The steering committee will coordinate all tasks needed to move the co-op from its early stages through the establishment of more formal structures. Depending on the group’s time and resources, the committee may do the following tasks itself, or it may contract with outside consultants for professional assistance.
Specific responsibilities of the steering committee are listed below. The primary qualifications to serve as a steering committee member are to possess the passion for this effort and to enjoy working and participating in a group.
§ Coordinate all research and information gathering
§ Survey potential members
§ Establish a membership structure
§ Report on the committee’s progress and coordinate meetings
§ If initial research shows that a co-op is feasible, oversee preparation of a business plan
A small group will be identified to handle public relations, including inquiries from the media and publicity about the co-op’s accomplishments and progress to ensure the accuracy of the co-op message.
§ Planning Committee
Legal issues and policy development (review options for incorporation by researching other co-ops) and prepare articles of incorporation and bylaws. State/County registration (Department of Health) and site determination.
Sourcing, ordering, inventory, packaging/repackaging, pricing, staffing, training, and quality procedures.
§ Finance Committee
Using the CDS Consultant’s excel format, develop financial projections, research funding options (including grants) and develop a fundraising plan. Coordinate a campaign for member loans.
§ Membership Committee
Research membership structures, coordinates recruitment of new members, organizes membership communications (newsletters, websites/blog, etc.) and meetings, survey members, and plans outreach to the community. A smaller group from this committee will be responsible for writing and approving all communications as noted above.
NOTE: The above committees have been edited from the committees identified at the April 8th meeting. The Networking Committee which is vital in exploring the way other co-op’s are operating will not be a stand-alone committee but rather a function of all three committees. We will need individuals in each committee who will be able to visit regional co-ops to gather first-hand information and bring that knowledge back to the specific committee. Volunteers who are interesting in networking should sign-up for one of the three committees above.
Cooperative Grocers Information Network 2002