A revolving fund is a source of capital used to purchase, protect, and then sell critical properties. Funds from the sale are reinvested into the revolving fund for the next project.
Think about your favorite rural crossroads – we could purchase (if they would sell), then protect the historic structures and landscapes with conservation easements (possibly reserving some limited development potential for future owners) and then sell to a “conservation buyer” who would live in/use the property for his/her purposes.
A revolving fund would allow us to be proactive AND reactive in protecting Morgan County’s special places.
Non-profit conservation organizations like ours can accept donations of property, which allows flexibility in structuring deals with landowners who might want to offset capital gains by donating a portion of the property. Because we are in the business of saving places, not developing for the real estate market’s highest and best use, we would be able to structure deals that would never pass muster in the private market. Although we are not profit-driven, we would aim to get our money out of the deal if at all possible, so we could invest in the next place, hence the term “revolving fund.”
The 1772 Foundation has awarded the Conservancy a grant to study the feasibility of such a fund here in Morgan County. Click here to read the press release.
We are cautiously optimistic that a revolving fund is our next big step as an organization. Stay tuned for the results of the study, hopefully some time in September, 2017.