Bond sales are going well, so well in fact, that we expect to close the bond offering by March 31st! If you’re thinking of reinvesting, better to do it sooner rather than later: The offer is closed when we reach $2.2M.
– This month we raised $176,000!
– In addition to the bonds raised in January, The Catherine Donnelly Foundation invested $100,000,
– Our Education Sponsor, Bullfrog Power invested $125,000.
– The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) selected ZooShare for their Catapult Loan.
– We are working together with the Ministry of the Environment and Parks Canada to address the questions raised in relation to our application for Renewable Energy Approval, which is required before construction can begin. We are hopeful that we will receive the approval by May 25th.
Thank you for your patience with our bond recall and reissue process. If you have not received your bond, please call us at 1-888-990-9095 or send us an email. (Please note: For people who lost their bond, we need you to sign the indemnity form that we mailed to you on behalf of our trustee before we can mail you your bond.)
T5 + Did you move?
Your ZooShare T5 will be sent to you in mid-February. Please make sure we have your updated contact information. Most T5s will be sent via a secure, password-protected email (unless you specified your preference for a physical copy of your T5, in which case it will be mailed to you). If you have a new email address or if you have moved since purchasing a ZooShare bond, please email us or call us at 1-888-990-9095 to let us know. Please keep in mind that because your bond started earning interest immediately, you will need to pay tax on the earnings even though we have not serviced your bond yet. This is in accordance with CRA Tax rules. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We’re proud to report that we have reached almost $1.5 million in bond sales. At the end of the year we held an intensive planning session and mapped out our internal strategy for the next 6 months (below). The holidays allowed for a much-needed break, and now we’re back, re-energized, and ready to go! Want up-to-the minute updates? Email us.
Thank you to all the ZooShare members who referred their friends in 2014: With your help, we planted 69 trees! For every $1000 bond referred from a current member, our partner Tree Canada will plant a tree in the member’s name. Make sure that when you’re telling your friends about ZooShare that they record your name on our investment form. Our partner, Tree Canada, has planted 80 million trees since 1992.
We’re proud to report that in addition to reaching $1.3 million in bond sales, we have brought on 4 of our own co-op members to help us reach our goal of raising $2.2 million in bonds (the Team page of our website will be updated in the New Year). More good news: We just received word from the Ministry of the Environment that our application has moved to the next phase of their review. Click here to see ZooShare listed on Ontario’s Environmental Registry. We have also added some new questions to our FAQ. Feel like there’s something missing? Let us know: We’re always looking for feedback. Email Frances with your thoughts and suggestions.
“Thanks a Million!”
On October 9th over 70 members gathered to celebrate our collective achievement of raising over $1,000,000 in less than a year. Entertainment included Interactive Improv by Ken Hall, Nicole Dunn, Jordan Kennedy and Jessica Perkins. If you want to be funnier, or are looking for a comedic genius to lead a communication workshop for your business, let us know and we’ll put you in touch with Nicole.
At a recent Board meeting, the Board appointed new positions (from left to right): Our new Chair is Paul Ungerman, the new Vice Chair and Secretary is John Vellone and our Treasurer is John Nicholson. Read their bios on our Team Page.
We are pleased to announce that ZooShare and Koenig & Consultants came to a settlement at mediation, which took place in late September. While the terms of the settlement are confidential, we are pleased with the outcome and more importantly, to put the matter behind us.
Making More Value
We’ve made progress in adding potential value to our financial model via creating higher value products from the digestate than was originally planned. Different technologies include vermicasting (worms!), biochar and liquid processing technologies that could lessen the cost of transporting liquid fertilizer. Stay tuned for details!
Permits & Progress
The Ministry of the Environment has agreed to begin processing our Renewable Energy Approval while Toronto Hydro expects to have our Connection Impact Assessment ready early next year. Our engineering team also sent out specifications to a number of different digester and generator suppliers and we are close to finalizing the capital budget and selecting technology providers
Since we announced our $1,000,000 milestone, we raised an additional $200K! We are now over half-way to our funding goal! Please click here to retweet this achievement, or click here to share it on Facebook.
Join us on October 9th from 6-8pm at 401 Richmond St. West for “Thanks A Million!”. We will be celebrating YOU, our supporters, and our collective achievement of raising our first $1,000,000! This party will feature some of Toronto’s best interactive improv (a fan of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” Don’t miss this!)
Please help us hit our summer target of $1M by spreading the word about our investment opportunity. Check out our Facebook/Twitter suggestions below. Our Investor Relations Coordinator, Nicholas, would be happy to chat with you, your family, or your friends at any time. Schedule a call here.
We are excited to share our new and improved website! Now you can fill-out a Membership form online and invest securely using an online Pre-Authorized Debit form (or you can mail us a cheque). If you would like to reinvest, simply deduct $10 from your desired investment amount to avoid the Membership fee.
