Meet Cathy, the Cooperative Development Institute’s new answerwoman! She can take on any co-op questions you might have, big or small. Today we address the submitted question: “I am working with the Manchester NH Food Co-op (start-up) to reach out to other NH co-ops, so am looking for a list of all types of co-ops in NH. Can you help?” See all of Cathy’s answers and ask your own on her home page. This blog post was written by CDI’s Executive Director, Noemi Giszpenc
This is a question that comes up again and again. Co-op organizers want to reach out to like-minded organizations, potential supporters, possible business partners, or peer mentors. For co-ops to support co-ops, they first need to know who else is out there! That is why lists and directories and maps are such an important basis for all kinds of cooperative development and expansion.
And that’s also why the Cooperative Development Institute helped found the Data Commons Cooperative, an effort to make the work of keeping directories and listings fresh and up-to-date more manageable, pleasant and efficient. As with any co-op, we can do more when we work together and pool our resources than on our own!
A compilation display of the listings in members’ directories is at find.coop. (Note: this includes co-ops as well as other social/solidarity economy organizations.) The website makes it easy to download the results of a search in several formats, including “CSV”–which stands for “comma separated values”, readable by any spreadsheet. For example, if you click on Advanced Search and select under State, “New Hampshire”, and click Go, you will find 103 listings. If you click on “View larger map” the map will display all of them at once.
There is still quite a lot of work to do to upgrade and clean the data, as well as build the tools to make sharing easier. If you notice any listings that are wrong or missing, you can use the site to add organizations or contact the owners of listings.
If you are interested in a particular set of organizations, check out these directories:
- US Federation of Worker Cooperatives: find a worker co-op
- Food co-ops and buying clubs
- Resident-Owned Communities (manufactured home park co-ops)
- Housing Co-op associations
- Student and other housing co-op members of NASCO
- Credit Unions
- or, search on Solidarityeconomy.us for “type” Credit Union
- Farmer co-ops: large and not-so-large
- Rural electric co-ops
- Some other types of co-ops, such as purchasing co-ops or artist co-ops, are a little harder to find. Sometimes a particular locality will have done the digging and display the information, as did the Philadelphia Area Cooperative Alliance and the University of Wisconsin. CDI is planning to do this census work for our region, New England and New York, in the coming year.
- The July/August issue of USDA Rural Cooperatives had a special focus on organizations helping co-ops:http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RuralCoop_JulyAug.pdf
Happy connecting… and remember to share what you learn!
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