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CoFED Fellowship Training Companion

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This training companion captures the essence of CoFED's mission and best practices in a clear, accessible, and self-teachable way. I may produce a more generic version for community enterprise organizing, so I'm happy to hear any constructive criticism you might have!

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CoFED Fellowship Training Companion

  1. 1. CoFED FTC p. 1 Regional Organizer Fellowship Training Companion And so begins your journey building the food justice and cooperative movements with CoFED as one of the first Regional Organizer Fellows. To train and support you as a champion of these movements, our goal as the CoFED admin team is for you as Regional Organizer Fellows (aka, “RO Fellows” or simply “ROs”) to gain the knowledge and skills you need to become qualified organizers. This training companion is a tool and reference for you to engage, facilitate, and support student teams starting and running cooperative food enterprises on campuses. It presents our program, curriculum, and best practices for leadership and enterprise development. On the Fellowship journey, this training companion is your point of departure. And along the way, the majority of your training comes through hands-on experience, and your most valuable insights will come from getting the work done. We view training as making unconscious competencies – the skills and knowledge we own but might take for granted – accessible to others. And because CoFED workers care for and support one another, this companion offers guidance rather than instruction. In other words, we will make the path by walking and talking together, learning and sharing as we move forward. This training companion is protected for public benefit under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License
  2. 2. CoFED FTC p. 2 This training companion is layered in sections like an onion, and you will cry tears of joy over its simplicity! First, the idea captures the idea behind CoFED in terms of its origins and the vision, mission and values, and impact. This frames the work of developing student leaders as well as food co-ops in a systematic, effective way. This motivates the job for Regional Organizer Fellows, an outline of your role and responsibilities in carrying out this work as well as expectations for performance and results. These three layers explain how your job and the work achieve CoFED’s mission. This leads to the skills you will develop and use. The toolbox contains links to essential tools and documents. The glossary defines key terms. Last but not least, the acknowledgements give thanks and credit where due. 1. the idea origin and vision mission and values impact 2. the work student power telling y/our story organizing builds power asking powerful questions power maps 3. the job your role your responsibilities i ) cultivating relationships for movement building ii ) facilitating student team progress iii ) supporting your peers, assisting the organization expectations cultivate quality relationships bring your full self membership network benefits consulting services 4. skills community organizing and leadership communication interaction engagement cooperative development two types of co-op development: clubs and enterprises team/organizational evolution in 3 phases the school year as a 4-part cycle drawing lessons from experience 5. toolbox working with student teams planning and management reporting, supporting, and evaluation 6. glossary 7. acknowledgements
  3. 3. CoFED FTC p. 3 the idea What are some images and impressions that come to mind as you read this section? Take a few moments to note them. origin and vision CoFED literally hit the road as a road trip up the Pacific coast in 2010 by a few recent college graduates to explore student co-ops on campuses. These students were part of a group at UC Berkeley that had successfully protested a corporate fast food chain from moving into their student center by proposing an alternative – their own student-run grocery store selling “real food” (see glossary) to the campus community. Like other (but not all) student teams in their situation, they reached out for advice and learned valuable lessons from awesome, like- minded people and initiatives. The road trip was the first step toward building a self-sustaining network and training program. The vision emerging was to empower student teams to learn and share from one another across the continent in shifting their campus culture and building their own career future by starting and running a food co-op. This drew inspiration and energy from groups such as the Flaming Eggplant Café at Evergreen State College, founded as a pair of food trailers in 2007 before moving into a permanent location, to the Maryland Food Collective, initially a sandwich line in 1975 and now a full-service cafeteria. Soon after the road trip, CoFED launched as a national nonprofit with grassroot allies and support from Michael Pollan, Bill McKibben, and many others. In 2010, we convened several dozen stakeholders for our first strategic planning session, setting goals for the next 2 years. And in 2011, we recruited a volunteer cohort of Regional Organizers. 2012 saw our first full-time staff, elected Board of Directors, and a second cohort of Regional Organizers. Highlights among student teams include raising start-up capital, securing spaces for cafés and grocery storefronts, and getting out of the red. The first café we supported from its inception opened at Northern New Mexico College. Now, in the summer of 2013, CoFED runs a network and training program that supports nearly 30 student teams starting or operating cooperative, sustainable food ventures, and we’re conducting a pilot program to support healthy food access and enterprise development training at community colleges. We hired our first Executive Director, increased our program staff, and expanded our membership and mentors network. And, we hired our third cohort of Regional Organizers as part of our “Fellowship” program. The idea for a fellowship emerged in January 2012. And in January 2013, reflecting on challenges CoFED faced in systematic, effective work and the need for emerging talent in the cooperative and food justice movements, we decided to evolve our Regional Organizer program to provide early-career experience and professional development to aspiring future leaders – that’s you! We did so by improving training, increasing support, developing more valuable resources, and recruitin more mentors. We expect that you and your fellow Regional Organizer “Fellows” (not to be confused with “fellas”) will engage, facilitate, and support student teams with great success. Today, our vision is clearer than when we began. We see a powerful, self- sustaining network of young leaders with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. These leaders are committed to creating thriving cooperative food enterprises. They organize and nourish the people and communities involved, and they confront all forms of oppression that exploit and harm the food system. Students working in these projects develop their own agency and are empowered to create a more cooperative, localized economy rooted in social justice. We believe this is a uniquely educational and transformation experience. Before diving into the training, it’s important to set the context by introducing you to how the idea for a Regional Organizer Fellowship program came about. This section introduces you to CoFED as an organization in a movement – its origin and vision, mission and values, and impact. 1.
