Co-op Awareness Month – 7 Cooperative Principles

The members of Wayne-White Counties Electric Cooperative -- are at the heart of everything we do. Cooperatives adhere to seven guiding principles that reflect core values of honesty, transparency, equity, inclusiveness, and service.

1. Voluntary & Open Membership
Membership in a cooperative is open to all people who can reasonably use its services and stand willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, regardless of race, religion, gender, or economic circumstances. We do not have customers, we have members -- the difference is when you are a member, you have more of a stake in the organization and you receive benefits through your membership.

2. Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are led by their members who understand and listen to the community. Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Each member has an equal voice in cooperative matters through a vote at our Annual Meeting each year.

The Core of our Business Model

3. Members' Economic Participation
Members contribute to the capital of the cooperative fairly and equitably by paying their bills. Members allocate surpluses for any of the following purposes: developing the cooperative; setting up reserves; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.

4. Autonomy & Independence
Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control as well as their unique identity.

5. Education, Training & Information
Investing in continuous learning for employees and board members means making a commitment to individual professional growth, the future of the cooperative and the high quality of service our members expect and deserve.

6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
Cooperatives work together to tackle bigger issues and challenges together. This ability to access and share resources and leading practices with the larger network means local cooperatives can learn from each other and gain from the experience.

7. Concern for Community
Cooperatives care about people over profits and are a catalyst for good in their communities. As a non-profit, it is not about making money -- it is about the societal benefit. We were born out of necessity and created by people who have a need and are willing to work together to operate and organize a company that will meet that need.