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What is a co-op? Why are they important?

July 19, 2021 • Education

You’ve probably heard the word co-op mentioned when talking about certain grocery stores, education or housing organizations, but you may still be wondering what the heck it truly means - and you wouldn’t be the only one! 

A cooperative is an organization that is both owned and operated by its members - the people who use its products and services. EVERYONE gets to share the profits, benefits and every single member has an equal vote in electing the Board of Directors. A cooperative invests in its community so that it thrives and when it does, its owners thrive in return. 

We also love how the National Cooperative Business Association explains the importance of co-ops when it comes to the economy, “The cooperative model is one that creates shared prosperity, allowing more people to participate in the economy. Instead of a few people owning the bulk of every business, ownership resides with the people.”

There are many different types of cooperatives, too! The aforementioned grocery, education, and housing organizations can be cooperatives and other common co-ops can include healthcare, utilities, agriculture, insurance and financial services! 

So what does being a financial cooperative like Canopy Credit Union mean? 

  • Every member at Canopy Credit Union is equally important - regardless of how much money you have
  • We don’t have shareholders, Canopy is owned by our members
  • Every member has an equal vote in electing our Board of Directors 
  • Our Board of Directors is comprised of credit union members
  • Every member receives benefits through lower interest rates, fewer fees and a more enjoyable banking experience 
  • Every voice matters - we listen, learn and grow from our member feedback

The beautiful part of cooperatives is that they benefit everyone involved. When you become a member and trust us with your finances, we are able to offer more affordable and accessible products and services to YOU! 

That’s why we care so deeply about where we invest our money. We want our products, services, donations and sponsorships to go to events, organizations and causes that our members care about. After all, credit unions by nature are a reflection of the values and priorities of our members! 

Now it’s your turn! Search for local co-ops near you via your internet browser and see what comes up! You might find ones right around the corner you never knew about. 

Continue learning about co-ops here

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