The Davis Empowerment & Community Organization (or Davis ECO) is the organization that runs the Davis Dollars community currency, as well as other current and planned projects. Its mission is to strengthen the community and local economy, and empower individuals.
This is not the Davis Empowerment Project, an initiative to help train and employ members of the Davis homeless population.
Service Swap bulletin boards
One of the main attractions at the Davis Dollars farmers market table is the services bulletin board, where anyone can post services they offer or want. Davis ECO is now working to maintain a number of service boards elsewhere in the community to encourage people to help each other and get to know each other better.
Training in Managing Interns
Davis ECO provides training in how to manage interns. Once the community group incubator is fully functional, it will offer training to nearly any group that meets the incubator guidelines (yet to be written). For the moment, however, Davis ECO only offers this service to organizations whose missions support Davis ECO's mission (strengthening the community and local economy, and empowering individuals).
When a project leader approaches Davis ECO for intern training, typically Davis ECO will help in the following ways:
- Train the project leads in intern management
- Help orient new interns
- Work to coordinate the project with existing Davis ECO projects so they can complement each other
In partnership with the EC Gardens, Davis ECO will be coordinating a crop/seed swap, probably to begin in Spring, 2011. People can bring vegetables and/or seeds to share, and take home vegetables and seeds from other people. This will be modeled partly on the very successful crop swap in Sacramento's Oak Park neighborhood.
Community Group Incubator
Davis ECO has begun work on its community group incubator. Like business incubators, the community group incubator will accelerate the successful development of community groups through an array of organizational support resources and services, developed and orchestrated by incubator management and offered both in the incubator and through its network of contacts.
Davis ECO envisions providing the following resources to community groups:
- Coworking space
- Shared physical resources (such as fold-up tables and awnings for tabling)
- Coaching on organizational skills, including how to incorporate and apply for tax-exempt status, how to fundraise, and how to manage interns and employees.
The incubator will be supported in part by fees from participating groups, and in part by donations and grants.
Some wording adapted from Wikipedia.
These are projects Davis ECO plans to begin at some point (some of which will be rolled naturally into the community group incubator once the incubator is fully functional):
- A Network Cafe (inspired by the Sacramento Food Bank's successful Network Cafe) to bring together community groups and nonprofits in Davis to share ideas and create partnerships
- Revive the Davis People's Free School
- Revive the Volunteer Edible Gardening Team
- Create and support free piles
- Bolster Daviswiki by building out sections that would be useful to Davisites, but which are currently nonexistent or anemic (such as the How to live in a cooperative and Free Economy pages)
- Start or support a hackerspace
There are several ways to get involved with Davis ECO. For any of these, contact Davis ECO for more information.
Davis ECO welcomes volunteers with any of its ongoing projects, and on many of its potential future projects.
Intern with Davis ECO
Davis ECO offers internships in a variety of fields:
- Davis ECO Board of Directors: Help develop the direction the Davis Dollars organization should move in
- Davis Dollars business outreach and development: convincing businesses to accept Davis Dollars, improving on the Davis Dollars business plan, reaching out to banks and credit unions to encourage them to exchange Davis Dollars, etc.
- Community outreach: talking to community members at the farmers market, working with existing communities to help them exchange services, etc.
- Website design: Learn how to use Wordpress (a website/blog creation tool), and help develop the Davis Dollars and Davis ECO websites
- Graphic design and illustration: Design fliers, posters, T-shirts, etc.
Davis ECO has offered internships to over 65 interns since 2009.
Get trained in intern management
To kickstart your own community project, contact Davis ECO for help managing interns.