Co-operative Development Program (CDP)

As a third-tier co-operative, we have long recognized the valuable contributions that co-operatives have made to our own growth and development. Since 1992, Co-operators has administered a program of grants dedicated to emerging and expanding co-operatives. Over $3.1 million has been provided to 211 co-operatives across Canada through this unique program.

This program has encouraged the viability and growth of co-operatives that are responding to the collective needs of Canadians. We are proud of our efforts to support strong, vibrant co-operatives in Canada. In 2021, a total of $500,000 in CDP funding was disbursed to 29 co-operatives.

Aligned with our commitment to helping build more resilient and sustainable communities, we highly encourage co-operatives that operate in the following sectors to consider applying for CDP funding.
(Co-operatives operating in sectors not listed below are still welcome to apply)

  • Social Wellness (i.e. co-ops focused on mental well-being; social care)
  • Inclusive Economy (i.e. co-ops that provide financial security for their workers/members; co-ops providing skills/training for marginalized individuals; co-ops offering affordable consumer products)
  • Environmental Prosperity (i.e. renewable energy co-ops; alternative transportation co-ops)

Applying for funding

Applications are available starting January 4, 2022, and will be accepted until March 31, 2022, before 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time). Co-operatives interested in applying or requesting more information are invited to email us.

To be eligible for a grant, organizations must be legally incorporated as a co-operative at the time of their application and include their articles of incorporation with their application.

CDP grants are made to cover costs associated with co-operative business development, including feasibility studies and market research, business planning, marketing and promotion, member engagement, and legal and financial supports. We do NOT provide financial assistance for:

  • Capital expenditures
  • Ongoing operational expenses
  • Insurance
  • Scholarships
  • University or College courses and programs
  • Conferences
  • Travel
  • Fund-raising initiatives
  • Deficit reduction
  • Retroactive expenses

The maximum grant amount available is $20,000 (this amount must not represent more than 50% of the project / initiative budget).

CDP Impacts in our communities:

“Support from Co-operators enabled Life.School.House to contract professional expertise in impact evaluation.” - Life.School.House Co-operative, Dartmouth, NS.

“The vote of confidence the Co-operative Development Program has given us has not only kept the ball rolling, but inspired others to add in their votes of confidence too, much needed for such a long, complex, ground breaking project”. - Peace Energy Cooperative, Dawson Creek, BC.