Thanks to the commitment of our member-owners, we are households strong -- and more than halfway to our fundraising goal that will enable us to open the doors of the South Philly Food Co-op!
The South Philly Food Co-op is a community of South Philadelphia residents working together to open a grocery store that uses food as a force for good. Our store will be at 2031 S. Juniper St., steps from three commercial corridors — Passyunk Avenue, Snyder Avenue and Broad Street — and just one block from SEPTA's Broad Street Line.
From talking to other food co-ops in the area and across the country, we know that this moment in a co-op’s development — when we have the store location but need to raise money to open it — is the most challenging. As long as we work together, we know that we can achieve our fundraising goals and open our store!
Here's how we plan to raise it (and you can learn more about then nuts and bolts on our blog.)
There are many ways you can help make the South Philly Food Co-op a reality:
One of the most crucial things you can do to support us is to become a member-owner now. As a member-owner, you play a key role in building the Co-op community and changing the local food landscape. Owner equity is the foundation of our business success.
Member-owners will receive perks in the store, and right now, member-owners have exclusive access to discounts and specials at dozens of local businesses through our Shop South Philly program. Moreover, member-owners can help guide the South Philly Food Co-op’s operations through their election of the Board of Directors. By becoming a member-owner, you will quite literally be an owner of the business.
If you are already a member-owner... encourage your friends and neighbors to join the Co-op! (We even have some tips for how to make the case.)
The more member-owners we have, the better position it puts us in financially to open the store. Our goal is to have over 1,100 member-owners by the time the store opens.
If you are a member-owner who has not paid in full, you can also help our capital campaign by completing your equity payments. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
As a member-owner of the Co-op, you have the opportunity to deepen your investment in the Co-op through our Member-Owner Note Program. This kind of social investing allows our member-owners to put their money to work for the South Philly community.
Member-owner loans have served as a powerful source of capital for food co-ops across the country. As an owner of the business, making an interest-bearing loan to our Co-op is a great way to deepen your economic participation.
Member-Owner Notes start at $1,000, up to as much as you are willing to invest. You can choose your interest rate and loan term.
You can also make a capital contribution if you are unable to make a member-owner loan but would like to increase your financial support for the Co-op. Gifts of all sizes will help us reach our goal.
Continuing to grow our membership and securing a large amount of member-owner loans not only strengthens the store financially, it also demonstrates how enthusiastic the community is to other potential funders. In addition to member-owner equity and loans, we’re raising additional funds through grants, events and community lenders.
3. Volunteer with a Committee
Fill out our volunteer form and give your time and talents to the Co-op. We’ll be sure to put your time to good use and are looking for help in a variety of ways that include growing our membership, reaching out to our member-owners about the opportunity to invest in the Co-op, organizing and managing events, promoting food justice and equity, marketing, drafting and publishing/sending communications, and performing administrative and financial services.
Have another way that you would like to contribute? Drop us a line at email@example.com.
4. Lend a Hand
It’s going to take all of us working together to achieve our fundraising goal and open the store. You can also help by:
Hosting a house party. Are you willing to help recruit new member-owners or educate member-owners about our Member-Owner Note Program? We’ll provide food and help with the guest list.
Connecting us to resources. Do you have a great idea for a funding resource? Tell us about it!
Helping us find sponsors. Think your employer would sponsor an event? Connect them to the capital campaign.
Thank you for all that you do!