The Cooperative Leaders and Scholars (CLS) program is an opportunity for employees, board members, and post-secondary students working for cooperatives and others interested in working for a cooperative or cooperative organization to participate in multi-sector programming and events and engage with co-op industry thought leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders. 

CLS offers the opportunity to learn more about the cooperative model, engage with cooperators and experts from all sectors, and participate in and share knowledge with a community of cooperative leaders and scholars. 


As a participant, you will:

  • Participate in an 8 month program designed to deepen and broaden your knowledge of cooperatives and the role of the co-op model in meeting the economic and social needs of communities
  • Be a part of a community that can provide ongoing peer support and professional development opportunities
  • Co-create a capstone project that will be presented at the Co-op IMPACT Conference
  • Participate in exclusive networking events 
  • Learn from industry experts in a series of webinars
  • Get to know the cohort in-person at a multi-day event in St. Paul, MN in May that will include co-op tours, capstone project planning, and art of facilitation training
  • Attend a weeklong event in Washington, DC from October 2 - 6 featuring NCBA CLUSA's multi-day Co-op IMPACT Conference, CDF's Cooperative Hall of Fame reception and induction ceremony, and a one-day course from the International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary's University


Fellowship includes:

  • Registrations for the Co-op IMPACT Conference, Cooperative Hall of Fame, and International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary's University course
  • Access to exclusive networking events
  • Webinars from industry experts
  • Peer-to-Peer and Mentor-to-Mentee opportunities
  • Hotel accommodations for October weeklong convening in Washington, DC
  • Hotel accommodations for May multi-day in-person meeting
  • Up to $1,000 in reimbursement for travel costs for May and October events (up to $500 per in-person event)
  • 18 meals for in-person events (part of program, not reimbursable) 
  • $25 metro card for Washington, DC
  • $600 honorarium


CLS is open to:

  • Emerging cooperators (ages 18 - 35) pursuing a career in or working with cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance.
  • Individuals new to cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance with less than five years of experience. 
  • Post-secondary students of any age with an interest in cooperatives, credit unions, and mutual insurance.


Timeline:

  • February 10 - Applications due at 11:59pm ET
  • March 1 - Applicants notified of status
  • April 5 - Fellowship kick-off
  • May - Multi-day in-person meeting with cohort
  • June - September -  Virtual programming
  • October - Weeklong in-person convening in Washington, DC
  • November - Virtual programming


Contact Kirstie Boyette at kboyette@ncba.coop for more information.


For technical difficulties, please contact support@submittable.com.

The Cooperative Education Fund supports cooperative development of educational resources, sponsors research, and backs educational programs that strengthen and expand cooperatively owned businesses with the purpose of improving the lives and livelihoods of members and their communities.

The Cooperative Education Fund prioritizes grants for:

  • research about cooperatives,
  • development of educational materials,
  • scholarships to organizations hosting educational events, and
  • sponsorship for National or Regional events.

Who may apply: Cooperatives, cooperative development organizations, cooperative related groups and members, staff and board members of cooperatives. Grants are only available in the United States.

Review process: Applications and supporting materials will be reviewed by the Fund's Advisers. Applications for more than $1,000 will also be reviewed by the CDF Board. All applicants will be notified as to the status of their applications.

Recipient obligation: Cooperative Education Fund recipients are required to report on the use of their grant(s) within a year of receipt.

Re-application: Applicants may re-apply to the Fund on condition that CDF has received a final or interim report on all previous grants the applicant has received.

The Cooperative Education Fund will not give grants for:

  • capital expenditures, general operating expenses or endowments;
  • sponsorship of local events;
  • projects outside of the United States; or
  • projects or programs that have already occurred.

Other Information:

  • Grant applications range between $1,000 to $10,000 and the typical grant awarded is between $1,000 to $5,000.
  • The  Fund will not support development of proprietary materials. Materials developed with support from the Cooperative Education Fund must be available to all at little or no cost.
  • Organizations hosting educational events may apply for scholarships. The Fund doesn't provide scholarships to individuals.
  • The application deadline for the spring cycle of grants is May 1.
  • The application deadline for the fall cycle of grants is October 1.


