In good and bad times, The Cooperative Foundation is a steadfast supporter of cooperative development, research, and education. For more than 60 years, vision and generosity has guided the work of the foundation and in turn benefited cooperative members and communities.
Formed by cooperative leaders in 1945, The Cooperative Foundation received much of its financial assets through the vision and generosity of St. Paul architect Thomas Ellerbe Sr. and his family. The Ellerbe contribution is a striking reminder that individuals can make lasting positive impacts. That endowment and contributions from cooperative benefactors continues to support the work of the foundation.
The Cooperative Foundation’s legacy is one of providing the right investment at the right time to foster cooperative growth and innovations. Established organizations such Group Health Association, the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, the North American Students of Cooperation and the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives were recipients of The Cooperative Foundation grants in their formative years.
Through its mission to expand and enhance cooperatives through research, teaching, extension, innovation, and development, The Cooperative Foundation remains a vital part of the past and future of cooperation in the United States.