Create a Pledge Pot
Many of us have issues within our communities which are un(der)funded, and yet we are passionate about them and can see the socio-economic benefits they would bring if money was available. My issue is broadband. As a business, it is costing me money to not have it. Alone, I can not invest enough to make it happen but with my neighbours, potentially we can raise money to matchfund, borrow etc.
My idea would be a website with a simple backend database to harvest data such as name, address, amount, Parish, email.
Front end would show a map of each parish in the UK, with a running total for that specific issue that has been pledged within the Parish. District and county councils totals could be shown too. The private data behind the site - names and contact - should only be shared with the Parish Council. The amount pledged can be kept confidential as it should not be considered a commitment per se.
Those communities who are prepared to step up and put their own money forwards rather than just sit back and whinge must be applauded and supported.
It might be a good idea to differentiate between pledges of grant and pledges of loan - i.e. in many communities folks are looking for a way to get a return on savings as an alternative to banks, buy to let etc.
"t was told it is illegal to take money for something that isn't built" - they were having you on. Think of collections for village hall rebuilds, church spires, etc - they're all collecting for a future activity. A fund with some sort of trust requiring the money to be returned if it doesn't go ahead would cover it.
Lindsey Annison commented
You aren't taking money. It's a pledge to allow people to indicate how much they would be willing to invest should a project go ahead.
great idea. I raised something like this at a recent community meeting but was told it is illegal to take money for something that isn't built. If this is a way round it then it is most welcome. We are gonna have to JFDI ourselves, otherwise we will be on the digital scrap heap along with all the other countries clinging to copper phone networks.
Lindsey Annison commented
There can be an explanation of the different models which would give a return eg investment, co-op, shares etc. As a business, I can write off a pledge that becomes a solid investment against tax, and presumably with the right instrument, contributors could use Gift Aid to extend the contribution.
It is time councils etc realised that we want to take control and do not necessarily believe that large corporations are the right vehicle to deliver services to communities. Nor are they the most cost-effective, short or long term.