For technical difficulties, please contact support@submittable.com.

The Cooperative Development Fund supports cooperative development, research, and technical assistance for cooperatives serving the needs of seniors, international cooperative development, and affordable housing. The Fund's grant process involves two stages - the submission of a concept paper and, if chosen, the submission of a full proposal. The intent is that unless the full proposal is not submitted or is significantly lacking, the concept papers chosen will receive grants.

Who may apply: Cooperatives, cooperative development organizations, cooperative related groups and members, staff and board members of cooperatives. Grants are only available to organizations in the United States.

How to apply: Submit a two-page concept paper about a project that is related to cooperatives serving the needs of seniors, international cooperative development, or affordable housing. Concept papers should include:

  • A brief description of the entity submitting the proposal, its capacity and expertise, and the population it serves;
  • A brief description of the concept, major deliverable(s), and any connection it has to any other cooperative development project;
  • How the concept promotes measurable outcomes, with a focus on historically underserved communities and residents in urban areas, through cooperative development;
  • High level budget; and
  • A description of how the success of the concept will be measured.

Review process: Concept papers and supporting materials will be reviewed by the Fund's Board of Advisors and approved by the CDF Board of Directors. All applicants will be notified of the status of their applications within one to two weeks of the Board meeting.

Full proposal: If the concept paper is chosen to move forward, the applicant must submit a proposal within 30 days of being notified that includes scope of work, personnel, detailed budget, deliverables, and outcomes.

Recipient obligation: Cooperative Development Fund recipients are required to report on deliverables and outcomes from the grant(s) within 6 months of completion of the project.

Concept papers are due on January 16.


For technical difficulties, please contact support@submittable.com.


Disaster Recovery Fund 

The Disaster Recovery Fund helps cooperatives and cooperators get back on their feet after disasters or other emergency hardship situations. 

The Disaster Recovery Fund prioritizes funding for:

  • aid to employees and volunteers of cooperatives and cooperative support organizations to support recovery from disasters or emergencies;
  • basic necessities like food, clothing, housing (including repairs), transportation and medical assistance (including psychological counseling);
  • aid to cooperatives by covering uninsured expenses needed to return the business to viability.

Who may apply: Cooperatives, cooperative support organizations and employees and volunteers of cooperatives.

Review process: All applications will be reviewed by CDF's Executive Director. Applications for more than $1,000 will also be reviewed by the CDF Board. All applicants will be notified as to the status of their applications. 

Recipient obligation: Disaster Recovery Fund recipients are required to report on the use of their grant(s) within a year of receipt. 


For technical difficulties, please contact support@submittable.com. 



CDF’s Cooperative Education Fund will offer small grants to individuals interested in conducting research to identify and provide documentation for nominations of individuals from groups of people whose work and achievements in advancing cooperatives have gone unrecognized.

Research will be used to nominate and advocate for the next Unsung Cooperative Hero. Researchers will be required to advocate for their nominee to the year’s Hall of Fame selection committee comprised of cooperative leaders from all sectors. If the nominee is chosen for induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame, the researcher will receive a ticket to attend the ceremony. There will also be up to two tickets available for family members of the inductee.

Who may apply: Preference will be given to students associated with or supported by cooperatives or cooperative organizations. Grants are only available for organizations in the United States.

Review process: Applications will be reviewed by a committee and approved by the CDF Board of Directors. Applications should have some information to indicate how and why the research will help inform the Unsung Hero nomination process.

Recipient obligation: The recipient must complete the research and present research materials and nomination packets in support of their nominee by August 15. The recipient will also advocate for their nominee before the Hall of Fame selection committee later in the year.

Applications due on February 1. Applicants will be notified of their status by February 15. If awarded, research and nomination packets are due on August 15.


