Traditionally, Co-op membership would require you to purchase a share of the Co-op, just like in other shareholder-owned corporations. We want to make membership more accessible, and so we've implemented a program called Sweat Equity. Under Sweat Equity, people can earn their Co-op membership through volunteer labor instead of monetary investment. This one-time labor requirement is 10 hours for individuals and 15 hours for two-person households.
Not everyone is eligible for Sweat Equity. We reserve this program for students, or for those whose annual income is less than twice the current Federal Poverty Guidelines (quoted below).
Your first step to Sweat Equity is attending an orientation. Orientation dates are posted in advance on the Co-op front page. Please bring either your student ID or proof of your income so we can make sure you qualify. Your Co-op benefits begin the moment you've finished your orientation, and they continue as long as you've fulfilled the monthly labor obligation to that point (the minimum is 2 hours for individuals and 3 hours for two-person households).
The full Sweat Equity Policy is as follows:
- To fulfill the equity requirement, members who are students or have an annual household income below 200% Federal Poverty Level (see chart below) have the option to pay the current equity requirement ($100.00 for Individuals, $150.00 for Households) or to perform member-labor in lieu of equity payment (Sweat Equity).
- Individual members qualifying for Sweat Equity will be required to attend an orientation prior to joining the Co-op. They should then work a minimum of 2 hours per month until a total of 10 hours is reached.
- The working member(s) of a two-person household qualifying for Sweat Equity will be required to attend an orientation prior to joining the Co-op. The member(s) should then work a minimum of 3 hours per month until a total of 15 hours is reached. Each Co-op member of a two-person household must meet the requirements for Sweat Equity to be eligible for this program.
- Members will be considered “in good standing” only if they have worked the minimum hours required in the previous month or have completed all Sweat Equity requirements. Please note — only members in good standing are eligible for discounts.
- If a member determines they are unable to complete their work obligations for Sweat Equity, the member must either pay their equity in full or in $25.00 installments on a quarterly basis. Hours worked toward Sweat Equity will then be credited toward their working-member discount.
- No monetary refund will be given for equity paid through Sweat Equity.
2011 Sweat Equity Thresholds
(200% of Federal Poverty Guideline)
|Persons in Family||Maximum Income to Qualify for Sweat Equity|
|(For families with more than 8 persons, add $3,820 for each additional person.)|