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What it Means to Be Part of a Cooperative

Credit unions are not-for-profit, member-owned, financial cooperatives that provide financial services for their members. So what does that mean to you? As a member of a credit union, you are an owner of that financial institution. Even if you only have $20 in your savings, you have a voice and a say in what your credit union does. Credit unions are for the consumer and not-for-profit.


In fact, my favorite thing about credit unions is that we were the ones trying to fix the housing crisis in 2008 and 2009, not the ones writing the shady mortgages that caused the economic crisis.

So credit unions are not the only cooperatives out there. Some other cooperatives that you may have heard of are; REI, Ace Hardware, Associated Food Stores, Dairy Farmers of America, Land O’ Lakes, Ocean Spray, Sunkist Growers, Tillamook County Creamery,   Welch’s Food Inc., and Whole Foods are some of the more famous cooperatives in the United States.

All cooperatives follow the same seven cooperative principles. Which are:

  • Voluntary membership without discrimination, not-for-profit, and a volunteer board.

  • Democratic member control which means they are owned and controlled by their members.

  • Members' economic participation. The members are the owners.

  • Autonomy and Independence help ensure democratic control.

  • Education, Training, and Information for the communities they serve.

  • Cooperation among cooperatives. Cooperatives must work together for the greater good of their industry, even if it is with a competitor.

  • Concern for their community and the people of modest means.

So next time you are at the grocery store, considering switching financial institutions, or even looking to do a few home repairs support your local cooperative. They are in it to help you and the community and are usually cheaper in the long run because they are not-for-profit.



Non RMCU links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Rocky Mountain Credit Union of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. RMCU bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external sites.

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