Why We’re Raising Money for the Second Printing of Co-opoly

By Posted in - Uncategorized on September 13th, 2012 0 Comments

Many of you may be wondering, why is TESA raising money again for Co-opoly? Didn’t they plan ahead and factor in a second pressing when they priced out the first printing?

First off, let us say, these are valid and good questions.

We can start by saying that Co-opoly is sustainable at the scale of the first production run, economically and environmentally. The way Co-opoly is produced and distributed is distinctive, and there is little-to-no precedent for us to build upon. Instead of seeking the cheapest possible game components (which are typically manufactured in sweatshops), we decided to produce Co-opoly as ethically and sustainably as possible. We wanted the game production to mirror the spirit of the game, which is about the principles of the cooperative movement, non-exploitation, and treating workers with dignity and respect.

Despite these higher initial costs, we didn’t want to charge an exorbitant price for the game, which is unfortunately too often the case with high quality, sustainably produced products. We refused to increase the price of the game to cover this retail margin. We wanted our game to be accessible to people across the socioeconomic spectrum—after all, we’re not in this to turn a massive profit, we’re invested in this work because to help people see how the cooperative movement can change their lives.

What we’ve learned in the past year of sending Co-opoly out into the world is that it has a remarkable impact. As one young person put it after playing our board game, “Co-opoly made me think about how everyone’s situation is different—we don’t all need the same amount of money, but we need the same amount of respect.”

Our advocacy paid off even more than we thought, so we are setting the bar even higher now This past year, we can confidently say that thousands of people have played Co-opoly around the world. Based on the feedback we’ve gotten, we realized there are still thousands more we should try to reach out to with our game. So, we’ve decided to double the number of games we’re producing, and based on our estimates, the 2,000 games we seek to print could reach as many as 20,000 people—or even more.

However, as a small four-person cooperative, paying for this out of our pockets simply isn’t feasible. This is why we are fundraising to help us make the second printing possible. We’ve also heard from our supporters that making it a joint effort has helped strengthen co-ops and organizations in the long run by getting out the word about their organizations through benefits and rewards in return for their contributions and assistance.

A little history to put this effort into perspective: The storied Mondragon Cooperative System got its start through “crowdfunding.” Arizmendi, a priest and one of the movement’s founders, placed ballot boxes around the town of Mondragon. He asked people if they wanted a school that would help, in sum, create jobs in the town. Those who voted yes were asked if they would contribute a small amount of money to make the project possible. Small contributions from a broad range of individuals allowed Arizmendi to start the school that eventually led to the creation of the Mondragon system we know today.

We are trying to make Co-opoly possible while following in these footsteps: by turning to our community and asking if they would like to see this powerful tool for the co-op movement live on. Can you support us today?

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Transparency is of utmost importance to us. As a result, we will be publishing a blog post in the near future to further clarify how the funds for the first pressing were used, and the breakdown for the second pressing. Stay tuned!



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