Consumer co-op (versus alternatives)
We considered running as a multistakeholder co-op in order to assure representation from employees, projects, and patrons. However, the benefits of such an arrangement may not be worth the complexity.
The primary purpose of Snowdrift.coop is to fund the production of public goods in the public interest. So we now plan to run as a consumer co-op where all members are patrons who fund the projects. Those members may also include employees of the co-op as well as team members of funded projects. And we can still take measures to assure that all diverse perspectives have some influence
Overall, the supply-side (the project producers) already have the most significant power. Our goal is to have projects serve the patrons and the rest of the general public (as opposed to the surveillance capitalism approach of serving advertisers). Our co-op structure works along with crowdmatching to shift the balance of power away from our current supply-side economy and toward a more balanced, democratic economy.
The co-op is open to all patrons of the Snowdrift.coop project itself.
Snowdrift.coop has little physical property, but the co-op will have legal ownership over any so-called “Intellectual Property” like trademarks, any tech infrastructure, and any reserve capital.
Our Bylaws1 specify our governance as a cooperative, our score voting system for elections, the rights of members, membership qualifications, and more.
Membership in the Snowdrift.coop cooperative is conferred by patronage of the Snowdrift.coop project (i.e., payment of a recurring membership fee) and acceptance of the Membership Agreement (see Legal. Cooperative member rights and responsibilities are separate from site user rights and responsibilities, and are laid out in the Bylaws, standing rules, and committee policies.
We need some sort of newsletter / update system / blog to stay engaged with members. The standing rules will specify the requirements for regular updates.
As a cooperative, part of our mission involves cooperating with other co-ops and supporting the cooperative movement overall. For example, our banking is done through the National Cooperative Bank. We welcome any partnership inquiries or suggestions to maximize our connections within the global cooperative community.