7 Cooperative Principles

Cooperatives around the world generally operate according to the same core principles and values, adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance in 1995. Cooperatives trace the roots of these principles to the first modern cooperative founded in Rochdale, England in 1844.

1. Voluntary and Open Membership

Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all people able to use its services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.

2. Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.

3. Members' Economic Participation

Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.

4. Autonomy and Independence

Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If the co-op enters into agreements with other organizations or raises capital from external sources, it is done so based on terms that ensure democratic control by the members and maintains the cooperative's autonomy.

5. Education, Training and Information

Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative. Members also inform the general public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.

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 communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.


Sat Dec 15 22:29:13 +0000 2018

Equity-based incentives (aka stocks) for bank CEOs mean more risk taking - why Credit Unions are different, new res… https://t.co/ssBnILN1v9
Sat Dec 15 18:05:09 +0000 2018

We sent a letter to @usda asking for clarity around the upcoming re-org - read the full letter +see why USDA should… https://t.co/mFoLFUDPot
Sat Dec 15 18:05:01 +0000 2018

What are #Senegal's millet "hubs" and why they are critical for smallholder farmers to gain access to inputs, finan… https://t.co/jRswOCcVNl



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


1775 Eye Street NW
8th Floor
Washington, DC 20006