  4. 4. CoFED FTC p. 4 In working towards our mission, we strive for these values: Along with our mission statement, these values shape why and how we exist. They guide how we work together internally and how we express our work externally. Through campus food co-ops, students find their community and their future career. And by the time students leave school, they have valuable skills to continue this work almost anywhere – especially if they demonstrate leadership by building bridges for new champions in a team capable of thriving even further. With this approach, the annual challenge of turnover becomes our opportunity for developing leaders and co-op enterprises. Over time, members of student teams graduate to take leadership positions in CoFED or elsewhere, CoFED regional organizers move on to work in cooperatives and food justice, and mentors and allies bring value and validation to these young leaders in the cooperative and food justice movements. With your help, their vision becomes CoFED’s vision. mission and values Our mission statement, the main purpose for our organization, is: CoFED cultivates a sustainable, community oriented culture through college campuses. We support and equip emerging leaders to become active owners of thriving, cooperatively- run food enterprises. impact Our impact is how our vision, mission, and values makes a positive difference in reality. CoFED networks and trains students starting and running cooperative food enterprises. Our program invests in two connected efforts: developing future leaders in the food justice and cooperative movements, both students and Fellows, and developing cooperative food enterprises on campuses. Campus food co-ops in almost any form begin shifting values in society at-large. Here, students gain an ‘acquired taste’ for food justice and cooperation, many for the first time. Every person brings their knowledge, skills, and passions to their peers. Together, they learn about inclusivity and anti- oppression as fundamental to their success as a collective. Through creative consensus-building as a team, they reconcile mission statements and profit margins. And they have fun making friends, making food, and forming their identity around their work. Each café or grocery storefront is a literal and figurative ‘space’ (and each food truck is a ‘vehicle’) for this meaningful, lasting experience. Clearly, this work is about much more than organizing, starting, and running food co-ops. Think of real-life examples where each of CoFED’s values enhanced your work & life. Highlight one or two that matter most to you and share them. Memorize the mission statement, recognize your understanding of it, and practice sharing it. Using colloquial, conversational terms, explain to a peer why you’re working with CoFED. Then, try doing it in less than 20 seconds!
  5. 5. CoFED FTC p. 5 the work This section explains how CoFED works towards our mission. Drawing on a wealth of organizing theory and practice from our experience, it explains the nature of student power and how we build it generally. After Section 3 introduces the job itself, Sections 4 and 5 offer specific skills and tools, including useful frameworks to guide you in this work. student power History is full of world-changing events moved forward by student power. The free speech movement in the 60’s stemming from protests at UC Berkeley is perhaps the most famous story of all. It is less known that South African students organizing since the 50’s for divestment against apartheid was a major weapon in prompting international action to end it decades later. Today, students campaigning for campus divestment from fossil fuels are poised to win dozens of pledges. As a Regional Organizer Fellow with CoFED, your role revolves around student power in the context of student-led food co-ops. telling your story How might we build a better future for food and the economy? What does that look like, and how does it unfold? Who are the main figures, and what are their roles? CoFED is telling a story to many audiences, including new and familiar students, food justice and cooperative mentors, donors, media, and more. This involves you telling your own story. Storytelling often has a moral at its heart. The “moral of the story” is an expression of why certain values are right, and it becomes clear at a defining moment of choice for the main character. According to Marshall Ganz, a United Farm Workers organizer in the 60’s who later advised Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, stories require a certain narrative structure for their morals to have an effect. Specifically, stories require an articulation of the challenge, some sources of hope, and a path forward. In organizing, storytelling ultimately becomes a matter of creating a larger narrative for individual stories which guides how we learn to take action and reflect collectively. As an organizer, knowing your story, students’ stories, and CoFED’s story is vital because it creates common understanding of the power at hand and how it can make a difference. The story of your own path leading up to becoming a Regional Organizer Fellow answers important questions about why you do this work. One way or another, your story will come out in the course of interacting with others. The culmination of our work involves students running lasting co-ops, but the process of organizing and developing a food co-op is enriching in itself and a major part of the story for students, RO Fellows, and others. Intentionally making connections between your story and others is essential to effective organizing because bringing these stories together building student power. 2. Students may ask, “How can I do good work for food justice?” or “Who is CoFED and why do you want to help me?” or even “What will it take for my team to listen to each other?” Come up with responses to these questions using vivid anecdotes and compelling explanations. Try framing them within CoFED’s larger narrative.
  6. 6. CoFED FTC p. 6 organizing builds power Organizing is a process involving people, their stories, and a shared narrative. It should be clear by now that organizing is more than scheduling activities! We define organizing as developing the leadership of people in a community in order to build relationships and power with them for the goal of moving the world as it is toward the world as it ought to be. We define power as the potential to create change using our collective abilities and assets. Power can be built and used in good or bad ways. There is power “with” people, and then there is power “over” them. In working towards CoFED’s mission, we have come to uphold certain organizing principles to build and use power for good: • ROs train their replacements. The ideal outcome is for you to teach students what you know so that they might succeed you as a future RO Fellow! • CoFED puts the student perspective first. The rich and diverse population of students and teams are the primary source of the on-the-ground local knowledge in the network. • Students take the center of our education. In our efforts developing leaders and co-ops, we work in service of students bringing their visions into reality. Think of scenarios in which individual, organizational, and cultural power works either “with” or “over” others. Then, imagine how the organizing principles above might encourage the use of power “with” people.
  7. 7. CoFED FTC p. 7 asking powerful questions Organizing is best grounded in deep listening. And to direct your efforts, you must ask powerful questions, the kind that tend to travel far and wide from their origin, prompting people to talk and listen to one another. The questions you ask as part of early and ongoing dialogue with a student team will enhance your working relationship. Because students might not think to ask for help, you can and should be proactive by posing powerful questions. Like the students themselves, you’ll want a better understanding of long-term vision, near-term goals, and needs from CoFED and the network. Student re- sponses to these questions reveal opportunities for training and support with other teams regionally or nationally because problems and solutions can be iden- tified and figured out collaboratively. Chances are high that another student team has successfully worked through that very issue in interesting ways. (Note that key questions you might ask students and others are implicit in the tools we’ve created; see the appendix to learn more.) According to the tradition of “appreciative inquiry,” there are 3 dimensions to consider in asking questions: Construction – how the question is built, shaping its power to provoke thoughtful exploration and creative thinking. Scope – the domain for effective action in a larger system, where interest meets experience. Assumptions – the beliefs in language, implicit and explicit. Forward-looking questions that assume we can learn from action and imagine possibilities are generally more powerful than those that look backwards to place blame for a fix-it approach that continues the course. Imagine a student team dreaming of starting a café that only sells chocolate-covered snails. A student named Chloe emails you in September, introducing the idea and explaining the team has a recipes as well as connections to the campus food services manager, a snail ecology lab intern, and the Fine Dining Club president. She believes her team can open and turn a profit in eight months, and asks you for help finding seed funding. How would you approach this situation? With a partner, come up with questions you would ask and responses you might get.