A little help from our friends
On Facebook? Share your love of ZooShare! Here’s an example post:
As you may know, I am an investor in ZooShare. We are building North America’s 1st zoo-biogas plant. The facility will recycle manure from the Toronto Zoo and food waste from Canada’s largest grocery chain into renewable power for the Ontario grid, while cleaning the air and returning valuable nutrients to the soil. ZooShare offers bonds that earn a return of 7% each year for 7 years. You can find out more about the project and how to invest at http://zooshare.ca
Recap of ZooShare’s 2014 Annual General Meeting
We hope you enjoyed the first day of summer, which was also World Giraffe Day, and ZooShare’s Annual General Meeting. We had a wonderful day: Some of our members brought their families for an exclusive Kids’ Tour of the Zoo; AGM attendees learned about our progress from the Executive Director, elected a new Board of Directors, and participated in brainstorming sessions to help us gain perspective on a few of our challenges.
We also discussed the creation of two new committees: 1) Marketing and 2) Finances. We will be selecting three members per committee to join a Board Member and specialist who can help the ZooShare staff with specific challenges in these areas. If you are interested in applying, please take a look at the Terms of Reference, then send us a short paragraph explaining which committee you would like to join and why you would be interested in participating, along with any skills or experience you have in this area.
Please let us know if you have any questions about what you missed or to learn more about our progress. Below are some photos from the event. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s AGM.
Above: ZooShare Members and their families enjoy an exclusive Kids’ Tour of the Zoo.
Above: Executive Director Daniel Bida presents the Annual Update.
Above: We elected a new Board of Directors, ushered in by the Chief Returning Officer and current Board Member, Tom Ferencivic.
Above: Kyla Greenham, Curator of Conservation and Environment at the Toronto Zoo, presented some of the Zoo’s conservation initiatives. ZooShare will donate 10% of its annual profits to the Zoo’s Development Activities.
Above: Members were broken up into teams to brainstorm solutions to some of our current challenges. Team 2, pictured above, provided the most actionable items, and won a Beer Night with ZooShare staff.
Happy Birthday to us!
On April 26th ZooShare turned 3! (And no, we did not make this cake.)
We’ve accomplished so much in the last three years, we want to thank you for being here to celebrate with us. This year we have continued to develop our long term strategy: We would like to thank Jing, who compiled a North American Expansion Report for us…First stop Toronto Zoo, next stop, the continent! If you would like copy of the report, let us know. We look forward to sharing our next phase of growth with you.
Bond Sales Update
April was one of our best months this year! We are nearing $700,000 in sales. Our return is excellent. 7% interest each year for 7 years. Tell your friends, and we’ll plant a tree in your name. Got a question? Email nicholas and he’ll get back to you ASAP.
This month we are happy to welcome Blair, our new Outreach Coordinator. Blair will be joining us for the summer and is in charge of organizing and attending our public appearances. Know a group or event that would love to hear about ZooShare? Email Blair. Just why is Blair standing in front of a rhino? You’ll just have to wait to find out!
SPRING IS ALMOST HERE! (Thank goodness!) And just like the fresh buds of spring…
This season we welcome our first Communications Coordinator, Frances Darwin (centre), and our new Investor Relations Coordinator, Nicholas Guthrie (right). These two will be responsible for spreading the word about ZooShare, and, best of all, taking care of you! Got a brilliant idea for a ZooShare ad? Have friends who want to invest? Drop them a line and they will be happy to set up a time to chat with you.
Bond sales update
Since launching our investment opportunity in mid-September, we are pleased to share that we have raised over $635,000! 7% interest over 7 years is a great investment.
We hope that your new year has started off well and that you’re staying warm. We’ve been hard at work networking with like-minded organizations and other co-operatives, making presentations to potential investors at numerous events, reaching out to members and friends, finalizing the Renewable Energy Approval application, setting up our educational programming, and planning for a very busy year. The rewarding thing is, the more we get out there and talk to people like yourself, the more we learn and improve. There is a lot of waste out there and a lot of impact to be made by turning it into biogas – we are so thankful to be developing the community-owned biogas market together with you.
A partnership long in development, ZooShare was very pleased to formalize its relationship with TREC Education this past month. Beginning in January, grade 7 students around the GTA will have the opportunity to experience the power of poo and the magic of biogas as our certified educators take them through a series of activities related to how digestion works, how biogas is produced, how it is stored and how it combusts. The curriculum also includes a design challenge, where the students form small groups and create their own mini biogas plants. Once our plant at the Zoo is up and running, a site visit and tour will become part of the lesson – giving students an up-close and personal look at how a biogas plant works and the true value of organic waste.
Additional Grant Funding
The Community Energy Partnerships Program was created by the Ontario Power Authority and the Ministry of Energy when the Green Energy Act was first launched. Since that time the program has evolved into two grant funding streams – a pre-FIT Organizational Development grant and a Development and Approvals grant, once a FIT offer has been received. We are very thankful to have received our third grant since 2011 from the CEPP program this past month. Approximately $248,000 was awarded to our co-operative to assist with the cost of getting permits and approvals, project engineering, and Community Bond sales and marketing.
For more information about the CEPP program, please click here.
Bond sales update
Since launching in mid September, we are pleased to share the news that we now have 172 members and have raised $595,100 through the sale of Community Bonds.