Ways to Engage Members and Non-members

Ways to Engage Members and Non-members

Show your support for the cooperative alternative

Member Engagement

For co-operatives and credit unions, social consciousness exhibited through consistent commitment to member education, democratic values, diversity, concern for community, and co-operation with other cooperatives are the only ways a co-operative can differentiate itself from the competition in ways the competition can not easily duplicate.

However, proclaiming to be different and proving it is two different things.

Deliver an experience where more members participate in your…

  • Annual Meeting

  • Board Meetings and Discussions

  • New Employee Orientation

  • Member Surveys

  • Community Events

  • Webinars

  • Branch Seminars

  • Open Houses

The cooperative model, by design, draws on the strength of people working together in common purpose to meet their economic, social, or cultural needs. Healthy cooperative democracies provide opportunities for meaningful participation.

Rather than looking at participation as something co-ops need to convince people to do, let’s shift our thinking and see participation as a strategic way to inspire innovation and leadership in our cooperatives. Participation lives throughout the co-op, touching all. It is time to organize for it, plan for it, and tell the story that makes participation come alive.

The Local Economy Experience

The Experts Support Cooperative Model

Co-operatives and the Collaborative Economy

It’s a time of great promise and need for the co-operative model, as individuals seek ways to collaborate more effectively for their own livelihoods and for the governance of shared resources. The precise role of the co-operative model in this new sharing or collaborative economy is uncertain, but that is has a role is clear.

It promises to be a critical foundational conversation as the International Co-operative Alliance unveils the second stage of its Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade, focused on the second half of this decade: 2016-2020. – Chuck Gould, Director General, International Cooperative Alliance

Joseph Stiglitz proposes co-op models as an alternative to trickle-down economics

Article by Anca Voinea

12 October 2016

Professor Stiglitz at 2016 Cooperative Summit

“Citizens know that the establishment has either lied to them or been totally incompetent. They feel that the economic system is rigged. They have lost trust in government and in the fairness of the political and economic system.”

What is the role of co-ops in addressing this inequality? Prof Stiglitz thinks they represent a better way of responding to the risks presented by the society.

“There are alternatives to the current system, even if some suggest there are not,” he said. “Some suggest at most we need minor tweaks on the system. But problems are deep and fundamental. Minor tweaks won’t solve it.”

Co-ops can help us through crisis of capitalism, says Robert Reich

Article by Anca Voinea

14 October 2016

robert-reich speech at 2016 Cooperative Summit

Prof Reich said co-ops offered another way to tackle the growing crisis.

“If you follow my logic – whether stagnant wages or concentrated wealth or people getting nowhere – we have a big problem – a problem that co-ops, given their meaning and structure, are ideally suited to contributing to answering.”

He called on co-operatives to countervail the power of large corporations and big banks monopolising the market.

“Co-ops offer an alternative model of capitalism,” added Prof Reich, encouraging co-operators to join efforts and speak with a louder voice.

“Only you can help people understand that,” he said. “Spread the model, it is a matter of public understanding and visibility.

“I urge you to have not only the courage of your conviction, but pride in what you are already accomplishing. Our future, in many respects, is in your hands.”

The Opportunity

Until non-members know what co-operatives are, they won’t be able to make informed decisions about where to conduct their business. A lot of people—primarily younger nonmembers—have no idea what co-operatives are and they certainly don’t know why co-operatives are preferable to investor-owned entities.

As marketers, we need to understand what they think today and track their actions as they grow up. That’s only to put everything into perspective.

For co-operatives, social consciousness exhibited through consistent commitment to member education, democratic values, diversity, concern for community, and co-operation with other cooperatives are the only ways a co-operative can differentiate itself from the competition in ways the competition can not easily duplicate. However, proclaiming to be different and proving it is two different things.

Companies today confront an ever-growing demand to be more accountable. Financial success, as reflected in dividend payments, is no longer enough, not even for increasing numbers of shareholders. They, together with the wider community of stakeholders–employees, customers, and community interests–are insisting that corporations be socially and environmentally responsible. And this wider community is becoming more assertive about the right to be informed and to influence corporate decisions.

Check out CHS Video

Local Economy Experience Objectives

  • Educate a new generation about the co-operative business model and how easy it is to support co-operatives in their community.
  • Illustrate how co-operatives are focused on the well-being of their members and community rather than the financial gain of shareholders.
  • Provide young adults with an experience that demonstrates the relationship between education and income.
  • Raise the awareness for co-operatives in the minds of members and today’s young adults as an alternative choice that serves members through democratic decision-making and social conscience.

Deliver an experience where the participants…

  • Start questioning the ways that mainstream businesses operate and what they value.
  • Imagine what alternatives to mainstream businesses could look like.
  • Begin thinking about what co-operation means, and how we implement it in our daily lives
  • Engage in cooperation and democratic principles.

The cooperative model, by design, draws on the strength of people working together in common purpose to meet their economic, social, or cultural needs. Healthy cooperative democracies provide opportunities for meaningful participation. Yet the incredible power of participation is inconsistently realized in all our cooperatives.

It’s a perennial question: How can co-ops encourage people to take more of a stakeholder role, whether they are owners, staff, management, or any others with a vested stake in the co-op? Rather than looking at participation as something co-ops need to convince people to do, let’s shift our thinking and see participation as a strategic way to inspire innovation and leadership in our cooperatives. Participation lives throughout the co-op, touching all. It is time to organize for it, plan for it, and tell the story that makes participation come alive.

This program provides an opportunity for people of varying backgrounds and interests to become more familiar with the cooperative business system. Cooperation has helped communities prosper, especially in the rural areas. Business leaders from across the state provide the leadership to show people how community problems can be solved by forming a cooperative and working for the benefit of all.

By 2020, Millennials are expected to spend $1.4 trillion, representing 30 percent of total retail sales. This is a fast-growing consumer segment that totals about 80 million Americans who spend approximately $600 billion annually.  Live events will increase member allegiance and awareness.

Contact us for creating member allegiance and engagement.

kevin@memberallegiance.com

850-933-3783