1,000
OWNER
COUNT
1466

Volunteer to make it happen!

No time to read and just want to volunteer? Here ya go; 3 easy ways to get involved:

1. Drop in at our upcoming MORE meeting (Marketing & Owner Recruitment and Engagement) on Aug 21, and see where you might lend a hand.

2. Sign-up for a volunteer shift and event support online - we have easy shifts at Argyle Night Market, our cool new Up & Under Fest, and the super fun My Buddy's Mixer all coming up.

3. Email our Volunteer Coordinator and ask what some of our current needs are and sign up!

Need to hear more? Read on:

Boy, we hate to beg (we’re adults after all), but we’re willing to do so if it will help make Chicago Market a reality! Here’s the story:

In February of 2013, the initial seeds of Chicago Market were officially planted by a small cadre of early Owners who volunteered their time to do all of the work required to legally set up the cooperative, assemble a Board of Directors and spread the word to those who might be interested in becoming Owners of a “cooperative” grocery store.

As you probably know by now, we have a site (#GerberBuilding) and have seriously ratcheted up efforts to increase the number of Owners. Currently, we’re at 1258. Woo-hoo!

Much to our surprise, that small cadre of volunteers has grown only a bit – not nearly enough to meet the demands of our growing enterprise.

And we know why. Along the way we made a colossal mistake – and we’re big enough to own it. We neglected to communicate just how involved and engaged each Chicago Market Owner needs to be!  

As we sought and signed up new Owners, we neglected to say that becoming an “Owner” of a cooperative wasn’t like being an Owner of a for-profit grocery store – where the Owner hires people to do everything required to make the store functional.

Nope. As Owners, the buck stops with us. We’re it. When something needs to be done, one of us has to do it.

Owners are Chicago Market’s worker bees. We are its go-to “staff” for every job that needs to be done – from ongoing commitments to one-off assignments. Here is just a sampling:

Marketing to gain new Owners
Planning, organization, staffing and clean-up for a multitude of Co-op events
   Pop-Up Markets
   Info sessions
   Owner meet-ups
   Community presentations
   Tabling at community fairs and festivals
Website design and management
Data entry and database maintenance
Coordination of volunteer needs, assignments and activities
Communications, including website copy, newsletters, blogs, posters, etc.
Social media communications
Graphic design for all our communications activities
Serving on the Board of Directors
Overseeing the design of the store
Developing partnerships with community organizations
Schlepping signs and marketing materials to various events
Participating on working committees like Owner Engagement (hint!)
Hiring a general manager
Planning and executing the Owner Loan Campaign
Applying for government, bank and other private sector loans
Writing the very email you’re (hopefully, still) reading
Need we go on?

We get that not every Owner has the time to volunteer for Chicago Market. For example, Owners who care for 6 small children under the age of 3, and…. Well, now that we think about it, that’s the only category that really makes sense to us. (We kid.)

We aren’t heartless. We understand first-hand how tough it can be to make the time to help with Chicago Market activities, because virtually every active Owner-Volunteer has a full-time career as well as families to tend to.

So we’re asking…begging, even…for you to join the ranks of Owner-Volunteers and help build the Market that we can eventually claim as our community Co-op – if we quickly increase our Volunteer roles so we can get the 750 new Owners we need by year end to secure funding. 

Here are 3 easy ways to get involved:

1. Drop in at our upcoming MORE meeting (Marketing & Owner Recruitment and Engagement) on Aug 21, and see where you might lend a hand.

2. Sign-up for a volunteer shift and event support online - we have easy shifts at Argyle Night Market, our cool new Up & Under Fest, and the super fun My Buddy's Mixer all coming up.

3. Email our Volunteer Coordinator and ask what some of our current needs are and sign up!

Becoming an Owner of Chicago Market means becoming a working part of our cooperative community. We would love to have you on board as an Owner-Volunteer.

Can we count on you?

PS. Sign up for our volunteer email list and get volunteer opportunities on the first and third Tuesday of every month. Just follow this link and check the Volunteer Opportunities box. You'll get fun, short emails that share upcoming volunteer opportunities so you can plug in when the time's right for you!


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