Willy Street Co-Op: Community reinvestment grant deadline Jan. 31

Reinvestment Fund Grants Promote Improved Quality of Life and Social Change

Madison – The Willy Street Co-op Community Reinvestment Fund is accepting applications for 2022 grants to community organizations that may qualify for the $35,000 set aside to help improve the quality of life in Madison. This is a $10,000 increase over 2021.

The deadline for the applications is January 31, 2022.

Click here for the application and funding requirements. Grants are awarded to 501(c)3 nonprofit and/or cooperative organizations working on projects benefiting Dane County. All applicants must fill out the included two-page application and include a written grant application not to exceed three pages. 

“We strongly encourage community groups with limited access to funding to apply for grants to support their local work for the people they serve,” said Brendon Smith, Willy Street Co-op Communications Director. 

The Community Reinvestment Fund Committee is interested in funding innovative, hands-on educational, and entrepreneurial projects that impact a large group of people, reach out to underserved populations, create jobs or develop skills. The committee seeks to foster social engagement and offer opportunities for diversifying partnerships and collaboration.

The grants will be announced in the spring.

In 2021, the reinvestment committee received 21 applications totaling $66,796 and made $25,000 in total awards to 10 organizations.  

Last year’s grant recipients were: 

Kittie Knox Mobile Bike Library, $1,000
 Briarpatch Youth Services, Inc
Madison Summer Team Minority Business Project, $2,066
Clubhouse Expansion Project, $2,619
Crossroads Community Farm, LLC
Feed 100 Madison Families, $5,000
Goodman Community Center
Goodman’s Garden Fit Program, $3,050
Kidlinks World, Inc
Expanding the Kidlinks Briarpatch Vegetable Garden Project, $2,319
Neighborhood House Community Center
Fresh Food Connection, $3,000
 Rape Crisis Center, Inc
RCC GameChangers—2021 Youth Advocacy and Community Impact Project, $2,000
RISE Wisconsin’s Respite Center
Respite Basic Need Pantry, $1,870

Over the last three years, the average award provided to each organization has been $2,303. 

Organizations representing minority and protected classes are strongly encouraged to apply.  

A History of Charitable Giving – Since 1992, Willy Street Co-op has contributed over $500,000 to local nonprofits and cooperatives to support developmental and educational projects for our community via Community Reinvestment Fund grants. The Fund is seeded when Owners who have become inactive and have not claimed their equity after three years either abandon or donate their Owner equity to our Co-op. Community Reinvestment Funds are allocated annually by the Board of Directors in accordance with our bylaws that stipulate unclaimed or donated equity that has been abandoned be dedicated to educational and charitable purposes.

About Willy Street Co-op

Since Willy Street Co-op’s inception in 1974, its customers have invested over $3 million through Community Shares of Wisconsin and the co-op has created several innovative programs including the Community Reinvestment Fund and a retail version of the popular Double Dollars vouchers to provide additional fresh produce for customers using QUEST cards. The co-op has over 30,000 owners and three locations, in Madison and Middleton. Willy Street Co-op is the Madison area’s largest consumer-owned neighborhood grocer, offering organic, locally produced, and conventional foods. The co-op believes that a sustainable local economy is vital to the health and well-being of everyone in the community.

Anyone can shop at the co-op, and everyone is welcome to join and become an owner. For more information on Willy Street Co-op, visit www.willystreet.coopFacebook or Twitter.