What is Dime in Time?
Dime in Time is a community giving program of the Moscow Food Co-op. Customers are given a “10-cent token” every time they bring in a reusable tote bag or drink cup. Customers donate their dime by depositing the token into one of three clear plastic bins, each of which represents a cause or organization selected by the Dime in Time committee. These bins will rotate every three months, with one bin always reserved for the Co-op Community Fund (formerly known as the Seed Sowers Fund.)
How are Dime in Time recipients selected?
A committee made up Co-op staff, community members and Co-op participating owners choose the recipients for each season. This committee is committed to supporting non-profit, non-sectarian, and non-discriminatory organizations whose goals complement or support the Mission Statement of the Co-op: “Working Together to Nourish and Nurture our Community.”
What brought about this change in the Dime in Time program?
Each organization will have three months’ worth of donations coming their way rather than one! This is exciting because it allows the Co-op to deepen its roots in our community and provide even more direct support. We have recently been donating $400-500 to Dime in Time recipients, and our hope is that by keeping each organization for a whole season, those donations will be increased significantly.
Changing to a quarterly donation schedule allows Dime in Time recipients to budget their grants more effectively. We’ve received feedback that organizations would appreciate knowing ahead of time exactly when their donation will come - as it is now, they don’t know which month their theoretical check would come in the mail until the committee decides. This change fixes that complaint, and makes it easier for them to present and follow their budgets.
Dime in Time participation and donation amounts have seen a decrease over time. This change seeks to correct that trend in three ways. First, increasing the period during which a given organization receives support will give customers an opportunity to generate larger donations. Second, by giving each customer a real token instead of, their feeling of participation and agency will increase. Third, all the funds generated by the Dime in Time program in this form will be diverted to the recipients chosen by the committee instead of being returned directly to customers as a discount.
The Co-op Community Fund will also benefit from this change - thus, the donated dollars do double the work. Studies in other Co-ops have shown that periodic round-up campaigns are more successful at generating funds than sustained round-up programs. Replacing the “round up” option with a permanent spot for the Co-op Community Fund also simplifies the “cashier spiel.” Cashiers and customers both have expressed concern that the consistent request for a round-up donation increases wait time and causes confusion at the register. Now, the push will be periodic and strategic for the greatest impact!