Economies of scale

Or scale of economies, really.

I got invited by a member of my nobility to a meeting today, the local chamber of commerce's health committee. (I didn't know they had one, but now I do.) The local Y and university have been partnering on food access studies, and this was the analysis. The presentation was very good, but it was what was wrapped around it that was boggling to me.

In Delano, we have no budget. Like, no money at all. The neighborhood association has no dues (it's not an HOA), and no budget outside the donations we take in at meetings and events. We're not in bad shape, as neighborhood associations go; got a few hundred dollars in the general fund, a few thousand in various project funds that we're working toward. The web pages we run live on surplus storage/bandwidth from my own server, and I pay for the domain registration myself. We print a newsletter at a print shop owned by the husband of one of the neighborhood pastors, paid for by ads that I scrounge from neighborhood businesses every month. (When I die, use the funeral home down the street that has faithfully run a $50 ad every month for, as far as I know, the sixteen years the newsletter has existed.) Delivery is by volunteers; high school kids that need community-service brownie points to buff up their transcripts, churches that happen to be delivering their own fliers to the neighborhood, whatever I can come up with. Some months, I can't come up with advertising or I can't come up with delivery, and we get no newsletter.

So when the chamber gal said they needed to rebrand the health committee, and they were budgeting $10-12K for the new logo and website, I may have realized I was probably in the wrong room. Wrong league. Something.

But you know? I wouldn't trade our community fabric, our huge base of social capital, for all the grant money they've got.

(Most days, anyway.)

Page created: 07 November 2014

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