Freedonia finances its granting program and administration with the annual income earned from a set of investments endowed by Gary Moffatt.
Freedonia has an investment policy which sets out our investment objectives because Freedonia believes that it should implement its mission not only through the ideas, people, organizations and projects it supports, but also by how it invests and otherwise uses its assets.
As an anarchist organization within a capitalist economy we recognize two goals for our investments. First, we want our investments to grow or at least to sustain our existing capital stock so that we can continue supporting grassroots activism over the long term. Second, we want our investments to be as minimally harmful as possible and, ideally, to support the expansion and growth of radically alternative businesses and projects (such as worker cooperatives) that are the microcosms of the future world we wish to live in. However, we recognize that these two goals are often in tension. If we try to maximize our returns we can fund more projects, but such maximization will likely require investing in morally noxious ways. If, on the contrary, we invest in only truly ethical ways we risk earning much less and thereby be able to fund far fewer projects. This is an intractable tension that exists for all progressive organizations having to invest in a capitalist economy.
We do not think there is any perfect solution to this tension. We are continually thinking about our investment strategy, learning from others, and revising it as we go. Our present strategy is to try to find a sensible compromise between these two goals. We therefore have divided our investments into three categories:
• Roughly 40% of our funds in “ethical mutual funds.”
• Roughly 40% of our funds in short-term deposits at a credit union.
• Roughly 20% of our funds in riskier but more progressive projects (such as worker cooperatives).
As part of that 20%, Freedonia is proud to invest in the AKA Autonomous Social Centre in Kingston, Ontario.
We recognize that this is by no means a perfect solution. It represents our best attempt to balance the conflicting goals of financial sustainability with ethical responsibility.
If you have thoughts or suggestions please do let us know via email as we are always eager to hear from our comrades and friends about how best to do this.