People help the co-op accomplish its goals by patronizing the co-op. That’s why having member benefits in place that provide incentives to all owners equally, and do not compromise the co-op financially, are important.
Food co-ops have learned discounts siphon profits, and as it turns out, discounts are not such an attractive benefit to members as had once been presumed. Increasing membership through sustainable and equitable member benefits, like patronage rebates, can increase membership and offer co-ops more flexibility. Members get a return based on how much they shopped and the co-op gets to build capital and deduct the profit from sales to members.
CDS Consulting Co-op can assess your co-op’s current benefits program and recommend improvements.
- Ownership systems: member services database, stock records, patronage dividend systems, process for joining the co-op
- Outreach to current and future members: internal and external outreach plans
- Education and training
- Develop and change member benefit packages including discounts and patronage rebate systems