Dollars & Directors Webinar series: Financial Planning & Board Responsibilities

The 5th webinar in our Dollars & Directors series, the goal of this webinar is to provide key information for financial planning as well as the roles and responsibilities of board directors, management and financial committees. Featuring Marc Belanger of Collins Barrow and Joel Lalonde of Your Credit Union.

Margins and Mark-Ups

Margin and mark-up calculations to determine selling prices are an important point of knowledge for those who are unfamiliar with this business terminology; margins and mark-ups are very different.  There is a tendency amongst the uninitiated to use the terms interchangeably, but this is not a good idea.  Sales people trying to get distributors to carry their goods are often among the uninitiated. Although their mistakes tend to be innocent, there is a substantial difference in the outcome. Therefore, confusing the two may create dire consequences for your bottom line.

LFFC Finance Policy

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Financial Policy Approved May 23, 2017 - BD010

Local Food and Farm Co-ops is an Ontario non-profit, co-operative. Its financial management policies are established by the Board of Directors which has fiduciary responsibility. The Board of Directors may delegate limited authority over its financial affairs to the Treasurer who functions as the Chief Financial Officer and to the appropriate staff of the organization; however, the Board retains full responsibility and fiscal authority. The Treasurer works directly with the Management to oversee the management of fiscal procedures and regularly reports on financial position and investments to the full Board. The Executive Director is the staff person responsible for day-to-day operations of Local Food and Farm Co-ops and is accountable to the Board of Directors. The following fiscal policies and procedures have been approved by the Board of Directors

May 2017. 

Start a Worker Co-op or Convert an Existing Business

This is a presentation given by Erbin Crowell of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association and Adam Trott of the Valley Alliance of Worker Co-operatives, given at the August 2013 NOFA Summer Conference at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. They share the basics of the co-operative model, its relevance to local economies, and the process for business development. This presentation focuses on worker co-ops in the food system, multi-stakeholder models, which include producers and consumers, and shares guidance for people exploring a co-operative business start-up or conversion.

Co-op Sustainability Scorecard

The Co-operative Sustainability Scorecard (2008) was developed as a tool for co-operatives of any size in any sector to create triple bottom line benchmarks for their organization. The objective was to provide a “do-it-yourself” approach using existing software that is widely available and user friendly (Microsoft Excel). A Creative Commons license was used to share the scorecard freely.

Food Co-op Fundraising Toolkit

This toolkit has been put together to provide LOFC members with valuable information about different funding options for co-operatives. The toolkit also provides guidelines for a variety of approaches and fund development contexts. For instance, the approach to the development of a donor base is significantly different from the approach for grants. Each organization must decide what fundraising mix works best for them, based on their current needs, vision and goals, as well as staff and financial resources. 

A Guide to Community Capital

Business owners and social entrepreneurs in many communities struggle to access the funds they need to launch or expand their businesses and initiatives. At the same time, most of our financial investments go to unfamiliar, opaque investments in far way places and have impacts from which we are disconnected. It doesn’t have to be this way. Innovators across North America are creating ways of re-directing financial resources to businesses and organizations that are serving the communities in which they are located by providing needed goods and services, creating high-quality jobs, restoring the environment and enabling prosperity for all through the development of local living economies. This guide provides a high-level primer and a map for readers to connect to a range of resources to learn more.

Dinner Party Hosting Guide

The Garden City Food Co-op in St. Catharines has developed an engaging guide to hosting a dinner party as part of their member engagement strategy.

We believe that gathering people together around a common table to discuss an important issue in a comfortable environment is a great way to grow sustainable and durable support for Garden City Food Co-op – and we need your help!

Guide to Government of Canada Programs Available to Co-ops

In Canada, we are building on the momentum of the International Year of Co‑operatives to improve access to government programs available to co‑operatives. This guide is an initiative of the Government of Canada’s Rural and Co‑operatives Secretariat, developed in partnership with the provincial and territorial governments

Community Bonds

Community Bonds

The Centre for Social Innovation has launched, the website and public resource to complement their do-it-yourself guidebook, The Community Bond - An Innovation in Social Finance. Food co-ops started using bonds to raise money in the 1960s and this model has been picked up and replicated by community power co-operatives, non-profits such as the Centre for Social Innovation, and others.  

Where Do You Go to Raise Capital?

Great business plan? Check. Solid product or service offering?  Check. Committed team. Check. Money? No cheque – yet.

One of the biggest challenges for any start-up or growing enterprise is raising capital.  New investment is vital to hire new staff, buy or rent facilities and equipment, and/or support sales and marketing to take you to the next level of profitability and success.So where do you go when you’re looking to raise capital?