Co-op donation and local giving programs is sometimes not enough. In order for the cooperative to remain a central and key player in the local community it can sometimes mean getting involved in local government, planning committees, and more. These are the kinds of strategies employed by Liz Haywood, CEO of People’s Food Cooperative of LaCrosse and Rochester. Here Haywood calls co-ops out for being too passive overall in demanding a return on their investment in the communities they serve. Don’t be afraid to be a bit more “sharp-elbowed” in negotiating with partners to ensure that the co-ops’ mission and values aren’t taken advantage of.
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