Cooperatives rely upon memberships to help sustain and operate the organization. Memberships provide the co-op owners the benefit of participating in the co-ops efforts to meet their core purpose. Like all cooperatives, Skagit Valley CEC operates under these 7 principles:
Voluntary and Open Membership
Co-ops are open to all who are able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership.
Democratic Member Control
Co-ops are controlled by their members, who set the policies and make decisions. Elected representatives are accountable to the members, who have equal voting rights: one member, one vote.
Member Economic Participation
Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. They allocate surpluses to develop the co-op, and benefit in proportion to their transactions with the co-op.
Autonomy & Independence
Cooperatives are self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members.
Education, Training & Information
Co-ops provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute to the development of their co-ops. They inform the public, particularly young people and opinion leaders, about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives serve their members by working together locally, nationally, regionally and internationally.
Concern For Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities.