7 Cooperative Principles

The Cooperative Difference

Cooperative businesses are special because they are owned by the members they serve and because they are guided by a set of seven principles that reflect the best interests of those consumers.

As a result of our dedication to our member/owners, Buckeye Rural Electric Cooperative proudly adheres to these seven guiding principles:

1: 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.

2: Democratic Member Control

Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership. In primary cooperatives, members have equal voting rights or are otherwise organized in a democratic manner.

3: Members’ Economic Participation

Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership.

4: Autonomy and Independence

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

5: Education, Training, and Information

Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representative, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.

6: Cooperation Among Cooperatives

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

7: Concern for Community

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