CFNE Annual Appeal 2023

Despite the silly faces, we are very serious about co-op development.

As we go into year three of the Co-op Navigator Fellowship, we have been reflecting on why we started it:

We launched the program because Black, Indigenous, and immigrant communities have co-op needs that reach beyond money – they also need localized, culturally relevant technical support to manage and develop their co-ops. Additionally, we continue to find that these communities need more awareness about the positive impact co-ops can have on their neighborhoods now and in the future.

The Co-op Navigator Fellowship seeks to change this level of support and awareness because we believe people have the power to change their communities through cooperation and we believe Black, Indigenous, and immigrant people need to be centered in our work. So after years of conversation with stakeholders in these communities, we backed our beliefs by investing $800,000 of our own funds in embedding 5 local cooperators (fellows) at 5 organizations (host sites) across the northeast. The fellows purpose is to identify ways the host sites can incorporate cooperative models and co-op support into their existing work.

The Host Sites

The beauty of this program is how localized the support is. Because each fellow is already an active member of their respective communities, they are better positioned to help develop cooperative solutions. In year 1, fellows raised grant money for their host site, hosted community discussions and walking tours about co-ops, and through monthly fellowship meetings, engaged in conversations with mentors who’ve navigated the mainstream co-op economy as marginalized cooperators.

In year 2, fellows are diving deeper into the work of their host sites with the goal of developing a project that will serve as a culturally relevant model of formalized cooperation in their respective communities. Ultimately, this grassroots work will empower existing co-ops and inspire the creation of new co-ops in host site communities. 


With that said, for this year’s annual appeal, we invite you to donate directly to the Co-op Navigator Fellowship. We’ve set a goal to raise $50,000 by January 31st to fully cover CFNE’s stewardship of the program. For us, that means hosting retreats and trainings, providing one-on-one coaching, and fostering a supportive network of peer learning among the Fellows.