  8. 8. CoFED FTC p. 8 power maps Much like power naps, power maps can quickly refresh your perspective. Power maps are used in trainings with individual teams to view the connections and resources they have access to in terms of power and influence. They provide a clear snapshot of the relevant people, assets, and institutions and the nature of relationships that connect them. The best power map is one that minimally yet sufficiently represents the situation. This makes it easier to create a strategy and goals for action. Power maps are introduced here because they answer powerful questions, and they can literally illustrate the work you’ll do with CoFED. If you have basic information about a situation, and you can draw shapes and lines, you can create a useful power map using the following steps: 1. Describe the situation as a challenge or opportunity facing a particular group or community 2. Select a target that the group or community must influence to benefit from the challenge or opportunity • Targets are individuals making major decisions or holding power and are often affiliated with a group or institution 3. Using creative, strategic, and thorough brainstorming, compose a list of people associated with the target • For each person, describe the nature of their association with the target • Circle the people on that list you know • If you know someone through a connection, add that person to the list, too! 4. On paper, draw the target as a shape and all other people you listed around it • Use different shapes to represent the target, allies, and opponents • Write names group or institution affiliations next 5. Then, draw arrows to illustrate relationships between all entities • Use dashed or double lines to indicate the degree of influence with the target • Use arrowheads to indicate the direction of influence to the target 6. Finally, assess your map and devise a course of action to influence the target Draw a power map of the student team keen on a cafe selling chocolate-covered snails. You may introduce other imaginary people and information to make the map more realistic. Present your map to a peer and explain how it aids your perspective as a Regional Organizer Fellow. Then, discuss any strategic plans it inspires for you and the student team!
  9. 9. CoFED FTC p. 9 Your position is central to CoFED as a whole. Regional Organizer Fellows carry out CoFED’s most significant work on the ground in student leadership and enterprise development, the two main outcomes of our program. CoFED also makes its impact and realizes its vision through the efforts of RO Fellows. Workers in the administrative team contribute mainly by providing training, support, and other functions that enhance, empower, and enable RO efforts. Members of the Board of Directors guide and govern the organization as a whole. The Board is composed of six student representatives, one from each region, and five advisors from the relevant backgrounds and professions. The Board is majority students and has a strong voice on behalf of the larger student network. Before detailing aspects of your role and responsibilities, it is important to emphasize that they are rooted in work with student teams but go far above and beyond. Your professional development is both an opportunity for you and vital for CoFED as a learning organization. This involves working with a small team in a fast-paced environment where your ideas and input are valued, as articulated at the end of this section. You’ll build skills and knowledge in all of the key areas outlined in the following section. You’ll have exposure to consensus decision-making and non-violent communication and anti-oppression in action. And as part of your ongoing training and support, you’ll have time and space to think about personal commitments and goals, receive stipends to attend relevant food and cooperative conferences, and form connections to mentors and partner organizations. the job This section focuses into the job itself. It explains the nature of your role and the structure of your main responsibilities, and it clarifies key expectations for doing the work and for bringing our full selves to CoFED. It concludes with membership, network benefits, and consulting services. engage, facilitate, & support train & support guide & govern Board of Directors Admin Team Regional Organizer Fellows Pacific Northwest California Midwest Northeast Mid-Atlantic Southeast replacerepresent 3.
  10. 10. CoFED FTC p. 10 your role The RO Fellows’ role is to build and utilize a “solidarity network” of students and allies that comes together to empower student teams. This mainly involves interactions with students in teams, mentors who support you and the students, and other allies in the region and nationally as well as your CoFED co-workers! Students are your primary focus. This involves your direct, one-on-one connections to student teams (in-person meetings, campus visits, calls, and email) and multi-directional connections among many teams (regional retreats and convergences, national summits, team-to-team and region-wide calls, national webinars, regional and national newsletters and other correspondence, and everyone’s favorite: social media). In terms of your capacity and ability, you’ll do best to invest in teams that show promise and demonstrate commitment. Typically, each Regional Organizer Fellow has worked closely with 5-7 teams and loosely with a handful of other teams around the region. This will inevitably include a mix of new start-up teams and groups running clubs or enterprises that are relatively established. Mentors and allies help you as well as the students. Many individuals in cooperative, food justice, organizing, and beyond bring value and validation to student clubs and enterprises as well as you as Regional Organizer Fellows. Many past CoFED workers have benefited in their work and their own professional development from them as mentors. As mentors, these individuals commit to light, occasional support in the form of a few short calls or brief emails, generally less than 2 hours per month. If a little extra guidance or assistance is needed when working with students, mentors may be able to lend expertise in areas ranging from cooperative structure to food sourcing to event planning. Mentors also act as professional coaches to RO Fellows as young leaders in this movement. They can also provide professional development opportunities, insofar as the RO is able to make further connections in the field, and can work more closely with a few mentors to find guidance and inspiration for their work and careers. Administrative staff do their best to connect fellows with CoFED alum and other allied organizations to provide more networks and tools for movement building. your responsibilities Everything about the job flows smoothly once you understand your three main responsibilities. The first responsibility, cultivating relationships, is a matter of engaging individual students as emerging leaders. The second, facilitating progress, is a matter of empowering students and their teams with networking and consulting to reach their goals and succeed in their cooperative food ventures. These two responsibilities are interdependent because quality relationships are fundamental to students utilizing insights they gain! They also parallel because developing leaders in teams and developing projects into enterprises happen simultaneously. The third, supporting students by supporting your peers, assists CoFED in helping learn and share with others so we can bring our whole selves to this work. Taking these three responsibilities together, you will organize students and develop them as leaders through the experience of successfully starting and running their campus food co-op. You can summarize your main responsibilities in three words: • engage • facilitate • support i ) cultivating relationships for movement building The purpose of cultivating relationships is engaging with students and teams in order to connect them to the food justice and cooperative movements through CoFED, where they have opportunities to develop as leaders. You will develop skills in community organizing and leadership (a word you may be hearing a lot this year!). Here are several important goals for cultivating relationships: • Engage with students, grow and deepen relationships with individuals and teams, between CoFED and student leaders, and among student leaders, mentors, and others • Orient all efforts to serve the movement that members are building, rather than the organization that our membership is supporting, especially in sharing visions and goals among teams and lessons from successful and failed efforts
