Cooperative Development Fund Announces 2007 Totals, New Grants

The Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) thanks cooperatives and co-op members for their generosity this year in contributing to both the Howard Bowers Fund for Consumer Cooperatives and the Katrina Cooperative Recovery Fund.

In 2007, $54,919 was raised for the Howard Bowers Fund. At least 45 stores participated in Howard Bowers Day. This level of participation and the money raised are records. Support for the fund has come from individuals, consumer cooperatives, and cooperative boards, managers, and staff. Contributions break down as follows:

  • $34,989 from Consumer Cooperative Management Association (CCMA)
  • $13,882 from Howard Bowers Day
  • $6,048 from other contributions

In accordance with a decision by the fund trustees (January 2001), half of annual contributions is used to increase the fund’s endowment and half is used for grants for consumer cooperative education and training. Thanks to the hard work of the fund trustees and to your generosity, the endowment has grown from the original $50,000 in 2000 to $248,552 today.

The fund has social investments of $50,000 in The Cooperative Fund of New England and Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund for use in loans to new or existing food co-ops.

In 2007 the Howard Bowers Fund gave five grants totaling $19,252:

  • $2,575 to Harlem Natural Foods Co-op for training;
  • $10,227 to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for scholarships to CCMA;
  • $1,750 to NASCO (North American Students of Cooperation) for scholarships to the Emerging Co-op Leaders program;
  • $3,000 to NCGA for a produce managers’ toolbox;
  • $1,700 to the Indiana Cooperative Development Center for a seminar for start-up food co-ops.

In 2008 the Fund trustees and CDF plan to:

  • engage in strategic planning;
  • use your contributions to support the consumer cooperative movement;
  • plan fundraising events at CCMA;
  • review applications and award grants to qualified, worthy projects;
  • manage the CCMA/Bowers Fund awards;
  • hold the 11th annual Howard Bowers Day celebration.

The first grants in 2008—for management and board training in new co-ops—were made available in January with a February 15 deadline. Up to six grants of $2,000 will be awarded to co-ops that are close to opening. These grant awards by the Howard Bowers Fund of the CDF will be announced in early March.

For more information, contact Ellen Quinn at [email protected] or 202/383-5474.

See other articles from this issue: #135 March - April - 2008