2018 Capital Campaign


  • Campaign Goal: $750,000

  • Total raised to date: $203,983.75

  • For more information, please contact April Williams at 812-343-2841 or alwilliams67@gmail.com 

We now have the ability to accept tax-deductible donations.  These are routed through our fiscal sponsor.  Checks should be made payable to the Cooperative Development Fund of CDS.  (Please note “Columbus Food Co-op” on the memo line.)  We are happy to accept tax-deductible donations in any amount, but because we pay a fee to the fiscal sponsor, we recommend a minimum donation of $500.  Donation checks should be mailed to:

Columbus Food Co-op
PO Box 1270
Columbus, IN 47202

 Purchase your tickets today:  http://bit.ly/co-opFEAST

Donations FAQ 

How can I make a donation to the Columbus Food Co-op?

There are two ways to make a donation to the Co-op:

  1. Non tax-deductible donations can be made in any amount by writing a check payable to Columbus Cooperative Grocery and Market, Inc.

  2. Tax-deductible donations are routed through our fiscal sponsor.  Checks should be made payable to the Cooperative Development Fund of CDS.  (Please note “Columbus Food Co-op” on the memo line.)  We are happy to accept tax-deductible donations in any amount, but because we pay a fee to the fiscal sponsor, we recommend a minimum donation of $500.  

Who is the Cooperative Development Fund of CDS

The Cooperative Development Fund of CDS ("CDF-CDS") is an IRS-approved 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the development of cooperatively owned businesses.  They are headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota and are well known and well respected in the co-op community.  They were founded in 1985.  CDF-CDS is the former parent organization of the CDS Consulting Co-op, a group we have worked with for six years.  More information is available at their web site, http://www.cdsus.coop .

Why do we need to have this agreement?

The Co-op is organized as a "mutual benefit" nonprofit corporation under Indiana law.  Mutual benefit corporations cannot accept tax-deductible donations.  In order to accept tax-deductible donations to our Capital Campaign, we must work with a “fiscal sponsor” – a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that can accept charitable donations on our behalf. 

How does this agreement help the Co-op?

Numerous owners and interested community members have asked about making tax-deductible donations to the Co-op.  Until now, we have been unable to accept these donations.   Under this agreement, CDF-CDS will accept tax-deductible donations for the Co-op.  The Co-op will be able to use these donations to cover the costs of building out the store, hiring staff, buying equipment and inventory and other expenses related to opening our grocery store.  Donations are the best-case scenario for raising capital for the Co-op, as they carry no future liability - we don't have to pay them back.


Who can make a donation to the Co-op?

Any individual, family, business or other organization can make a donation to the Co-op.  (This is different from owner loans and non-patronage certificates, which can only be offered to Co-op owners.)


Who can solicit donations for the Co-op?

As part of our agreement with CDF-CDS, the Board has authorized Board members and our campaign closers to do the actual solicitation of tax-deductible donations.  While soliciting donations, these individuals will be volunteers acting on behalf of CDF-CDS.  Our callers, other volunteers and paid staff (April, Anita and Katie) can describe the donation options, pre-qualify individuals or businesses and answer questions.  Paid staff and consultants (April, Anita and Katie) may not solicit specific donations - they cannot "make the ask".


Why did we choose Cooperative Development Fund as our fiscal sponsor?

The Co-op Board of Directors talked with several organizations about being our fiscal sponsor.  In all other cases, these organizations placed restrictions on how donated funds could be used.  For example, one organization required that donations only be used for educational purposes.  This restriction would limit our ability to use the donated funds and thus would limit the amount of donations we could receive.  CDF-CDS is an organization with a mission to support the wise use and development of cooperatively owned businesses.  Donations collected through CDF-CDS can be used for a broad range of activities, including

  • Professional fees

  • Consulting

  • Supplies

  • Operating expenses, including inventory

  • Hiring expenses and payroll for up to 12 months after opening

  • Building renovations, furnishings, etc.


Does CDF-CDS charge us a fee for this service?

Every fiscal sponsor we talked to charges fees for their services.  We have negotiated a tiered fee structure with CDF-CDS, that is based on the total dollar amount donated.  The fee schedule is as follows:

  • For all donations up to $75,000, we pay 10%.

  • For donations from $75,000 to $125,000, we pay 8%.

  • For donations above $125,000, we pay 6%.


Please route any other questions to info@columbusmarket.coop

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