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community way - faq - (revisions)

community way

Community way is a new tool for locally based fund-raising and economic development. Donations in community way dollars (cw$) connect non-profits and businesses in a mutually beneficial support cycle.

Any individual or group can readily initiate this fund-raising program, which is designed to recover all start-up costs. It will work best when many local businesses and organizations participate, but it can also finance a single project or cause.

how it works - community way slideshow



  • businesses donate community way dollars (cw$), not cash or products, to schools, organizations, and projects of their choice, undertaking to accept community way dollars (cw$) in part payment (usually between 15% and 50%) of a sale.

  • organizations spend the cw$ at participating businesses, increase staff wages and pay for unpaid overtime, reward volunteers, and hire local contractors.

  • people fund the projects they want to support by exchanging normal money for cw$, which they then spend in any of the participating shops, restaurants, etc.

  • businesses then spend the earned (redeemed) cw$ with other participating businesses, pay staff bonuses, hire local contractors, and so on. They get tax credits on donations, and they collect taxes on the whole amount of the sale, just like normal money.


good for business, good for community

For business, this is a simple and cash-free way to increase sales, strengthen the local economy, and secure customer recognition and loyalty. Since the cw$ are as good as cash at participating businesses, people can help without losing purchasing power, and by shopping locally, they vote for the community they want.

payment methods

Smart cards are the preferred method for moving cw$ and recording transactions, especially at business point-of-sale. A smart card is a computer chip on a card that stores value and records transactions between cards. Businesses can also use ledger forms, voice mail, web, and email to record transactions through a community currencies service provider (ccsp).

community way projects

A community way trial project using smart cards in the Comox Valley was successfully completed in 2001 - please email/skype for details.


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