About the Cooperative Hall of Fame and Unsung Heroes

Established in 1974 by the National Cooperative Business Association, the Cooperative Hall of Fame is administered by the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) and serves to honor those distinguished individuals whose contributions to cooperative business have been genuinely heroic. Inductees are limited to a prestigious group carefully selected to preserve the nature of this distinction. Nominations are received annually by a selection committee (appointed by the chair of the CDF Board of Directors). The nominees selected are presented to the Board of Directors of the National Cooperative Business Association for approval and induction into the Cooperative Hall of Fame. For more information, see heroes.coop.

In 2021, the CDF Board approved the addition of a process to honor as inductees into the Hall of Fame individuals who were members of groups that have been historically overlooked. Referred to as Unsung Heroes, the nominees selected through this process, no more than one per year, will be inducted alongside and with the same level of recognition as those selected through the traditional Hall of Fame process. To be eligible for consideration as an Unsung Hero:

  • The individual’s contributions to cooperative practice, for the most part, were made before the Hall of Fame began in 1974, and
  • The individual comes from a group of people whose work and achievements have historically been unrecognized and even suppressed.


For technical difficulties, please contact support@submittable.com.

 Home care worker cooperative members and developers are invited to attend the 7th Annual National Home Care Cooperative Conference in Dulles, VA from March 7 - 10, 2023. The conference is organized by the Cooperative Development Foundation and hosted at the headquarters of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC).

Scholarships for registration, travel and hotel stipends are available for qualifying home care cooperative members. In-person scholarship applications are limited to two per home care cooperative. Virtual scholarships are unlimited. 


Who may apply: Worker-owners of cooperatives or organizing members of start-up cooperatives.

Review process: Applications will be reviewed by CDF's Executive Director. All applicants will be notified as to the status of their applications by January 9.

Recipient obligation: Scholarships awardees are required to complete the Home Care Benchmarking survey for the cooperative.

Other Information:

  • Scholarships are not available to cooperative managers or directors. 
  • CDF will book hotel and air transportation for scholarship recipients.
  • The hotel reservation is double occupancy (roommates will be assigned). If a scholarship recipient would like single accommodations, there is an additional cost of $74.50/night plus applicable taxes. 
  • The application deadline is on January 5.


For technical difficulties, please contact support@submittable.com.

The P6 Cooperative Producers Scholarship is designed to increase cooperation among cooperatives among consumer owned food co-ops and cooperatives providing wholesale products for consumers. Over the next three years (2022 - 2024), the P6 Cooperative Producer Scholarship will enable producer cooperative members to attend and exhibit at CCMA, as well as, provide a forum for discussions on collaborative next steps for cooperative buying between grocery co-ops and producers. 

This scholarship is funded through the remaining funds from the now disbanded Principle Six (P6) Cooperative. Formed by food cooperatives and wholesale cooperatives in 2014 to facilitate Co-op to Co-op trade and to build awareness around Principle Six of the cooperative principles, P6 was created to be a national initiative to promote small farmers/producers, cooperative businesses, and local farmers and producers.

Who should apply?

  • Representatives or members from wholesale, producer, marketing, and/or worker cooperatives that are interested in collaborating with grocery cooperatives.

What does the program entail?

  • Scholarships will be awarded to cover registration costs, lodging, and travel to attend CCMA. Up to six scholarships per year will awarded based on availability of funds.
  • Depending on the availability of space, scholarship recipients will receive space in the exhibition hall and/or during receptions  connect with one another, and connect with attendees.
  • Dedicated networking time and space for P6 scholarship recipients to network with one another.
  • Participate in a breakout session focused on P6 collaboration initiatives.

Timeline:

  • Scholarship applications open: January 25, 2023
  • Scholarship submission deadline: March 17, 2023
  • Applicants notified of their scholarship status: April 14, 2023.

Do you know an outstanding food cooperator who deserves to be recognized? Or have you been admiring the progress, growth, innovation, or resilience of a particular co-op? This is your opportunity to recognize them!

