Become a member of the Cooperative Maine Business Alliance

Cooperative Maine Business Alliance will help you to develop your co-op, build strategy and leverage the potential to network and collaborate for greater impact.

  • Cooperative Maine Business Alliance offers workshops, trainings, opportunities for peer mentoring, and opportunities for co-op to co-op purchasing.
  • We are offering six months of donation based membership from October 2018-April 2019.  Members can donate any amount they want to for a membership during this period.
  • Member benefits extend to each and every staff person, board member and volunteer within your organization.

Through being a member of the Cooperative Maine Business Alliance, we will work together to help:

  • Engage and train your workforce and membership
  • Strengthen your Operations and Management capacity
  • Raise your visibility
  • Connect to resources and partnerships that will help your cooperative thrive
  • Increase advocacy and support for co-ops

How to become a member of Cooperative Maine Business Alliance:

Cost of Membership:

Donation-based Membership is launching in 2018. A membership dues structure will be introduced in 2019, informed by a diverse committee of Maine co-op members, worker owners and CMBA staff and steering committee volunteers.  Membership contributions make it possible for Cooperative Maine Business Alliance to sustain our work and to build a co-op movement in Maine.


Requirements for membership:

Co-ops, individuals and organizations and businesses who are supportive of cooperative development in Maine can all apply.

Requirement for member co-ops:

  • Share cooperative principles
  • Democratically organized
  • Cooperative bylaws or operating agreements

Requirements for individuals as members:

  • Any individual who wants to join and supports co-ops is welcome to join

Requirements for organizations and businesses as members:

  • Any organizations or businesses that supports and engages with co-ops can become members (ex: lenders, TA providers, accountants, lawyers, producers, suppliers)


Benefits of Membership

By becoming a member of the Cooperative Maine Business Alliance you can access the following benefits. The following benefits are the start of what we will offer and with your support, we will offer more benefits in the coming years.  

Networking and Mentoring: Cooperative Maine Business Alliance facilitates peer-to-peer mentoring and networking among co-op members and workers to strengthen co-op and business skills and grow the co-op economy in Maine.  

Public Advocacy and Education: We advocate for wider recognition, understanding and support of the cooperative economy among the public, private and philanthropic sectors and with state and local government.

Conferences, Workshops and Trainings: We host the annual Principle Six Conference which brings co-op together across the state to learn and network.  We provide specialized training opportunities that support co-ops’ capacity to improve their operations, the quality of their member services and membership and community engagement.  We will also work to connect Cooperative Maine Business Alliance members to other organizations and services that can support their growth.

Specific Trainings we will offer each year include (but not limited to):

  • Financial Literacy, Understanding Financials and Loan Readiness
  • Governance and Board Development
  • Communication and Conflict Resolution
  • Management Training
  • Member and Community Engagement
  • Advocacy for Co-ops
  • Understanding state law regarding Co-ops
  • Marketing and Social Media
  • Digital Literacy


Marketing and Outreach: We work together to increase shared marketing and outreach about cooperatives so that we can grow our businesses and the co-op economy.  We also create opportunities for co-ops to improve growth through co-op to co-op marketing.

Specific Marketing Opportunities Each Year:

  • Shared Co-op Month Advertising, marketing and promotion
  • Promotion via Cooperative Maine Business Alliance website and social media
  • Common Ground Fair Table
  • Co-op to Co-op Promotions
  • Cooperative Maine Business Alliance postcard, stickers and t-shirts

Testimonials: 

I’m having great success connecting with other GMs through Cooperative Maine Business Alliance’s peer to peer mentorship program. I’m especially excited to visit other GMs and to learn about their unique operation, policies, and reporting. To sum it up, this organization grants me access to a wealth of beneficial resources and connections.”  -Emmy Andersson, Fare Share Co-op, Norway, ME

"There are so many cooperatives in Maine and so many talented people contributing to them.  I know much more about this and have many more contacts thanks to the work of the Cooperative Maine Business Alliance."- John Crane, Portland Food Co-op, Portland, ME