CoFED inspiregizes future food co-op leaders across North America. We support students with training and tools, and connect them with peers, mentors, and allies in a solidarity network.

CoFED Student Team, Memberships Available Now!

In the month of June, CoFED staff and student Board members are hosting a membership drive in order to build student membership in the organization! Many of our staff members are recent grads from the very teams they now serve, and our student Board members are working in the teams that are part of the network. Together, they are attempting to serve their regions as facilitators of solidarity and support networks. They want CoFED’s foundation to be built from and for member teams! Your teams’ buy-in ensures that CoFED will be a member and movement driven organization! Our goal is to obtain membership pledges from 10 teams by June 30th for the 2013-2014 school year.

CoFED unites people who believe in a better future through cooperatives, sustainable food and agriculture, and student empowerment. Becoming a member of CoFED means participating in a network of students, mentors, and CoFED staff that are actively sharing ideas, learning lessons, and forming powerful relationships to make this movement thrive. Whether you are just starting out down the road or already well-established, membership gives you support and greater access to the training and tools necessary to start a cooperative venture or expand an already thriving enterprise.

As examples of where CoFED’s staff or professional network can offer specific training, planning, and consultation, below are some areas that students have requested support in:

  • Cooperative Organizational Development: Policy, Accountability, Internal Communication, and Institutional Memory

  • Meeting skills: Facilitation & Consensus Training

  • Strategic Planning: Goal Setting and Restructuring

  • Menu Planning & Sourcing

  • Keeping Out of the Red: Budgeting & Pricing

  • Working with College Administration and Corporate Food Service Provider

 Member Benefits

  • 25% off registration price for events.

  • Participation in recruiting, interviewing, and hiring your Regional Organizer with administrative staffs’ support.

  • Nominate, vote, and/or serve as a student representative member on CoFED’s Board of Directors.

  • Access to national and regional publicity through our online social media and newsletter.

  • Connections to CoFED’s Mentor’s Network, advisory board building, partner organizations, and cooperative business development centers.

  • The Coop-to-Coop Exchange: tour coops, peer-mentoring calls, webinar skillshares.

  • Events to build regional identity and national networks: summer retreats, regional convergences, leadership summits, and casual gatherings.

  • Facilitated networking and communication as directed by the teams: blog, shared event calendar, listserv, conference calls, regional student-run co-op updates, newsletter, etc.

  • Access to our national document share of best practices, templates, and policies uploaded by students across North America.

  • Access to Resources like our “How to Start a Food Coop” and “How to Operate a Food Coop,” as well as other helpful guides and video tutorials.

  • Access to student team directory and profiles through the Teams area on CoFED’s website.

  • Earn academic credit by interning with CoFED and/or working on your coops’ projects

Student teams contribute an annual membership fee on a sliding scale of $100-$500, based on their ability to pay and enthusiasm to pledge to the movement. Fundraising or grant writing may be necessary to pay the fee your team decides on, and CoFED staff can support co-ops to joint fundraise for member dues. Because the fees that we are asking for do not represent the true value of the services offered, becoming a member is a symbolic contribution that represents your buy-in to the work we do for the teams we work with, for facilitating regional networks of students and mentors, and for building a national movement of young cooperators! Here’s what your dollars contribute to:

Regional Budgets - We want your money to stay local! Mostly, this money will fund regional events, and help ROs travel to visits teams and conduct workshops and trainings across the region.

Regional Organizers Salary - There aren’t many opportunities for young people to get paid for this kind of work. We want to provide as close to a livable wage to young professionals doing this work as we possibly can! Regional Organizers come from the region and often stay in the region after they have received professional development as a worker in CoFED to further cooperation in the region.

Resource Development - Having a large membership base helps us leverage larger grants in order to develop resources and tools on a national level, which in turn help all of us build our personal skills and our coops’ capacity and success!

 

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