Fueling Cooperative Growth: The Cooperative Fund of New England is now the Cooperative Fund of the Northeast
The Cooperative Fund of New England is now known as the Cooperative Fund of the Northeast (CFNE). Financing cooperative business since 1975, CFNE has expanded the geographic region it serves and offers lending, programming, and technical assistance for co-ops across the Northeast.
“This change reflects that we have deepened our work outside of New England by hiring two New York staff members last year, Johan Matthews and Joe Marraffino. While in the past, we have financed a limited number of co-ops in New York state, we are expanding our work in the state and wanted our name to reflect our whole service area,” says Micha Josephy, CFNE’s executive director. “While our name is changing, many things are not, including our mission, our unwavering commitment to supporting co-ops and communities in the six New England states, and our model of geographically based loan officers.”
As part of the organization’s New York expansion, Johan Matthews, Community Engagement Facilitator, convenes the Co-Op Community Connection (CCC), an online learning community for the co-op curious. CCC welcomes diverse, regionally focused cooperators from across the state for monthly co-learning sessions and ongoing online collaboration via a Facebook group.
“It is an important time to be purposeful and move ahead with our strategic plan, with our primary goal of racial justice and ensuring that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities have equitable opportunities to form, fund, and operate successful co-ops,” said Bonnie Hudspeth, incoming CFNE board president. “We’ve got challenging and rewarding work ahead of us and exciting changes already happening, including a new name (hooray!) to better reflect the expanded area we serve and our partnerships in New York.”
CFNE teamed up with Troy, New York-based creative agency Collectiveffort to refine and elevate the organization’s brand, reflecting its service and commitment to co-ops across the Northeast. Through brand research, exercises, and facilitated discussions, Collectiveffort designed a refreshed take on CFNE’s successful history, leaning into a clean and straightforward aesthetic to represent CFNE’s core values of Equity, Sustainability, and Integrity.
The mission of CFNE is to create opportunities for economic, social, and racial justice by advancing community-based, cooperative, and democratically owned or managed enterprises with a preference for assisting cooperatives in low-income communities. This is achieved by providing financial products at reasonable rates, developing business skills, and offering an investment opportunity that promotes socially conscious enterprise. As the need for sustainable and alternative business models grows even more critical, we are further committed to our cause. Our new tagline highlights how CFNE is committed to “Funding the Future” of these alternative economic ecosystems as they work to bring balance to our world through equity & empowerment.
The Cooperative Fund of the Northeast (CFNE) is a regional nonprofit community loan fund serving cooperatives and community-based nonprofits. Founded in 1975 by co-op activists and social investors to provide financial assistance to food cooperatives, CFNE now offers loans and technical assistance to a wide range of co-ops and nonprofit groups that share CFNE’s vision of equality, justice, and social responsibility. CFNE serves borrowers and partners from offices in various New England and NY locations. CFNE is a US Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). To learn more, visit wwww.cooperativefund.org.