  11. 11. CoFED FTC p. 11 • Weave inspiration and education into relationships with students through direct coaching, events, and broader network connections including mentors and other allies • Create strong relationships with mentors and allied organizations to facilitate further development of an expert knowledge base and support system to guide the student movement Key activities you’ll carry out to reach those goals include: • Conducting as many quality site visits as possible to campuses to meet with individual student teams • Conducting a series of movement-building events through the year • Co-creating a mutually-agreeable action plan with each team • Maintaining contact with students in-person and through phone and email • Maintaining institutional memory about each team in team profiles and running notes • Appearing at public forums such as conferences and celebrations and other networking opportunities • Connecting with and network together regional Mentors Network and other allied organizations ii ) facilitating student team progress The purpose of facilitating student team progress is to empower students to realize their collective vision for their cooperative enterprise. This consists of delivering member benefits in meaningful, lasting ways. You will develop skills in cooperative development and food business at all stages of student team evolution. The goal here is to make your best efforts in service of students making their dream become a reality on their own terms. Key activities you’ll carry out to reach that goal include: • Providing guidance for each team as they evolve their vision for their project • Providing support for teams as they go about implementing their action plans • Connecting student teams to other CoFED workers for business skills and systems trainings • Connecting student teams to relevant resources and local consultants and facilitating trainings • Delivering CoFED’s member benefits to student teams and encouraging them to consider membership iii ) supporting your peers, assisting the organization The purpose of supporting students by supporting your peers is to improve CoFED’s institutional capacity and infrastructure, and to foster worker ownership of CoFED to meet individual and collective interests and needs. You will develop skills in anti-oppression teamwork and nonviolent communication, asking powerful questions, and other talents that foster and facilitate listening and learning. The goal here is to lift up your coworkers, build capacity, and nurture a healthier, more sustainable organization. Key activities you’ll carry out to reach that goal include: • Participating in peer support and education with other workers • Preparing for and occasionally facilitating all-staff calls, care & support calls, and other calls • Discussing activities and accomplishments regularly as well as reporting them at the end of each month • Conducting self- and peer-evaluations and reviews with workers every three months • Working on at least one committee (governance, finance, visioning, personnel, programming, or development) Finding an appropriate balance for RO work on matters not directly related to students is actually a critical area to improve RO work overall. The responsibilities to engage and facilitate are obviously the highest priority for the RO Fellows, whereas participating in support and professional development with other workers is an ongoing process. Getting your work done is the primary way to support your peers, hands-down! Beyond that, you can support your peers and your own efforts in significant ways. CoFED’s overall health and growth owes a great deal to the time and effort we invest in supporting peers and serving on committees. Participating in worker meetings and calls as well as committee work increases how informed and aware you’ll become of what’s going on, building overall trust and identity within CoFED, and providing constructive ways for RO Fellows to engage with and be empowered within organizational structure and policy. Similarly, participating in discussions or working on various projects provides avenues for meaningful opportunities for applying and developing more complex skills.
  12. 12. CoFED FTC p. 12 expectations cultivate quality relationships First, the core expectation is that we build and strengthen quality relationships with student teams. A simple indicator we use to evaluate quality relationships is the number of “utilized insights” they enable. You’ll know you’ve been successful in making an impact through your organizing wherever a student team applies a lesson they’ve learned from being involved in CoFED. To meet and exceed this expectation – that is, to build and strengthen quality relationships through which student teams utilize insights – you will have to use good judgement in carrying out the activities to engage, facilitate, and support. Becoming an effective organizer means improving your judgement through action and reflection. You (and your peers) might ask, Was there sufficient registration at events or visits you conduct? Has there been appropriate participation among members of a team beyond the liaisons? At the end of the day, are students enjoying their efforts and celebrating small, sweet successes? bring your full self Second, a general expectation is that everyone brings their full self to the work and has the full respect of others. We recognize that everyone has their own unique style, and we view organizing as a matter of both style and substance. Self-expression is encouraged and diversity is celebrated wherever it connects your work to CoFED’s mission. Bringing your whole self helps you prioritize your responsibilities as well as carry out activities to fulfill them. The expectation of bringing your full self also relates to evaluating performance. Evaluation is based on how you’ve performed on the work you planned to do for student leadership and co-op enterprise development. Everyone is accountable to fulfilling their responsibilities in alignment with co-workers and the organization, and everyone ought to feel comfortable communicating their needs. The goal is mutual understanding and compassion. In any situation where it becomes difficult or challenging to carry out activities, or any time a need gets miscommunicated, workers ought to feel safe and secure asking for support or care.
  13. 13. CoFED FTC p. 13 membership We’ve reduced and summarized the value we can offer to the teams we work with and who join CoFED as members. Our member benefits are categorized into network benefits and consulting services. These categories parallel the RO Fellow’s main responsibilities of cultivating relationships and facilitating student team progress. RO Fellows offer these services with the support of administrative staff. This section is intended for you to understand and internalize them so you can communicate what CoFED offers and, with training, deliver on them with competence and confidence. As you tell your story in a way that explains why you do this work and listen to students share theirs, elements of network benefits and consulting services can be introduced. It is essential to present the “value” of CoFED and the rationale for joining membership not in terms of fees for services, but in terms of solidarity in a movement of peers, supporters (that’s you, the Regional Organizer Fellow!), mentors, allies... and future students, too. network benefits cooperative principle #6, “cooperation among cooperatives” CoFED unites people who believe in a better future through cooperatives, sustainable food and agriculture, and student empowerment. Becoming a member of CoFED means participating in a network of students, mentors, and CoFED workers that are actively sharing ideas, learning lessons, and forming powerful relationships to make this movement thrive. These cooperative enterprises not only add value in tasty nutritious food, but also in the relationships that connect us within our communities and with other coopera- tives. Here are some of the network benefits CoFED pro- vides to students: • Access to “The Share” of best practices, templates, and policies uploaded by students nationally. • Access to resources CoFED has developed, such as “How to Start a Food Co-op,” “How to Operate a Food Co-op,” and other helpful guides and video tutorials. • Access to student team profiles through our website. • Events to build regional identity and national solidarity networks: summer retreats, regional convergences, winter summits, and casual gatherings and 25% off registration price for events. • Access to publicity and outreach through our communications platforms; online social media, newsletter, email blasts, etc., and assistance with strategic communications to grow your presence in your community. • Access to CoFED’s Mentors Network, advisory board, partner organizations, cooperative business development centers, and other allies. • Facilitated networking and communication as directed by the teams: blog, shared event calendar, listserv, conference calls, regional newsletters, etc. • Interning with CoFED to earn academic credit and/or work on co-op projects. • The Co-op-to-Co-op Exchange: peer-mentoring calls, webinars, skillshares, and in-person co-op tours • Nominate, vote, and/or serve as a student member on CoFED’s Board of Directors. • Participation in recruiting, interviewing, and hiring your RO Fellow with the admin team’s support. consulting services cooperative principle #5, “education, training, and information” Students are capable of anything they set their mind to! However if a student team ever wants more guidance through our resources or ongoing support through challenges or major steps, you and other Regional Organizer Fellows are only a phone call away and can even visit to talk in person or facilitate a workshop. Creating an action plan can also generate a clear view of how student teams intends to make progress with CoFED’s support so that they know what services and resources to develop and how to deliver them appropriately. Our consulting services provides the education, training, and information to start a cooperative venture or to improve an already thriving enterprise. As examples of what students might request support in, below are topics that CoFED workers and/or CoFED’s professional network have assisted with.
