Cooperative Foundation Releases Study of Co-op Needs

As a funder of groups developing new cooperative education materials, The Cooperative Foundation commissioned a study to answer the following questions:

  • How do we assess that the materials are being produced by the best available source?

  • How do we assure that the materials are available for use beyond the local or regional organization?

  • How do we assure that there is not unnecessary duplication of effort among these organizations?

Major lesson: Need for materials “in the middle.”

  • Basic information – plenty of documents and websites that provide basic information on what is a co-op, the seven co-op principles, the different types of co-ops.

  • Research information – a variety of academic level information provided by researchers in peer reviewed journals. (These materials can only be used among a well-educated audience.)

  • Mid- level information – Need for practical information beyond the introductory level.

Specifically, what should the mid-level materials cover?

  • Human resources specific to co-ops

    • Leadership challenges in the co-op setting

    • Conflict management

  • Cooperative finance

    • Co-op financial structure

    • Internal capital accounts for worker co-ops

    • Financial decision making for members and boards

  • Co-op law

    • State specific

    • Incorporation options (LLC, L3C, nonprofit vs. for profit)

  • Operations and governance specific to co-ops

    • alternatives to Roberts Rules of Order and Carver model of policy governance

Read and download the full report from the Cooperative Foundation


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