The European Youth Forum (the platform of youth organisations in Europe) is convinced that some of the biggest issues facing us today can only be addressed by people co-operating and that youth cooperatives can represent a strong resource for youth autonomy and inclusion. It is crucial to innovate and find new answers to the general slowdown in economic activity and the explosion of social inequalities and unemployment. Giving more space and recognition to cooperatives and social entrepreneurship is one of them.
The cooperative business model can represent a great opportunity for youth organisations to pursue their mission and, at the same time, for generating profit for the sustainability and autonomy of the organisation. To assist youth organisations in setting up co-operatives, the European Youth Forum has released a toolkit, ‘Money Grows on Trees’, available here.
About the toolkit:
Within the current structures and environment, youth organisations find it increasingly difficult to raise funds. However, this, in the spirit of innovation and adaptation, has spurred the need to create alternative funding sources. Many youth organisations in Europe have already expanded and diversified their fundraising strategies and others are looking to do so. The toolkit is a practical guide as it provides a theoretical background to business, more specifically, of course, cooperatives. It is also a political tool as it urges youth organisations to rethink their fundraising strategies, to encourage them to reposition themselves within a changing environment and to encourage them to start looking at business as a way to promote their mission and advance their work. The content of this toolkit is based on various online resources and professional experiences of our experts and partners. These resources – and more – are referenced at the end of this toolkit