The Cooperative Development Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 charitable family of funds that advances economic development through cooperative enterprise.
The Cooperative Development Foundation was created in 1944 in the wake of World War II. First known as The Freedom Fund, the organization helped in the reconstruction and development of overseas cooperatives in Europe in the post-war era. The following year, CDF wrote the check that created the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe (CARE), which provided economic relief to war-torn Europe. Nationwide Insurance Vice-President Murray Lincoln was CAR’s first president, now known and recognized worldwide.
In the 1980′s the Freedom Fund was renamed the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) and with that new name came a focus on domestic cooperative development. Our mission is to promote community, economic, and social development through cooperative enterprises.
Bowers Fund - Howard Bowers Day grant – Stone’s Throw Market Co-op
With an $800 Howard Bowers Day grant, Stone’s Throw Market Co-op in Troy, OH gave scholarships to help send nine members of its organizing team to the February 2011 “Up and Coming, Up and Running” regional start-up food co-op conference in Bloomington, IN. They participated in two days of learning and networking with fellow cooperative organizers; connected with food co-op experts from Cooperative Development Services, Food Co-op Initiative, and the Indiana Cooperative Development Center; explored Bloomingfoods’ three store locations; and established mentor relationships with Bloomingfoods staff. One of the participants said, “It was one of most effective conferences I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to quite a few in a variety of fields. It was just loaded with information.”
As a result of this conference and because participants shared their new knowledge with the rest of the organizing team, Stone’s Throw’s organizing team meetings have seen increased participation and enthusiasm; the team has initiated new projects in outreach, governance, and operations; there is a new awareness of best practices; there is a greater sense of solidarity with other food co-ops around the country; and there is enhanced interest in governance.
Stone’s Throw anticipates that the most profound long-term impact of this grant will be the future leaders who have grown out of the opportunity to participate in the “Up and Coming” conference. Several participants are already considering running for the board and they will bring important knowledge, relationships, and perspective with them to the Board. The better educated and equipped the leaders of our group, the more successful the cooperative will ultimately be.
READ MORE ON THE BOWERS FUND SUCCESS HERE
CDF Fund - Feasibility Study on a Commercial Cleaning Cooperative in Washington, DC
In 2003 the CDF Fund made a $20,000 grant to the National Cooperative Business Association for a feasibility study on the prospects for a commercial cleaning cooperative that would create a model cooperative and quality employment opportunities for low-income residents in Washington, DC. The study concluded that it would be a difficult endeavor because of weak commercial demand, intense competition, adverse cost structure, and the need for a large up-front investment and a large guaranteed contract. To be successful it would require a large investment and a large guaranteed contract up front.
READ MORE ON THE CDF FUND SUCCESS HERE
Co-op Innovation Fund - NRECA International Foundation Helps Electrify Cooperatives in Costa Rica
In 1998 the Sollars Fund made a $1374 grant to NRECA Internatioal Foundation to send six young cooperators and two staff to spend 10 days in Costra Rica working with the members of two cooperatives to install solar panels in two schools and learn about rural electrification. The electricity not only enhanced learning at the schools but also enhanced community life, as schools are often the focal point of communities in Costa Roca.
READ MORE ON THE CO-OP INNOVATION FUND SUCCESS HERE
Disaster Recovery Fund - Haiti earthquake
In April 2010 the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) made three grants totaling $62,980 from its Co-op Emergency Fund to help cooperators in Haiti recover and rebuild after the earthquake:
- World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) to help rebuild the Haitian credit union community ($23,730)
- NRECA International Foundation to help rebuild the electric generation and distribution system, countrywide, but with an initial focus on the Port-au-Prince area ($24,250)
- ACDI/VOCA to do cooperative development in the rural, southeastern part of Haiti ($15,000)
The projects for which the funds were used are major initiatives for which substantial additional public and private sector funds are being committed. The CDF grant awards will primarily cover the costs of volunteers with special expertise to travel to Haiti and participate in the rebuilding. Some of the grant to WOCCU was used to provide tents to temporarily house credit union employees and their families, allowing credit union staff to return to work and credit unions to resume operations.
