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 throughout the United States and around the world. Through CDF’s participation in the UCA campaign our family of 6 specific funds also oare eligible to receive contributions through this program. Since it began in 1992, UCA has raised over $1.5 million to support cooperatives and cooperative development organizations.“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston Churchill
If you are interested in being a recipient organization, host organization, or contributor, please contact Terence Buen at email@example.com or 703-302-8097. Click here for the brochure for the 2011 campaign, which provides information about UCA and the organizations that receive contributions through UCA. Thanks to the generosity of the Nationwide Insurance Foundation, the administrative costs of the program are covered and 100% of every dollar contributed goes to the recipient cooperative development organizations.
2013 Recipient Organizations
ACDI/VOCA’s mission is to promote economic opportunities for cooperatives, enterprises and communities through the innovative application of sound business practice. In 145 countries ACDI/VOCA has addressed the most pressing and intractable economic development problems.
ACDI/VOCA was founded in 1963 by U.S. farmer co-ops to bring the efficiencies and civil society benefits of cooperation to the developing world. Organized groups such as cooperatives allow small-business owners and farmers to systematically mobilize capital, pool knowledge, achieve economies of scale and foster vertical integration. They can help create greater leverage in the marketplace and the policy arena. Such groups attract business service providers and more efficiently link to urban and export markets. Overall, disciplined groups act as catalysts for economic growth and have important social impacts.
Around the world ACDI/VOCA strengthens the capacity of such groups to gain more control over the products of their labor. UCA contributions have been used to fill the gap between donor-allocated project budgets and actual project costs, thereby creating additional leverage within existing projects.
The Paraiso Poty Committee, a woman-led cooperative in Paraguay founded by Claudelina Portillo, is one such project. Before founding Paraiso Poty, Portillo served as the only woman in an elected leadership position in another cooperative. Many of her female friends told her they could not join the cooperative because the $3 monthly fee was too high. Portillo raised the issue with other cooperative leaders, but they were not interested in finding a solution, so she quit the cooperative and struck out on her own. In 2008 she founded the Paraiso Poty Committee, which produces and exports bananas and pineapple to Argentina. It now exports an annual average of 497 tons.
ACDI/VOCA will use the UCA funds to provide Paraiso Poty with equipment and training that will allow it to register, increase its profits and share its story of leadership and success with other cooperative members and leaders in Paraguay. Specifically, the campaign will fund:
• a computer and printer for recordkeeping and financial records;
• a storage facility to store bananas after harvesting and before packaging;
• travel for cooperative leaders to participate in a training on cooperative registration; and
• two exposure visits to meet with other men and women cooperative leaders and women’s committees.
The CDF Fund is a combination of the Georgia Lloyd Bequest, the USC/Greenbelt Cooperative Fund, and other contributions. In 1999 Mrs. Georgia Lloyd of Chicago, a long-time supporter of the cooperative movement, left CDF a bequest of $136,000. It is used as an “opportunity fund” for potentially significant cooperative projects that do not fall under any of CDF’s other funds. The Fund will resume making grants when it has been replenished to the level of $75,000. Preference is given to programs and projects that further cooperatives in the United States.
Some of the grants given by the CDF Fund:- $2,000 in 2001 to WoodWorks to print and mail a cooperative forestry manual (See www.woodworks.coop) - $20,000 in 2001 to WoodWorks to write a business Plan- $22,500 in 2002 for the Cooperative Futures Initiative- $20,000 in 2003 to the National Cooperative Business Association for the Urban Initiative- $6,000 in 2004 to the Campus Credit Union council for a credit union initiative at HBCUs- $1,000 in 2006 to the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund to support their member Southern Alternatives- $21,000 in 2010 to the National Cooperative Business Association for their cooperative development program in Indonesia.
Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) is the Northeast’s center for cooperative business education, training and technical assistance. CDI’s mission is to build a cooperative economy through the creation and development of successful cooperative enterprises and networks in diverse communities in New England and New York.
