“The most effective way to deal with change is to help create it” — Anonymous
Last year was a time of major change, improvements and growth for CGIN. Driven by our mission “to strengthen all retail food cooperatives by creating community and facilitating the sharing and development of resources among members,” CGIN made some significant changes in its organizational and site structure to enhance ease of use and access to the CGIN’s online resources
A big thanks to CGIN members for providing valuable input and resources for new services and our online library. Also, thanks to CGIN members for their patience and understanding during our website overhaul. In 2008, member participation and contributions will continue to be an important part of shaping and improving CGIN’s content and services.
Some of the major changes in 2007 included:
Management Contract Signed with the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA)
In April, the CGIN board entered into a management contract with the National Cooperative Grocers Association. While this signaled the end of the long term relationship CGIN had with Executive Director Karen Zimbelman, it also created a new relationship with NCGA whose mission and membership significantly overlaps with that of CGIN’s.
In November, CGIN launched its completely overhauled website. The new site is more efficient and user friendly. It dynamically generates pages, allows for online posting of basic library items, photo galleries, deli recipes, job postings and classified ads, and decreases the administrative work necessary to maintain such a vast website.
CGIN Membership Eligibility Redefined
In December, CGIN membership participated in an election, the first online, to redefine membership eligibility. The membership was asked to revise CGIN’s membership eligibility bylaw to allow members of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) or the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) to be primary (voting) members of CGIN. Fifty-seven CGIN members voted to approve this revision.
Some CGIN Facts:
- 143 retail co-op members
- Over 1,686 different items in our basic resource library, up from 1,275 in 2006 and 348 in 2001
- 75 different exhibits in the CGIN “photo gallery” up from 35 in 2006
- 530 deli recipes, up from 393 in 2003
- 522 subscribers to our main listserve, 143 in our Membership and Marketing listserve, and 89 subscribers to our Human Resource listserve
- Approximately 4,966 people use the site each month
- Hosted 221 job opening announcements and three job seeker announcements
Thanks to all of you who have contributed items, participated in CGIN’s listserves, and continue to use the site when you need ideas, materials and resources.
Improvements in 2008
We continue to improve our site to make it easier for members to participate in and gain from the CGIN community. This year we have:
- created the CCMA Community Notices to help facilitate room sharing at CCMA.
- added the CGIN member survey tool, which allows CGIN members the opportunity to provide input on new services and features.
- with the assistance of Carolee Colter, upgraded the Livable Wage model to reflect current gas, housing and food prices.
- laid the ground work for a system that will allow CGIN members to survey each other.
- added CoopTube, a new section for CGIN members to post videos on various topics such as training, commercials, events, and shopping cart drill teams! This section also permits members to comment on the videos, thus enhancing CGIN member community building and interaction.
- implemented an advanced polling system for online elections.
- added a co-op directors listserve forum, Board Members Listserve, to help facilitate discussion and information sharing around board governance systems
Still to Come in 2008
We will be working on online payment options for purchasing online materials and renewing or initiating CGIN memberships. We will also finalize the Member to Member survey tool and incorporate other networking systems. We continue to look at ways that CGIN can support new co-op development efforts.
We have switched from cash basis reporting to accrual reporting. At the end of 2007, CGIN had a small net operating loss of $1,102. Considering that CGIN was projected to lose around $10K, this is good news! Total income in 2007 was $48,785, with expenses totaling $49,887.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
CGIN is fortunate to have seven sponsors for our site. Our continued thanks to them for their support:
- Albert’s Organics
- Cooperative Development Services
- Frontier Natural Products Co-op
- Hershey Import Company
- NCB Development Center
- CROPP/Organic Valley
- United Natural Foods
Also thank you to the National Cooperative Grocers Association for a successful first year of managing CGIN’s operations.
Thanks again to our members, for their continued support and participation in making CGIN, and the changes to CGIN, a success.