Said Michel Wilner, credit union employee, “With the WOCCU tent, I was able to return with my family to my own plot of land and install our tent on the ruin of my house. We are happy my family finally came back together and we recovered our dignity.”
READ MORE ON THE DISASTER RECOVERY FUND SUCCESS HERE
Jim Jones Fund
The Fund is an endowment fund and will award a minimum of $1,600 annually from earnings on its assets once its assets have reached $40,000. It will be governed by the CDF board of directors assisted by a board of five advisors, three of whom shall be named by NASCO and two of whom will be named by CDF.
READ MORE ON THE JIM JONES FUND HERE
MSC Fund - Direct Care Alliance
Founded in 2006, Direct Care Alliance (DCA) is a nationwide and state-based alliance of direct care workers, employers, and people of all ages and disabilities who use long-term services, care, and support. It is the only national advocacy organization focused on improving care for seniors and the disabled. In 2010 CDF’s MSC Fund gave DCA a $15,000 grant to improve the quality of direct care jobs and care in rural areas through the co-op model, specifically by recruiting 25 rural participants for DCA’s Voices Institute training program, developing an on-line membership and resource center for DCA members, and providing technical assistance to link direct care workers with cooperative development resources. One result of this grant is the March 2011 publication of DCA’s “How to Start and Manage a Worker-Owned Home Care Cooperative.” Click here to download a copy.
READ MORE ON THE MSC FUND SUCCESS HERE
Kagawa and Kagawa SCR Funds
The Kagawa Student Co-op Reinvestment Fund, which was started by CDF in 1997 and managed by CDF through 2009, received nine investments and made 18 loans totaling $528,119. These loans enabled student co-op organizations to start a business, purchase and rehab or convert properties, and add to the operating reserve in California, Tennessee, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Massachusetts, Kansas, North Carolina, Texas, and Ontario, Canada. Only one of these loans defaulted. These loans allowed borrowers to leverage more than six times the loan amounts and have provided affordable housing for more than 520 students each academic year.
Student co-op housing has significant benefits:
- Affordable housing provided by a co-op often makes the difference in being able to afford college or not.
- Students living in a co-op learn not only about cooperatives but also about finance and management.
- Students living in a co-op have a heightened sense of community.
READ MORE ON THE KAGAWA FUND SUCCESS HERE
Kaplan Fund (The Revolving Loan Fund) - Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance
The Revolving Loan Fund made a $136,600 loan in 2004 to CSI Support & Development Services to build, with the Detroit Catholic Pastoral Alliance, a low-income senior housing co-op in Detroit. CSI and DCPA are revitalizing the Gratiot Woods neighborhood and the co-op is a major component of this effort. Several lots formerly occupied by grass, weeds, and abandoned houses now look like this:
READ MORE ON THE KAPLAN FUND SUCCESS HERE
READ MORE ON THE PARKIN FUND SUCCESS HERE
In 2009 the Shirley K. Sullivan Fund gave Leta Mach of Parent Cooperative Preschools International (PCPI) a grant of $750 to attend PCPI’s annual meeting. She was able to meet with members from the U.S. and abroad and discuss common issues, goals, and opportunities with them. Other activities of the conference were visiting area co-op preschools, revising PCPI’s bylaws, and discussing a thorough revamping of PCPI’s website. The last was helpful because Leta managed the website work that began soon after the conference.
READ MORE ON THE SULLIVAN FUND SUCCESS HERE
READ MORE ON THE OPERATING FUND SUCCESS HERE
United Co-op Appeal
The United Co-op Appeal (UCA) is an annual workplace giving program that is managed by the Cooperative Development Foundation. UCA raises funds for non-profit organizations that use the cooperative business model to bring economic development to individuals and communities througout the United States and around the world. Through CDF’s participation in the UCA campaign our family of 6 specific funds are eligible to receive contributions through this program. Since it began in 1992, UCA has raised over $2 million to support cooperatives and cooperative development organizations.
READ MORE ON THE UCA HERE