CHANGE THE WAY YOU GIVE
The Moscow Food Co-op Seed Sowers Fund (SSF) is our Co-op’s Cooperative Community Fund (CCF). A CCF is an endowment food co-ops can sponsor for the purpose of more effectively managing and growing their giving programs. Administered by Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation (TPCF), the CCF program puts into tightly knit practice three cooperative principles: member economic participation, cooperation among cooperatives, and concern for community.
The Moscow Food Co-op has held steadfast to our commitment to support our local community. Through sponsorships and programs like Dime in Time and Community Contributions we donate over $18,000 annually to charitable organizations who work towards furthering the betterment of our community. As the Co-op and community grow it becomes increasingly important that we continue this important work and become as impactful as possible. The SSF will help us increase our giving locally and will help fund cooperatives in our region.
How does it work?
Contributions to the SSF double the strength of a donated dollar. Earnings on the SSF have the potential to make our donations to local nonprofits even more meaningful, while the principal provides loan capital to other cooperatives. The interest earned on the principal donated to our fund will be returned to us each year to award to local organizations—the more money we raise for our fund, the more we can donate to our community.
Through the TPCF our Co-op received a matching grant of $5000. Thanks to funds generously provided by Blooming Prairie ($3,000) Organic Valley ($1,000) and The Cooperative Foundation ($1,000), we are on our way to building our fund. It’s now up to us and our community to raise the matching $5000. And with our “Change the Way You Give” campaign donating to the SSF is easier than ever.
How can I donate?
1. Shoppers can now round up their grocery bill at any register and donate the change to the SSF. For instance if your total is $16.22, you can round up your bill to the closest dollar ($17.00, in this case) and donate $0.78 to the SSF. You can also donate independent of your grocery bill if you wish.
2. We are in the process of developing a Seed Sowers Advisory Committee made up of staff and Participating Owners who will be responsible for raising funds for the SSF, as well. This group will determine key players in our community and fun and innovative fundraising techniques in order to build our fund. If you're interested in serving on this committee, please email Nicole O'Donnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. During years in which the Board votes to disperse patronage dividends, owners will also have the opportunity to donate their dividend to the SSF.
*The Dime in Time grant will still exist and we hope to eventually make the SSF an option for bag refunds. Impulse Giving will still exist at the registers for a small group of nonprofits.
Your Money is Waiting!
Let me begin by offering my sincere gratitude to all of you who have opted to round up for the Seed Sowers at the registers. Because of your continuing generosity, we’ve already raised over $12,000 for our Co-op’s Cooperative Community Fund.
The Moscow Food Co-op is one of 40 food co-ops nationally that participate in the Cooperative Community Fund program. This fund has over $3.5million in total assets that are all invested ONLY in the development of cooperatives.
Our investment earned just over $348.00 in interest in 2016 and we now get to put that money back into our community through our Seed Sowers Grant program. Any community group or organization with a federal tax ID # with a project in one of the following categories may apply for a grant.
1. Environment – environmental projects, recycling, alternative transportation, etc.
2. Community – healthcare, social services, service groups, community groups, etc.
3. Farming & Hunger – alternative agriculture, organic farming, food banks, etc.
4. Cooperatives – co-op organizations, co-op development, co-op education, co-op projects, etc.
The Co-op’s Community Contributions Committee will make all funding decisions. Applications are available on the Co-op’s website at moscowfood.coop/seedsowersgrantapp and are due by October 31st, 2017.
Every penny rounded up at the register contributes to the interest we earn and can give back to our community each year.
Let’s grow something good!
-Melinda C. Schab
Moscow Food Co-op General Manager