Live Webinars 2014

Third Tuesdays at 1 PM Central, Food Co-op Initiative offers webinars on a variety of topics relevant to startups. Expect in-depth information from subject-matter experts and a chance to get your questions answered. RSVP information below.

February: NCGA and the Development Cooperative 

What is NCGA, and how can the Development Cooperative assist your startup? Find out the answers to these questions and more. Now Online

March: Taxes and Accounting for Startups 

 This webinar provides key information about your tax and record keeping responsibilities before your store opens. Also: Patronage rebates made simple. Now Online

April: Your Best Meeting Ever

The key to a great meeting is preparation. Learn how to create accountability and make your meetings effective, productive, and fun! Now Online

May: Preparing for a Capital Campaign

Presented by Ben Sandel of CDS Consulting Co-op. How and when should you prepare for a capital campaign with your members (whether it be member loans or preferred shares)? What are the key steps to getting ready and being organized for the launch of a successful capital campaign? Now Online  

June: Membership Building with Events

One of the best ways to reach new prospective owners is through personal interactions. Green Top Grocery in Bloomington/Normal, Illinois has had consistent success building ownership by having current owners host events—home parties, lunch-n-learns or one-on-one chats . Katie Novak (Outreach Manager) and Melanie Shellito (brand consultant/board member) will discuss  the strategy and function behind the Owner Toolkit developed by Green Top's Outreach Committee, which makes scheduling and hosting an event of any size a simple, repeatable process. Now Online 

July 15: Stop Rolling the Dice with Membership Growth

Getting burnt out trying to grow your membership? Don’t do everything, do the right things at the right time. Come to this webinar to learn how to prioritize and strategize to build membership through all three stages of development with Suzi Carter of FCI and Ben Sandel of CDS Consulting Co-op. Now Online

Tues, Aug 19: Co-op as the Hero: Storytelling for Startups


If heroes are known by the things they do in pursuit of a noble purpose, then your co-op is definitely a heroic force. In this workshop, you will accept the call to adventure, be initiated in the rites of storytelling, and return to your community transformed with epic tales to tell, starring your co-op the hero! Join Pat Cumbie and Leslie Watson of CDS Consulting Co-op to learn helpful frameworks and strategies to super charge your co-op’s story into a compelling narrative that will build passion, energy, and a shared sense of purpose within your co-op’s community. RSVP

Tues, Sep 16: Designing Your Co-op


What does your co-op design have to say for itself? Nicole Klimek of CDS Consulting Co-op will talk about the importance of appearance, décor, color, signage, and not getting ahead of yourself. RSVP

Tuesday, Oct 21: What Is a Feasibility Study, Anyway?


What are market and feasibility studies? When should co-ops have them done? Debbie Suassuna of CDS Consulting Co-op will discuss everything you want to know and more. RSVP

Tuesday, Nov. 18: Hiring Your First General Manager


Melanie Reid of CDS Consulting Co-op will offer tools and resources to help guide your General Manager (GM) hiring process and offer tips for helping your co-op find the GM you are looking for. RSVP

Tues, Dec 16: How to Raise Your First $10,000

Ideally, co-ops raise funds for startup costs through member equity. But what about co-ops that have not yet incorporated? This webinar will cover fundraising strategies for early in the organizing process. Join Stuart Reid and Suzi Carter of FCI for ideas and live conversation. RSVP


CDS Consulting Co-op Events


Cooperative Board Leadership 101 (CBL101) is an in-person, multi-co-op, one-day training designed to provide a strong foundation for directors. While especially helpful for those new to co-op boards, all directors, top-level managers, and board candidates are welcome to participate. 

For more information click here.

Leadership Training

This new in-person, one-day, multi-co-op session is designed to provide board members with training that will help them incorporate the strategic process into the board's work plan, build more effective teams, and develop themselves as board leaders in order to provide strong leadership for co-ops. Board chairs, general managers, and others interested in board leadership are encouraged to attend. 

For more information click here.

Cooperative Cafes

Build common understanding and alignment at individual co-ops and among co-ops. The day is highly interactive with brief presentations and use of The Cooperative Cafe, a format for asking powerful questions for focused conversations. Seminars will concentrate on understanding issues related to growing our co-ops and the impact our co-ops make in their communities.

  • May 17, Mt. Pleasant, MI

For more information click here.