This is yet another way a community currency can add vitality to our communities, where U.S. Dollars are scarce and expensive, while local energy – including volunteerism and community service – are abundantly available.”

To learn how your organization can benefit from Equal Dollars or how you can sign up, contact Deneene Brockington at 215-951-0300, extension 3027 or visit www.equaldollars.org