The National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) recently committed $25,000 to the Howard Bowers Fund of the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF). The donation, made on behalf of NCGA’s 143 members, will be used to support projects and programs benefiting food cooperatives.
Since 1994, the Howard Bowers Fund has provided more than $380,000 in scholarships for board, staff and management training and for attendance at the Consumer Cooperative Marketing Association (CCMA) Conference, as well as support for special projects. Generous donations such as NCGA’s, as well as fundraising activities at CCMA, help the Bowers Fund fulfill its mission to promote and develop consumer food cooperatives.
“Through its support of scholarships and training programs, the Howard Bowers Fund not only assists existing co-ops in their pursuit of excellence, but also fosters the next generation of cooperative leaders. With our donation, NCGA is pleased to share in the fund’s long history of support for co-ops,” said Robynn Shrader, CEO of NCGA.
The Fund’s namesake, Howard Bowers, dedicated his life to the consumer cooperative movement. His career spanned five decades, including work with the Chippewa Indian Consumer Co-op in South Dakota, the West Bank Co-op in Minneapolis, the Eau Claire Consumer Cooperative and the Hyde Park Cooperative Society.
NCGA is a business services cooperative for retail food co-ops with members located across the United States. It represents food co-ops operating more than 190 stores in 38 states with combined annual sales of over $1.7 billion and more than 1.3 million consumer-owners. NCGA helps unify natural food co-ops in order to optimize operational and marketing resources, strengthen purchasing power and ultimately offer more value to natural food co-op owners and shoppers.
The Cooperative Development Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation headquartered in Washington, DC. CDF’s mission is to promote community, economic and social development through cooperative enterprises.