Group Projects

The personal project can only do so much. People may need to do a bigger project, such as for example regenerating an entire watershed via permaculture. The people could each be a personal project, each doing their own farm conversions, and together they could get a bigger project done without sacrificing any of their own personal autonomy.


There are things that are difficult or impossible for an individual or family to achieve. The conventional way to overcome this problem is for an NGO to set up a project and employ staff to carry it out. This creates a hierarchy wherein the organization, through its employees, is superior to the recipients and decides what will and will not be done.

Generally speaking, they and their organization consume the vast majority of the donors’ money, and tend to misdirect the projects due to a lack of real-world understanding of the localities and cultures. This lack of understanding can be unintentional (e.g. a lifetime of university living) or deliberate (e.g. the imposition of an ideology on to a community that doesn’t already embrace that ideology).

The people themselves generally know what’s best for their own situations. If there is some knowledge or skill that they lack, they can easily employ someone with that skill or to provide goods or a service. There is absolutely no need to subordinate their personal sovereignty to a group of outsiders. Almost nobody sends money to a charity with that as their intention.

Our solution is the opposite of that. Our recipients can form small groups and appoint a coordinator from their own ranks (or pay one if they prefer). The group agrees on a percentage of their incomes to go to a group fund, which is then used to fund whatever it is they need. As an example, they might be doing a permaculture project between 10 small farms and they may decide they need a teacher to get them started.

This teacher would be paid from the common fund of the group. It may seem like the same thing that an NGO does, but it is not! In our system the people are in charge. The power relationships have been reversed. The people hold the money and they are in charge of their own project.

The Direct Sponsor system must provide a way for the recipients to set up and run their system. It must provide

  • an accounting system for recipients to keep track of their common fund income and outgoings.
  • A way to record everything their coordinator does.
  • A way to document all group actions.