Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Cooperatives

FAQ for cooperatives seeking investment

What is Colorado Solidarity Fund’s mission?

We seek to invest in locally-owned cooperative businesses and to build economic education among our members.

What is a cooperative?

A cooperative or co-op is a business where equity and governance are separated so that every member has one vote regardless of their economic stake in the company.

See our one-page description about co-ops here.

What is an investment club?

Investment clubs are groups that allow people to pool their money to make investments. They can focus on a particular asset (real estate, stocks, etc.). Sometimes, they last for decades.

Are there other investment clubs that focus on cooperatives?

Yes! CSF is part of a growing network that includes clubs in Minneapolis, Vermont and Boston. There are a number of clubs currently forming.

Investors

FAQ for our investors

Why do people join Colorado Solidarity Fund (CSF)?

Our members join for a variety of reasons:

  • They want to divest from corporate finance.
  • They want to invest in local businesses.
  • They believe in the cooperative business model.
  • They want to see more worker-owned businesses.
  • They want to learn about investing in a supportive environment.
  • They value the way that investment clubs distribute risk.
How is the club structured?

Members may contribute monthly or annually. No single club member can own more than 20% of the total assets.

Our club meets eleven times per year throughout Metro Denver. No member can miss three consecutive meetings or contributions in a row.  

Colorado Solidarity Fund is an LLC but our governance is similar to cooperative businesses. When we make decisions, each member has one vote, regardless of how much money they have invested.

Officers are elected each year in February.

How do new club members join?

New members have opportunity to join twice per year, in March and September.  To learn more about the club contact us using the contact form.

How do members participate?
  1. Each member contributes $20–$200 per month and a $25 admin fee to join.
  2. Members participate in decision making by attending meetings in person, attending meetings via video conference, OR voting online through Loomio, our decision making platform. Members cannot miss three meetings in a row.
  3. Occasionally act on a subcommittee to vet potential investments and bring a proposal to the club.
How do members leave the club?

If someone wishes to leave the club, other club members may purchase their shares; the club as a whole may also repurchase the exiting member’s shares.

Our main goal is to invest in co-ops, so we limit the amount of money available each month to repurchasing an exiting member shares.

Club members should consider investments to the club as long-term investments. We ask for a minimum of one year’s investment.

How much money will members make?

Investing in coops through this particular club is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Our loans will typically offer modest rates of return in order to support the growth of local cooperatives; 2-5% annual returns are typical. The chart below shows a hypothetical return based on annual interest rate of 3.5%, monthly investments of $100, and interest rolled over into the account.

Year Cumulative Contribution Annual

Interest Earned

Annual Fee Annual

Net Earnings

1 $1200 $42 $25 $17
2 $2417 $85 $25 $60
3 $3702 $130 $25 $105

At this point, we are planning for an annual $25 fee, but if the club decides that decreasing this amount or not charging it is in our best interest, the club can vote to do so. Fees pay for club expenses such as copies, fees associated with the secretary of state, accounting support, childcare, and language interpretation. No club member will benefit financially from the fees, and no officer or member is paid for their role within the club. When possible, we will employ the services of local cooperatives.

What is the risk of investing with Colorado Solidarity Fund LLC?

Membership in Colorado Solidarity Fund LLC involves a significant and substantial risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone. Any investment in the company should be considered long term and illiquid. Members should only join the club with money they can afford to lose. There is no guarantee that members will profit from membership in this company. It is possible that members will lose all or some of their capital contributions.