Monday, December 19, 2011
The series of six live presentations will begin on January 10. All sessions will run from 2:00-3:00 pm EST (1:00 to 2:00 Central; 12:00-1:00 Mountain; and 11:00-12:00 Pacific).
January 10, 2012
Creating a Vision
Presented by Bill Gessner, CDS Consulting, and Stuart Reid, Food Co-op Initiative
January 17, 2012
Create Priorities and Build Alignment for Each Stage
Presented by Bill Gessner and Jeanie Wells, CDS Consulting
January 24, 2012
Co-op Technology Toolkit
Presented by Jake Schlachter, Food Co-op Initiative
Starting a New Buying Club
Presented by Stuart Reid and/or Jake Schlachter, Food Co-op Initiative
February 7, 2012
Effective Boards and Teams: Structure and Accountability
Presented by Ben Sandel and Michael Healy, CDS Consulting
February 14, 2012
Effective Boards and Teams: Team work, process and decision making
Presented by Ben Sandel and Michael Healy, with Art Sherwood, CDS Consulting
Click Here: http://www.cdsconsulting.coop/startup-webinar -- for detailed descriptions of each webinar and to register.
Note: You must register separately for each webinar you plan to attend. FCI and CDS-CC are providing these sessions at no cost to you; however, you may incur telephone or data charges to participate.
See you there!
Food Co-op Initiative
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 15, 2011
Rep. Fattah Introduces Bill to Spur the National Cooperative Movement
WASHINGTON D.C., Dec. 15 – Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Congressional leader for the national cooperative movement, especially urban co-ops, today introduced the National Cooperative Development Act.
“It’s high time for Cooperatives -- a great idea that has emerged from and gained success in our urban neighborhoods as well as rural communities – to move onto the national radar,” said Fattah, whose Philadelphia district includes numerous thriving co-ops. “This legislation brings federal resources and a policy priority to the effort.
“Cooperatives are a special kind of economic stimulus. Cooperatives benefit the communities they serve while building opportunities for shared wealth. Cooperatives are truly vehicles for protecting the middle class and creating economic growth,” Fattah said.
The Fattah bill, H.R. 3677, authorizes $25 million a year through 2016 to create and fund the National Cooperative Development Center.
Cooperatives are owned and controlled by the people who use the co-op’s services or buy its goods. They range in size from the local corner store to Fortune 500 companies, and can include insurance, healthcare, housing, recreation materials and equipment as well as more traditional uses such as rural electricity. Overall, U.S. cooperatives account for more than $3 trillion in assets, over $500 billion in total revenue, $25 billion in wages and benefits, and nearly 1 million jobs.
“We have food deserts in low-income urban areas where food cooperatives are often the only enterprises willing to bring food security and nutrition while anchoring the buy-local campaigns we see happening everywhere,” Fattah said. “Every new or expanded cooperative, regardless of the goods or services it provides, will be a job creator and an economic engine where it’s most needed.”
Fattah pointed out that cooperatives still face many problems, including difficulty in gaining access to capital, which can stunt the growth of even the most successful enterprises.
In addition, Fattah noted, “the unique nature of the cooperative ownership model requires that cooperative operators receive specialized training and assistance in setting up the governance, operations, and financial structures that are required to run a successful cooperative.
“Co-ops need help that the federal government will now be in a position to provide,” Fattah said. “The legislation addresses these problems by establishing the Development Center to provide capital, training, and other resources to foster cooperative development.”
The National Cooperative Development Center will:
- Award grants to nonprofit organizations, colleges, and universities so that they can provide technical assistance to operating cooperatives or groups that are attempting to form cooperatives;
· Provide guidance, information on best practices and technical assistance to communities seeking to establish cooperatives;
- Create a revolving loan fund to provide loans and seed capital to groups who are attempting to form cooperatives;
· Provide funding for training of providers of technical assistance and supporting existing professional development training for organizations engaged in cooperative development;
· Establish cooperative development centers in areas that currently do not have them.
Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) • www.house.gov/fattah
2301 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 • 4104 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (202) 225-4001 • (215) 387-6404
CDI staff will be presenting a couple of workshops. One of the main organizers was CDI's board president, Erica Buswell.
Thursday, January 19, 2012 in Unity, Maine 9am to 5:30pm
- Learn exactly what a cooperatively-organized business is all about. What are the advantages, what are the different types of co-ops, and why might it make sense for your business? We’ll cover the nuts and bolts of co-ops.
