We often explain that one of the strengths of a co-op is that Owners have a voice in our store. Today we have an exciting example of that to share.
Owners expressed interest in making donations toward Ownership for people who want to join but need a method with no out-of-pocket cost. The Board heard this request and set up a team to build out a program to make it happen!
Ownership Grant Program
We use $125 in donated funds to offer an Ownership. This pays for half of the cost of being an Owner. The recipient becomes an Owner immediately, and the balance up to $250 is paid over time through any patronage refunds that the recipient may earn by shopping the store. Our program puts three of the Seven Cooperative Principles into action:
And we are pleased to be partnering with organizations in the community who select Ownership grant recipients for us. We have three program partners now, are in talks with a handful more, and are reaching out to others. Thanks to Nourishing Hope, Swedish Hospital, and Voice of the People for helping us kick off our program!
Our Ownership Grant Program has been jump-started with a $10,000 donation from an anonymous Owner who writes:
"I’m happy to help grow the Owner population, which moves us closer to our goals, while providing individuals with limited financial means an opportunity to become a part of this Co-op. Making Ownership more accessible to all will strengthen our community and is the right action to pursue.”
If you'd like to donate, in any amount, so that others may become Chicago Market Owners with you, click here:
And if you know someone who might like a granted Ownership, point them here: Ownership Grant Program
Thank you, Owners, for steering your store in ways that align with your values!