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What is a Cooperative

Co-ops are an everyday part of American life. Wherever you live, work or shop, it’s likely a cooperative is involved. You’ll see a co-op in action at the credit union where you bank. In the brand names in your grocery store aisles. In the morning paper.
Co-ops operate for the benefit of their member-owners. They take advantage of economies of scale, combined buying power and strength in numbers to save money and return profits to their members. In the process, co-ops provide jobs, support business and personal needs, and enhance the quality of life. What they all share is a single fundamental goal – uniting to meet a common need. A cornerstone of America’s economy, co-ops have been empowering people, developing communities and supporting innovation in this country since Benjamin Franklin founded

Resources

“The information and training materials on this website are supplied by the author and have not been edited by us. We have provided these materials as a central resource for our users, but we encourage you to carefully evaluate their relevance and accuracy for your own purposes. Please note that the views and opinions expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect those of our organization, and we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions they may contain. It is your responsibility to verify the accuracy and appropriateness of these materials before using them. Proper attribution to the original authors is always required when using these materials, and you should also follow any applicable copyright or licensing requirements.”

Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade

At the present time in the second half of 2012, following five years of financial turbulence the more developed economies of the world remain in a state of crisis from which there is still no apparent exit, and the developing economies are being impeded in their pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals.

Early Co-operation Case Studies From Around The World

As we discovered earlier in this section, the Rochdale Pioneers were by no means the first people to try out co-operative ways of organising themselves, and this next activity seeks to take us further back into the mists of time to much earlier evidence of co-operation. Click on the various locations on the map below to find out about different types of co-operation around the world that pre-date the 'modern' co-operative movement - sometimes by millennia!

Case Studies of Housing Projects with Operating Agreements That Have Ended

This research documented promising practices of federally assisted housing projects that have transitioned to a post-subsidy environment and continued to provide affordable housing. The research, carried out in 2015, aimed to support other housing providers preparing for the end of their agreements and to provide insight to decision makers. The study was limited to federally assisted social housing projects under the National Housing Act (NHA) social housing programs, including co-operative, private non-profit and urban Indigenous housing, whose operating agreements had already ended.

A Cooperative Entrepreneurship Curriculum

This curriculum seeks to empower us to “collect ourselves” through the educational tools and enthusiasm needed to pursue cooperative entrepreneurship. The workshops within the curriculum are not exhaustive in terms of the technical aspects of business development, however a lot of that information is accessible on the internet or via in-person resources (e.g. your county’s small business development office). Relatedly, don’t overcomplicate things or doubt your own abilities. People have started cooperatives throughout history without the support of “experts,” though experts can certainly be a great support and are sometimes totally necessary. All that said, this resource is a source of foundational information and empowerment to get a group sufficiently inspired and on the path of cooperative entrepreneurship.

A Consumer’s Guide to Buying a Co-op

In the United States, more than 1.2 million families of all income levels live in homes owned and operated through cooperative associations. Housing co-ops are not a new concept. The first housing cooperative in the nation was organized in New York City in the late 1800’s. Today, large numbers of housing co-ops are located in major urban areas such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Minneapolis, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC.

How To Easily Explain The Coop

Being a co-op means our bigger company is owned and controlled by our store owner and other independent store owners, not outside shareholders. Being part of the Carpet One Floor & Home Cooperative lets us focus more on our community and local economy setting us apart as a business working to BUILD A BETTER WORLD!”

State of Cooperative Housing, Needs and Opportunities

This report summarizes research conducted by Cooperative Development Services (CDS) in the summer of 2013 and completed in September 2013 with funding support from the National Cooperative Bank (NCB). In doing this research, CDS seeks to better understand the current state of the cooperative housing sector in the CDS service area of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. CDS will be the primary user of this research to determine if there are technical assistance needs and/or development opportunities in cooperative housing that CDS can effectively and appropriately address.

The ABCs Of Coop Impact

This sector report examines how housing co-op ownership infl uences economic activity, community vitality and individual well-being based on a seven-factor framework developed by the Urban Institute in partnership with NCBA CLUSA and the Cooperative Development Foundation. These factors are: Access; Business Sustainability; Community Commitment; Democratic Governance and Empowerment; Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Financial Security and Advancement; and Growth.

Introduction to Co-operatives Worldwide

Co-operatives were originally established as a practical way to help working people use self-help to improve their conditions. The Rochdale Pioneers inspired a global movement, and there were also many other thinkers and activists working at the same time as them who gave rise to other co­operative traditions. From the beginnings of the modern co-operative movement in Rochdale in 1844, what has united all forms of co-operatives and co-operators is an underlying set of values and principles.

An Introduction to Cooperatives

This report provides a comprehensive summary of basic information on the cooperative way of organizing and operating a business. It covers the nature and extent of the use of cooperatives, compares cooperatives to other business structures, explains the roles various people play in a cooperative, and discusses equity accumulation and income taxation. The purpose is to make available, in a single report, the information someone would need to acquire a general understanding of how cooperatives function.

What is a Co-op?

Co-ops are an everyday part of American life. Wherever you live, work or shop, it’s likely a cooperative is involved. You’ll see a co-op in action at the credit union where you bank. In the brand names in your grocery store aisles. In the morning paper. Co-ops operate for the benefit of their member-owners. They take advantage of economies of scale, combined buying power and strength in numbers to save money and return profits to their members. In the process, co-ops provide jobs, support business and personal needs, and enhance the quality of life.

The Rochdale Principles

The Rochdale Principles originated in 1844 in Rochdale, England, a short ride outside London. A group of weavers, now called the Rochdale Pioneers opened a co-op store at 31 Toad Lane, a place now considered to be the birthplace of modern cooperatives.

Understanding Capper-Volstead

There are essentially two keys to understanding the basic meaning of the Capper-Volstead Act and its special implications for agricultural producers, associations of producers, and the general public. The first key appears in the act’s very first sentence: “...may act together....” After passage of the act, farmers could lawfully unite to collectively market their products. Before the Capper-Volstead Act became a law, farmers were being prosecuted for acting together to market their products.

What Is a Cooperative?

Cooperatives are businesses owned and controlled by the people who use them. Cooperatives differ from other businesses because they are member owned and operate for the benefit of members, rather than earn profits for investors. Like other businesses, most cooperatives are incorporated under State law.

WHAT IS A CO-OP?

A cooperative or co-op is a business that is owned and democratically controlled by the members who use its services. Cooperatives are found across the U.S. in nearly every sector of the economy. Members who use the cooperative own their co-op because they finance it in a variety of ways. They share in both the business risks and the business profits. Each cooperative determines the level of financial participation that is required to establish membership status in the co-op.

How you can profit by living in a housing cooperative

Introduction “A combination of factors including the rising cost of housing in recent years, have forced many people to look for alternative housing options. This guide to co-op housing attempts to answer your questions regarding ownership, responsibilities, and benefits of living in a housing cooperative.”

Resources For Collaborative Living

We were motivated to undertake this Cooperative Housing Compendium because it was the first time the State of California had a Center focused on all types of cooperatives. Our deepest thanks to Dr. Leon Garoyan, former Executive Director, and Dr. Dewey Bandy, the former Housing Specialist, at the Center for Cooperatives for their patience, editorial support, and encouragement. Since the advent of Dr. Mahlon G. Lang as the new Executive Director on April 1, 1993, we are very appreciative of his sensitive attention to the publication process.

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