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Striking the Balance for Co-op Success

By Mark Goehring, Rebecca Torpie March-April 2017 A truly successful co-op is one that not only runs a stellar store and keeps the books in the [...]

The Participation Burger: All Staff Create Impact

Dan Arnett, Cooperator in Chief at Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, tells the story of how he's inviting all staff members to create participation and impact [...]

By |March 29th, 2017|Categories: Cooperative Cafe|Tags: , |

Participation: Systems & Structures

Systems & Structures within a cooperative are essential to creating and maintaining strong communication between co-op stakeholder groups.  Rebecca Torpie shares some brief points about [...]

On Participation

In her work as a Participation & Engagement consultant for cooperatives, Rebecca Torpie gets to see many successful campaigns engendering authentic relationships between co-op stakeholders. [...]

Board Communication: Using the Board’s Unique Perspective to Increase Owner Engagement and Participation

There’s commonly a remarkable diversity among how the members of a co-op’s board of directors and how co-op staff see and understand the co-op. And [...]

Who Decides? Owner Participation in Cooperative Decisions

Cooperatives are a shared asset, managed for the common good of the owners.  At its heart, cooperation is a human enterprise that begins with relationships, [...]

A Board’s Quick Guide to Communicating Decisions to Owners

As competition makes the reality of executing difficult or complex business decisions more common, it's important that boards be ready to address situations when owners [...]

On Board with Participation

No chain grocery store could ever be as woven into the fabric of its community as a co-op. Boards can help their co-ops leverage this [...]

Power of Staff and Community Participation at Central Co-op

The board-GM team at Central Co-op has a very clear vision of how the Co-op presents as a community anchor and advocate: The Co-op is [...]

Why This Board President Loves Attending CCMA (and wants to meet you!)

Mike Collura has been on the board of the East End Food Co-op in Pittsburgh, Pa. since 2006, and has been president of the board [...]

POP Fosters Strong Relationships to Drive Growth of Co-ops

Many cooperatives have built their reputations on the strong connection that they have with people—their staff, owners and customers.  This special relationship is one of [...]

Activating ‘New-Style’ Participation

Weaver Street Market Carrboro, NC Year founded:  1988 Member equity requirement:  $75 individual, $135 couple, $175 three or more Number of members:  18,000 consumer-owners, 210 [...]

Owners Connect Patronage Refunds to Community

City Market's 2014 Co-op Seedling Grant Recipients Onion River Co-op, City Market Burlington, VT Year founded: 1973 Member investment: $200 stock purchase Number [...]

Amplify Cooperative Impact through Participation

The democratic structure of cooperatives allows people the opportunity to have a real influence on business goals and outcomes through their investment, patronage, feedback, and [...]

Featured Co-op Cafe Video: Theories of Participation

Theories of Participation Dan Arnett, general manager Central Co-op, Seattle, WA   Theories of Participation Dan Arnett, general manager Central Co-op, Seattle, WA [...]

Marilyn’s Pyramid of Participation

Marilyn Scholl, Manager CDS Consulting Co-op   Putney, VT   We can apply some very basic psychological frameworks to our work in growing Participation to [...]

Asking Powerful Questions: Co-op boards open up possibilities through conversation

By Thane Joyal 145 November - December - 2009 “A vital question, a creative question, rivets our attention. All the creative power of our minds [...]

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 [...]