Commit to Co-ops! Workshop Series

Request for Proposals: Facilitate a Workshop!

The Austin Cooperative Business Foundation (ACBF) is now seeking proposals and facilitators for workshops for its upcoming development and training series, Commit to Co-ops. Commit to Co-ops workshops and training sessions will help ACBF support and expand the cooperative economy in Austin and Central Texas by offering ways for everyone to expand their cooperative skills.

Workshop facilitators will:

  • Research, develop, and facilitate Texas- and/or Austin-specific workshops or training sessions for current or future cooperators, specifically on topics that address “intermediate” skills (beyond the basics!)

    • Some potential topics: non-violent communication for housing co-ops, marketing and social media for coops, financial stability and growth for coops, co-op activism and community organizing in Central Texas, converting your business to a co-op in Central Texas

    • Please note you are welcome to submit workshops that pertain only to a specific type of co-op (i.e. housing, or consumer co-ops) or on a topic that applies to all types of cooperatives

  • Create engaging, well-designed, and digitally-distributable materials to complement the workshops

  • Spread the word about ACBF and the workshops to help raise the profile of ACBA/Austin-area cooperatives, and to encourage attendance

What we’re looking for in a workshop designer/facilitator:

  • Have an idea for a training session and excited to lead it!

  • Passionate about cooperatives and excited to help build the local cooperative economy

  • Eager to learn more and teach others by doing original research and workshop design

  • Bilingual in Spanish/English (preferred, not a requirement)

Diversity Encouraged:

We aim to build a multi‐racial and class‐diverse organization that reflects the future of our member cooperatives. Women, people of color and others who may be underrepresented in non-profits, cooperative development, and cooperatives are strongly encouraged to apply.

Further details:

Workshop facilitators will be contracted by the ACBF for a total of $500 per workshop, for up to 10 total workshops. You may propose to give a particular workshop once, or up to 3 times. Workshops/training sessions must be delivered sometime between November 2018 and December 2019. You may apply as an individual or a small group to do a workshop; however, note that due to limited funding, the payment is per workshop, not per person. A limited amount of funding will be available for materials, promotion, and food.

Please submit your application here. Please submit a separate application for each proposed workshop if the topics are different.

The deadline to submit proposals is October 5 at midnight.

If you have questions, reach out to Carol Fraser, Grant Administrator, at

The Commit to Co-op Workshop Series is partially funded by the Cooperative Foundation. Austin Cooperative Business Foundation is supported by donations from people like you. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to the ACBF today.

Co-op Summer School

This summer ACBA’s Outreach and ACBF’s Education Committees collaborated to host three events on co-ops. In June, Annelies Lottman of Texas Rural Cooperative Center presented Co-ops 101, an introduction to co-ops of all types at Wheatsville South. In July, we hosted a panel on Converting Your Business to a Worker Co-op, led by Andi Shively of Key Figures and Jon Lebkowsky of Polycot Associates. In August, Beth Beutel (of Black Star and Wheatsville Co-ops) led a panel on Finance and Accounting for Co-ops; both July and August events were held at 4th Tap Brewing.

These events were a great success, with dozens of attendees learning in-depth details about co-op business. Around 20 people attended July’s event. Many of the attendees for the whole series are exploring forming cooperative businesses, in fields ranging from tech to fitness to transportation. Attendees were excited to benefit from the experience and expertise of our panelists. The strong reception for these events makes us excited to continue programming them. Look forward to another Co-op 101 session in September, and additional workshops and panels every month!

Cash for Coops: Funding for Your Cooperative

Cash for Coops: Funding for Your Cooperative

There is lots of funding for cooperatives out there, but is your cooperative taking advantage of these opportunities? This update explains some of the funding available for cooperatives located in Central Texas, discovered through research done by members of the Austin Cooperative Business Association. Keep reading for a brief explanation of specific funds and how to find out more information about them.