Got skills and community spirit? Manchester Food Co-op Seeks Volunteers

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Manchester Food Co-op is coming, but it's not in the bag, yet. Your help is needed.
Manchester Food Co-op is coming, but it\’s not in the bag, yet. Your help is needed.
MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester Food Co-op is looking for a solid group of volunteers and dedicated, strategic Board members to help guide the way, down a journey of giving back, creating awareness and making connections.Please see the list of open positions below and contact a board member if you are interested by emailing info@manchesterfood.coop.

Meetings: Join the process by attending us an upcoming Volunteer/Member Orientation to get started, at Panera Bread, 52 March Ave. (off South Willow Street)”

  •     Tues Feb 10 6:30-8 p.m.
        Tues Feb 17 6:30-8 p.m.

Learn about the cooperative business model, the MFC’s mission and timeline and volunteer opportunities in more detail. RSVP at info@manchesterfood.coop

Manchester Food CoopVolunteer Opportunities:

I.  BUSINESS & COMMUNITY OUTREACH
We need to ramp up our outreach to both small and large companies!  Here are specific volunteer roles we need to make this happen:

Relationship Builders:
Approach businesses/organizations to be part of our Business Partnership Program and discuss a mutually beneficial way to work together. MFC is not just about local food, but also supporting local business!   Businesses can be a MFC partner in diverse ways:
•    hosting our brochures
•    displaying the Proud Supporter window cling at place of business
•    offering a Member-Owner benefit/discount/one-time perk
•    joining forces for an event or initiative
•    any other creative ideas – the sky is the limit
We will provide you with the training and marketing pieces that describe our Partnership Program and you will identify which businesses interest you to approach!  We will have a downtown blitz at the end of March to kick off our Chamber of Commerce membership and approach businesses together.
Time commitment – 2 hours per week

Presenter/Advocate:  
Train to present and advocate the MFC to large businesses and community organizations.  You will shadow a MFC Board member/Project Manager during presentations to management and employees at large businesses until you feel comfortable to do it yourself.   These large businesses can help the MFC in many ways, allowing us to reach their employees to speak about the coop and potentially subsidizing employee memberships.
Time commitment – 4-6 hours per month

Administrative Assistants for Local Mailing:
Print and mail letters to 75 local companies (already identified), introducing them to our program to subsidize employee memberships.   Follow-up the mailing with emails and/or calls to the CEOs.
We will provide you with the letter and contact information and follow-up scripts (email/phone).  The planning and materials are done, we just need help executing!  Note:  If you are comfortable with only one part of this task, we can split responsibilities into two volunteers – one to do the mailings and one to do follow-up.
Time commitment – 2 hours per week for one month (Feb/March)

II.  EVENTS 
While we build our cooperative, the Board needs your help to keep our strong presence in the community.

Event Table Hosters:
Answer questions at the MFC booth/table at public and private events.  This can be done as PeneloPea for those who are willing to be our mascot ☺  Have the ability to sign on new member-owners right at the table. Scheduled events for 2015 are below. Let us know if you are able to donate your time for a specific event!

PSNH Health Fair – Wed April 8, 11:30 a.m.– 1 p.m.
Address:  780 N. Commercial St, Manchester NH

Made in NH Expo – April 17-19 (Fri-Sun)
Radisson Event Center on Elm St., Manchester
This is our biggest event every year, great opportunity to both recruit member-owners (we usually get near 30!) and talk with tons of producers of local goods!  We try to schedule volunteer time in four hour blocks, but whatever you can give is very appreciated.
Schedule:
Thurs April 16 (help with set-up in afternoon)
Fri April 17 (Show hours 1-8 p.m.)
Sat. April 18 (Show hours 10-8 p.m.)
Sun April 19 (Show hours 10-4 p.m., and help with booth breakdown 4-5 p.m.)

 PSNH Health Fair – Wed May 13, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Address:  73 W Brook St., Manchester

Stonyfield Earth Day Fair – Sat. May 16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Time Commitment:  Average of three hours per event

Monthly Meet-Up Organizers:
Help book monthly meet-ups for MFC owners and friends.  These can range from hikes to educational/cooking workshops to attending existing community events. The goal is to both build community and provide educational resources!
Time Commitment:  3 hours per month

III.   ONLINE PRESENCE
It is essential that we increase the effectiveness of our online tools to communicate our Mission!

Website Wizards:
Edit the content of our website.  Marketing team will provide content and volunteer must be able to use WordPress.
Time commitment:  Initial block of four hours, then one hour per week

Social Media Strategists:  
Who wants to make our Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter come alive and really speak our mission?
Time commitment:  Initial block of three hours, then one hour per week

Witty Writers:
Write content that will appeal to our member-owners and supporters!  We need submissions for our blog and facebook posts, as well as press releases when appropriate.  We have plenty of theme ideas to guide you, and love new ideas too!
Time commitment:  Two hours per week or as needed

IV.    FINANCIAL/FUNDRAISING
We are knee deep in business planning and financial matters, and in pursuit of volunteers with the following expertise:

•    Bookkeeping/Budget planning
•    Pro Forma review – Review our financial projections for the first ten years of operation and provide constructive feedback
•    Grant writing – Identify grants the coop may be eligible for and/or assist with writing the applications

Time commitment: Very variable.  Please contact us to discuss more details.

V.    BOARD MEMBERS
Calling all candidates to join our volunteer Board of Directors, especially (but not limited to) those with experience in the following areas:
•    Financial analysis
•    Business planning
•    Banking/Fundraising/Grant writing

Time commitment:  This position requires a minimum of five hours per week and attendance at one monthly meeting, plus one additional meeting per month on average.

If you are interested, please forward your resume to

About Carol Robidoux 5504 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.