SOIL NC Fund FAQ’s

What is SOIL NC?
SOIL NC is an exciting new way to help farmers – a charitable revolving loan fund, and a program of Slow Money 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.

Are SOIL NC donations tax deductible?
SOIL NC funds are housed under the umbrella organization, Slow Money NC, Inc.  All money put in the SOIL NC fund is considered a charitable donation and allowable as a tax deduction according to the IRS.*

What are the criterion for SOIL NC Loans?
SOIL NC seeks to finance:
• small farm and local food projects that have enough financial viability that it seems worth the risk,
• projects that have the most substantial impact for our food system, and
• to provide capital to people with a viable need, but who are otherwise unlikely to get a loan from anywhere else.

How is the SOIL NC revolving loan fund funded?
Individuals make charitable donations to SOIL NC.  Donors are asked to consider making an annual donation/pledge to the SOIL NC fund, if at all possible, to allow for more effective planning of the fund’s lending capacity.

Is all the money used to make loans?
75% is used for loans. 25% of SOIL NC fund donations are used to administer the SOIL NC programto recruit borrowers, seek donors, manage the vetting process, determine loan terms, hold gatherings, process loan payments for the perpetuity of the donation, educate the community about SOIL NC, etc….

How are Borrowers selected?
Twice a year a Loan Review Committee of 5-6 active members reviews current applications to make sure they are in alignment with the SOIL NC mission and ranks them. The top several projects are presented at the next SOIL NC gathering.

Everyone who has donated to the SOIL NC fund in the last calendar year is invited to 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 donor must be present to vote, and  voting is one donor = one vote.  These are votes are not binding to the SOIL NC staff, but will be seen as advisory.

What are the terms of the loans?
SOIL, NC loans are 0% interest. A request is made to borrowers that they donate to the fund ($100-$200 annually) as a way of staying involved and of “paying it forward” to future loan recipients, but is not a requirement. Slow Money NC staff works with the borrower to set up quarterly or annual payments, made for 1-10 years, based on the business needs of the borrower.

*To be exact, our 501 C-3 non-profit application has been filed with the Internal Revenue Service, and is under review, so is pending. We have an EIN# from the NC Secretary of State, and have no reason to doubt our application will be accepted in the next few weeks.

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