The Canadian Worker Co-op Federation (CWCF) offers grants to assist worker co-ops that are, or agree to become, members of CWCF to hire a co-op developer or other professional to help with a challenge that the co-op is facing. Assistance can be sought in any area needed such as marketing, financial administration, governance, conflict resolution, legal issues, etc.
Grants of up to $4000 (an increase from the previous $3500 maximum) are now available, although smaller amounts may be awarded depending on the co-op’s needs. We encourage members — or prospective members — to apply for these grants in a timely fashion, as there is a maximum amount allocated for them in CWCF’s annual budget.
Recent recipients of the grants have put them to use in a wide range of areas. For two recent grant recipients, Transform Practice Collective and Oasis Lavenders Cooperative, the funding helped them build on the valuable experience they acquired participating in CWCF’s Worker Co-op Academy.
“Oasis Lavenders Cooperative attended the CWCF Academy–the best thing to get our cooperative off to a great start!” says Toni Boot, the Co-op’s co-founder and general manager. “The learning, support and mentoring didn’t stop there though. We received a Technical Assistance grant to help with the financial pieces of our business plan and will soon be in a position to confidently approach lenders to support our growing enterprise.”
Gillian Kranias of Transform Practice Collective echoed these sentiments.
“The Academy was a space to learn together about worker co-operation. During that period, we built our shared vision, our initial marketing plan, and our pitch deck… The Technical Assistance grant from CWCF ensured we had worker co-op technical guidance through critical next steps. We confirmed our preference for a non-profit structure, completed incorporation, identified co-leads and responsibilities for various organizational management areas, hired graphic design consultants for our branding, and established good board meeting practices. We benefited from our co-op developers’ relationship-focus, his depth of knowledge, and his follow up on resource-sharing.”
We encourage all of our members (or prospective members) to consider how these grants might be of value to your co-op. If you are unsure about any details or would like more information, please contact Communications and Member Services Manager Kaye Grant at email@example.com. The application form for technical assistance grants is available here.