The 7 Principles for Co-ops

The Rochdale Principles are seven concepts to help cooperatives establish their values. First established in 1844 by the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers in Rochdale, England, they have been the principles which co-ops around the world use to guide them. These concepts have gradually adapted to what is now known as Cooperative International Principles.
The Seven International Cooperative Principles  
1. Voluntary and Open Membership
 Membership is open to all who are able and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership
2. Democratic Member Control
 One member, one vote
  Members elect a board of directors from among themselves
Transparent, fair decision making
 Good communication

3. Member Economic Participation
 Members contribute to and democratically control the capital of their business

4. Autonomy & Independence
 Entering into contracts or financial arrangements is handled on terms that ensure democratic control by members
 and autonomy for the co-op

5. Education, Training, Information
 Ongoing training to members on co-op basics, financial dealings, and participatory democracy
Educating the public about co-ops

6. Cooperation among Co-ops
 Co-ops serve their members and strengthen the co-op movement by working together at the local, regional, national, and international level
Co-ops share information and best practices in creating bylaws, policies, and peer education and meetings

7. Concern for Community
 Co-ops are rooted in the community, and function as a model for sustainability
Co-ops function with the "triple bottom line" framework that includes financial viability, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability that is established and agreed upon by its membership