Our organization provides education, training and technical assistance to existing and start-up cooperatively-structured enterprises in all business sectors: food, housing, energy, agriculture, arts, health, forestry, fisheries, retail, service and more.
Our vision of a cooperative economy is of an inter-dependent dense network of enterprises and institutions that allow us to meet our needs through principled democratic ownership, and that care for community, combat injustice and inequity, and promote conscious self-governance. The cooperative economy is embedded within and helps create a cooperative society aware of its place in a cooperative ecology.
Donating to CDI helps us build the infrastructure for a cooperative economy—the virtual roads, bridges, and marketplaces we need to make exchanges possible and profitable.
We intend to use UCA funds to support the development of the Data Commons Cooperative, a key infrastructure component that will permit data sharing among rooted economy (“small c” cooperative) organizations and the creation of collaborative, social sources of information on the enterprises and initiatives that are working for people and the planet. CDI assisted in the formation of the Data Commons Cooperative in 2012, with founding members US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, Canadian Worker Cooperative Federation, Grassroots Economic Organizing, and CooperationWorks! 2012 and 2013 will be the key growth years for the Cooperative, growing in membership and impact.
CDS will be a partner and a catalyst in developing and strengthening cooperative economies by providing highly effective development services to new and existing cooperatives throughout the nation.
We share a vision of people working together cooperatively and responsibly to achieve their social and economic wellbeing through organizations they own and control.
CDS will use UCA funds to design and launch an urban cooperative development initiative in the Upper Midwest. The initiative will include:
- Public education about cooperative solutions to issues of community development and
- Direct delivery of business and organizational development assistance to new cooperatives in urban areas.
The Cooperative Development Foundation has a history accepting donations and making grants to assist cooperatives and their members struck by natural disaster. From the floods in North Dakota and Mozambique in the 1990s to Hurricane Katrina and the Japanese tsunami more recently, CDF has collected and given more than $530,000 in emergency funds for 14 disasters. As there are many organizations that provide immediate relief, CDF makes grants from this Fund to help cooperators rebuild their lives, to help cooperatives re-open to serve their members, and to promote cooperatives as a tool for rebuilding and economic development. CDF works with the local cooperative leadership and cooperative development organizations with projects in the affected countries to be sure that funds are distributed to the cooperators and cooperatives most in need.
After Hurricane Irene, CDF partnered with the Cooperative Fund of New England, the Neighboring Food Cooperative Association, and the National Cooperative Grocers Association to identify those with the greatest needs. CDF made grants to a food cooperative and several cooperative suppliers that were flooded.
Japan is home to the Japanese Consumers Cooperative Union (JCCU), the organization that donated the seed money for CDF’s Kagawa Fund, which has made over $800,000 in loans to expand student housing co-ops across the United States. Some of Japan’s consumer co-ops were among the structures heavily damaged by the tsunami. Due to the generosity of the cooperative community and The Cooperative Foundation (check this to make absolutely sure), CDFwas able to make a grant of $120,000 to the JCCU. It was used to buy books and supplies for school libraries to help children continue their schooling.
The Cooperative Fund of New England (CFNE) is a revolving loan fund that supports cooperative enterprises, democratic workplaces and community organizations with a preference to those serving low-income communities. A US Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), CFNE has a 38 year track record of success including over $27 million in over 600 loans to cooperatives and community organizations. In addition to providing lending services and a socially responsible investment opportunity, the Fund helps co-ops access the technical assistance they need in order to succeed and serve their communities better.
In 2010, CFNE and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association launched the Food Co-ops and Healthy Food Access (FCHFA) project to help food co-ops better serve economically marginalized communities and play a more integrated role in the larger food access movement. While food co-ops have been leaders of many food-related movements, including organic production and local procurement, they received limited recognition as an important tool in increasing healthy food access. We believe that while food co-ops want to be leaders in this field, some struggle in three ways: 1) providing affordable food while paying fair-trade prices and protecting ecosystems; 2) sharing comprehensive information about successful access programs; and 3) promoting these efforts to both the co-op community and the larger food justice movement.