  14. 14. CoFED FTC p. 14 For teams dreaming up a co-op, starting a cooperative enterprise requires organizing, planning, campaigning, fundraising, plus ongoing reflection and action. • Group Visioning and Planning: When students are just starting out, it’s sometimes hard to know what first step to take. We can help facilitate groups finding a common vision and crafting a plan to make real change on campus. Student creativity has no bounds, and we can offer guidance by sharing best practices and histories of cooperatives in the CoFED network. • Market Research and Business planning: Once students find consensus around a vision, one of the more nuanced tasks is creating a business plan. It’s not complicated, but it can be intimidating the first time. We’ll show you how to create a robust, profitable business plan with a purposeful mission and the community’s interest at heart. • Cooperative Education as a Means to build a Team and Community: What exactly is a co-op and why is any team interested in starting one? What are the benefits of a cooperative to a community? We can paint the inspiregizing picture of how cooperative efforts weave into a long history of struggle for a more cooperative world. • Working with College Administration and Corporate Food Service Provider: Who are allies and what are the roadblocks to organizing on campus? We can show the power of “power mapping” college administration and help problem solve how to get around roadblocks like corporate food service providers. For teams wanting to strengthen their co-op, improving a cooperative enterprise requires analyzing governance, opera- tions, finances, etc. • Radical Cooperative Organizational Development: Creating a good foundation for student teams is necessary to function well for those participating. All organizations need to think about systems of accountability, organizational structure, internal communication, and institutional memory. We can help develop radical practices, procedures, and policies around these issues to make student teams happy and healthy. • Meeting skills: Facilitation and Consensus Training: Do students experience painfully long or purposeless group meetings? Are people leaving the meeting feeling drained and unhappy with the decisions made? We can help by training on facilitation and meeting fundamentals, as well as how to use effective and inclusive consensus models as a decision-making tool. Remember, consensus is a means, not an end! • Menu Planning & Sourcing: Ready to really go local? Having trouble keeping steady inventory? Is the weekly soup not as enticing as hoped for? We have worked in the restaurant biz and understand how to serve the kind of food you want in your price range. We have done sourcing research for teams in order to connect them to new producers, distributors, and experts who have their finger on the pulse on food in their region. • Keeping Out of the Red: Budgeting & Pricing: Nothing is more vexing than a loveable workplace that can’t seem to make it financially sustainable. We can help design systems to manage money and keep out of the red.
  15. 15. CoFED FTC p. 15 skills The main skills you need to do your job fall into two categories: community organizing and leadership, and cooperative development and food business. This section offers guidelines, frameworks, and best practices for these two skill sets. community organizing and leadership Some people appear to be gifted organizers and natural leaders. They seem intuitive, versatile, and endlessly responsive. One-on-one or in a crowd, they build power with people effortlessly. In reality, organizing is a continual learning profession for everyone. Even the most “natural” organizers require ongoing training. communication Building and strengthening working relationships with stu- dents depends on interpersonal communication, an art that can be applied to all of your work. Your use of communica- tion can make – or break – your connection. The following are some best practices: • Listen at least as much as you talk • Be interested and appreciative by asking questions • Be truthful and humble • Know your competence and confidence • Strive for clarity and simplicity interaction Interactions can range in scope and scale from emails, phonecalls, and meet-ups to workshops and regional gatherings. Below are key goals for interactions followed by some best practices. Your general goal is to create space where students feel comfortable discussing challenges and announcing successes with you, their RO Fellow. • Pose questions and think of what can be learned • Synthesize and feed back what you hear to verify • Offer well-motivated recommendations • Maintain constant, consistent presence in a pattern students become familiar with Prior to interaction, your goal is to know your audience. • Consult your notes and check in with co-workers to (re-)orient yourself to where the team is at • Come up with straightforward intentions · In face-to-face or phone conversations, start by explaining your objective · In email, compose concise, self-explanatory subject lines • Prepare and propose agenda item(s) ahead of time, inviting modifications and additions At the beginning of an interaction, your goal is to communicate a sense of purpose. • Do friendly, authentic check-ins so people become included in the space • Recognize action items as they emerge from discussions and decisions • If an action item is fair, frame it in an aspirational and supportive way, e.g., “What can I do to make [the action item] work?” In closing an interaction, your goal is to communicate a plan for what comes next. • Do de-briefs to summarize actions agreed to • Do genuine close-outs to leave the space with appreciation and joy • Make follow-ups within 2-3 days if possible, and absolutely within a week! 4.
  16. 16. CoFED FTC p. 16 engagement Many organizers begin by asking “How can we offer clear opportunities for students to act on their interests?” This section begins to answer that question with a progressive flow for organizing, an evolutionary process through which you develop student leaders. We define leadership as taking responsibility for enabling others to achieve shared purpose that lasts in the face of transition and uncertainty. As said earlier, this is essential for team sustainability and success, and for meaningful, lasting experience in food justice and cooperation. Engagement serves the express purpose of fostering commitment with students. We constantly strive to do this in an anti-oppressive and empowering way by “meeting them where they’re at” along the way to becoming a leader. Each action we take in organizing has a leadership value for the student and CoFED. Effective organizing depends on having a working knowledge of the which students you work with are at what level of engagement. Taking this student-centric perspective prevents organizing tendencies that may privilege the initiative (campaign, event, etc.) or effort behind it (program, nonprofit, etc.) over the people. Here are a few lessons learned to keep in mind: • Some students want to be leaders to serve their peers and build the movement more than others • All students feel different commitment to action • Most students mainly trust other students • You can relate to students because you are still similar to them and likely once had their perspective • You will be pleasantly surprised with what you learn by asking students why they are interested in the work • Activate student leadership potential by having them demonstrate and communicate it to the world – classic show & tell • Presenting a challenge or opportunity for students to act attracts more than it repels • Good work speaks for itself, and when students see you demonstrate your commitment to them and deliver on your promises, they will reciprocate! • The full trajectory for students teams to establish a sustainable student team takes 2-4 years, so continuity is paramount The training here is grounded primarily in a framework called a ladder of engagement. This framework takes a student-centric view of organizing, which helps you stay accountability to your constituency, the students. The logic behind the ladder of engagement tool works as follows: 1. The natural level of student commitment determines your goal for engagement any level 2. Based on that goal, CoFED as an organization provides certain opportunities for students to take action with us 3. Engagement at each level creates an experience in which students move to the next level of commitment 4. Various metrics aid assessment by indicating where students are at and how they advance level to level NEXT LEVEL goal for engagement INITIAL LEVEL OF ENGAGEMENT opportunity activities student commitment student commitment experience
