2020 has been a year of great growth for MadWorC, the only local organization dedicated solely to promoting and supporting worker-owned cooperatives.
We were awarded a capacity-building grant from the Madison Cooperative Development Coalition in order to hire our first ever paid staff person. We now have a half-time staff person who is able to dedicate their time to supporting MadWorC’s activities. In March, just days before the pandemic hit, we co-hosted a Regional Rendezvous which drew almost 60 cooperators from around the midwest, and we’re starting a book club and hosting virtual socials for worker-owners.
We have great ideas for where to go next, but we need your help in getting there.
We want to expand our peer network by providing stipends to experienced mentors who work with newly forming cooperatives. Peer mentorship, both formal and informal, has been a key function of MadWorC since the beginning. Providing stipends to peer mentors means that more people will be able to afford to take the time to mentor newer cooperatives. We also plan to work with the local trade schools to implement a curriculum about worker cooperatives to empower students to form their own worker cooperative businesses after graduating.
MadWorC also plans to embark on a project to help convert businesses at risk of closure due to COVID into worker cooperatives, which will improve their ability to survive the pandemic and help our city’s small business economy thrive. Worker cooperatives are a business model that has demonstrated remarkable flexibility in times of crisis, including recessions like the current COVID-related recession.
Now is the time for Madison workers to have stable, democratic employment and for the local economy to recover from losses due to the pandemic. Worker cooperatives are a feasible solution to keeping businesses open and the economy flowing during this crisis. To make this transition, however, workers need the assistance and resources MadWorC is equipped to provide. Through your tax-exempt donation, YOU can be a part of building these exciting opportunities for our community. We’re asking you to give what you can to – $10, $15, $25, $50, $100. Any amount helps us achieve our goals. And thanks to the generosity of Isthmus Engineering, donations will be matched (up to $1500) so your donation can have even more impact. You can donate at https://charity.gofundme.com/madworc-fundraiser