- Connect with Experienced Co-operative Business People. What are the financing options for co-ops? What local resources are available for start-up, problem-solving and co-operative business development? Go home with connections and an action plan for moving your co-op business or idea forward.
- Celebrate 2012: International Year of Co-operatives. Hear first-hand stories from other farmers and fishermen about how they have implemented a co-operative business. What worked? What obstacles did they overcome and how?
With support from and participation of: Lobsters on the Fly, MOFGA, Maine Department of Agriculture, Penobscot East Resource Center, Maine Farmland Trust, Cooperative Maine, Island Institute, Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Local Sprouts Cooperative, Cooperative Fund of New England, The Broadreach Fund, Cooperative Development Institute and more!
Friday, December 2, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
- Advancing the economic stability of local areas;
- Increasing the circulation of capital in the local area increasing its economic multiplier and the impact of community investment, spurring locally oriented economic growth;
- Developing, attracting and anchoring new productive capital in low-income communities; and
- Expanding investment opportunities and asset creation for low and moderate-income Americans.
Here's how you can help:
- Read the Dear Colleague Letter and the Legislation
- Call your Representative's local office and make an appointment to talk to them or their staff in-person about the National Cooperative Development Act! Tell them about all the great work cooperatives are doing and can do in their district, and ask them to be a co-sponsor for this bill. Use this link to find your Representative's contact info https://writerep.house.gov/
- Participate in a webinar about the Legislation and how to effectively lobby your Member of Congress for support. (scheduled for next Tuesday - November 22nd - more details to come)
- Spread the news - Share www.campaign.coop with your community of co-op supporters - and get them to join our campaign!
Advocacy Coordinator - Cooperation Works!
Friday, November 4, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
"Co-operatives are a reminder to the international community that it is possible to pursue both economic viability and social responsibility."
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General
Or, as the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) puts it, it's about human need, not human greed.
The year launches October 31, 2011 in New York City
- increase awareness of the cooperative business model
- promote growth of co-ops and the co-op economy
- convince lawmakers to establish co-op friendly policies
For more national information and tools for celebrating the International Year of the Cooperative in the USA, visit usa2012.coop.
What's happening in the Northeast?
- The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions has organized New York: Building a Cooperative City, a kick-off event to launch the International Year of Cooperatives on Nov. 1
- Cooperative Maine is launching an online version of its directory,Stronger Together (see a preview!), and has made contact with Gov. Paul LePage to promote co-ops (contact Jane Livingston for more details)
- Co-ops in western MA formed the Valley Cooperative Business Association
- Amherst-based worker co-op T.E.S.A. is launching Co-opoly, the Game ofCooperatives
- SolidarityNYC has created a series of short films it will be screening all year
- NYC co-ops are engaging with the City Council on food policy and co-ops and job development through worker co-ops
- Cabot Creamery Cooperative will be doing a 2012 Community Celebration Tour in the Spring, stopping in cities from Florida to Maine
Cooperative Development Institute Events and ResourcesDuring 2012 CDI will be:
- offering co-ops and associations the use of a new pamphlet, "Cooperative Business Solutions for the Northeast U.S." -- call for delivery options
- revamping its website, www.cdi.coop, to bring you more and better news, information, and opportunities
- touring to Plattsburgh, NY, Portland, ME, and Cummington, MA
- offering a new series of online tutorials and webinars
What will you be doing?Here's some suggestions:
Monday, October 31, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., - October 26, 2011 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 36 organizations in 26 states and the District of Columbia for grants to help rural cooperatives and small businesses expand, create jobs and strengthen their capacity to serve rural citizens and communities.
Vilsack said, "As we celebrate National Cooperative Month, USDA is proud to continue its support of local and regional efforts to bolster these cooperatives and help them bring increased value and economic opportunity to rural residents."
Cooperative Development Institute: $225,000 to build a cooperative economy in New England and New York by creating and developing cooperative enterprises and networks in the northeast region of the country.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Northampton, MA– The third annual Together on the Land Tour visited blighted urban properties being rehabilitated by the Holyoke Community Land Trust, a resident owned manufactured housing park in Ware, a successful co-housing development in Northampton, an organic farm in Granby tackling long-term farm affordability and green community-built housing in Amherst.
