October is National Cooperative Month
Show your support by sharing why you love your cooperative on social media with #MyIowaCooperative
What is a Cooperative?
Cooperatives are owned and democratically controlled by their members. Members elect the board of directors. This elected board of directors oversees the business and sets policy.
EMPLOYS 13,000+ IOWANS
If all cooperative employees were grouped together, they would be one of the top 10 largest employers in the state; employing more than 13,000 Iowans!
FOR THE BENEFIT OF MEMBERS
Cooperatives operate for the benefit of their members, rather than earning profits for investors.
Along with community-focused missions, cooperatives generate more than
$75 million in property taxes, which is paid to Iowa communities.
Iowans receive unique benefits when doing business with a cooperative vs a non-cooperative business model. Distinct qualities of the cooperative advantage include:
Members can work together to meet challenges and solve problems
Democratic control through member-ownership
Reduced cost of expenses for members
Access to products or services that might otherwise be unavailable to the cooperative members
Provides new and existing market opportunities for cooperatives and members
Maximized member earnings
The Cooperative Principles
1. VOLUNTARY & OPEN MEMBERSHIP
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights.
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation.
3. MEMBERS' ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION
4. AUTONOMY &
Cooperatives are autonomous organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members autonomy.
5. EDUCATION, TRAINING & INFORMATION
Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
6. COOPERATION AMONG COOPERATIVES
Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
7. CONCERN FOR COMMUNITY
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted by their members.