Rising Tide Cooperative Community Fund awards spring grants
This spring brought a dynamic group of projects submitted for potential grants from the RT Cooperative Community Fund (RTCCF). All were deemed worthy of some funding. The projects together will reach many people in our community, both youth and adult. They also collectively touch on our four core funding areas: Environment, Community, Food and Hunger, and Cooperatives.
Three of the grants were awarded to projects that connect the community with local food and agriculture. These three grants go to The Heirloom Seed Project at Medomak Valley High School for teen summer interns, the Genesis Fund for an organic community garden at the Medomak Mobile Home Cooperative, and the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association (DLWA) for a berry grove at the Damariscotta Lake Farm Condominium Association lawn.
The Heirloom Seed Project at MVHS is the oldest high school seed-saving program in the United States. This summer the project hopes to initiate a Teen Agricultural Crew program, where a couple of teens will work over the spring, summer and fall growing heirloom crops, coordinating gardeners, organizing events, processing and selling seeds. The teens will learn about what it takes to be a agricultural businessperson.
Community gardening has grabbed the attention of residents of the Medomak Mobile Home Park. The park is the first resident-owned mobile home cooperative in the state. With rising prices of food, residents started to think that the effort that goes into growing their own food seemed worth it. A committee of residents, with help from Samuel Kaymen, determined what was needed for a community garden to be successful at their park. They plan to create 18 raised beds for families of the park to grow vegetables. RTCCF funds will help defray some of the start-up costs of this project.
DLWA is hoping to solve a problem while also providing food and educational opportunities at the Damariscotta Lake Farm Condominium Association lawn. The organization plans to place a native edibles berry patch at the lower section of lawn close to Damariscotta Lake. This will not only create a buffer from run-off from the lawn in a section that is currently difficult to maintain, but will also provide berries for residents, plant stock for other buffer projects, and opportunities to teach about DLWA’s LakeSmart program and native shrubs.
The final grant was awarded to Jefferson Village School to help defray costs associated with sending five teams to the state and one to the World Final Odyssey of the Mind Competitions. This program is international and involves students’ problem solving skills to come up with solutions to problems in several categories ranging from engineering to the language arts.
The RTCCF committee wishes all the recipients good luck with their projects. We also look forward to seeing new ideas for future grants. The committee will be reviewing applications for the next round of potential recipients in the fall. For more information contact Lili Pugh at firstname.lastname@example.org. The RTCCF is an endowment fund held by Twin Pines Foundation. Donations help grow our endowment. You may follow the link on the Rising Tide web page (www.risingtide.coop/co-op-links) to donate online.
What is a Rising Tide Cooperative Community Fund Grant and how can we apply?
The purpose of our Cooperative Community Fund is to provide grants of $100 – $300 to support local groups working in the areas of Environment, Community, Food and Hunger, and Cooperatives.
The following are examples of projects that Rising Tide CCF would fund:
- Environment: Environmental projects, recycling, alternative transportation
- Community: Health care, social service, service groups, community events
- Food & Hunger: Alternative agriculture, organic farming, food banks
- Cooperatives: Co-op organizations, co-op development, co-op funds, co-op education
Funds will be disbursed only to organizations which are tax exempt 501 (c)3. Funds cannot be provided to groups that are engaged in political activities, lobbying, or activities unrelated to the above four categories. A written report will be required at the end of this project.
Grants will be made twice a year.
The next grant deadline is April 15th, 2013.
FUND FILLED FACTS FOR 2012
By FYE 2012 the 29 participant co-ops of the Cooperative Community Fund will:
- Serve over 20 million customers a year in their Co-op Food Stores
- Do over $600 million dollars a year in retail trade
- Serve 600,000 people in co-op member households
- Operate about 40 retail locations in fourteen different states
- See the largest CCF fund about $300,000 in endowment assets
- Have a combined CCF endowment balance of almost $1,100,000
- TPCF/CCF will have invested about $2 million in cooperative development
The Cooperative Community Funds act as endowments. The annual earnings of each CCF are donated by the sponsor Co-op to nonprofits in their local community. Since 1998 the CCF’s will have made donations of almost $300,000 to hundreds of local nonprofits. About 25% was donated to creating and supporting other local cooperatives.
The Cooperative Community Funds actively fulfill three of the International Cooperative Alliances Cooperative Principles; “Education Training and Information”, “Cooperation among Cooperatives” and “Concern for Community.”
In 1990, North Coast Cooperatives (NCC) began the concept that later became the Cooperative Community Fund. With their approval, the Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation began replicating the NCC program in 1999, first in California and later nationally.
Twin Pines Cooperative Foundation invests the TPCF/CCF assets in cooperative development funds, NCB Savings, and in those credit unions, and community owned banks which actively support cooperatives. The TPCF/CCF assets create a vibrant cooperative and community building economy throughout the USA.
TPCF/CCF has invested/loaned to the following cooperative development funds and projects:
- $350,000 Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund (Midwest)
- $200,000 Cooperative Fund of New England (New England)
- $175,000 ICA Leaf Fund (Northeast and National)
- $300,000 Organic Valley Co-op (based in Wisconsin with membership of farmers in USA)
- $100,000 Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op (second store financing)
- $100,000 Briarpatch Co-op (move to a new larger location in Nevada City)
- $300,000 Equal Exchange (based in New England: national distribution to most food co-ops)
- $200,000 NCB Savings (federally insured) (the National Co-op Bank’s affiliate)
- $300,000 New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
- $100,000 plus deposits in a local federally insured credit union
TPCF has also lent and been repaid $200,000 in loans to the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op and the Briarpatch Co-op in Nevada City.
TPCF/CCF provides more funding to cooperative development organizations in the US than any other cooperative organization. TPCF/CCF assets are financing the development of consumer, worker and housing cooperatives in all fifty states. Every dollar invested by the TPCF/CCF program creates leveraging of at least 10 dollars of additional financing to the 1 dollar from TPCF/CCF. TPCF/CCF dollars generate over $20 million of lending mainly to food cooperatives. Almost every new food co-op, second store and existing food co-op expansion is funded with dollars from the cooperative development groups TPCF/CCFs invest in.
By FYE 2015 TPCF/CCF is projected to have assets of over $2.5 million dollars. Invested in cooperative development organizations this will then create $25 million dollars of bank financing for new and existing cooperatives.
The more CCF’s there are the more donations to community groups at the local level and the more funds for cooperative development at the regional level.
The CCF program has gratefully received project funding from the groups listed below. Please support these groups in every way possible. TPCF is always looking for support for the Cooperative Community Fund program. Please contact either David or Cathy at the addresses below if you would like to be part of our efforts.
Since 1998 TPCF has continued to provide annually $25,000 in cash program support and $25,000 annually in professional time is given by David Thompson as an in kind labor donation for the CCF program. TPCF has also donated a total of $100,000 in matching funds and received additional external contributions of $150,000 for our matching funds and program support. See our web site section on funders.