The Co-operative Model
Community CarShare operates as a co-operative, which means members are also owners of the organization. Each member is entitled to a vote at the Annual General Meeting, and members have the opportunity to participate in governance of the organization, through being elected to the volunteer board of directors, or by volunteering on a committee.
Community CarShare is incorporated as a non-profit co-operative without share capital (meaning any membership loans paid to the organization do not gain interest, and the co-operative does not pay dividends to its members), under the Ontario Co-operative Corporations Act. In addition to the Act, the co-op’s By-Laws outline the governance structure of the organization, and the Member Manual outlines the expectations of members of the co-operative.
The co-op also adheres to the Co-operative Principles (listed below), which were adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance. For more information about Co-operatives, visit the Ontario Co-operative Association.
2012 is the International Year of Co-operatives!
Did you know that as a member of a co-op, you’re part of a movement that includes 1.4 million Ontarians, who are members of 1,300 different co-operatives across the province?
“Co-operative Enterprises Build A Better World” is the theme for the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives. So how do co-ops and credit unions build a better world? Its because of the values solidified in the seven Co-operative Principles:
Voluntary and Open Membership
Democratic Member Control
Member Economic Participation
Autonomy and Independence
Education, Training and Information
Co-operation Among Co-operatives
Concern for Community
Because co-ops embody the co-operatve principles, members have control of their enterprises – they aren’t simply clients. Throughout the world, co-operatves help communities develop by giving individual members a voice and a stake in how they build their future.
At this co-op, members can get involved by sitting on a committee, or on the board of directors. Directors are elected by the membership at each AGM, and provide leadership for the direction of the co-op.
This co-op currently has four full-time staff who run the day-to-day operations of carsharing. They are all members as well, and share members’ common goals and vision for the co-operative.
We hope you’ll celebrate the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives with us, and we also hope you’ll consider becoming actively involved in this co-op, or any co-op – it’s one of the great privileges of being a member.