Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World
 
The Co-operators Fund The Co-operators 
(an unrestricted named Community Fund)Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre

Did you know that The Co-operators was founded by a group of farmers seeking a local solution to a local problem?

Over time, the organization has grown to be one of Canada’s largest insurers, offering protection and stability to millions of Canadians and their businesses. Similarly, The Guelph Community Foundation was founded on a vision of building endowments – gifts today that grow over time – to meet our community’s needs in the future.

As one of Guelph’s largest employers and a significant local donor, The Co-operators shares a natural affinity with The Guelph Community Foundation for long-term community sustainability and viability. “We created The Co-operators unrestricted fund in 2003 in recognition that community needs change over time and with an understanding that The Guelph Community Foundation needs funding and flexibility to address those evolving community challenges,” said Barbara Turley-McIntyre, Director, Sustainability & Corporate Citizenship.

The Co-operators initial gift of $15,000 was supplemented each year and has now grown to $100,000. As an unrestricted fund nested with our Community Fund, the Grants Committee can direct the interest on The Co-operators contribution to many aspects of community vitality including the environment, social services, health care, education and the arts. As an endowment, this fund will continue to grow and grant… forever.

Everdale Organic Farm and Environmental Learning CentreThe Co-operators has helped to fund a wide variety of grants through our Community Grants Program. As an unrestricted fund, it gives The Foundation flexibility and the fund has supported a wide variety of projects ranging from environmental programs at Everdale Organic Farm and Environmental Learning Centre (photo left), an inclusive riding program at Sunrise Therapeutic Riding and Learning Centre (photo above), to the establishment of an on-line seniors service directory at the Volunteer Centre of Guelph-Wellington.

In this International Year of Co-operatives, we take the opportunity to highlight The Co-operators Fund, the organization’s past support of Vital Signs and Random Act of Kindness Day, and their ongoing contributions to our Board and its committees. They clearly live the Co-operative Principle of concern for community.

Year of Co-operatives  
2012 has been recognised as the International Year of Co-operatives by the United Nations. This is an acknowledgement by the international community that co-operatives drive the economy, respond to social change, are resilient to the global economic crisis and are serious, successful businesses creating jobs in all sectors.