To address these issues FCHFA strives to 1) survey best practices of food co-ops on food access issues; 2) provide materials and support for co-ops wishing to expand their food access issues; and 3) promote these efforts to the broader co-op and food access movements. You can visit www.nfca.coop/healthyfoodaccess for more information.
The Co-op Innovation Fund was formed in 2010 by combining CDF’s former NCBA, Sollars, and Hillman-Dubinsky Funds. These Funds had been established by the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), ncb (formerly National Cooperative Bank), Nationwide, and the United Housing Foundation. The NCBA Fund supported cooperative development in the U.S. and overseas, the Sollars Fund supported international cooperative development, and the Hillman-Dubinsky Fund made loans for affordable housing.
From 2010 through 2014 the Fund is focused on affordable housing and international cooperative development. The Fund’s focus beginning in 2015 will be determined by its board of advisors and CDF’s board of directors. Since the Fund was formed in 2010 it has made grants to NCBA to support cooperative business development and a study of how to convert unused government housing to cooperative ownership, to Partners Worldwide for a cooperative project with farmers in Uganda, to support the International Cooperative Association’s international cooperative development conference in Kenya, and to CooperationWorks! to develop a business plan.
Our mission is to be a catalyst for long-lasting positive change in low- and moderate-income communities around the world, helping them improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. Founded in 1952, CHF, doing business as Global Communities. Partners for Good, is a politically neutral, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that prides itself on an approach that is accountable, efficient and effective.
Funds raised through the campaign will be used to promote cooperative development projects around the world. In particular, on projects in Mongolia and/or Rwanda, we will work with producer groups to improve production methods and to integrate them sustainably into the mainstream economy. To achieve higher incomes through collaboration, producer groups will be assisted in using value chain analysis and in building group solidarity toward pursuit of common business objectives.
We strive toward the development of self-supporting communities with programs that increase income and enhance other opportunities; and we strive to assist in land retention and development, especially for African Americans, but essentially for all family farmers.
We do this with an active and democratic involvement in poor areas across the South, through education and outreach strategies that support low-income people in molding their communities to become more humane and livable.
We assist in the development of cooperatives and credit unions as a collective strategy to create economic self-sufficiency.
This year we will be assisting the minority owned and controlled agriculture cooperatives in our network with value-added projects and assistance in marketing their products. We will do this with technical assistance and outreach throughout the year in our state offices in Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. The project will help to expand both income and marketing opportunities for the cooperatives as well enhancing expertise in this area to assist in long-term prospects.
Food Co-op Initiative is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to helping communities make their co-op vision into reality. They are the only national organization dedicated exclusively to helping startup food co-ops. Their grants, free consultations, and extensive library of educational resources have helped dozens of co-ops get their start since Food Co-op Initiative’s inception in 2010.
Contributions will be used to continue to expand our online resource tool box, fund site visits and workshops for startup grocery co-ops, and allow us to serve more communities hoping to build their own community grocery store. Every area has their own reasons to create a food co-op. Whether it’s economic redevelopment, access to healthy food, or supporting local agriculture, Food Co-op Initiative is here to help.
The Jim Jones Fund was established in 2009 by the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) to honor James R. Jones, a long-time NASCO member, educator, mentor, and cooperative developer for his commitment to NASCO and cooperative development. The Fund’s purpose is to promote leadership in housing, worker, and student cooperatives throughout North America by providing grants to individuals seeking to attend or organize workshops, seminars, conferences, courses, institutes, and other cooperative leadership development opportunities taking place in North America. The Fund will make grants once its assets once its assets have reached $40,000. Jim Jones was inducted into the Cooperative Hall of fame in 2009.
In 2004 the board of the Mutual Service Fund decided to terminate its existence and decided, with CDF, to establish the Mutual Service Cooperative Fund (MSC Fund) within CDF. In 2005 the MSC Fund board of advisors decided that the focus of the MSC Fund would be on cooperative development initiatives that enhance the quality of life of seniors living in rural areas. This decision was based on the advisors’ assessment that the needs of the elderly will be one of the greatest challenges facing rural communities for the next several decades and that cooperatives are well suited to meet these needs.
