Apply for Change Guidelines

Change for our Community gives shoppers the opportunity to donate their spare change to local organizations every time they shop. Each month, a different organization is featured as the recipient, and 100% of all donations collected go to that specific organization. In fiscal year 2019, we-as a co-op community-raised $99,681. Since the program began in January 2014, we have raised over $335,000. 

The Change for our Community program values organizations that share our commitment to the health, well being, sustainability and education of our community. By creating a partnership with our customers we work together to bring financial support to these organizations. 

How Change Works 

The Change Program has three methods of giving: Spare Change Jar, Bags for Change and Round Up to Create Change. 

  1. The Spare Change Jar Program was started in 1999 as a simple way for customers to donate spare change or add a contribution to their purchase while making their transactions. 

  2. Bags for Change was started in 2013 as a way for customers to redirect the 5¢ given for bag reuse. 

  3. Round Up to Create Change was started in 2014 as a way for customers to round up their purchase to an even dollar amount. 100% of the donations collected are directed to the chosen organization of the month.

Who Can Partner for Change

Applicants must be local, non-profit organizations serving our community. Change does not subsidize partisan organizations or organizations that advance a particular religious belief or political cause. We ask that schools, both private and public, direct their donation requests through our Donations Program rather than the Change Program. 

An organization may be a Change partner once every two years. Organizations who are chosen to be Change partners are not eligible for additional donations or sponsorships in the calendar year in which they are chosen. 

There are 10 available months for Change recipients. The Merc Co+op reserves two months of each calendar year for proceeds to benefit specific organizations: the Community Mercantile Education Foundation’s garden projects in April and The Giving Tree Adopt-a-Family Program in December.

Decisions are made by a committee of co-op employees. All organizations applying for Change will be notified about the status of their request within the month of November.

How to Apply for Change

  • Change applications are available October 1 of each year. 

  • The deadline for submitting applications is October 31 of each year.

  • Please submit completed applications to “Laura Marsh: Change for our Community” at The Merc Co+op.

  • Applications accepted in October are considered for all months in the following year.

  • Please provide certification of the organization’s non-profit status and any additional information that would help inform the co-op about the organization’s work and intended use of funds. 

For more information or to receive a Change for our Community application, contact Nancy O’Connor, Director of Education & Outreach, at

What We Ask of Change Recipients

The following things are required of Change recipients:

  • The organization’s logo (ai, pdf, jpg, png, eps).

  • 100 words or less about the organization.

  • Web address and social media handle(s), if applicable.

  • 1-3 high-resolution photos representing the organization’s work.

The following things are considered best practice for Change recipients: 

  • 100-200 postcards, brochures or fliers with information about the organization for in store use.

  • One half-hour information session with our cashiers in the month prior to your Change month.

  • Two or more 2-3 hour shifts tabling in store during your Change month. 

  • Since this is a partnership of giving, we ask that you help us promote the Change program to the community during your month. We encourage you to use print, radio and social media to encourage your customers and clients to participate in Change. 

Please send files to and make arrangements with Laura Marsh, Outreach Manager, at