Membership

Everyone Welcome? Examining Race and Food Co-ops

By Patricia Cumbie, Jade Barker "The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others."—James A. Baldwin Part of our professional work is to support people acting together for a common purpose. We do this by working with [...]

Membership Growth Strategies for Startups: Common Features of Success

By Ben Sandel 182 January-February 2016 Gaining members quickly and efficiently is a major hurdle for most startup co-ops. A co-op is selling a dream when it has no store, minimal (if any) staff, and, when organizing in areas that don’t have other food co-ops, no credible examples to refer [...]

Appreciating the Diversity of Member Needs and Motivations

By Marilyn Scholl 140 January - February - 2009 In my work with food co-op boards and staff over the past 30 years, one of the questions I have often encountered is this: How can we get more people more involved at the co-op? The question has prompted a lot [...]

Reaching the Co-op’s Owners

By Patricia Cumbie 179 July-August 2015   Food cooperatives have a special relationship with their owners and customers, but even the best relationships need to be continually nurtured and cultivated. In a rapidly changing marketplace, one in which skillful competitors can outstrip other grocers on price, convenience, and amenities, customer [...]

Membership is Ownership: The Cooperative Advantage

By Marilyn Scholl 136 may - june - 2008 Interest in food cooperatives is growing, due both to increased interest in local, natural, and organic foods and to increased awareness of our economic vulnerability. More and more communities want the stability and accountability that a cooperative can offer. Cooperative ownership [...]

Best practices of membership programs

Learn what cooperative ownership is all about. We will discuss how to set up ownership programs, member/owner benefits, and other best practices that have proven their strength in established co-ops.

Communicating “Co-op”

By Peg Nolan, Patricia Cumbie 103 November - December - 2002 Membership is at the heart of cooperation. Cooperative membership is the driving force for an alternative economic system predicated upon user ownership and benefit. It's part and parcel of the big picture of cooperation. But what's also true is [...]

Building and Improving Membership Programs

By Karen Zimbelman, Marilyn Scholl 080 January - February - 1999 Members are the lifeblood of a co-op: a truism of cooperatives. Without members, a co-ops wouldn't be a co-op; it would be just another local grocery store. A co-op exists to serve the needs of its members. But members [...]

Seven Steps to a Successful Membership Drive

By Patricia Cumbie 064 May - June - 1996 The success or failure of your next membership drive hinges on more than signage, brochures and the free thing you give away to every new member who joins. So before you go out and order "Ask Me About Co-op Membership" buttons [...]