The Co-op Community Spaces Program – building thriving communities and lasting relationships across Western Canada
Community spaces are what bring people together. In trying and often dividing times, they can…
Federated Co-operatives Limited. (FCL), is a wholesale, manufacturing, marketing an administrative co-operative owned by more than 170 independent retail co-operative associations across Western Canada. The retail co-ops own and operate agro centres, food stores, gas bars/convenience stores and home centres from Vancouver Island to northwestern Ontario and into the Arctic.2
As a co-operative, FCL cares about the causes that matter to their employees and the communities in which they live and work. FCL’s philanthropic programs include employee-directed giving, in which employee committees direct the distribution of community investment funds, as well as major corporate donations, partnerships and cause marketing campaigns.3
“The Co-op brand is founded on supporting local communities, which is why we are committed to giving back in a number of ways and to a variety of organizations,” says Natasha Ford, FCL’s Social Responsibility Manager.
One of Co-op’s long-time partnerships is with the Canadian Red Cross, because of its ability to respond to large-scale disasters like wildfire relief in British Columbia and For McMurray and to smaller, more personal emergencies, like house fires.
Between 2013 and 2017, Co-op contributed over $1 million to the Canadian Red Cross to help with Western Canadian relief efforts. In 2018, Co-op renewed this partnership with an agreement to donate up to $1.5 million over five years to support disaster preparedness in Western Canada.
“It’s important to help our communities in any way we can,” says Natasha. “The ability of the Canadian Red Cross to respond quickly at the local level is part of what makes it a great fit with Co-op.”
While being in a position to increase contributions is a good thing, FCL’s social responsibility team faced a dilemma: we know the Canadian Red Cross is going to continue to experience demand. What more can we do, over and above contributed corporate funds, to help them meet their objectives?
The answer was to invite Co-op members, customers and employees to participate in a cause marketing campaign that will lead to increased resources for the organization to operate with.
The program’s name? The Co-op Give Card Campaign.
The campaign uses the sale of holiday-edition Co-op gift cards to build awareness around Co-op’s long-term partnership with the Canadian Red Cross and involve customers directly in their giving.
For each Give Card sold, Co-op will donate $1 to the Canadian Red Cross, to an annual maximum of $250,000.
“The Give Card campaign is something new and exciting for Co-op,” says Natasha. “It allows us to leverage an existing product to promote positive social impacts and re-enforce the community connection of our brand.”
The cards will be on sale at participating Co-op locations throughout Western Canada until December 28th.
For more information on the Co-op Give Card campaign, and Co-op’s other social responsibility programs, please visit: https://www.wecare.crs
For information on the Canadian Red Cross’ work in Western Canada, please visit: https://www.redcross.ca/
1 “Sustainability”. Federated Co-operatives Limited. 30 November, 2018. https://www.fcl.crs/sustainability/overview
2 “Our Story”. Federated Co-operatives Limited. 30 November, 2018. https://www.fcl.crs/about-us/our-story
3 “Sustainability”. Federated Co-operatives Limited. 30 November, 2018. https://www.fcl.crs/sustainability/overview
4 Images used with permission