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February 2016 Newsletter

NASCO Board Election Results

We are excited to welcome eight new directors to the NASCO Board. Four of them will be serving full three-year terms, while two will be serving two-year terms and two will be serving one-year terms. These shorter terms are filling the remainders of terms that were vacated by board member resignations. The new board members are:

  • Henrik Tucker - term ending in 2019
    Member of College Houses
    Austin, TX
  • Ellie Benedict - term ending in 2019
    Member of Inter Cooperative Council Ann Arbor
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • Kiyomi de Zoysa - term ending in 2019
    Member of Santa Barbara Student Housing Cooperative
    ‚ÄčIsla Vista, CA
  • Jenn Scott - term ending in 2019
    Nominated by The Hive, former member of River City Housing Collective
    Newburgh, IN
  • Izzy Brace - term ending in 2018
    Nominated by 3B, member of Greensboro Mural Project
    Greensboro, NC
  • Syd Burke - term ending in 2018
    Member of MSU Student Housing Cooperative
    ‚ÄčLansing, MI
  • Lana Wong - term ending in 2017
    Nominated by Whitehall Cooperative, former member of Waterloo Cooperative Residence Inc
    Toronto, ON
  • Tristan Laing - term ending in 2017
    ‚ÄčNominated by individual members, member of Campus Cooperative Residence Inc
    Toronto, ON

There were eleven highly qualified candidates for eight seats. All candidates received votes from multiple cooperatives, and most cooperatives gave votes to multiple candidates.

Formation of U.S. Congressional Cooperative Committee

Last month, the U.S. National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA) announced the formal launch of the newly-formed bipartisan Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus. This is a very powerful opportunity for US cooperatives to promote the cooperative business model and educate and inform policymakers on issues that face their co-ops

Current committee members are co-chairs Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI). If your U.S. Senator or Member of Congress is not yet a member, please write your Senator or your Member of Congress and ask them to join the bipartisan Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus. You may use and copy the sample letter provided by NCBA CLUSA and personalize it as necessary, state your message in your own words, or submit a joint-letter with your fellow co-op members.

We’ll be in touch with updates, and will let you know the best ways to engage with the committee as it becomes more active. We congratulate NCBA CLUSA and VP of Advocacy Alan Knapp on this major development.

Report-Back: End of Year Fundraiser

Last month, we invited all supporters of NASCO to help create more co-ops, change the ways that cities think about affordable housing, and build the cooperative movement with our End of Year fundraising campaign.

You all went above and beyond! We received donations from fifty individuals and raised a total of $6,240. We’re touched by this support, because of the large, diverse crowd of people that chose to make NASCO a priority in their lives: from NASCO founders and co-op newbies, members of co-ops, staff of co-ops, even from parents of people who used to live in a co-op. It's powerful when so many people join together. It tells us that there is a common element to all of our co-op experiences, and that we can work together to make a meaningful difference in each others' lives.

Thank you very much for supporting our work, we’re going to continue doing great things together!

Cooperative Internship Network: Accepting Host Applications

NASCO's Cooperative Internship Network is officially accepting host applications for 2016 internship positions, due by Sunday, February 28th! Whatever the size or type of your organization, we encourage you to take part in this opportunity to expand your support team.

The NASCO Cooperative Internship Network allows cooperatives and other organizations to directly market internships to cooperative youth through NASCO's membership and networks without the hassle of a traditional intern hiring process.

Visit our website for more information, or join us for an Information Session on February 3rd or 12th. If you have any questions, contact Morgan Crawford at

Resource: Your Study Guide to the Cooperative Movement

Cooperatives are all the rage! And that’s because cooperatives are, well, pretty great. They can change lives, communities, regions, and entire economies.

At the same time, while an increasing number of people are discovering cooperatives, it’s not always clear how or where to learn more about them – whether you want the fundamentals or to dig in deeper with specifics.

That’s why our friends at the Toolbox for Education and Social Action put together a study guide for the cooperative movement. This guide – while not a complete and total list – provides tools, activities, videos, readings, and more to help you brush up on your cooperative skills and knowledge. Some of these resources are free, some of them have a cost. But all of them will help you better understand what a cooperative is, how to practice cooperation, and the power of the cooperative movement.

Check it out!

CHS Foundation awards NASCO $26,000

CHS Foundation

We are thrilled to announce that NASCO has been awarded two grants through the CHS Foundation’s 2016 Cooperative Education Grants Program.

