Policy always needs to give way to relationship, but we remain distinct in our commitment to share within the context of two-way relationships.
We believe each person, no matter the amount of their contribution, has an equal voice in presenting, discussing and weighing in on needs. In our culture, money is tied up with complex power dynamics. We believe it is vital that we work to eliminate the deep power dynamics that exist in questions of money: dynamics that encompass how much we have and the voice that entitles us to, the value of the gift tied to the size of the gift, and the belief that only those who have much are able to give meaningfully.
Accountability and Transparency
It is our hope to walk this journey of redistribution together, encouraging and challenging each other. For this reason we collectively submit ourselves to accountability in regards to our giving, and our covenant reflects that. Relational redistribution is a pretty intimate affair so when we create a culture of transparency around conversations of money and wealth it helps to foster the space for the vulnerability that is necessary to have these sometime difficult and awkward conversations around need and struggle.
We believe because we are committing to this endeavor in community, it is crucial for us to be able to trust each other and the intention that we have in relationship. We seek to trust the stories that are presented to us and that the person posting the need is walking in an authentic, deep relationship and is trying to do the best for the life of the person in need.
As the Charter Community our intentionality is not “if we help” but “how can we best help”. A "yes, and…" approach to needs that are posted invokes the trust that you have in the person bringing the request forward. We seek to say “Yes, I want to support you and the person you are walking with, AND I have ideas that might give greater insight or wisdom into deciding how best to meet this need or drawing on additional resources that could be shared in meeting that need…”
Organize your group.
How much is the group committing to contribute to the Group Fund and how regularly? Which members of your group will have administrative rights on the group? Who will receive the monthly reports and year-end statement and make sure these are accurate? Are you open to inviting new members into your group? Who can do this and what is the process? Do you plan to meet together physically ever? How often will you meet? Have a plan. It will make getting things done a lot easier.
Define what your group is about
Take time to ask difficult questions as a group around what defines a need, how can you verify someone is in need, are there things your group will definitely NOT support, are you comfortable supporting non-essential items or only responding to critical requests? Defining what you hope to accomplish in your giving, what a "need" is, and the kinds of things your group will/won’t do, is important. It is very likely that this will develop and be shaped and grow out of needs posted and conversations you have around needs. A group covenant or commitment may be useful as you shape your identity. We have sample Covenants available, so feel free to ask for them.