Columinate: Who We Are

Columinate: Who We Are

  |  October 1, 2019

At Columinate, we are catalysts for common good. Our member-consultants share strategies, tools, and skills to help purpose-driven organizations build and empower community. From the city to the suburbs and beyond, co-ops are both the foundation and the backbone of strong communities. Our role is to illuminate solutions to guide these organizations forward.

Founded in 1994, Columinate works with mission-driven organizations on their most critical issues and opportunities: strategic planning; marketing; leadership development; retail operations; technology; feasibility and viability; governance; and diversity and inclusion. As a shared service cooperative, the strength of our organization lies in our over 40 consultant members. We bring a deep understanding and extensive expertise, and each consultant draws on this experience to share insights and actions that save clients time, energy, and resources for the work that matters most. Food co-ops, electric co-ops, credit unions, schools, nonprofits—we don’t only partner with these organizations, we share in their purpose.

We believe we can all go farther when we go together. In fact, we’ve seen it happen—stronger and more resilient communities, built up by collaboration. In that spirit, Columinate works closely with likeminded organizations, such as National Co+op Grocers (NCG), Independent Natural Food Retailers Association (INFRA); National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA); National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA); and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) such as Shared Capital Cooperative. Our consultants are always eager to partner with groups who share the commitment to grow and strengthen independent, mission-driven organizations.  Because there has been confusion about this in the past: We have no affiliation or business relationship with United Natural Foods (UNFI).

Columinate consultants are expert advisers and leaders in all aspects of purpose-driven organizations. They offer keen insights and a sense of direction. At the same time, we recognize that differences of opinion are inevitable in democratic organizations. Our goal is to help those organizations do their best work

In 2019, we re-named to Columinate, formerly called CDS Consulting Co-op. Columinate is a vivid name rooted in our cooperative origins and reflects our inspiration and our daily commitment: using our collective expertise to help light the way forward together.

Columinate – Who We Are

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