A new purchasing cooperative is being launched to support faith-based and non-profit organizations to lower their costs for purchased energy, services, and materials while fulfilling missions to support their local community, increase their spend with minority-owned businesses and improve their sustainability. The Community Purchasing Alliance of MA (CPA MA) celebrated its launch as a cooperative on January 24th with representatives from Boston area churches, mosques, synagogues, nonprofits, and charter schools along with its leadership and its funders – Boston Impact Initiative and Cooperative Fund of the Northeast.
- “The time for collective purchasing is right for two reasons: first, faith & non-profit sectors are feeling financial pressure, especially post-COVID, and second, these sectors have a great desire to address social, economic, and racial disparities but have limited capacity to act alone,” said Nathan Davis Hunt, Director of CPA MA. “When we share purchasing power, we save money. When we share knowledge, we make smarter purchasing decisions. When we find a great minority vendor, we can help them grow. When we act together, we can help each other AND work towards a more equitable community.”
- “Nowadays, it’s so important to be part of interfaith cooperation, to exist in relationship with local organizations and work together to bring about racial, economic, and environmental justice. Our congregants want us to live our values operationally as well as spiritually and interpersonally. Being part of a larger, meaningful collaboration with CPA makes this possible and impactful!” Rev. Nathan Ives, Pastor of St. Peter’s / San Pedro’s Episcopal, Salem, added, “CPA is very important to our bottom line. It helps us make smart purchasing decisions despite having limited staff time and expertise so our leadership can focus on congregants, and the money saved helps keep the doors open.”
- “Participating in the Community Purchasing Alliance has made a major impact on operations at Old South Church. CPA has alleviated much of the administrative burden for those contracts we have allowed them to negotiate for us. When issues come up, it’s great to have the collected wisdom of CPA to turn to so we don’t have to do all the research ourselves or reinvent the wheel.” – John Braught, Director of Operations, Old South Church, Back Bay
- “The CPA team has been consistently proactive in helping us understand and make use of their range of services…very responsive to our needs and very easy and pleasant to collaborate with.” – Ibrahim Omar, Sr. Mgr. Operations & Administration, Islamic Society of Boston, Roxbury
- “At Reservoir Church, we are eager to leverage partnerships for savings, to support minority-owned businesses, and to simplify our administrative operations.” – Trecia Reavis, Executive Pastor, Reservoir Church of Cambridge
- “CPA MA’s impact lies in organizing faith-based and nonprofit organizations to cooperatively support businesses of color, something that large corporations have yet to do well. BII is a nonprofit impact investment fund working to build financial, social, and political power, and we were thrilled to support CPA MA with patient capital to grow in Massachusetts.” – Aliana Piñeiro, Impact Director, Boston Impact Initiative
CPA MA offers six regular purchasing programs – electricity, natural gas, copier leases, commercial insurance, waste management, community solar agreements, and janitorial services – and is developing additional programs through organizing and leveraging the purchasing power of the group.
CPA MA is part of the CPA Co-op Network, a growing regional movement focused on building the economic strength of the faith and non-profit sectors and growing their power to bring about positive social, racial, and environmental change.
- “We have a proven model in DC that is helping hundreds of community organizations strengthen their operations through group purchasing, while shifting millions of dollars to local minority-owned businesses. We are eager to help bring this model to other regions and are grateful for the leadership that Massachusetts is taking in starting their own cooperative.” – Boris Sigal, Co-Executive Director, CPA Co-op Network