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Capital campaigns can be a very important part of an expansion project – serving as a healthy test of member support.  Will your members be willing to make a sizable at-risk investment because they believe in the co-op, its leadership and the benefits of the proposed expansion? Offering investment opportunities is also another benefit you can offer to your members.

The planning phase of a Capital Campaign has 4 parts:

1)    Laying the legal and financial groundwork
2)    Building the campaign team
3)    Targeting sources and developing strategy

4)    Developing systems and materials

Part 1 begins at least 3 months before the implementation date, Parts 2, 3 and 4 should begin at least 6 weeks before.  The implementation phase is ideally a 6-week process.


To lay the legal and financial groundwork you will:
  • Determine how much capital you need to raise from members
  • Discover what your state, bylaws, and incorporation status allow in regard to member loans or preferred shares (or a combination)
  • Engage the services of a qualified attorney to assist with the discovery and materials preparations

Building the campaign team involves identifying and training great people for Coordinator, Callers, Collectors, Communicators, Large Investor Connectors and other support roles.

Targeting sources and developing strategy identify who your co-op will be focusing on for pre-commitments, large investments, and the rest of the funds to be raised in the campaign, and creating the strategies for each of those groups.

Developing systems and materials includes:
  • Creating the materials needed to promote the campaign and ensure adequate legal compliance, including brochures, testimonials, risk disclosure documents, subscription agreements and promissory notes,
  • Developing robust systems to track all aspects of campaign progress and determine caller performance
  • Creating information for internal use, including FAQs, workflow diagram, scripts and talking points
  • Developing a communication system for regular updates and progress reports to interested members

In addition to the legal expertise, using professional support for planning, implementation, marketing and other components can help ensure a successful campaign.  Click here to learn more.

Grab and Go Solutions is a resource from CDS Consulting Co-op to provide easy to implement solutions to common issues facing food co-ops. Watch for future releases tackling a wide variety of topics including HR, governance,  member engagement, safety, store and growth.
    Bill Gessner
Brought to you by CDS Consulting Co-op Consultants 

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