One of the key moments in a co-op’s business cycle comes at the end of a fiscal year when it becomes clear how much profit the co-op has generated that year. At that time, the co-op’s board needs to decide how much of that profit will be allocated as patronage dividends, how to divide that dividend between cash returned to members and savings held for the common good, and how to process the distributed portion. This Field Guide presents a brief overview of the three key decisions a board needs to make as well as a template report a GM could use to present relevant information that helps the board make these decisions.
“I’m glad that we can provide one more tool that helps boards and general managers work together to harness the power of the patronage dividend system.”
—Michael Healy, board trainer, CDS Consulting Co-op
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