Financial support

We had some conversations during the karrot weekend about sharing some of the funding we have with local foodsaving (or other) groups, we didn’t really get to a clear concept of how that would work though, so we thought to open a discussion on here to get more input.

Some of the points that came up in our discussions were:

For:

  • seems a nice way to support groups if a small amount of money will make a big difference
  • we would like to enable people who are less economically advantaged to start/run groups too
  • connects to wider principles of a solidarity economy where groups with more funding/money can support groups with less

Against:

  • there are not actually many costs involved in running a local group, not sure what it would be for
  • we don’t want to make people feel they need money to do this stuff
  • if people become only motivated by receiving money, this probably won’t be enough to sustain the group

It sort of also fits in with some of our ideas on how to receive more money too (it’s not that we’ve got so much we are looking to find ways to get rid of it) so also looking at setting up clearer voluntary donation possiblities (e.g. https://opencollective.com/ or make more use of https://liberapay.com/foodsaving.world/ which we never really promoted).

Currently we have our monthly money meetings where we discuss who/what to pay, or anything else money related, you can read all the minutes publically (Monthly money call).

We don’t really know what groups might need money for, maybe printing flyers? or room hire?

Would love to hear thoughts on:

  • if you are active in a local group, do you have needs for money? what for? how much?
  • if so, how do you currently get money?
  • for more established groups, do you think people in your group would be interested to donate voluntarily to the karrot project? what would be important to them to make it feel good/useful?
  • … well, anything else too!

(if you’re interested deeper in things that touch this topic, I’ve been reading a bunch of stuff from the Guerrilla Media Collective lately, e.g. https://wiki.guerrillamediacollective.org/index.php/Open_Value_Cooperativism which includes much deeper, more complex ideas about value)

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Since there were no reactions so far, I guess there is no need for money :grin:

Well, I can share from our experience in Gothenburg, that we have achieved really a lot without spending anything, but there are of course a few things that cost more or less and would be nice to have funding for. Here’s a summed up list of costs and non-costs…

Things that did not need money for:

  • Fridges for our sharing points (so-called solidarity fridges here). We got them donated and often we found them at giveaway sites or Facebook groups
  • Rent for places where the fridges are. We do not have our own places, but we find places that we think would be suitable to have our sharing points and ask them to be there.
  • Transportation. We reformed some old four-wheel carts that were used to distribute papers and the banana boxes fit quite well there. There was actually a little cost there in buying new special wheels. Some pickups are done by car and this expense is covered by the food savers themselves (there was a discussion whether we’d pay this as an organisation, but we chose not to legitimize this form of transportation and it would not be financially sustainable anyways)
  • Any kind of salary. This is obvious, since all of the work we put into it is volunteer work. I don’t think it’s completely out of question to pay some kind of salary for some tasks at some point of the project, but I think this can be a very delicate question and at least for us is not needed at the moment

Things that we’d probably need and would like money for:

  • Sustainable transportation. We talked many times about having a big electric cargo bike for transporting larger amounts that currently we can only get with cars. These things are quite expensive, like 10k Euros or more.

Things that we actually spent money on:

  • As mentioned above, some special wheels for a cart that we use to transport the food
  • One very big tranparent IKEA box made of plastic in order to store some bread we save.
  • Part of the train tickets for people from here to travel to the Foodsharing Festival in Berlin

We got the money to our organisation from a local sustainability award and from a couple of presentations I did on foodsaving

Possibly, yes. I think a compelling message to donate would be needed. Many people probably have no idea that Karrot has been created and is maintained by a small group of dedicated people who haven’t got (except once) any financial reward for it and that donations would just mainly cover some of their very cheap (in a good way :sweat_smile:) living expenses.

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Hi Nickseller,
thanks for your message and my apologies if reply to you only now.

few weeks ago I entered into this platform because I was looking for local foodsharing groups .
I did not managed to find any, but I got in touch on my own with a project that runs in Torino (where I currently live), they are foodsavers/rescuers and sharing.

Unfortunately I was not aware of the Karrot Weekend, it would have been great to participate.
Consequently, I also do not which kind of project or local group you may refer to. Size, cause, number of people involved, geographical location, ect…

I try to answer to the questions you made early on:

  • the local project/group does need money. It needs money to run and for:
    -pay aslylum seekers. They are collecting the and rescue the food from out door merkets. There are very few volunteers, the project tries to give a small amount of money to everyone as interns.
    -pay one employs at the office
    -bills, such as rent of the office.

  • the project gets money from donations, crowdfunding, call for applications and small partnerships

  • generally speaking, I believe people in the group would be happy to donate what they can. Unfortunately, asylum seekers, who are the majority in the group, are actually in need of financial support. The only person who initially donated is the founder Paolo Hutter, and current “head” of the project.

  • I upload a presentation of the project, so that you can have a look. It an amazing idea and a fantastic approach to integration and socialization, reduction of wasted food and CO2 emission.

Thanks for your time.
Looking forward to hearing from you

Giulio

The project looks really interesting, Giulio! But I don’t think it is actually the same concept we’re trying to support here. The kind of projects we refer to as foodsaving are volunteer-driven projects, not based on contractual relationships between employer and employees. Personally I think that using money this way adds unnecessary complications and takes away a lot of the grassroots and social movement aspect of foodsaving, which empowers people in a very different way.

Also I have an honest and curiou questions: how do you plan to be financially sustainable on the long run, or what is the business model to keep these people employed as food savers? Or will the project continue relying on donations and other types of funding only?

Hi Bruno,

thank you very much for your answer and your questions.

I agree on your points. I also believe that this project maybe be quite different on structure and way of pursuing the foodsaving goals. Most of the projects and associations around Torino are volunteers based, while this one wanted to differentiate itself, giving an opportunity to the people involved. Let’s say that this project tries to go against the current; against of a very used practice spread in Italy: to not pay people for the job done.

But any way. The idea behind is also to allow asylum seekers to get introduced into society and to help them in creating relationships for alternative jobs opportunities. The project helps them to get integrated and increase their changes to receive the asylum status.

Because of that, as you noticed, and in my opinion too, the project is not very sustainable financially. This is the reason why they are often looking for financial support and sponsors.
If you have any ideas or similar concepts you may know, please share them with me :wink:. I would love to learn more about it and help these people in Torino.

All in all, I am also new into this project and I am looking for alternative solutios, too. I lived in Freiburg for a while and got in touch with foodsharing Germany. I see a lots of similarities in the Torino’s project, however the main one is the same, rescue the wasted food :v:

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I’d love to see things like foodsaving as real opportunities for income, so that people can do this rather than take exploitative jobs that enrich bosses and distant shareholders, and/or jobs that are bad for the environment. Particularly in the case of saving food, I think the most effective model and with the biggest impact is to work without a business and income model. But I hope that the project in Torino finds a solution to keep going financially and that all of the people working on it can be the real bosses of themselves. :slight_smile:

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