Help us build the new economy - a local living economy - in 2009!

December 23, 2008

Dear Friends:

Local living economies have clearly emerged as a leading instrument in creating the new economy. BALLE and our networks, along with many strategic partners, are working throughout North America building sustainable sources of community wealth and creating enterprises and jobs with economies that are local, green, and fair. Collectively we know how to build these economies, and we're looking to create even more successes in 2009.

This past year BALLE has expanded our networks to sixty-four (growing on a weekly basis), now representing more than 22,000 community-based businesses and entrepreneurs in small towns, urban centers, and rural areas across North America. We've also launched partnerships in Europe and Australia. We're strengthening our team to tackle the opportunities ahead - and we're working in strategic collaboration with an expanded list of effective and well-positioned partners. This January 19th, for example, we are a lead organization in the New Economy Roundtable bringing together forty organizations working on economic development, equity, and sustainability in Washington DC on the eve of the inauguration. BALLE is also a co-host of the Green Inaugural Ball later that evening. We are intentionally positioning BALLE to play a prominent role in shaping the new economy.
Locally, communities are benefiting from BALLE networks now more than ever - as they bring economic control and greater self-reliance, reduce dependency on long-distance supply chains, and lead small business toward a green and sustainable future. BALLE networks are identifying new business opportunities and generating local jobs in the new green economy. We are spreading models of business education to make sure that new and existing small businesses succeed even in these tough economic times. We're also expanding our roles in public policy, community capital, and economic justice. In addition, we have expanded and diversified our board of directors, welcoming five new members (watch for another announcement soon!) ready to begin their work January 1st.

All of these efforts to build local living economies require dedication, commitment, and financial support. Your contribution this year will help leverage additional support from foundations and other partners. And this year thirty percent of each contribution will be directly reinvested in current and emerging local networks, ensuring their development - with the balance directed into value-added programs to help these communities connect and share best practices. Please invest today.

This is at once an exciting and an urgent moment in time. My travels and conversations with many of you during my first ninety days as executive director have only confirmed that impression. Literally every day, BALLE is being approached by new allies and old friends as the place where true economic impact can happen. Powerful partnerships are forming, collaborative strategic planning is the order of the day, and our networks are leading the way.

I invite you to join us on this critical quest and further your investment in BALLE and local living economies today by clicking here. Your participation will keep our important work moving forward at a pace that will ensure local living economies for all.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season.

With deep appreciation,

Doug Hammond
Executive Director

P.S. All donations are tax deductible. Contributions of $250 or more will receive David Korten's critically important new book being released January 20th, Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth.

If you would prefer to mail us a check, please make it out to BALLE and send it to the address below:

165 11th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103