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The 7 Cooperative Principles

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Graphic image of the 7 Cooperative Principles as described on this page.

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.

Find out more about being a member of Woodbury County REC

Member Economic Participation:

Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative.  At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative.  They usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.  Members allocate surpluses for any and all of the following purposes:  developing the cooperative and possibly 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.

Find out more about how members benefit from economic participation in our cooperative

Democratic Member Control:

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

Find out more about how we are governed

Autonomy and Independence:

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

Find out more about our history and who we are

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 about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

Find out more about how we train our staff and educate our community for the benefit of our members

Cooperation Among Cooperatives:

Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structure.

Find out more about the rural electric cooperative system in western Iowa

Concern For Community:

While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their community through policies accepted by their members.

Find out more about how we empower the communities we serve