Category: Ownership/Outreach

Date/Time Presenters Summary
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Taking Your Co-op to Market: Branding and Communicating Your Co-op through All Stages of Development Jacqueline Hannah

Your co-op’s journey from kitchen-table idea to open store is at its core a story. How successful, or unsuccessful, we are in telling that story at every stage of its development has a huge impact on if our co-op continues to grow and gets to opening day. The work of telling this story is marketing and marketing is:  brand, events, social media, messaging, swag, media coverage, and more. Without great marketing, there is no great startup! This half day workshop will be an immersion in all things startup marketing with many examples of what works, and what doesn’t, from real co-op startup peers.

Stages 1-3


9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Membership Growth 101 Ben Sandel

Membership Growth 101


No matter how many members you have, you can always benefit from more. More members means more shoppers, more people to help finance the co-op and a larger pool of talent for your board. In this session we will cover features of successful membership campaigns, share success stories and do some practice story-telling for membership growth.


Stage 1



11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Mini and Micro Owner Campaigns Jerry Nash

Jeremy Nash, Ownership Coordinator for Prairie Food Co-op, will be presenting about the do’s and don’t’s of mini and micro owner campaigns designed to jump start and incentivize quick Ownership growth for your co-op. Topics such as optimal times to run promotions, what rewards to offer, length of campaign, owner goal, how to message most effectively, how to pick a winner, how to promote your campaign on social media, ad targeting, and many more considerations will be covered at length.


Stage 2


1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
Volunteers: The Agony and the Ecstasy

In this session you’ll hear real world volunteer stories from Jeremy Nash, Ownership Coordinator for Prairie Food Co-op and Katie Novak, Outreach Manager for Green Top Grocery. Topics will include the 4 R’s of Volunteer Management: Recruiting, Recognizing, Retaining and holding volunteers Responsible. You’ll get an understanding of  what has worked for these two Illinois based co-ops and what hasn’t in terms of utilizing volunteers and walk away with tips and techniques to help you recruit and energize your volunteers.


Stages 1-2

3:00 PM - 4:15 PM
The Power of Re-Branding- A Case Study

Brand is how you express and communicate your vision and mission as a startup co-op and a strong one can lift up your efforts! How much so? We decided to find out. FCI brought together one excellent startup project in stage 2 development with a visual brand that needed strengthening, Dorchester Food Co-op, and one professional brand designer with startup co-op experience, Melanie Shellito of Artzen, to do a re-brand. What was the process like? Can it really have big impacts for your startup to re-brand in stage 2 to communicate more professionally and consistently? In this case study we'll tell you all about the process and the results, and share tools for launching your own re-brand for maximum impacts!

Stages 2b-3


4:30 PM - 5:45 PM
Ownership Goals Jacqueline Hannah

How many owners does it take to open a successful food co-op? The answer is dependent on multiple factors and setting the right ownership goals for your co-op can be tricky. In this workshop we’ll talk about how to set initial ownership goals, how to refine them and based on what information, how to communicate those goals to owners, and how to leverage those ownership goals for growth momentum.

Stages 1-2a

8:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Using Social Media Jacqueline Hannah

Facebook and Snapchat and Twitter, oh my! Some social media platforms are great fits for startup food co-ops, and some fall flat. What’s the latest on which platforms work best? How many of these platforms should you try and use, as many as possible or just one or two? Presenter Jacqueline Hannah has got the answers as well as tips galore on how to create a social media voice that attracts followers and builds your co-op.

Stages:  All


10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Leveraging Events for Ownership Growth Brenda Haines

Ever wondered what it would take to get 45 new members in a single night? What if you could do it twice? That’s what the Oshkosh Food Co-op did with its Co-op Grow-op events. In this presentation, Oshkosh Food Co-op Board Members describe the approach they used to plan, execute and maintain momentum from the events.

Stage 2


11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
To $1 Million and Beyond

Every year the cost of building a grocery store is going up and up. In the last year we've seen startup proformas needing $1 million or more in owner investment (loans, preferred shares, or a combination) to be feasible . . . but is it feasible to raise this much? We'll take a look at what's driving up the costs of building our stores, what factors make it more likely your startup will need to raise $1 million or more, and look at how possible it is. This session will feature the case study of Green Top Grocery, a startup in Normal, IL, that raised over $1.4 million through their owner loan campaign that wrapped up in November. How did they make it all the way to their goal? What factors led to their success? What were the biggest challenges? What can we learn from their experience? Join us and find out!"


Stage 2



1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
Capital Campaigns: Behind the Scenes Katie Novak

A Capital Campaign can feel daunting and intimidating. If you’ve read or perused the Capital Campaign Tool Kit you may be wondering where do I start? How on earth will we raise that much money? Green Top Grocery Owner Loan Campaign Chair, Katie Novak recently lead an effort to raise over $1.4 million in owner loans and will share how she took the great information in the Tool Kit and created a system that works. You’ll learn exactly where to start, how to create your teams (yes! You need more than 1 team) and how to implement a system that generates results.


Stage 2