Putting Your Money Where It Helps: Become a US Worker Coop Sustainer

There is an old saw that “money is like manure, it only works if you spread it around!” Too often money gets conflated with “profit” and the idea of raising capital seems a bit wrong. As a result, worker movements have a tendency to live on shoe-string budgets and hinder their ability to effect change in the world. To this, I am reminded of the scene in “It’s a Wonderful Life!” when Clarence proclaims, “Oh, we don’t have money in Heaven!” George retorts, “Yeah, well it comes in pretty handy down here, bub!.”

Our movement to create a more sustainable economy based on humane and democratic workplaces requires that we support our organizations and put our money towards building that world that we want to see. That is why I am asking you, dear reader, that you step up and support the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives by becoming a sustaining supporter. A minimum donation of $10 per month will go a long way towards help this apex organization represent worker coops, provide support to existing and new coops, and help build the worker coop community.

In addition to “being the change” that you want to see, you also need to fund it.

The US Federation has done a lot since its inception in 2004. It has produced four national conferences some of which included special volunteer actions (such as in New Orleans in 2008), created the Democracy at Work Institute and the thriving Democracy at Work Network of Peer Advisers. The USFWC has worked hard to raise the profile of worker cooperatives as a sector of the larger cooperative movement by nominating candidates for the NCBA board, demanding a worker coop seat on that board, participating in last year’s White House meeting on cooperatives, and attending conferences and apex level meetings through out the world. The USFWC is poised to begin helping to draft new laws to enhance and protect our movement. The USFWC provided leadership and support in the creation of CICOPA-North America.Almost all of this has been accomplished with half-time Executive Director and a Quarter time Membership coordinator. Our movement needs our support and that means that as individuals, we need to step up.

I realize that there are a lot of demands on our time and money. If you are in the position to send $10 a month or more to an organization that works to build a better, more sustainable world based on humane and democratic workplaces, please act on that feeling of solidarity hit the link at the top of this post and sign up today!

About John McNamara

John spent 26 years with Union Cab of Madison Cooperative and currently helps develop co-op in the Pacific Northwest. He holds a Masters in Management: Co-operatives and Credit Unions from Saint Mary's University and hopes to finish his Ph.D. in Business Administration soon. He has served on the board of the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives and the Board of Governors for the Democracy at Work Network. He currently sits on the Co-op Circle and Mission Circle for Sociocracy for All. He teaches on worker co-operatives and democratic management in the summer at The Evergreen State College.
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