Front Porch Forum is in the business of helping neighbors connect and build community within their neighborhood. Some folks ask me “that’s not a business… why didn’t you form FPF as a nonprofit?”
Fair enough. Front Porch Forum is mission driven, like all nonprofits. But it’s also competing in a new and vibrant sector that’s got huge potential and few players currently.
Bill McKibben in his excellent Deep Economy cites work by economist Richard Laynard (in his book Happiness)…
“Both income and companionship have declining marginal returns.” The evidence shows that “increases in income produce large hedonic gains in developing countries… and… negative gains in the United States.”
Community follows precisely the opposite pattern: increased companionship “yields more happiness in individualistic societies, where it is scarce, than in collective societies, where it is abundant.”
Put another way… North America is awash with stuff for people to own/use, but is short on community… so Americans are placing an increasing value on what is in short supply… feeling genuinely connected to the people and community around us. And that’s what Front Porch Forum provides.