The Co-Op Difference

Cooperatives are businesses that are organized, owned and governed by the individuals or businesses that use their services. Upon joining, members are eligible to run for a cooperative’s Board of Directors and receive dividends from the company (called patronage capital). There are special laws governing cooperatives that require, among other things, that cooperatives be democratically controlled by their membership. Our cooperative is organized under Chapter 185 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

See why our members love us.

The unique business model of a cooperative ensures that National CooperativeRx members are at the heart of every business decision we make. Our values are broader than just making a profit – our business decisions balance the need for profitability with the needs of our plan sponsor members.

Cooperatives are known across the globe for their ethical values of honesty, openness and social responsibility. Cooperatives are governed by seven cooperative principles that National CooperativeRx is proud to put into practice:

  1. Voluntary and Open Membership
    Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
  2. Democratic Member Control
    Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Men and women serving as elected representatives are accountable to the membership. Members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote).
  3. Member Economic Participation
    Members contribute equitably to, and democratically control, the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative. Members usually receive limited compensation, if any, on capital subscribed as a condition of membership. Members allocate surpluses for any or all of the following purposes: developing their cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefiting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
  4. Autonomy and Independence
    Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. If they enter into agreements with other organizations, including governments, or raise capital from external sources, they do so on terms that ensure democratic control by their members and maintain their cooperative autonomy.
  5. Education, Training and Information
    Cooperatives provide education and training for their members, elected representatives, managers, and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperatives. They inform the general public—particularly young people and opinion leaders—about the nature and benefits of cooperation.
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives
    Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together though local, regional, national and international structures.
  7. Concern for Community
    Cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies approved by their members.