Bulk buying means lower costs. That's a fact of life in the US and it also works to the detriment of smaller, community oriented institutions - think churches, charter schools, various non profits.
They are too small to win those discounts so they pay high prices for basic services and commodities.
The Community Purchasing Alliance was formed to solve exactly that inequity for non profits in the Washington DC area.
Right now about 75 non profits in the DC area are saving around $1 million annually on $17 million in purchases of electricity, trash hauling, security, copying, and other commodity services. That discount happens because they buy through CPA and its founder, Felipe Witchger, is the guest in this week's podcast.
He tells how his organization formed - he tips his hat to Paul Hazen, a longtime Washington DC co-op heavyweight as suggesting it function as a co-op.
He also tells how CPA wins discounts for its members.
Felipe also observes that CPA now also operates in southern Connecticut and North Carolina. It also is scouting cities for an expansion later this year and as many as five may be targets. Listen up to find if your city is on the list - and if it isn't, you'll hear what Felipe is looking for in partners.
A couple housekeeping notes:
* He says CPA's biggest member is Kipp DC. That's a network of college prep schools with an annual budget over $100 million.
* There's intermittent wind noise. Sorry about that. Some was deleted but some stubbornly persisted. The podcast can be heard and the content is valuable however, so persist.
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