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Connecting with our communities

Would you like to CHIP?

Sure, but what does it mean to CHIP?

Before you pay for your groceries at Willy Street Co-op you'll be asked the question, “Would you like to CHIP?”, which is an entirely VOLUNTARY, TAX DEDUCTIBLE* donation. If you say yes, 1% of your bill will be added to your total, post tax. For instance, on a $10.00 purchase, "CHIP"ing would raise your bill to $10.10. This percentage amount is only the default amount and, if you so desire, any amount could be used for your CHIP. For instance you could tell the cashier to CHIP you 24 cents to bring your total from $3.76 to $4.00 even, saving your pockets from getting bogged down with extra change. Funds raised through "CHIP"ing are then pooled together and distributed evenly to Community Shares organizations.

Since 1978, Community CHIP has been a fundraising program that supports over 50 groups committed to making Madison and Dane County a better place to live. These organizations work on a variety of issues including the environment, affordable housing, community development, violence prevention, services for people with disabilities, advocacy for people facing discrimination, consumer protection, and much more.

For more information and a list of the organizations that receive your donations visit the Community Shares Community CHIP web page.

*Initiated January 1st, 2013

Community Reinvestment fund

The Community Reinvestment Fund (CRF) application period for the 2015 grant cycle has ended. Applications for the 2016 CRF grants will be posted on February 1, 2016.

community reinvestment fund logo

A History of Grassroots Giving

Since 1992, the Willy Street Co-op Community Reinvestment Fund has contributed $317,000 to making a difference in the quality of life for our community by supporting developmental projects, educational projects, and events that are consistent with Willy Street Co-op's goals. Cooperative Principle #7, Concern for Community, is the primary motivation for the Williamson Street Grocery Cooperative (WSGC) Community Reinvestment Fund. 

Funding is provided through unclaimed and abandoned equity money that has accumulated over past years. Specifically, our bylaws state: “the Co-op shall dedicate any funds (equity) remaining unclaimed to educational and charitable purposes.”

Each year, a mailing is sent to the last known address of any Owners who still have equity in the Co-op, and yet their accounts have remained inactive for over a year. Once/if contacted, those Owners have the option to renew their Fair Share contract by making an equity payment or, to withdraw the equity (cancel the contract), or donate their equity to the Community Reinvestment Fund.

Grant Guidelines

Grants may be awarded to projects covering one or more of the following topic areas: food justice/access, cooperatives, sustainable agriculture, health/well-being, and social change. Examples of the diverse array of projects we have funded in the past include:

  • Health literacy and advocacy
  • Work certification and internship programs
  • Community and school garden and beekeeping projects
  • Hands-on food education programs
  • Local farm voucher programs for those living on low-incomes
  • Cooperative development

Grants are awarded to 501(c)3 and/or cooperative organizations* working on projects benefiting the Madison and Middleton metropolitan areas with limited access to funding. The Board of Directors has allocated $25,000 total funding for Fiscal Year 2015. Grants are competitive and will be capped at $4000 or less per award. In Fiscal Year 2014, the Fund Committee awarded $30,000 to 18 organizations. Grants will not fund administrative fees. Grant requests for food, supplies, or capital investments will only be considered if those products are used in a hands-on educational or community engaging opportunity related to the project's intended outcomes. Organizations seeking food and supplies soley to provide event or program ammenties are encouraged to apply for a donation using our donation request form

Organizations representing minority and protected classes are strongly encouraged to apply. 

CRF grant awards for previous years:

*Applications MUST include a copy of the Internal Revenue Service determination letter indicating 501(c)(3) IRS status for the organization, or articles of incorproation indicating Wisconsin Chapter 185 cooperative status. 170(c)(1) government entities and other tax exempt entities that do not have specifically 501(c)(3) IRS status are NOT eligible for Community Reinvestment Fund grants. Please see the grant application for full details, including how to use a fiscal sponsor to apply for project funding.

Donation request form

Each year, Willy Street Co-op is happy to contribute to, donate to or sponsor events or activities throughout the greater Madison area community. Due to the great number of Co-op Owners, we are unable to sponsor individuals (because that would be a lot of sponsorships!). 

Please make your request at least three weeks before your event.

Organizations are strongly encouraged to read our donations policy prior to applying. If you have questions about what to include on this form or what information we'd like, please contact Media and Advocacy Coordinator gianofer fields by  or 608-512-6184.

All organizations requesting funding may be asked for additional information in order to receive funding, such as a Federal determination of nonprofit status, a copy of the Wisconsin Certificate of Exempt Status, and/or to complete a IRS Form W9.

Number only, do not include hyphens.

$ .00



Providing a secondary contact may expedite your funding request.
Kind of request

How will Willy Street Co-op be recognized if we are able to fulfill this request?
(listed in event program, logo on poster, etc.)

If you have a cover letter, sponsorship levels or other information that you can provide. Please upload that file here. Acceptable formats are PDF, DOC, DOCX. Maximum file size 1.5MB.