Since 2004 the Fund has made grants totaling over $600,000 to help rural seniors obtain assistive technology, form a service cooperative, learn about co-op housing governance and finance, convert privately owned mobile home parks to cooperatives, teach home care workers about the cooperative business model, and establish three home care cooperatives. To expand its work with rural seniors, CDF applied for and received two Rural Cooperative Development Grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These grants have raised awareness of the cooperative model in the areas of rural senior housing and home care and laid the groundwork to replicate rural home care cooperatives and to join together these two types of cooperatives.
Electricity is the Cornerstone of Development
The NRECA International Foundation is a charitable institution organized under the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Its mission is to provide people in developing countries the opportunity to become healthy, productive, and self-reliant through access to reliable electricity.”
The NRECA International Foundation recruits volunteer cooperative utility experts from the U.S. rural electric cooperative members and supporters, and sponsors voluntary assistance assignments to rural electric utilities in developing nations. Together, we build the electric infrastructure and provide capacity building and safety training in the local utilities and cooperatives.
By providing access to reliable electricity, rural utilities improve the quality of life for their citizens and give hope to future generations. Access to electricity provides them with the opportunities to enjoy the social, economic, educational and health benefits that come with power.
Over the past year, volunteers have traveled to South Sudan, Uganda, Philippines, Haiti, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. In these and other countries, the Foundation has donated utility vehicles, materials and manpower to build distribution systems. Our volunteers have trained linemen in safety practices and help the local utilities and co-ops improve their service to their consumers.
Donations will continue to support projects in these countries and help improve peoples’ lives.
The NRECA International Foundation works with overseas municipal and cooperative electric utilities to improve safety and power quality, reduce line losses, and expand service to community members in each municipal service territory.
Training is a principal activity through which improvements in lineman safety and power quality is ensured. U.S. cooperative volunteers developed and continue to provide training programs that demonstrate safe and improved work practices, improving productivity in construction and line maintenance activities. The Foundation also donates essential tools and safety equipment, such as hard hats, protective eyewear, gloves, and utility vehicles.
Training programs go far beyond lineman training, however. The Foundation works with the Boards of Directors, senior management and operations staff. By providing training and support at multiple levels of the utility, it is possible to leverage a change in governance and management toward the goal of long-term sustainability. This results in improved capacity to provide affordable and reliable electricity.
NRECA volunteers also work with local utility partners to expand distribution service to hundreds of families. With electricity, these families now have better education, health options and economic development opportunities.
Funding from UCA will help the NRECA International Foundation send U.S. volunteers to Guatemala and elsewhere to support rural electric utilities with training, capacity building, and service expansion programs that contribute to long-term community and economic development.
Fostering community economic development, primarily through the cooperative business model.
Helping entrepreneurs organize new cooperatives and providing technical assistance to existing co-ops embodies the work of NWCDC. Through the years NWCDC has provided its expertise to over 100 cooperatives and start-ups in our four state region (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Hawaii). Several new co-ops organized and operating with NWCDC’s guidance include: Oregon Woodlands Co-op, Hidden Village Manufactured Home Community Co-op in Lacey, WA, Paradise Home Care Cooperative on the Big Island, HI, and Certified Guides Co-op, a regional co-op. Additional projects are listed on our website: www.nwcdc.coop.
NWCDC focuses on cooperative sectors relevant to our geographic region: conversion of manufactured home parks to co-ops, natural resources, home care and food systems. This orientation helps streamline our work. Likewise, NWCDC cultivates strong partners who complement and strengthen our ability to deliver technical services and establish strong cooperatives: USDA/Rural Development, ROC-USA, CooperationWorks!, Cooperative Development Foundation and many more.
NWCDC’s goal is to provide access to information and tools that enable effective governance, operations, and management of co-op businesses. We believe that where there is development guidance, co-op businesses have a greater probability of success. The United Cooperative Appeal campaign helps provide funding needed to support technical assistance and leverage access to additional funding.