The Cooperative Education Fund manages four awards for cooperative excellence that are presented at CCMA. The awards for excellence and outstanding achievement include:

  • Cooperative Excellence
  • Cooperative Service
  • Cooperative Innovation and Achievement
  • Cooperative Board Service

The cooperative excellence awards presented at CCMA are the food co-op's opportunity to honor colleagues and cooperatives for their achievements and accomplishments. Nominations are made by the food co-op community and reviewed by a panel of peers selected by CDF. If you know of a food co-op or someone in the food co-op community who deserves commendation, please nominate them!

Create a Submittable account and complete the online application. 

Applications are due on March 24, 2023.


AWARD CATEGORIES

Cooperative Excellence

The Cooperative Excellence Award foes to a co-op that demonstrates high achievement in the following areas:

  • Leadership - This co-op's board and management set realistic priorities and follow through on them. This co-op addresses its responsibilities to the public and practices good citizenship. It also practices business ethics and works to protect public health, safety and the environment.
  • Strategic Planning - The co-op's board and management set strategic directions to focus on future sustainable growth and market leadership.
  • Organizational Effectiveness - This co-op values learning at all levels and looks for opportunities to effect meaningful change. The co-op has the capacity for rapid change and flexibility and innovation is part of the co-op's culture. The co-op strives for success in design, management, and improvement of key production/delivery and support processes.
  • Human Resources - This co-op establishes a climate of customer/member-driven excellence, enables its workforce to develop its full potential and makes member education a priority.
  • Business Results - This co-op shows success in its key business areas while staying true to its mission.


Cooperative Service

The Cooperative Service Award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions above and beyond the normal course of work. This person's accomplishments are consistently viewed as models by other cooperators and have made a profound difference in store operations and member services. This cooperator is not afraid to take risks to achieve positive change and is a champion of the cooperative principles. Recipients of this award motivate employees and colleagues and are regarded as mentors, innovators, and leaders. Their accomplishments have not only enhanced the stature, reputation, and overall strength of the cooperative community, but the significant changes they have instituted have helped the cooperative to better achieve its goals. 


Cooperative Innovation & Achievement

The Cooperative Innovation and Achievement Award is given to the cooperative innovators who have changed the way that cooperatives approach problems. The nominee can be an individual, a group, or a co-op. Recipients of this award understand the urgency, relevancy, and complexity of the problem or opportunity addressed by the innovation, which results in measurable improvements or achievements that resonate with the cooperative principles and the cooperative's mission.


Cooperative Board Service

The Cooperative Board Service Award is given to an individual on the board of a food co-op who has gone above and beyond the scope of work expected of a board member. This person has fostered democratic organization and champions the cooperative principles. This board member exhibits highest standards of excellence, dedication and accomplishment, and in doing so has pushed the co-op to meets its goals. This leader has made an extraordinary commitment of time, talent or resources to the benefit of the co-op and the community.


For technical difficulties, please contact support@submittable.com.

The Cooperative Development Foundation's Education Fund is offering scholarships to cover the cost of registration to attend CCMA 2023, which will take place in Sacramento, California from June 8-10, 2023.

The Cooperative Education Fund supports cooperative research, sponsors cooperative education events and scholarships and develops cooperative education materials and programs.

Who may apply: Staff, managers, and board members of food cooperatives. Cooperators who are experiencing financial hardship.

Review process: Applications will be reviewed by a scholarship committee. All applicants will be notified as to the status of their applications.

Other Information:

  • Applications are due March 17, 2023
  •  Applicants will be notified of their application status by March 31, 2023
  • If you apply for a CCMA scholarship, please do not register for the conference until after the March 31, 2023 notification date. If you pre-register and are awarded a scholarship, registration fees will be refunded less a 25% administration fee to cover credit card and transaction fees. 

For technical difficulties, please contact support@submittable.com. 

Cooperative Development Foundation