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Training for Success

The Howard Bowers Fund supports the training and education of staff and board members of food cooperatives
Bowers Fund Impact:
  • Provided over $500,000 in grants since 1994, offering the kind of assistance food co-ops need to open strong and stay competitive 
  • Assists with staff and board training and scholarships to attend professional conferences that allow them to network with peers and learn from industry experts
  • Each year, the Bowers Fund offers 25 scholarships to CCMA, and provides over $35,000 in grants.
  • Supports participation in Up and Coming and Small and Strong Conferences
Include Howard Bowers Fundraising into your food co-op events
NFCA Co-operator Award.png

The “Neighboring Co-operator Award” acknowledges special contributions made to the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) and the advancement of our vision by a staff member, director or member of an NFCA Member Co-op or partner organization. As part of the award, the NFCA makes a contribution to the Bowers fund in honor of the recipient and invites other co-ops, organizations and individuals to do so as well. Recipients of the award, launched in 2015, have included Alex Gyori, former General Manager of Brattleboro Food Co-op (VT), Terry Appleby, General Manager of Co-op Food Stores / Hanover Consumer Co-operative Society (NH & VT), Kay Litten, NFCA Board Member and longtime Board Member of Co-op Food Stores / Hanover Consumer Co-operative Society (NH & VT), and Roger Noonan, President of the New England Farmers Union, and Patrice Lockert Anthony, President of GreenStar Co-op Markets (NY).​

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Howard Bowers Fund for Food Co-ops in honor of Patrice and any of our Neighboring Co-operators, please use the "Donate" button below!


At NFCA's 8th Annual Meeting in 2019, Patrice Lockert Anthony (pictured at the left with NFCA President Faye Mack), President of GreenStar Co-op Markets in Ithaca, NY, was honored with the award.

The Neighboring Food Co-op Association raises funds for the Howard Bowers Fund with its Neighboring Cooperator Award


The Cooperative Development Foundation’s Howard Bowers Fund invests in the professional growth and development of food cooperative staff and board members with biannual grants and scholarships.

The Howard Bowers Fund provides:

  • training and education grants and scholarships to professional conferences for food cooperatives

  • sponsorship of educational conferences for food cooperative boards and staff

  • development of educational materials relevant to food cooperatives.

Grants may not be used to fund general operating expenses, endowments, capital improvements, tuition, or salaries and benefits of applicant organization staff.

Who may apply:  Cooperatives, cooperative development organizations, cooperative-related groups, groups forming a cooperative, and members, staff, and board members of cooperatives.  Grants are only available to co-ops within the United States.

Review process: Applications and supporting materials will be reviewed by the Fund’s advisory board.  Applications for more than $1000 will be reviewed by the CDF board as well.  All applicants will be notified as to the status of their applications.

Recipient obligation:  Bowers Fund recipients are required to report on the use of their grants within a year of receipt.


Re-application:  Applicants may re-apply to the Fund on condition that CDF has received a final or interim report on all previous grants the applicant has received.

Grant Cycles                                  Applications Due
Spring Grant Cycle                          February 15, 2020
Fall Grant Cycle                                September 15, 2020

What else do you need to know?

Howard Bowers Fund will not give grants for:

        -Capital expenditures, general operating expenses or endowments

        -Travel expenses to Up and Coming, CCMA or Small and Strong Conferences

        -Do not apply for scholarships to attend CCMA, Up and Coming or Small and Strong through this application     iiiiiiiilink. If the Bowers Fund is offering scholarships for those conferences, the link will be on the conference site.

        -Projects outside the U.S.

        -Projects or programs that have already occurred

  • Grants range between $200 to $6000.  The typical grant is within the range of $500 to $2000.

  • Contact us prior to applying to assure your project fits our criteria.

  • Grant evaluations must be submitted within 30 days of the program/project completion. The evaluation is a narrative report on the program/project and must be submitted online. An organization must submit an evaluation to be considered for a future grant.

The Howard Bowers Fund's policy is to fund less than 100% of the value of the project.

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