One of the Seven Cooperative Principles that drives Columbia Rural Electric Association (REA) is the Concern for Community. Columbia REA takes this commitment very seriously. After all, we live, work, and play in the communities that we serve. Columbia REA is involved in many community service programs, projects, and organizations. You should be proud as a member-owner that your Cooperative is dedicated to giving not only money but time to these very important community based programs.
One of the main areas of focus for Columbia REA is youth-based programs. Columbia REA believes that supporting youth educational programs will help teach kids to be productive and successful adults.
Adherence to the Seven Cooperative Principles is what makes cooperatives different.
Voluntary & Open Membership
Cooperatives are voluntary organizations, open to all persons able to use the co-op’s services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.
Democratic Member Control
Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representative directors are accountable to the membership, and all members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote).
Members’ 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 the cooperative, possibly by setting up reserves, part of which at least would be indivisible; benefitting members in proportion to their transactions with the cooperative; and supporting other activities approved by the membership.
Autonomy & 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.
Education, Training, & 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 cooperatives.
Cooperation Among Cooperatives
By working together through local, national, and regional structures, cooperatives improve services, bolster local economies, and serve their members more effectively.
Concern for Community
While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies accepted and supported by their members.