"building community one grant at a time..." |
The Olympia Food Co-op Connection
The Community Sustaining Fund of Thurston County (CSF) THANKS the Olympia Food-Co-op and its Cashiers as they are the first line for helping provide revenue to the CSF.
Rounding-up? Ask Me How And I'll Tell You Why!!
The Community Sustaining Fund has been active though a little bit under the radar in Thurston County for over 20 years. In those two decades plus, the CSF has provided nearly $70,000 to community advocates who have responded to our twice-yearly grant cycles in spring and fall, close to the equinoxes. The Co-op provides quarterly payments to the CSF from rounding-up.
That's Right... Nearly Seventy Thousand Dollars!
These awards have ranged from $100 to over $1000 to various worthy, deserving, and even sometimes 'out-of-the-box' ideas. They are too numerous to mention singularly, but applicants are selected by their need and by their meeting the criteria of the CSF in aspects of grassroots development, social justice, community empowerment, and right livelihood. The major source of the CSF revenue is through Olympia Food Co-op purchases being "rounded up" to the next even dollar. For example, if a purchase is $6.37, a co-op member may say "please round-up for the Community Sustaining Fund." This requires a little simple math (hopefully on the part of the co-op member...NOT on the cashier) to figure the difference. But a little simple math is good for our brain cells. In this case 63 cents would "round-up" for the CSF.
This Is Small Change That Can Lead To Bigger Changes.
There are two grant CSF cycles in the spring and fall and coincide close to both ArtWalks. The CSF has a grant application available on-line and solicits applicants from the greater Thurston County surroundings. Upon review of applications by Board members, the applicants are ranked and selected for interviews. These interviews take place in Olympia usually on a Saturday morning and spread out in 15-minute increments. We use a streamlined process that works well and by noon of that same Saturday the Board reaches consensus through a very interactive process deciding upon awards and amounts and any particular conditions. You cannot apply and receive awards two cycles in a row unless directed to do so by the Board.
Who Is The Board Of The Community Sustaining Fund?
They are your friends, neighbors, co-workers, co-op members and others who have provided a strong foundation of reaching out to the community and giving back in this volunteer fashion. The Board meets monthly on the second Saturday morning of the month for about 90 minutes. Minimalist Board biographies can be accessed here.
Thank You - Cashiers Of The Olympia Food Co-op
We plan to have co-op kiosks providing CSF information including benefits and fund-raising events. CSF will be "tabling" sporadically at the co-ops and elsewhere in Olympia. Thank you for your attention and support. You as cashiers are playing a critical role in supporting the Community Sustaining Fund through "rounding-up". Please also consider applying for Board membership. There is no dress code. We have fun talking through opportunities and visioning, respectfully. We do NOT at this time have 501(c)(3) no-profit status as determined by the IRS.