  17. 17. CoFED FTC p. 17 level of engagement core framework; culminates at 5 and starts with 1 student commitment student interest in CoFED’s mission and work CoFED goal for engagement the scope of intention for organizing opportunities to act what CoFED present for students to act on actions taken corresponding actions likely among students expected experience student mindset likely to result from engagement metrics measurements indicating performance 5) leadership leading develop talent, recruit replacements coordinating online presence, organizing teams efforts, fostering regional identity, recruiting new members leverages personal relationships and assets for CoFED mission, takes position as team leader, Board member, or Regional Organizer becomes fully invested, identified as the face of CoFED, influential in the eyes of others members recruited, alumni joining as workers, → interviews or surveys evaluating knowledge, skills, and attitude shift 4) membership owning deepen commitment, foster responsibility contributing content for social media or newsletter or blog, carrying out team activities, benefiting from Regional Organizer or mentor, mentoring peer teams participates fully in network, uses training, resources, and connections for team progress, makes requests, → achieves goals in action plan → pledges for membership becomes inspiregized to take major, multipartaction deliberately and with intention (not impulsively), dedicated to success, recognized by others blog posts by students, student-led peer calls, studentled workshops at events, resource uploads, student visits to peers → action plans completed → membership pledges 3) community supporting earn trust, secure endorsement, solicit contribution sharing social media or newsletter, discussing with peers or Regional Organizer initiates interaction with CoFED, utilizes resources, responds to callstoaction, attends events, → volunteers information for team profile → expresses interest in action plan becomes eager to learn, passionate about the mission, energized to take lowcost/lowrisk action on impulse (less deliberately) fav’d tweets, Liked Facebook posts, Facebook posts or tweets by students, email or phone inquiries to Regional Organizer, event attendees, webinar attendees,action plans created team profiles on website 2) crowd following promise value subscribing to social media or newsletter, exploring website and wiki consumes CoFED online content, views resources, provides contact info and connects to social media, starts/joins team becomes interested, inspired by the mission website clickthroughs, Twitter followers, Facebook page fans, newsletter subscribers, resource downloads, students in teams clickthroughs, 1) audience observing attract attention, inspire initial contact incidentally visiting website or viewing social media, hearing word of mouth views site, mass email, or social media, attends team meeting or RO visit or call becomes aware, informed website traffic, semitargeted recognition surveys counting word- of-mouth Read through the full matrix to understand the bottom-up flow with the RO Fellow perspective. Then, read it through again from the student perspective. Imagine scenarios in which you engage with two student types: the aspiring leader and the casual participant. Come up with two separate stories for both students based on their commitment, opportunities, actions, and experience through all five levels.
  18. 18. CoFED FTC p. 18 cooperative development Starting and running food co-ops is nothing new. The beauty is, each co-op is unique and makes up rich, diverse population of teams in regions across the continent. There is always more to learn. In CoFED’s efforts to create a network and training program, we’ve experienced and reflected upon many cases to guide your work in a systematic way. This section presents the two types of co-op development, the 3 phases of team/organizational evolution, the 4 parts of the school year cycle, and a method for drawing lessons from any experience. two types of co-op development: clubs and enterprises Student food enterprises in the campus setting grow much more organically than most businesses (no pun intended). This is because students typically begin organizing as a club, whether or not the original intentions are to become something more established, such as a full-fledged cooperative enterprise. CoFED has two core resources for RO Fellows to help student teams to start and run cooperative food enterprises. These are the Manual for Starting a Student-Led Food Co-op and the Guide to Creating and Improving Your Operations Handbook. This section summarizes their key points before discussing the two types of co-op development, clubs and enterprises. Start-up teams must make progress in four key areas: people, plan, space, and money. Over the past few years, teams with solid core groups have persevered and excelled, whereas teams with less than fully committed and dedicated have made mixed progress. Finding a free space or a location or securing a promise for one significantly boosts the core group in their organizing efforts. Developing a plan with market research, a business model, and steps for implementation ought to be the primary focus of their organizing. Raising or receiving money is essential, but without the other keys in place, it doesn’t add much momentum a team can use. Operating teams must ensure four key dimensions: operations, policy, governance, and programming. There are key concerns and alternative approaches to succeed in each of these, and every co-op should educated themselves about what has been attempted by other teams in other contexts. Importantly, team leaders and all members must be working in alignment and with accountability to grow and thrive. All initiatives have simple beginnings, with a core group dreaming up an idea that captures peoples’ imagination. Slowly but surely, the team must invest in five efforts: 1. Team and membership – the talent, systems, and connections to local groups and CoFED 2. Pilot effort – the initial project (dinner event, buying club, food cart/truck, café/deli, or grocery/market) 3. Vision – the future of their efforts and long-term goals 4. Action – the organized and effective effort to achieve the vision 5. Institutional learning – a practice of ensuring plans and experience build to health and sustainability As a club, many start-up teams run simple programming to gain momentum such holding their meetings as potluck dinners. The most valuable type of activity is one that exercises all of the efforts above. Two of the most popular and successful pilot efforts are dinner events (dining co-ops) and bulk-buying clubs (purchasing co-ops), which also make it possible to organize on campus, gather information for a plan, build support, raise funding, and implement something bigger. However, it is important to recognize that these may start as clubs, and they may persist as clubs. For example, students at the Flaming Eggplant Café served food from a pair of trailers for several years while preparing to find and move into a permanent dining space, whereas students at UW-Madison have been operating a profitable and sustainable pop-up dinner and lunch operation for several years with no intention to go full-time. Clearly, both groups are important places of learning and sharing lessons from the experience of a student-led food co-op. The concept of “progress” depends entirely on how the team wants to develop their club into an enterprise, if at all.
