Seven Principals (Not the kind you’re thinking of…)Chatter Yak!
In case you didn’t know, you credit union is a cooperative. Cooperatives are usually pretty bad at explaining how awesome they are. This is a huge problem. Everyone grows up and knows what a bank is. Not too many people grow up with a full understanding of what a credit union is. And then there is this cooperative thing. Most of us know what cooperation means, but when an organization is a cooperative, it actually has quite a few things it is required to do. Here are the Seven Cooperative Principles (in our own words.) These are sometimes referred to as the Rochdale Principles.
Voluntary and Open Membership
You pick the cooperative and not the other way around. The cooperative knows no bias and with membership comes responsibility. As a member of a cooperative, you are responsible for being an active participant.
Democratic Member Control
Democracy is a beautiful thing, but it only works when people participate. As a member of a cooperative, one of your responsibilities is to participate in its control. You can do this by simply voicing your opinions, participating in elections for the Board of Directors or even running for a Board seat.
Members’ Economic Participation
The more you participate in the cooperative, the more the cooperative will have to offer you! It’s just like anything else, the more you give (participate) the more you get.
Autonomy and Independence
This is just another fancy way for saying that you own and run the place.
Education, Training and Information
As a member of a cooperative, you have responsibilities and so do we. We owe you knowledge. We must do our best to provide you with value-added programing so that all of us can work together to make our cooperative the best it can be. Also, we need to be telling as many people as possible about how awesome our cooperative is.
Cooperation among Cooperatives
We cooperate with other cooperatives because it’s the right thing to do, it benefits both parties and it would be pretty hypocritical to do anything else.
Concern for Community
The members of our cooperative are members of our community. As we care for our members, we also care for their families, friends, co-workers and acquaintances. By investing in the communities we serve, we are making the lives of everyone better, not just members of the cooperative.