About CGRI

Program Overview

The UW Center for Cooperatives launched the Cooperative Governance Research Initiative (CGRI) in 2021 in response to a need in the cooperative community for data and insights on the governance practices of cooperatives. The 2021 CGRI survey received responses from 500 U.S. cooperatives representing a wide range of industries, geographies, and sizes. Follow-up interviews allowed us to explore some of the stories behind cooperatives’ survey responses. This initial round of data collection provided information on the different ways cooperatives—large and small, new and old—approach governance in the following areas:

  • Board composition
  • Board nominations and elections
  • Board training, education, and development
  • Board meetings and decision-making practices
  • Board compensation
  • The CEO or general manager
  • Member participation
  • Board culture

The Cooperative Governance Research Initiative strives to generate information and tools that are useful in the real world. Our biggest takeaway from the launch of CGRI is that there is a need for this kind of governance data and a desire by cooperatives to translate the data into action. To continue meeting this need, we plan to collect new survey and interview data on an ongoing basis.

Advisory Committee

A volunteer Advisory Committee made up of representatives from across the co-op community is providing technical support to ensure the research is timely, relevant to the cooperative community, and achieves maximum impact. Members include:

Contact us!

If you are interested in being part of CGRI as a research participant, funder, or thought partner, please contact the study team at cgri@uwcc.wisc.edu.

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