We have been generously awarded $10,000 to support NASCO’s annual Cooperative Education & Training Institute, and a $16,000 capacity building grant to grow NASCO's resource and program development capacity to more sustainable levels. We are extremely grateful for the continued support of the CHS Foundation and are excited for the many ways that this funding will strengthen our organization and our movement.

The CHS Foundation the major giving entity of CHS Inc. (NASDAQ: CHSCP), the nation's leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company.  As a part of the CHS stewardship focus, the CHS Foundation is committed to investing in the future of rural America, agriculture and cooperative business through education and leadership development.

Year in Review: Co-op Development

NASCO Development Services Annual Report

The past year was a very exciting one for co-op development. There is currently a lot of interest in creating new cooperatives, and we’re happy that we have been able to increase our capacity to provide advice and support to more of these groups. During the 2014-15 year, NASCO provided free technical assistance to over 30 groups and has worked with four groups to coordinate purchases. Over half of the groups we worked with were startup groups.

The Genesee Valley Cooperative in Geneseo, NY was one startup group that we first met in the spring of 2013, when their members still lived in campus housing and “The Co-op” felt like a distant dream. They started renting their first property in the fall of 2014. We worked with GVC throughout the year to create member labor systems, bylaws, and plan for the future. In the fall of 2015, GVC was able to expand to renting a second building.

After 25 years of successful operation, the members of the Student Cooperative Organization were ready to expand beyond The Vine, their eight bedroom housing cooperative in Athens, OH. The SCO worked closely with NASCO to plan the timeline, set target rents, and find the right property. After several months of searching and several dead ends, their new property was found. This expansion doubled the size of the SCO, and gives the members a larger presence in Athens, with more stability to build on for the next expansion.

To learn more about the work that we’ve done to support co-op development in the past year, download the latest NASCO Development Services Annual Report.

The Next System Teach-Ins

Across the country students, faculty, staff and communities are organizing Next System Teach-Ins because they're tired of the status quo and want to be part of building a new more equitable, democratic and sustainable future. It's only been a month since launching this initiative and already hundreds have signed up to take part and 12 official teach-ins are in the works with many more to come.

From New York to Seattle, Detroit to Santa Barbara, communities are gearing up to explore system change and plot the next steps their community can take to deepen ties between existing projects and movements, as well as spark new initiatives based on each campus or community's needs.

Recognizing that problems like mass incarceration, climate change, student debt and growing inequality are problems of system design, the Next System Teach-Ins will provide a forum for discussion, debate and community building around concrete, systemic solutions.

Join the conversation! Register today to host or attend a Next System Teach-In.


Coming Up Soon!

We’re currently setting the program for April's Staff & Managers Conference in Boulder, supporting our members in Santa Barbara who are planning WestCo, and working with internship hosts to put together exciting summer positions. We'll be sending out updates about each of these programs within the next month.

Keep your eyes on our newsletter, website, and social media channels for updates.

Upcoming Events

Cultivating Cooperative Roots Conference

National Train the Trainers: Cooperative Entrepreneurship Retreat

Next System Teach-In - Madison

Up and Coming, Up and Running Food Co-op Conference

Next System Teach-In - NYC

North American Social Solidarity Economy Forum

NASCO Staff & Managers Conference

California Co-op Conference

Annual Cooperatives Conference

US Cooperative Hall of Fame Ceremony


Joint Conference: Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation and the Association of Cooperative Educators

CCMA: the National Conference for Food Co-ops


National Worker Cooperative Conference

The World Social Forum

Global Social Economy Forum - GSEF2016

International Summit of Cooperatives

NASCO Cooperative Education & Training Institute

NASCO Institute Resources

Did you miss NASCO Institute last year? Maybe you lost your notes, or missed a workshop that sounded really exciting?

Whatever the reason, we’ve got you covered! We have uploaded course materials from forty-five different workshops from this year’s conference. Check them out here!

We’ll be posting videos from the event to our website soon, too. Enjoy!

Submit Resources to our Library

One of the most valuable assets of the cooperative movement is our collective knowledge, and NASCO’s Shared Resource Library, a constantly growing collection of documents and files, is a tool for sharing that knowledge. Our library relies upon your contributions. Please follow this link to share your co-op’s governance documents, member education materials, and resources.
Copyright 2016, North American Students of Cooperation, All rights reserved.

The North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) Family [of associations] organizes and educates affordable group equity co-ops and their members for the purpose of promoting a community oriented cooperative movement.

Our mailing address is:
2150 S Canalport Ave STE 3A-6
Chicago, IL 60608

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