Funding our projects (accent on “fun”)

A condensed version of our Mission/Vision/Purposes

Skookum Food Provisioners’ Cooperative is a registered non-profit Community Service cooperative. As the graphic above reads, our goal is to “build and maintain a healthy regional food system”, together. Unlike a Society, our members are part-owners (our one-time $20 membership fee is also one share in Skookum). Our first priority is to help eachother (as members) to achieve our own personal ‘food-security’, and by doing so, increase awareness and local food action in the wider cooperative and community.

We do this in several ways, all of which require supports of various kinds. This includes having the cash reserves to be able to purchase or rent tools, space, land, materials, books, videos, etc. as well as to have seed money on hand to kick-start projects and pay coordinators and teachers to lead workshops and work parties.

Here is a fast-approaching opportunity to contribute some time, have fun and learn something about cider pressing (p.s. kids LOVE this):

It’s time to help your cooperative raise a little money and tell people what we’re all about up at the Fall Fair again this year.

We could especially use some assistance with getting the cider press and other gear up to the Fall Fair in the morning on Saturday Sept. 22 (around 10:00 AM), and getting it all back to town on Sunday afternoon (after 5:00 PM). Let us know if you’d be willing & able to help with that even for a short while. We need APPLES too! (email us at skookum(at)skookumfood(dot)ca or better yet, sign up or let us know you have apples to donate by clicking here. Did we mention that it’s fun

It takes active members to make a cooperative truly cooperative.

Along these lines, we have an autumn-budding Skookum Fundraising Committee forming to identify appropriate ways to engage our members, the wider community and funding organizations with an eye to increasing our cooperative’s long-term financial viability. There are crucial tools, equipment and materials that we can cooperatively own that will make our membership more food secure, and seed money —literally for seed and for project start-up costs — without which our cooperative can’t grow. Keep your eye on our website‘s sidebar to see how we will be asking you to donate to specific, targeted funds in the coming weeks.

We’ve already begun to work on some of these aspects (as you will see below) but we need a dedicated member-driven team to develop and maintain fundraising momentum. Interested in joining and shaping a Skookum Fundraising team? Just contact me (Giovanni, Skookum’s Communications/Fundraising Director) and write me with your ideas, talents, time availability, and ideas! 

Below are some basic ideas to get your fundraising juices flowing; if you have any other ideas or more specific instances of these ideas working in Powell River but cannot commit to a team right n0w, please include your ideas as a comment on this page (at bottom):

Brownie and Annabelle, Skookum members to the max!

 Community Outreach/Newsletters- Newsletters, whether done through the mail or email, are effective marketing and fundraising tools. They are a great way to update our current members or interested people and an opportunity to list events, wish lists, ask for donations, and cultivate volunteers.

At left, you can see the result of a very recent literacy campaign featuring two very Skookum members doing what they love, with some promo for us as well! (Huge thanks to the two lovely ladies pictured here, the PR Literacy Council and to David Parkinson in helping to set this up!)

 Garage sales (membership-wide)– Selling some higher end items such as washer/dryers etc. and have people in our group go through things they no longer need and ask friends and family to do the same. Advertise in the newspaper and online at craigslist.org.

Bake Sale– Have members and friends who like to make baked goods for our sale. Have literature about us available and have a sign in sheet for future contacts.

 Holiday-related wreath or other sales– Make them at a work party and sell at local events or take orders for wreaths and deliver them to a central location for pick up.

Matching gifts- Collect money within your group to total $1,000 and ask for others in the community to help match it.

Raffles- Raffles can be great tools for fundraising especially if you combine them into an event and have really great items to win. Offer something such as $1.00 a ticket or $13.00 for 15 tickets or $20.00 for 25 tickets. Encouraging people to buy more tickets for the extra “free” tickets is worth it and can generate quite a bit of money quickly. Prizes will be donated by local businesses or individuals.

Store percentage sales- Connect with a local business that would be willing to donate part of their profits for a day or one day a month, and then make sure you let people know to buy there on this day.

Pledges- Have our group gather pledges.

Events- Events give us the opportunity to speak about our organization and raise money. There are many different kinds of events and all are beneficial to fundraising in their own ways. Here are some examples:

  • Musical or performance events- Ask a local band or improv/theatre/ arts group to donate some or all of the profits from an event to our co-op.
  • Dinner or Breakfast Events- Informal events sponsored by Skookum can be great PR and raise funds. We can host a special themed dinner and a movie, High Tea, or pancake breakfasts, etc. and charge a certain fee. Or we could host it for free and ask for donations from attendees. Many stores will offer donations of products that can be used in this kind of event. Pledge cards could be used simultaneously with this event.

Create an activity day– focus on the activities of our co-op and create an activity or video that educates the public about our organization and an opportunity to educate people about our mission. Show this at our events.

Auctions- Many businesses donate items to help organizations, we are a nonprofit so  more stores will be apt to give. A silent or live auction is a fun way to increase funds and generate interest in your organization. Auctions need a lot of PR and require start up costs, so it is best to build up a following before having one.

About Gianni

Giovanni Spezzacatena is a Powell River artist working in graphic design, animation, web design and development, and education, and more. He has been a board member of Skookum Food Provisioners' Cooperative from pretty much the start, and now acts as communications/fundraising director. His website is www.rabideye.com; his own blog is at rabideye.wordpress.com.
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