Dear friend of Slow Money NC,
SOIL NC is an exciting new program, and while we are still working out the details, here is what we know so far…
We have a Membership Agreement Form, and are busy creating the Organizing Documents, including Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and the Conflict of Interest Policy. They will be ready soon.
SOIL NC is a charitable revolving loan fund managed by Slow Money NC, a project of the 501(c)(3) non-profit, Abundance NC. The mission of SOIL NC is to increase and strengthen small farms and local food enterprises, and to further localize the food supply of North Carolina’s regional foodshed.
SOIL NC seeks to finance small farm and local food projects that have enough financial viability that it seems worth the risk, that have the most substantial impact for our food system, and provide capital to people who are otherwise unlikely to get a loan from anywhere else.
How is the SOIL NC revolving loan fund funded?
Members complete a Membership Agreement Form, and make donations to SOIL NC.
SOIL NC funds are housed under the umbrella organization, Abundance NC, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3). Therefore all money put in the SOIL NC fund is considered a charitable donation and allowable as a tax deduction according to the IRS.
Checks are made out to Abundance NC, notated for the SOIL NC Fund, and mailed to SOIL NC administrator, Carol Hewitt, at 424 Johnny Burke Rd., Pittsboro NC 27312.
A member donation can be of any amount, from the minimum of $250 per year to $1M. A reduced minimum of $150 is allowed for farmers, other SOIL NC borrowers, and students.
Members are asked to consider to making an annual donation to the SOIL NC fund, if at all possible, to allow for more effective planning of the fund’s lending capacity.
25% of SOIL NC funds are used by Slow Money NC to administer the SOIL NC program. 15% of those funds are used by Abundance NC to operate as the fiscal sponsor for SOIL NC.
How are Borrowers selected?
Twice a year a Loan Review Committee of 5-6 active members reviews all the applications to make sure they are in alignment with the SOIL NC mission. Those that are, are ranked and the top several projects are presented at the next SOIL NC gathering.
Members meet two times a year at a SOIL NC gathering, to hear about the applicants chosen by the review committee, and to vote on the projects they would like to see funded.
A member must be present to vote and have made a donation within the past calendar year in order to vote. Voting is one member = one vote.
What are the terms of the loans? SOIL, NC loans are 0% interest. A request is made to borrowers that they become members ($150 minimum) as soon as that is financially feasible, and that they maintain an active membership as a way of “paying it forward” to future loan recipients. Loans are paid monthly, quarterly, or annually, within 1-10 years, based on the business needs of the borrower.