Cooperative Development Institute, Co-op Power, Equity Trust,
Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust & Valley Community Land Trust
2011 Media Sponsor: The Valley Advocate
2011 Special Thanks to Collective Copies and River Valley Market for their in-kind donations
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
For nearly a year, cooperative business owners and developers have been working to develop awonderful piece of legislation that will support the growth of cooperative businesses in underserved communities throughout the country. For months, many of you have been hearing about this, but recently we've been particularly quiet. That's because we've been hard at work, behind the scenes, preparing to grow our campaign to fully support the legislation when it is introduced.
I'm happy to announce today that our campaign has a home!
our campaign has a name!
Campaign for Cooperation
and our legislation has a name!
National Cooperative Development Act of 2011
We need your support. We could spend our days calling the offices of al Members of Congress, telling them about this terrific piece of legislation, but it wouldn't be very effective. Members of Congress are not interested in hearing what people outside their districts think they should support. They want to hear from their constituents, which is YOU!
The Campaign for Cooperation will work with you and help you spread the word about the National Cooperative Development Act, and to help you talk to your Representatives about how wonderful co-ops are, and how this legislation will benefit their constituents.
We expect Rep. Fattah to introduce the National Cooperative Development Act this Fall, and the cooperative community needs to be ready to support it from day 1. We will let you know as soon as the legislation is available. While we wait for its introduction, there are a couple things you can do to help.
- Share campaign.coop with your community of co-op supporters
- Contribute to the campaign at our website (any amount helps!) - this helps us spread the word about the legislation throughout the country.
- Meet with your Member of Congress or their staff to talk to them about your co-ops, and that theNational Cooperative Development Act is coming soon, and you want them to be a co-sponsor.
You can read an interview with Rep. Fattah about the National Cooperative Development Act HERE
Thank you for your continued support!
Advocacy Coordinator - Campaign for Cooperation
Monday, October 3, 2011
Position: Maine Loan and Outreach Officer
Part Time (1-2 days a week)
Reports to: Executive Director
Position Description: The Loan and Outreach Officer will be chiefly responsible for coordinating and executing all efforts to represent CFNE in Maine. The individual will be responsible for identifying and attracting borrowers, investors, and funders to CFNE. The person will represent CFNE at events and conferences, visit current borrowers, and cultivate relationships with cooperatives, worker-owned businesses, nonprofits in the market area. The individual will also work with the Executive Director (ED) to shape the direction of the organization and support the ED in organization-wide strategic planning.
- identifying borrowers and following up on loan inquiries
- visiting prospective borrowers
- preparing site visit reports and distributing them to Loan Committee members
- visiting current borrowers to check on progress and to maintain communications
- providing technical assistance to or identifying technical assistance needs of current and prospective borrowers
- meeting with financial partners, banks, loan fund officers to package loans
- assisting in the development and implementation of a marketing plan to obtain borrowers
- attending conferences, meetings to represent CFNE
- speaking to individuals and groups about CFNE
- attending all Board of Trustee meetings
- College degree and a minimum three to five years lending experience
- Experience in the community economic development or financial services fields a plus.
- Commitment to social justice mission and to working as part of a diverse organization
- Excellent written and verbal communication
- Excellent organizational, time management and interpersonal skills required
- Ability to understand, interpret, and communicate organizational budgets and financial statements
- Ability to work well as part of a team and within a diverse group of people and settings
- Ability to act and react quickly to urgent, unplanned opportunities or needs
- Ability to initiate and juggle multiple projects and work independently
- Regular use of telephone, cell phone and personal computer.
- Experience with Microsoft Word, Excel and Access, the Internet and associated programs.
Please email your resume and salary requirements to Rebecca Dunn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cooperative Maine is publishing op-eds and releasing an update to its directory, Stronger Together. See maine.find.coop for a preview.
The Neighboring Food Co-op Association is encouraging everyone to join their local food co-op and credit union and shop for co-op products.
Northeast CT co-ops are sponsoring a benefit concert to raise development funds for a group of nascent cooperatives in the region.
Cooperative Development Institute has published an article on converting enterprises to co-ops in Rural Cooperatives magazine (see PDF doc, page 30-31), featuring the Old Creamery Co-op, as well as Crown O'Maine Organic Co-op, Turtle Ridge Cooperative, Maine Organic Milling, and the ROC-USA program.
