CO-OPPRINCIPLES

Cooperative businesses adhere to seven guiding principles:

1. Voluntary and 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.

2. Democratic Member Control — Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote) and cooperatives at other levels are organized in a democratic manner.

3. Members’ Economic Participation — 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, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.

Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy and Independence — Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.

5. Education, Training, and Information — Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, 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.

This information is from National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s website.


 

Electric cooperatives were out in force on 2022 Legislative Day, as representatives of co-ops from across Virginia converged on the state capital to advocate for policies that will benefit their members. To read full story, click here: vmdaec.com/pr/virginia-electric-cooperatives-legislative-day-2022/.A&N Electric Cooperative BARC Electric Cooperative Community Electric Cooperative Southside Electric Cooperative Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative Prince George Electric Cooperative Northern Neck Electric Cooperative NOVEC Rappahannock Electric Cooperative Powell Valley Electric Cooperative ... See MoreSee Less
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A MESSAGE FROM OUR EDITOR. As we move into the new year, you’ll notice some changes with your Cooperative Living magazine here and there. But one thing remains unchanged — our appreciation for you and your loyal readership!A&N Electric Cooperative BARC Electric Cooperative Choptank Electric Cooperative Community Electric Cooperative Powell Valley Electric Cooperative Prince George Electric Cooperative Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative Rappahannock Electric Cooperative Southside Electric Cooperative Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative NOVEC Northern Neck Electric Cooperative ... See MoreSee Less
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