Building a Cooperative Community

Membership Structure Proposal    

CoMinnesota started in late 2011 as a response to the question: Why, in the land of 10,000 cooperatives, isn't there more cross sector collaboration?

Since its inaugural event in late October of 2011 to kick off the International Year of the Cooperative, CoMinnesota has depended upon a fluid network of volunteers to maintain skeletal infrastructure and produce some impressive programming ranging from special events to regular brown bag topic lunches and happy hour Comingles.

Now, in 2016, it seems time to recognize we have enough going to explore a more formal structure that defines our governance structure, helps us gain steadier financial and volunteer support from our supporters, and work more strategically toward goals that we've developed in during our strategic meetings.

Since we are promoting the cooperative model, the CoMN Steering Committee is proposing we use its structure to help define our organization:

  1. Anyone welcome to join.
  2. One member, one vote (elects board of directors/steering committee)
  3. Financial participation. Affordable $25-$50 membership share (+ annual fund drives?). Scholarship or membership fund to cover folk without means.
  4. Autonomous - Currently CDS provides fiscal agency - would like to evolve to independent 501(c)(3), or other optimal structure in the next year or two.
  5. Programming that concentrates on education
  6. Facilitate the comingling of people involved in cooperatives and strategic allies.
  7. Concern for community - CoMinnesota Value Statement: We value actions that contribute to greater social and economic justice, and that advance racial equity!

Initially, we will continue to use CDS as our fiscal agent. The main goal is to define the membership body that elects the steering committee and help fund the organization.

Please give us feedback at this short survey.