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Building solidarity co-ops for social justice


Building solidarity co-ops for social justice

Manchester, England: David Thompson Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation

Organized by Co-operative Business Consultants, England.

Posted on 17th February, 2018 by Pablo Pruiz

Solidarity Funding: Co-operative Community Funds

The Cooperative Community Fund (CCF) program is a program of the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation (TPCF) in the USA. The first CCF was created by TPCF in 1998. In 2018 there will be 50 food co-ops sponsoring a CCF.

There are two driving forces for the CCF program;

  1. All the income earned from the investment of our principal is donated by each of the CCF’s to nonprofits in their community
  2. All the principal ($3.5m) held by TPCF is invested only in cooperative development organizations and for the development of cooperatives

AT FYE 2018 the TPCF/CCF program will record the following successes;

  • Our investments leveraged over $40 million for the development of cooperatives
  • Our 50 CCF’s have donated over $800,000 to their local nonprofits
  • TPCF has raised over $400,000 in external matches donated to our CCF’s
  • In FYE 2018 our total CCF endowments grew by almost $200,000
  • Our 50 sponsor food co-ops do over $1 billion dollars in retail sales a year
  • We help co-ops build on the strongest link with their members – Their Local Giving
  • Co-op members in the USA have donated over $1.8 million to their CCFs
  • TPCF and the 50 CCF’s are living proof of the Sixth Principle of the ICA “Cooperation Among Cooperatives”

2020 Vision for the CCF Program

TPCF plans to promote the Cooperative Development Decade by:

  • Expanding the CCF program to over 60 food co-ops
  • Growing our investment corpus to Five Million Dollars
  • Boosting leveraged capital to 60 million dollars to fund cooperative development

Over $400,000 from Other Funders for our CCF Program

A big thank you to the following donors for providing a number of the $5,000 Founder Matches, Pat Matches and Round Up Matches: Blooming Prairie Foundation, Cabot Creamery; Capital Impact; Equal Exchange; Frontier Co-op; National Cooperative Bank; National Cooperative Grocers, Organic Valley, The Cooperative Foundation and the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation. Please support the organizations which support us.

TPCF operates three Matching Programs

  1. Founder Matches. With $5,000 donated by a funder co-op for each new coop joining the CCF program. The incoming food co-op must also donate $5,000 to start each CCF with a $10,000 endowment base.
  2. Patronage Match (Pat Match). For those food co-ops operating a patronage refund system, TPCF offers matches from $1,000 to $4,000 coming jointly from co-op funders. The sponsor co-op must put up an equal match of their own dollars. For example, $2,000 comes from TPCF (Pat Match fund pool provided in 2018 by Frontier Co-op, National Cooperative Bank and OrganicValley) and $2,000 from the sponsor co-op. The co-op’s members are then challenged to donate $4,000 of their patronage refund to their own CCF. The Pat Match in this case adds $8,000 to the participating food co-op’s CCF.
  3. Round Up Match. Some food co-ops operate a Round-Up Program where the members and customers are encouraged at the cash register to donate their change to that month’s chosen local non-profit. In some co-ops, October (which is Co-op Month in the USA) is chosen as the month in which the Round Up is dedicated to their own CCF. The same match-match process is used as in the Pat Match program. Members and customers are told that in Co-op Month the Round Up change donated to their own CCF will be matched up to $4,000 jointly by TPCF and the sponsor co-op. The Round Up Match in this case adds another $8,000 to the sponsor’s CCF.

The Cooperative Community Funds fulfil three of the International Cooperative Alliances Cooperative Principles; “Education Training and Information”, “Cooperation among Cooperatives” and “Concern for Community.”

Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation invests the TPCF/CCF assets only in cooperative development to build a vibrant cooperative economy in the USA. For example; TPCF/CCF is/has invested/loaned or deposited funds for the development of cooperatives in;

$650,000 Shared Capital Cooperative (National)

$100,000 Cooperative Fund of New England (New England)

$500,000 ICA Leaf Fund (Northeast and National)

$500,000 Organic Valley Co-op (based in Wisconsin dairy farmer membership in USA)

$500,000 Equal Exchange (based in New England: national distribution to food co-ops)

$50,000 NCB Savings (federally insured) (the National Co-op Bank’s affiliate)

$660,000 New Hampshire Community Loan Fund (MobileHomePark Co-ops)

$150,000 Northern California Community Loan Fund

$10,000 Organic Maple Cooperative (Cashton, WI)

$100,000 Invested in Co-opportunity B Shares for a second store in Culver City

TPCF/CCF invests more equity like funding to cooperative development organizations (CDO’s) in the US than any other cooperative organization. TPCF/CCF assets are financing the development of consumer, worker and housing cooperatives and land trusts throughout the USA.

Every dollar deposited into the TPCF/CCF program leverages another 12 dollars of financing for cooperative development. TPCF/CCF dollars generate over $40 million of lending with most lent to food cooperatives. Almost every food co-op loan in the USA is funded with TPCF/CCF dollars.

TPCF – Building cooperatives since 1964:

Cathy Murnighan, Executive Director, Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation, 216 F. Street, PMB 1844, Davis, CA95616 Tel. 530-753-2667 [email protected]

David J. Thompson, President, Tel. 530-757-2233 Cell 530-400-9765 [email protected]

January 2018.

On Twin Pines Co-operative Foundation