Cooperative Toolkit

Free Development Resources

Cooperative Principles

Because co-ops are member-owned, there is a much greater focus on democracy, providing assistance, open communication, and transparency than in other business structures. All cooperative businesses strive to follow these principles.

Non-discriminatory membership open to all who are able to benefit from and assume the responsibilities of membership.

Members own and govern the cooperative by actively participating in setting their policies and making decisions. All co-ops operate under the guidelines of one member, one vote.

Members contribute equitably to the capital of their cooperative either through purchasing memberships or via equity campaigns.

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations, which are controlled by their members.

Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, directors, and staff so that they may effectively run the cooperative. They inform the public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively by working together.

Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.

Get In Touch

If you’re interested in forming a cooperative or have questions about how we can assist your co-op, reach out to our Cooperative Development Team.

Charlie Michel
Cooperative Development Center Director
Blake Lineweaver
Cooperative Development Outreach Coordinator



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