Principles of Co-operation
For better understanding of co-operation and the funeral co-operatives it may be best to explain the seven principles of co-operation. The seven principles outline the responsibilities every co-op has to its members and communities.
- Open and Voluntary Membership
Anyone who will accept the responsibility of membership and who can use the services may join the co-operative.
- Democratic Participation
At the local co-op level, each member has one vote, regardless of the amount of shares held. Member-owners control the co-op and have a responsibility to participate in decision making.
- Limited Interest on Share Capital
Co-ops are organized to provide services and are not for investment purposes. Generally, no interest is paid on share capital.
- Surplus Earnings Returned to Members
Surpluses, after expenses and reserve fund holdbacks, are returned to members in proportion to the use they make of the co-op.
- Co-operative Education
Member education is a vital part of co-operatives. Each co-op has an obligation to provide opportunities to help members, elected officials, staff and the general public, in understanding co-operatives and their role.
- Co-operation Among Co-operatives
All co-ops should actively co-operate in every practical way at local, national and international levels.
- Concerns for Community
Co-operatives accept the fact that they are vital and an important component of the communities in which they exist and must take steps to encourage the health of the community.