  19. 19. CoFED FTC p. 19 team/organizational evolution in 3 phases CoFED helps students dream big and begin their start-up effort. As well, CoFED is a net- work and training program that shares and learns from many successful and some strug- gling businesses. All teams are in a continual state of change and growth; aspects of all 3 phases can be seen in any team/organization, no matter how evolved they are. Whether the student team consists of a handful of dreamers in discussion, a budding start-up ini- tiative, or a full-fledged group of workers running an enterprise, recognizing the stages of development is essential to helping student teams make continual progress. The following distinguishes the 3 phases of student-led co-op lifecycle: “dream” situation: • the group and its leadership form around a collective vision motivation: • own the idea and start! necessities: • passion and rigor for early discussions key concerns: • too much talk, not enough walk • lack of direction and action, or conflicting directions and paralysis • core team founder(s) oppress or fail to include new members path forward: • discover power in assets and relationships “do-ocracy” situation: • people choose their own roles and take responsibility motivation: • get going already! necessities: • ample, simple work with low stakes key concerns: • inefficiency through exclusion or martyrdom • complacency resulting from lack of formal commitment • burnout due to ineffectiveness or over-commitment path forward: • recognize emerging strategy that can be implemented “democracy” situation: • the team works with a collective vision for long-term success motivation: • stability, continuity, longevity necessities: • accountability – team members understand and agree to taking on individual responsibilities • alignment – team members reach mutual understanding of expectations in working towards their goals key concerns: • inadequate training and support from leadership in preparation for their departure • insufficient definition of roles and responsibilities • ineffective participation in committees and projects • re-emerging do-ocracy! path forward: • leadership development at all levels As teams and organizations evolve, the goal is to move beyond do-ocracy towards democracy without falling back!
  20. 20. CoFED FTC p. 20 the school year as a 4-part cycle A student team’s capacity for moving ahead is mediated by the year-in, year-out routine. This also affects your ability to engage them and facilitate progress. Approaching each year as a cycle keeps up momentum and builds on success. The following outlines the 4 parts and includes the timing, goals, and actions to take with teams along the way. 1. organize individual student teams timing: before and at the beginning of the school year goal: help them find their collective vision and goals for the year action: make contact with teams early and consistently and set up a routine (re-)engage with team, noting any relationship with previous organizers immerse yourself in the team context and observe identify students who can and will serve as team liaisons create or improve the team profile find stakeholders and opportunities for support and accountability (supervisors, courses, independent studies, etc) 2. connecting the region timing: beginning to middle of the school year goal: build solidarity by fostering regional identity action: conduct site visits and calls, facilitate workshops connect to mentors with relevant expertise for students and yourself introduce student teams to their peers, mentors, and local allies invest in teams committed to their project and interested in CoFED encourage they build institutional knowledge in a form makes sense (website or blog; group wiki; Google Docs; a place for meeting agendas/ minutes/ notes) discuss membership with teams share team goals, challenges, successes, and news of your own activities across the region 3. take action on projects timing: middle to end of the school year goal: build solidarity by fostering regional identity action: execute on the action plan with each team deliver on member benefits 4. secure success for next year timing: beginning and before the end of the school year goal: engage with emerging leadership action: designate student team leaders/liaisons for the following year propose, agree to activities for the summer
  21. 21. CoFED FTC p. 21 Remember that student team keen on chocolate-covered snails? It is now Springtime and they’ve reached out again. Slowly but surely, the team grew inclusively and now has happy, satisfied volunteers. However, they still can’t find funding or figure out a business case for their café dream. Can you help them draw lessons from their experience? Review this section, consider the questions and responses you brainstormed earlier in this training companion, and reflect on the facts in the case. Now, use the method of what, so what, and now what to come up with new insights and recommendations. drawing lessons from experience One of the most significant ways you can facilitate progress with a team is through reflection and action, which can create waves of learning and sharing throughout the solidarity network. Whenever discussing a challenging or announcing a success, try using the following steps to generate useful insights: • Look at the what what happened, and what did you think and feel about it? • Find the so what what are significant patterns or themes that spark insight? • Propose a now what what works well, what needs improvement, and what’s possible for action? The key value in this method is moving from causes or blame to lessons and possibilities. It is helpful in collaboration with student teams, but also works well with fellow RO Fellows or as an independent thought process. Finally, if students apply the lesson that emerges, consider that “utilized insight” worth recording and sharing!
  22. 22. CoFED FTC p. 22 working with student teams Many sections in this training companion double as tools – the power map helps you illustrate situations and plan strategies, the ladder of engagement guides your work cultivating relationships, the two types of co-op development distinguishes between clubs and enterprises, the steps to drawing lessons from experience, etc. Read through the training companion to find what’s useful for you! The following are tools found elsewhere: The team profile helps you capture the dream behind the team and your work with them This running document captures the concept, vision, mission and values, campus context, organizational structure, and financial performance for each team. This is where you record meetings, minutes, and notes on each team. It serves as a long-running, living document of your work and progress, which helps you and teams learn and share from experience cumulatively, without problem-solving or explaining something from scratch. The team action plan formalizes your working relationships a student team This form formalizes the SMART goals team members will tackle, support and resources CoFED and membership will provide, and the commitments to care and cooperate. Each action plan acts as a contract for each school term. It helps you work with each team and help them make progress towards their goals. Evaluation is also built into each action plan, to be conducted between students and their RO. The Regional Contact Directory helps you build a network of individual students, mentors, and other allies. This spreadsheet organizes all of the contacts that make up your region. Each RO Fellow, with the support of admin staff, works on their regional contact database to help build and utilize the regional solidarity network. The Regional Team Directory enables case management with each student team. Similar to the Regional Contact Database, this spreadsheet is where we collectively store information on teams, not individuals. The information ranges from simple contact information to summary profiles, action plans, etc. The CoFED NationBuilder ( platform organizes your organizing online and through social media. NationBuilder combines website, newsletter, social media, contacts record, and donations into a unified system. Our website is the public face to the world as well as a place for student teams to show who they are, where they’re located, and other key parts of their story. Our social media allows us to communicate the efforts of students and connect them to each other. Although there is a modest learning curve to using NationBuilder, it is built for groups that do organizing to augment their abilities and streamline their efforts, right down to follow-up alerts. The Share ( keeps CoFED’s online knowledge-base in a wiki. It is a public repository of guides, general readings, and other resources developed by CoFED, students, and other organizations. Here is where we keep all of our main curricular documents. In includes our Manual for Starting a Student-Led Food Co-op, Guide to Creating and Improving Your Operations Handbook, Bulk Buying Club Guide, Networking Guide for Teams and Community Co-ops, Sustainable Meat Sourcing Guide, and the Financial Management 101, a prototype online module consisting of a video workshop and tutorial, exercises and reference documents, and other resources such as pro-forma spreadsheets. 5. toolbox
  23. 23. CoFED FTC p. 23 planning and management The Worker Wiki ( contains links to current and past resources for Regional Organizer Fellows (workshops models and lesson plans, event planning tools, and a space for region- specific resources) as well as administrative documents (meeting minutes docs, the worker policy handbook, various outreach materials). The CoFED Google Drive contains a shared folder of key documents for the entire organization. You’ll likely create and get shared on many more documents related to meetings, committees, events, et al, etc. The RO Fellow work plan helps you prioritize your responsibilities and schedule activities to fulfill them. This is also a space where you can set goals for your organizing and for your own growth and learning. The Regional Organizer Fellowship job description orients you to your role and responsibilities in greater detail. The breakdown of typical hours/week suggests how you might plan out and schedule your time. The annual programming timeline and regular meeting schedule lays out weekly, monthly, and major events. The reimbursement procedure and program budget help you plan for travel and events as well as for professional development, such as conferences, books, trainings, office supplies, and possibly office space for work-trade. reporting, supporting, and evaluation The weekly e-check-ins help us know who’s doing what and how we’re doing without a meeting. The monthly worker reports and reflections help us share recent accomplishments, upcoming activities, and needs for care & support. This provides the basis for the monthly worker report to our Board of Directors. The Real Talk & Appreciation calls help create a space where everyone on staff can give Real Talk & Appreciation for each other. These are facilitated by an individual outside of but closely affiliated with CoFED. The Fellowship Program Dashboard helps track and measure our performance. This spreadsheet displays key metrics that help us measure our success and evaluate our efforts, understand who we serve and how, and adjust our programming. The 360 evaluations and individual evaluations help offer make use of feedback and reflection. These are the forms we’ll use to evaluate our own work and each other’s work. The student evaluations help include student perspective at the close of each year about CoFED’s programming to share with the CoFED team and make improvements over the summer. The exit interviews and transition-out process help those leaving share feedback and reflection in a way that builds a healthier, more sustainable organization, as well as supporting the next incoming worker.
