The Seven Cooperative Principles
1. Voluntary and open membership. Because cooperatives are voluntary organizations, membership is open to all persons able to use their services and willing to accept the responsibilities of membership, without gender, social, racial, political or religious discrimination.
2. Democratic member control. FMCS members have equal voting rights. It doesn't matter how much electricity a member consumes. When it comes to electing directors, each member has one vote.
3. Member economic participation. Members contribute equitably to the capital of their cooperative. At least part of that capital is usually the common property of the cooperative.
4. Autonomy and 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.
5. Education, training and information. New challenges and new technologies affect your cooperative and the entire utility industry. Ensuring our continuing effectiveness can only be accomplished by providing information and training to the members and public, our employees, staff and directors.
6. Cooperation among cooperatives. We are "working together, working for you," on many levels. Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-op movement by participating in local, state, regional, national and international cooperative organizations.