Coastal Marin Fund’s local currency will benefit local non-profits
There are approximately 2300 households in the 10 villages of Coastal Marin. It is from these families that local non-profit organizations receive much of their financial support—through membership dues, individual contributions, and fundraising events. In effect, our non-profits are all fishing in the same pond to finance their good works. The West Marin $3.00 coin, good only in the 10 villages that comprise coastal Marin county in California, is a plan designed to include the 2 million-plus visitors who annually pass our way in financing these organizations.
Here’s How It Works
Local merchants and individuals exchange U.S. dollars for an equivalent amount in $3.00 coins, and then begin making change, or making small purchases with the coins around town.* Visitors run into the local currency as they shop and dine. Signs at cash registers remind them to “ask for local currency in change.” The silver-dollar-size brass coins are beautiful, depicting many of the things travelers have come here to see: elk, coho salmon, the products of our ranches and farms, our ridge lines and beaches, and more. (See “coins” page). At $3.00, these coins are an irresistible souvenir.
Because the $3.00 coins cost about $1.00 each to mint, every one slipped into a pocket and taken home to Minneapolis, Tokyo, or Berlin, leaves $2.00 in the community for local non-profits. If just 100,000 visitors out of the 2 million remove a coin from circulation, they will leave $200,000 behind for local non-profits. This could happen every year, and the number of people removing numbers of coins could be even higher.
CMF has a unique way of distributing the funds earned by coins no longer in circulation. It has no special date by which applications must be made. It requires no grant applications at all. Individuals and merchants buy a 25-$3 coin box for $75, spend the coins or give them as change, and donate the redeemable coin box to the local non-profit of their choice. That non-profit redeems coin boxes with CMF for $40 U.S. dollars each. See more on “coins” page.
*Everything is completely voluntary. Neither merchants nor individuals are required to accept the $3 coins or to use them, and merchants can always return coins to the Fund for the equivalent amount in U.S. dollars, by contacting us.
So far, where to find, trade, and/or use West Marin currency for cash:
- In Point Reyes: Flower Power, Zuma, Black Mountain Artisans, Point Reyes Books, Station House Café, Leona’s, West Marin Community Services office, Point Reyes Hostel, West Marin Pharmacy, Palace Market, Gallery Route One, Toby’s Feed Barn, and Epicenter;
- In Inverness Park at Spirit Matters, and Abalone Inn;
- In Point Reyes National Seashore at the Bookstore at Park Headquarters;
- In Dogtown at Woodville Ranch;
- In Stinson Beach at Claudia Chapline Gallery, Crickets at the Beach, Flying Pig Ranch, Meristem, Parkside Cafe, Live Water Surf Shop, Sandpiper Lodging, Healing Arts Center, and at Stinson Beach Books;
- In Bolinas at Keith Hansen’s studio in the museum courtyard, Bolinas Bay Lumber Hardware & Landscape Supply, the Bolinas General Store, Bikeavore, Bolinas People’s Store, Bobolicious, Las Baulines Nursery, Parrots’ Cove, Coast Cafe, Smiley’s Bar, the Surf Shop, Bikes, Surf & Skate, and Chameleon.
- In Tomales at Tomales Deli and Cafe.
- In Marshall at The Marshall Store and Nick’s Cove, with more establishments coming on board every week.
Contact us if you want to be one of them!
Some of the local nonprofits that have already benefited from the COASTAL MARIN FUND’s $3 coin project:
Bolinas Community Center
Bolinas/Stinson School Libraries
Bolinas/Stinson Summer Camp
Community Land Trust Association of West Marin
Environmental Action Committee
Lion’s Club of West MarinMain Street Moms
Papermill Creek Preschool
Point Reyes National Seashore Association
Stinson Montesori Preschool
Tomales Bay Library Association
Tomales Bay Youth Center
West Marin Community Resources
West Marin Fund
West Marin Little League
West Marin Senior Services
Young Musicians of West Marin
If you are a local non-profit (therefore a potential beneficiary of this program), please notify your members about what we are doing. We’re happy to provide images and information for your website.
Also check us out in the news by perusing our Media section!