  24. 24. CoFED FTC p. 24 6. glossary anti-oppression CoFED believes in addressing power relations that prevent people from achieving a just and fair world. We are committed to deepening everyone’s understanding of systems of oppression, histo- ries of dispossession and silencing, and genocide. We do this through our work engaging, facilitat- ing, and supporting students creating literal and figurative spaces on campus where they experience and explore liberatory, democratically-based work and life. Listening to teammates and creating access for a plurality of voices is a powerful way to use these power relations. For more on anti-oppression, get to know our friends and allies at AORTA (, a collective of educators devoted to strengthening movements for social justice and a solidarity economy. cooperative, cooperative values, and the 7 cooperative principles A cooperative*, as defined by the ICA**, is as an autonomous association of persons united volun- tarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly- owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. The cooperative values, according to the ICA, are: self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. The co-operative principles are guidelines by which co-operatives put their values into practice. They are: 1. Voluntary and Open Membership 2. Democratic Member Control 3. Member Economic Participation 4. Autonomy and Independence 5. Education, Training and Information 6. Co-operation among Co-operatives 7. Concern for Community The ICA website ( defines these principles in greater detail. The Madison Principles at CooperationWorks! ( are also worth exploring. *The ICA (International Co-operative Alliance) has served as the apex organization for cooperatives since 1895. They convene terms and definitions on cooperatives and the cooperative principles.
  25. 25. CoFED FTC p. 25 leadership Taking responsibility for enabling others to achieve shared purpose that lasts in the face of transition and uncertainty. organizing The process of developing the leadership of people in a community in order to build relationships and power with them for the goal of moving the world as it is toward the world as it ought to be. power The potential to create change using our collective abilities and assets. “real food” According to the Real Food Challenge*, “‘Real Food’ is food which truly nourishes producers, consumers, communities, and the earth. It is a food system, seed to plate, that fundamentally respects human dignity and health, animal welfare, social justice, and environmental sustainability ... ‘Real Food’ is a holistic term to bring together many of these diverse ideas people have about a values-based food economy ... The Real Food Challenge has developed an innovative Real Food Calculator, which provides in-depth definitions of “real food” and a tracking system for institu- tional purchasing. With this tool, “real food” is broken down into four core categories: local/ community-based, fair, ecologically sound, and humane. You can use the Real Food Calculator at and view the Real Food Wheel at *Real Food Challenge ( is a national nonprofit organizing to improve campus dining solidarity network Solidarity means the unity generated when people come together around a common cause. In CoFED, a solidarity network refers to the workers, students, and allies that empower students teams. Your role as a Regional Organizer Fellow is to build and utilize a solidarity network comes together to empower students teams
  26. 26. CoFED FTC p. 26 acknowledgements 7. Danny Spitzberg, CoFED Lead Trainer and Co-Director, wrote this Fellowship Training Companion in the Summer of 2013 as the culmination of developing the Regional Organizer Fellowship program. Organizing is a rich process and a richer tradition. This training companion benefited from review of CoFED’s own efforts over the past few years as well as lessons and materials from the following sources: AORTA (, Bill de Blasio (, (, California Center for Cooperative Development (, Catalyst Project (, Center for Civic Partnerships (, CDS (, KU Community Toolbox (, CooperationWorks! (, Cultivate.Coop (, DAWN (, Food Co-op Initiative (, Grassroots Policy Project (, Leading Change Netowrk (, Marshall Ganz at Harvard University (, NASCO (, New Organizing Institute (, PYE Global (, Real Food Challenge (, Research for Organizing (, Ruckus Society (, Student PIRGs (, (, The Future Project (, and Training for Change ( This final product would not have come together as it did without many friends and allies offering their stories, guidance, and feedback. Their experiences and voices were vital in creating this tool and resource for future CoFED workers. Danny gives sincere thanks to the following people: Clara Baker – CoFED Board member and former member of the Big Spoon Dining Co-op Lauryl Berger-Chun – CoFED Northeast Regional Organizer Tyneisha Bowens – former CoFED Northeast Regional Organizer Christine Cordero – National Training Program Director at the Center for Story-based Strategy Brent Dixon – CoFED Board member and founder at the Cooperative Trust Steve Dubb – CoFED Board member and Research Director at the Democracy Collaborative Eli Evans – CoFED Board member and former member of the Flaming Eggplant Café Erin Fenley – graphic designer at Gabriel Harp – design ecologist at Genocarta Amy Hess – former CoFED Northwest Regional Organizer Anna Isaacs – CoFED Organizer Coordinator and former Northwest Regional Organizer Esteban Kelly – member of AORTA Collective Nina Mukherji – Director of Programs at the Real Food Challenge Ron Patiro – founder at Eric Recchia – CoFED California Regional Organizer Jake Schlacter – Program Director at the Food Co-op Initiative Matt Steele – former CoFED Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizer Megan Svoboda – CoFED Operations and Communications Manager Ian Temple – Imagination Director at The Future Project Shaydanay Urbani – former CoFED Board member and former director at the UCLA SFC Cecily Upton – Co-Founder and VP of Programs at FoodCorps Jake Waxman – Trainer at the New Organizing Institute and the Leading Change Network