The Shirley K. Sullivan Fund was established in 1998 by CCA to honor of deceased, longtime member Shirley Sullivan, a senior editor at Southern States Cooperative. The purpose of the Fund is to promote the professional development of cooperative communicators. The Fund does this through educational grants to attend professional development seminars or classes and other leadership development activities.
Since and including 2008 the Sullivan Fund has made $9,045 in grants:
- 2 grants totaling $2,000 for CCA members to attend CCA regional workshops
- 6 grants totaling $4,295 to help 6 CCA members attend CCA’s annual Institute
- 1 grant of $2,000 to support CCA’s annual institute
- 1 grant of $750 to help a CCA member attend a Parent Cooperative Preschools International (PCPI) annual meeting
The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives is a national grassroots membership organization of and for worker cooperatives, founded in 2004. The mission of the USFWC is to develop a thriving cooperative movement that creates stable, empowering jobs and worker-ownership. We advance worker-owned, -managed, and -governed workplaces through cooperative education, advocacy and development. In addition to providing technical assistance to members, producing educational events and publications, and advocating for worker cooperatives, the USFWC is the steward for the Worker Ownership Fund, a national loan fund for worker cooperatives. Through our nonprofit educational body, the Democracy at Work Institute, we work to ensure that further growth in the worker cooperative movement actively reaches those economically marginalized workers who need sustainable jobs the most. The Democracy at Work Institute promotes the worker cooperative model by sharing skills among existing cooperatives, providing practical support in the form of training resources and referrals to those interested in starting worker cooperatives, and educating the public about the need for and benefits of worker-ownership.
This year USFWC will launch an expansion of our successful Democracy at Work Network peer advisor training program for worker cooperators. We are focusing on developing young leaders in two areas: (1) worker cooperators in the American South and (2) home health care worker cooperators. We will do targeted recruitment, and provide financial support for these cooperators to attend DAWN trainings, as well as intensive mentorship and internship opportunities with cooperative development organizations. Finally, in 2012-2013 we will expand our provision of peer technical assistance, partnering with established cooperative development organizations to expand our reach to rural areas, immigrant communities, and large-scale worker cooperative development projects.
Founded in 1995, WAGES builds worker-owned, green businesses that create healthy, dignified jobs for low-income women. WAGES incubates housecleaning cooperatives that use eco-friendly cleaning products and techniques. These profitable co-ops generate high-quality jobs, providing financial stability for low-income Latinas and their families, while protecting the health of workers and their business clients. To date, WAGES has created five successful green-cleaning cooperatives, with a sixth in planning stages. Together, these co-ops generate over $3 million in annual sales and sustain over 100 jobs for local residents, over 90% of which are occupied by low-income immigrant women.
WAGES delivers an integrated array of programs that create new jobs and asset-building opportunities for low-income Latinas, while equipping them with the skills to succeed as worker-owners. The economic impact of co-op participation is profound: In 2011, the median personal income for members at mature co-ops increased by 158% (for those who were working before). The co-ops also provide members with a range of benefits rarely offered in the housecleaning industry, including health & disability insurance and paid time off, as well as the empowerment and satisfaction of building their business and developing new skills as co-owners.
WAGES is poised to build on past successes and begin implementation of a new strategic plan that lays the groundwork for a period of continued growth in the next two years, which UCA funds will support. For the first time, in addition to building local businesses through our successful eco-friendly cleaning cooperative model, we are embarking on a new era in which we are exploring new industries for co-op development.
Over the next year, we will continue working with our five co-ops to sustain and accelerate their growth, while developing our sixth cooperative in a new industry. We will also provide our comprehensive package of business development support and training across all our cooperatives. By 2013, our San Francisco co-op will complete incubation and our newest co-op in Concord is on track to double its size.
At the same time, we will focus more deeply on increasing the long-term economic impact of worker-ownership on co-op members and their families. Through cooperative participation, our worker-owners will significantly increase their personal and household incomes. Finally, we will increase the scope of our skill-building and asset accumulation program based on the interests and educational goals of our members.