We are also participating in preparations for the launch of the International Year of Cooperatives 2012 at the United Nations in NYC at the end of October. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for co-ops to increase awareness, promote growth, and advocate for appropriate government policies. Start making your plans!
Monday, September 19, 2011
The Toolbox for Education and Social Action is seeking two students in the U.S. to work as interns on a nation-wide education and outreach plan, the Cooperative Campus Initiative (CCI). See the listings on Idealist:
Website Design Intern: http://www.idealist.org/view/internship/fsG5Jf8MfM3p/
Outreach Coordinator Intern: http://www.idealist.org/view/internship/WJ8gwwPt9fXd/
Saturday, September 17, 2011
CDI recently assisted Bunker Hill Community Cooperative in Windsor, which became the first Vermont mobile home cooperative in over 18 years. It is currently involved with 19 MH communities throughout New England (including 3 in Vermont) in various stages of resident ownership. Visit http://www.cdi.coop/manufacturedhousing.html for more information on CDI's Manufactured Housing Program.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
CDI's Food and Agriculture Cooperative Development Specialist Lynda Brushett will be presenting at this year's Cornell Agribusiness Strategic Marketing Conference, along with Senior Extension Associate Brian Henehan and Keystone Development Center co-op developer Lisa Stolarski. The team will help attendees explore the ins and outs of new agricultural co-op development.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
- A manufactured housing park that is now a resident owned co-operative (Quabbin Sunrise Cooperative – Ware, MA);
- A farm addressing the need for permanently affordable farm housing and land tenure (Red Fire Farm – Granby & Montague, MA);
- An established cohousing community with a common house, walkable multi-generational community and energy efficient homes (Rocky Hill Cohousing – Northampton, MA);
- An urban community land trust helping to keep housing affordable by removing the cost of land from the cost of housing (Holyoke Community Land Trust, Holyoke, MA); and
- A small cluster of homes that were built with lots of volunteer labor and meet high energy efficiency standards (Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity, Amherst, MA)
- Collective Copies Print Shop for their donation of copying services for tour flyers and handouts. Collective Copies was founded in 1983 by recently unionized workers from a long-gone copy shop. Committed from the start to worker-ownership and collective decision-making, Collective Copies remain the only worker-owned cooperative copy center in the nation. http://www.collectivecopies.com
- River Valley Market for their donation towards snacks for the event. River Valley Market is a communityowned, full-service grocery store specializing in fresh, local and organically grown food. We offer fresh produce; meat & seafood; groceries; a deli with homemade soups, a hot and cold bar, sushi, house-made pastries, desserts, and organic, fair-trade coffee; gifts; and a complete wellness department. http://rivervalleymarket.coop/
- The Valley Advocate for their media sponsorship. The Valley Advocate is a free weekly magazine that provides news, arts & entertainment information for the Pioneer Valley. http://www.valleyadvocate.com/
- Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) is the Northeast's center for cooperative business education, training and technical assistance. CDI's mission is to build a vibrant co-operative economy through the creation and development of successful co-operative enterprises in diverse communities in New England and New York. http://www.cdi.coop/
- Co-op Power is a multi-class, multi-racial movement for a sustainable and just energy future, with regional councils in Southern VT, Boston, Franklin County, Hampshire County, and Hampden County. http://www.cooppower.coop/
- Equity Trust is a small, national organization that provides education, technical assistance, and financing to farmers, land trusts, and community groups working to save farms and to create affordable housing. Equity Trust’s programs support ownership structures that balance the needs of individuals with the needs of the community, the earth, and future generations. http://www.equitytrust.org/
- Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust protects significant natural, agricultural, and scenic areas and encourages land stewardship in North Central and Western Massachusetts for the benefit of the environment, the economy and future generations. In 25 years Mount Grace has protected nearly 25,000 acres of farmland, forestland, water resources, and wildlife habitat. http://www.mountgrace.org/
- The Valley Community Land Trust (VCLT) is a non-profit organization that holds title to land, considering it neither as private nor public property, but as a sacred resource to be held in trust for present and future generations. Land held in trust by VCLT is made available to the community for affordable housing and sustainable agriculture. http://www.vclt.org
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
- Valley News newspaper: http://www.vnews.com/07262011/7941365.htm
- WPTV tv news: http://www.wptz.com/r/28673441/detail.html
- WCAX tv news: http://www.wcax.com/story/15152251/how-residents-kept-their-mobile-home-park-from-closing