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Over the past 18 months, Co-op has funded more than 12,000 local causes through our Local Community Fund, contributed to by Co-op Members’ 1% community reward from choosing select Co-op branded products and services.
We have established close relationships with these local groups, who on a daily basis support communities throughout the UK.
The strength of these relationships has helped us to build in-depth insight from over 1,500 of these organisations, and appreciate the challenges and demands they face. Our new Causes and effects report highlights these challenges.
25% of local causes are fearful for the future
A quarter of the local causes we surveyed fear for their survival, saying they’re either worried or very worried about the future of their organisation.
When asked about their concerns for what lies ahead:
- more than 56% said they were witnessing a growing demand for their service, which isn’t being matched by increased funding or resources
- 44% are concerned about rising costs
- 30% have had public funding reduced
Communities rally round local causes
Local communities are still looking to support their local causes though, with a 43% average increase in volunteers (and 36% increase in paid employees) over the last five years. However, many causes said it was still not enough to cope with the growing demand for their services, with two-thirds of groups needing yet more helpers.
With many local causes underfunded and under-resourced, it is increasingly important that we all support their crucial work. We believe now, more than ever, that connecting local people and causes to enable greater co-operation is the key ingredient to building stronger communities.
“We believe now, more than ever, that connecting local people and causes to enable greater co-operation is the key ingredient to building stronger communities.”
Rebecca Birkbeck, Director of Community Engagement
Support your local communities #TheCoopWay
Co-op Members earn 5% for them and 1% for their local community when they choose select Co-op branded products and services. That 1% can be donated to their choice of local community cause and make a real difference in our members’ local community. So far, our Local Community Fund has benefitted over 12,000 local causes with their share of £20 million.
Co-op’s 200 Member Pioneers are also great people to talk to about supporting your local community. Find your local Member Pioneer today.
Director of Community Engagement