Cooperative Principles Put Into Action

Making Ownership Real

When CU*Answers selected “Making Ownership Real” as a theme for our 2013 Leadership Conference, we saw it as the natural next step of our 2012 initiative to build a Cooperative Score index.  At the very heart of a healthy Cooperative Score is a co-op with an active ownership base, ensuring the cooperative continues to capture the spirit of its customers as owners.

Those two words—customer and owner—go hand in hand and should be inseparable.  Credit unions use the word “member” to bond the two concepts.  But it’s unclear whether today’s consumers understand that “membership” means they have both the benefits and the responsibility of ownership.

We thought it would be easy to make it apparent to every customer that they are an owner.  It is CU*Answers’ #1 marketing directive.  But look around.  It’s pretty easy to market a great financial institution with great products and services, but you rarely see much money being spent on marketing ownership as a benefit.

Our Goal

To inspire competitive business designers to select cooperative designs as the charter for competitive advantage…

Add Your Voice

Write an approach to the “Making Ownership Real” conundrum that could be used by all cooperative business designers to make ownership real and inspire entrepreneurs in every community to step up and lead.  Submit your entry before May 1, 2014.  The winning entry will be selected by a panel of CUSO and credit union leaders and announced during the 2014 Leadership Conference in June.  The winning entry will receive $1000.
*We will post submissions anonymously for our network to view

Submission Guidelines

  1.  Open to Cooperatives and anyone who participates in a Cooperative  (is employed by, purchases goods and services from, volunteers, etc.).
  2. Minimum word count: 800 words (no maximum)
  3. Include a brief explanation of how you are or involved with a Cooperative
  4. Submission should be a white paper on how your organization is Making Ownership Real, whether in practice or just a plan on how to do it.
  5. Upload a PDF or Microsoft Word document
  6. Submission ideas should be reproducible and inspiring for other organizations
  7. Winner will be chosen by a select committee at CU*Answers

Download the official rules

Submit Your Entry

Sorry, the submission deadline has passed.