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Home Care Cooperative Conference Highlights Marketing and Member Recruitment

Updated: Jan 13, 2020

Record setting attendance marked the 4th Annual National Home Care Cooperative Conference. 105 cooperators from established and start-up cooperatives and development centers from across the country gathered at the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation headquarters in Dulles, VA, where they heard from cooperative home care leaders, networked, and developed new skills. CDF provided 41 caregivers with scholarships that covered travel, lodging, and conference registration costs. 

“The networking opportunities and support I found at the conference has increased my community and has given me a stronger vision of where we can take this cooperative movement. It’s taught me to view challenges as opportunities” said Kris Buettner, Circle of Life Caregiver Cooperative. She continued, “The marketing portion of the conference was really helpful. There’s so many different avenues in that field and I’ll now be able to bring that knowledge back to Circle of Life.”

Marketing basics, policy advocacy training, recruitment tips, enhanced board/member relations, and methods for building a healthy member culture were among the compelling program content. The conference is part of the work of the National Home Care Cooperative Initiative, a network of cooperatives and technical assistance providers interested in supporting and scaling home care cooperative development. CDF coordinates the work of the Home Care Initiative.

New resources were introduced at this year’s conference. Mary Byrne, Communications Consultant, presented a toolkit for developing member newsletters and Capital Impact Partners released a new study on income diversification. Conference presentations and handouts are available on CDF’s 2019 conference resource page. Additional materials, such as the newsletter toolkit and Home Care Cooperatives Revenue Growth and Diversification report published by Capital Impact Partners, are available on the home care resources page.  

"While CDF and our partners in the Home Care Cooperative Initiative provide a framework for the development and dissemination of resources, it is cooperative members that carry the load – responding to the needs of clients, colleagues and families; establishing policies that accommodate workers, customers and business realities; and advocating for the needs of caregivers and the people they serve. It's an honor to work with these caregivers and I look forward to the day that worker ownership transforms the home care field for all workers," said CDF Executive Director Leslie Mead.

Grants and sponsorships from NRUCFC, CoBank, USDA, NCB, NCBA CLUSA, and Capital Impact Partners, made the event possible. 

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