NASCO Family Governance

NASCO's governance structure provides its members an effective means to direct the group-equity co-op movement, at the same time allowing support for specific initiatives.

In addition to the NASCO Board of Directors, each affiliated organization has its own governing board, which oversees the activities of its respective program area: NASCO Properties, NASCO Development Services, and Lots in Common. A Coordinating Committee, consisting of the presidents from each board, oversees the long-range planning and management of the NASCO Family of organizations.

Who is the NASCO Board of Directors?


NASCO's educational programs, as well as strategic directions, are overseen by a Board of Directors that is comprised of up to 19 members, 12 of whom are elected at-large for 3-year terms on a staggered basis; 1 of whom serves as Active Member Representative, elected by the Active Members at the NASCO Institute each year; another of whom is selected by the NASCO Properties Board; and 3 of whom are member caucus chairpeople.

The Board of Directors is composed of NASCO members and alumni, people who are active in co-ops and the cooperative movement, and people with expertise in the nonprofit sector.

NASCO Executive Committee

This consists of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and the Chair of the Fundraising Committee. The Executive Committee has the powers of the Board and meets monthly by teleconference.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

AGM is held every fall at NASCO’s Institute. It usually holds two sessions: the first to meet each other and report on events, and the second to conduct business.

Active Membership

NASCO’s membership is directly responsible for major events in the life of the organization, including Board elections and bylaw changes.

Many other mechanisms also provide feedback to the NASCO Board and staff. E-mail discussion groups have been active at different times, and there have been regional meetings and conferences which have focused on NASCO’s role and services. The Active Member Representative, elected annually at the Institute, conducts a yearly survey of member co-ops.

What does the NASCO board do?

NASCO's Board of Directors, as in most cooperative organizations, sets the organization's policies and direction. By nominating a candidate for the board, your co-op helps to set that direction; our board members help keep us responsive to the needs of the co-op movement.

So, if you've got ideas of where NASCO could be headed and want to help us get there, or if you know someone who does, this is your way to get involved.

What are the responsibilities of a NASCO board member?

Board members are required to attend all board meetings: two annual in-person meetings and one conference call. Board members are expected to attend and volunteer as staff support at the annual Cooperative Educational and Training Institute in November. We also have an informal in-person board meeting the day after the Institute. Board members should also plan on putting in time between meetings. Some activities our board members perform are: reporting to your co-op and others in your region, keeping in touch with NASCO member co-ops, performing member visits, recruiting new members, teaching courses at the yearly NASCO Institute, and fundraising.

How do we nominate someone?

Nominations can be made in three ways.

Nomination procedures (from the NASCO By-Laws):

6.2 Nomination to the Board may be made in any one of three ways:

  1. A petition signed by five (5) Individual Members, provided that no individual signs more than one (1) petition in each election.
  2. Nomination by an Active Member, provided that no Active Member may nominate more than one (1) person by this method.
  3. Nomination by two (2) Associate Members, provided that no Associate Member may participate in more than (1) such joint nomination each election.

Once someone is nominated, they must submit a candidate statement of their background and interests so that members may cast educated votes.