Cooperative Developers

From Cultivate.Coop

A Cooperative developer is usually part of an organization that helps start aspiring co-ops or restructure or expand aspiring co-ops.

Clients of cooperative development practitioners contract for their professional services when they need special business assistance, such as a business or succession plan or board training, or when they need financing to expand, or they seek specialized skills or relevant experience, be it legal, financial, printing, etc. Cooperative developers link needs to resources through their extensive networks. Often, co-op developers are asked to help an interested group of people determine if the cooperative model is right for their purposes. They may help the group draft By-laws, Articles of Incorporation, Member Agreements, business plans and other documents.

Some co-op developers work in specific sectors such as NASCO Development Services for student housing and Resident Owned Communities/ROC-USA for manufactured home park co-ops, Democracy at Work Peer Technical Assistance Network and ICA Group for worker cooperatives, and in the food arena, the Food Co-op Initiative, CDS Consulting, and National Cooperative Grocers Association.

Delivering all this know-how from the cooperative economic perspective is what distinguishes a co-op developer from a conventional business developer. Co-op economics is guided by the International Statement of Co-operative Identity most recently ratified at the International Co-operative Alliance’s 150th Congress in 1995 in Rochdale, England. It is a set of values and principles by which co-ops are expected to steer themselves. The Madison Principles are a code of conduct generated by co-op development practitioners in the US in the 1990s, representing the nation’s cooperative development centers, today known as CooperationWorks!

List of Cooperative Developers and Cooperative Assistant organisations by Region

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United States

  • Cooperation Works! P.O. Box 537, 213 South Fork, Dayton, WY 82886. Phone: 307-655-9162. Fax: 307-655-3785. Email: (National association of cooperative developers).
  • National Cooperative Business Association 1401 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 2005-2160. Phone: 202-638-6222. Fax: 202-638-1374. Also see: (The NCBA's web site is a tremendous resource for information on issues related to cooperatives in the United States. It contains information on starting a co-op, descriptions of co-op sectors, a catalog of publications and gifts, a buyer's guide of products and services for co-op minded people, a calendar of events and a list of university centers for cooperatives.)
  • Solidarity Research Center is a worker-owned cooperative of researchers, storytellers, and creatives dedicated to advancing solidarity economies. We provide technical assistance to worker cooperatives, community land trusts, and participatory planning projects. We are based in Los Angeles, California, New York City, and Atlanta, Georgia. Address: 1920 Hillhurst Avenue #V920, Los Angeles, CA 90027. Email: Phone: 323 539 7654. Website:
  • United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development. (You'll find useful information and publications from the USDA's Rural Business Cooperative Service on the USDA's website.)
  • U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives


  • Cooperative Development Institute - Serves New England & New York.
  • Co-op Power 324 Wells St., Greenfield, MA 01301. Phone: (413) 425 6795.
  • Cooperative Fund of New England P.O. Box 3413, Amherst, MA 01004; Phone: 413-256-0726, 910-395-6008, 800-818-7833. Fax: 413-256-0726, 910-397-2857. Email: (The Cooperative Fund of New England is a nonprofit community development loan fund that supports cooperative development in the northeastern region of the United States. The Fund provides loans and lines of credit, as well as financial services and related technical assistance to cooperative organizations and community-based non-profits. Loan eligibility is based on borrower need, social and financial merit of projects, and CFNE priorities.)
  • Florence IT Florence, MA. Phone: 413-303-9167. (Information technology company that offers assistance at a discounted rate to cooperatives and nonprofits in Western MA.)
  • Northeast Biodiesel P.O. Box 688, Greenfield, MA 01302. Phone: 413-828-6795. Fax: 413-517-0300. Email:
  • Vermont Employee Ownership Center 33 Main Street, PO Box 546, Burlington, VT 05402. 802-861-6612.
  • Green Worker Cooperatives is a worker co-op incubator based in the South Bronxdedicated to starting environmentally friendly cooperatives. Website here:
  • Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund 4 Open Square Way, Suite 407, Holyoke, MA 01040. Phone: 413-420-0183. Fax: 413-420-0543. Email:
  • Boston Center for Community Enterprise Specializing in Education and Training for cooperators, Facilitation and Project Management for Co-op Development, Research and Writing, and Capitalization Strategies for Co-ops.
  • Worcester Roots Project 4 King St, Worcester, MA 01610: 508-343-0035. - Organizing with co-ops in Central Massachusetts, specializes in youth co-ops.



West Coast



  • International Co-operative Alliance. 15 route des Morillons, 1218 Grand-Saconnex. Geneva, Switzerland. Phone: (+41) 22 929 88 88. Fax: (+41) 22 798 41 22. E-Mail: (The ICA's web site is a good place to learn about the international cooperative movement. It has an extensive publications list as well as information about cooperatives by economic sector and geographic region; cooperative events; cooperative education; and cooperative research.)