Raising money for charity – it’s supposed to be all about the cause. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say, with this project, it was about more than that. I got something out of this, too, and that’s OK.
Yes, there are more efficient, more direct ways to raise money for charitable causes, but the Cooperative Paper Clip Project’s round-about route via trading was, in my mind, a valuable one for many reasons:
- Friendships. Example: I knew Katie Ryan-Anderson through our co-op connections before this project, but now I’m happy to call her my friend. Through the planning and execution of this, she has earned my respect and admiration as a communicator and a true champion of the cooperative cause. All that, and she’s just an overall awesome lady.
- Community connections. Each one of us had to reach out and consciously make connections to make this work. In some cases, it was a step outside our comfort zone. In every case, it was a chance to demonstrate why the cooperative business model stands apart.
- A victory for a very personal cause. I’m often asked to support causes that are favorites of other people or other companies, and that’s OK; I’m happy to do so. But this was my chance to talk about my experiences in the neonatal intensive care unit, and to do what I could to make sure good things continue to happen in the place that treated my children so well.
The Cooperative Paper Clip Project outwardly demonstrated the power of the cooperative business model. The cooperative business model calls for commitment to community, and that’s for a very good reason: when the community thrives, so does the cooperative, and vice versa. The model also calls for cooperation among cooperatives, also for good reason: working together benefits members and communities.
It’s a principled approach to business, one that gives employees like me a deep sense of pride, and one that allows organic ideas like the Cooperative Paper Clip Project to thrive.
Thanks to everyone who supported and inspired Team #CoopClipND along the way. Let’s do this again in 2015.
See who raised money through #CoopClipND in 2014: Little things add up to big dollars for charity