|Friend of the Center|
OEOC's Annual Giving Campaign 2010-2011
Dear Friend of the OEOC,
Fiscal year 2011, ending June 30, 2011, was a year of outstanding successes for the OEOC; however, we are now asking for your help more than ever before.
Late in June, the State of Ohio informed us that it is not providing us funding for Fiscal 2012. The State assured us that they were very pleased with the OEOC and with our accomplishments but that they simply did not have enough money to fund us. We had budgeted the State funding to be 36% of our FY 2012 revenue. We have adjusted, reducing staff and cutting expenses, and are continuing to provide our same services, but we want to be able to provide more than we are currently able, and we need your help to accomplish that goal.
Looking back at our first full fiscal year after the death of our founder and Director, John Logue, we are proud that we have continued to fulfill his vision. The OEOC has not only survived but also continues to deliver all deliverables and to grow in our accomplishments and in others’ recognition of our staff as a valuable resource and our models of employee ownership are worthy of replication.
Employee-owned businesses reinvest in their employees and their local community. Employees are considered as assets, not just an expense. Each employee shares in the rewards (and the risks) of being an owner. Studies consistently show that employee-owned companies outperform companies that are not employee-owned and that, during the Great Recession, employee-owned companies remained more profitable and productive than their conventionally owned counterparts. Employee ownership is simply a better way of doing business.
Financially, in FY2012, with regards to the lack of funding from the State of Ohio: again, we find ourselves with another challenge to overcome. Many people who are unaware of the details of our funding will conclude that if the State of Ohio ceased its funding of the Ohio Employee Ownership Center, that act would of course mean that the Ohio Employee Ownership Center would cease to exist. The best way we can counter that notion is to continue to deliver on deliverables. We are doing that.
The current economic reality has created opportunities for creativity and innovation. I would like to tell you about some strategies with which the OEOC has been involved:
As you may recall, we have been working since 2005 with the Cleveland Foundation in the start-up of the Evergreen Cooperatives, which are new employee-owned businesses, largely structured on the co-op model, located in low income neighborhoods employing residents of those neighborhood and providing products and services for large nearby institutions. More specifically, we were intimately involved with the start-up and continuing operations of Evergreen Cooperative Laundry (ECL). We are proud that ECL was recognized as the best development project in the U.S. in June 2011 by the prestigious National Development Council. We are looking to replicate the model in other cities.
On a related note, in October 2010, we led a delegation of Cleveland leaders on a study tour to Mondragon, Spain, to learn about the vastly successful Mondragon Cooperatives, which are the model for the Evergreen Cooperatives. Further, we hosted Josu Ugarte and Fernando de Landa from Mondragon International during a 3-day U.S. visit. We have also continued to grow our Cooperative Development Center, which focuses primarily on worker-owned cooperatives as well as creating linkages between rural food producers and underserved urban consumers.
Sticking with the green theme, we are moving our semi-annual magazine Owners At Work to electronic distribution only. You can subscribe via our website at oeockent.org.
We expanded our online offerings with an extensive program of webinars on topics related to employee ownership, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), cooperative development and business succession planning. We’ve also hooked into the social media world with Twitter (@oeockent), Facebook (Ohio Employee Ownership Center), a blog (oeockent.posterous.com), and will shortly be rolling out our own series of podcasts. Be sure to join us and stay informed about what’s happening with the OEOC and the world of employee ownership.
The non-profit Common Wealth Revolving Loan Fund (CWRLF), which specializes in loans to employee-owned companies and is managed by the OEOC, is now able to lend up to $250,000 to a single borrower due to its growth and has money available to lend.
As detailed in the attached annual report, we continued our core activities supporting employee ownership and employee-owned companies throughout Ohio, a model worthy of replication in other states. Among our accomplishments, we helped with the start-up of the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center, which is modeled on the OEOC.
As a supporter of the OEOC, you can be proud of helping make these accomplishments possible. But there’s more to do in Ohio and throughout the country. Be a part of it. With the continuing strain on federal and state budgets for supporting the OEOC, your willingness to become a Friend of the OEOC is more important than ever.
Please consider making a contribution to the OEOC. Your contribution is tax exempt to the extent allowed by law. Please complete and return the enclosed form and make checks payable to: OEOC / KSU Foundation.
All of us at the OEOC wish you and your family a happy holiday season and all the best in 2012.
This letter in PDF click here.
Click here for our 2011 Annual Report.
Previous Annual Reports can be accessed here.
Make a Contribution
If you would like to make a contribution and pay online via credit card, click here.OEOC/KSU Foundation. If you would like to mark your contribution in remembrance of John Logue, please specify in your check's memo field.
All contributions of $100 or more receive a free copy of one of the following:
*Steve Clifford & the OEOC, An Owner’s Guide to Business Succession Planning (2nd edition)