Organizations that Support Co-ops

Organizations that support co-op houses

Technical and financial assistance
  • CFNE - The Co-operative Fund of New England is a wonderful local resource for Boston-area co-ops.  They describe themselves as "a community development loan fund that is a bridge between socially responsible investors and cooperatives, community oriented non-profits, and worker-owned businesses in New England (and parts of New York)."  What this means is that they can help your co-op receive and manage low-interest loans for property purchases and other needs.  Their website lists even more co-op resources.
  • BCC - Boston Community Co-operatives is a Boston gem.  BCC describes itself as an "umbrella organization to provide infrastructure to housing cooperatives. ... BCC aims to own multiple housing cooperatives, and to eliminate duplication of energy to allow the group-equity cooperative housing sector to expand and serve more people.  BCC is a 501(c)3 non-profit that currently owns one house — Seedpod, a 12 bedroom house located near Field’s Corner in Boston. We are currently talking with other coops in the Boston area about joining forces, and hope in the next few years to expand to multiple houses."
  • NASCO - North American Students of Co-operation, in their words, "acts to link group equity cooperatives, primarily but not solely in the housing sector, and sees as its most important goal the improvement of operations through mutual aid and support. NASCO provides numerous opportunities for member co-ops to improve their operations through learning from other cooperatives. These linking opportunities include the Cooperative Education and Training Institute , Emerging Co-op Leaders , the Staff and Manager's conference , Action Camp , Co-op Voices, the Guide to Campus Co-ops , the NASCO web site, and the NASCO Internship Network. NASCO also provides direct services through on-site workshops, consulting contracts, organizational and financial advice, co-op development, compiling information on tax exemption, and other activities. NASCO also rescues co-ops from certain doom on a semi-regular basis."
  • CDI - The Cooperative Development Institute calls itself "the Northeast's center for cooperative business education, training and technical assistance."  The organization provides several services to co-ops, including technical assistance consultations on financial and legal structure, operations, and crisis assessment.
  • Cohousing Association - The Cohousing Association helps "promote the awareness and development of cohousing and to provide sustenance to existing cohousing communities in the United States."  They provide many resources including workshops, a directory, outreach materials, and gatherings.

Public policy and education

  • NCBA - The National Cooperative Business Association "helps co-ops strengthen their businesses" through programs in education, public policy, and co-op development.
  • ICA - The International Cooperative Alliance calls itself the "the voice of the co-operative movement." The organization "helps its members in their lobbying for new legislation and more appropriate administrative procedures that respect the co-operative model, its principles and values. It provides political support as well as technical expertise to enable co-operatives to compete on a level playing field."
  • UWisc Center for Co-operatives - The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives "pursues a research, educational, and outreach agenda that examines cooperative issues across multiple business and social sectors. The agenda encompasses all aspects of the cooperative business model, including development, finance, structure, and governance"  They also have an enormous library, data, and publications, some of which is online.