Discover a wealth of best practices and knowledge on cooperatives through our live and recorded webinars. Please see our UWCC Events page for upcoming webinar offerings.

CO-OPS 101

This webinar provides an overview of cooperative basics including:

  • What is a cooperative?
  • Cooperative history in the United States and Wisconsin
  • Why do people form cooperatives?
  • Types of cooperatives
  • Cooperative principles
  • How are cooperatives different from other businesses?
  • How to start a cooperative?

Pathways to Employee Ownership

Retaining Rural Business Through Employee Ownership

This webinar is designed for business owners, economic developers, business support professionals, and workers interested in learning more about worker cooperatives.

  • Nuts and bolts of employee ownership
  • Steps in the conversion process
  • Resources and how to get involved

Governance Webinars

Roles and Responsibilities of Co-op Directors

This session focuses on the different functions performed by directors including fiduciary and oversight responsibilities. We review the relationships between the board, management, and members.

PowerPoint Slides

Ensuring Governance Continuity

One of the key characteristics of good governance is that it is sustainable through periods of significant change. This session reviews the crucial ingredients to creating a resilient board that can weather challenging periods and one in which all directors have the tools to meet their responsibilities as directors. Topics include: how can boards maintain board performance by transferring knowledge, skills, and culture to new board members. 

Tools for an
Effective Board

Learn about strategies for developing an efficient board including meeting agendas and facilitation, committees, and maintaining a healthy board culture. Learn key elements of effective decision making.

PowerPoint Slides

Elements of Board Oversight

One of the fundamental roles of the board of directors is to hire, oversee, and evaluate the co-op’s CEO or general manager. In many co-ops, the manager and board function effectively as a leadership team and serving the different functions of strategy versus execution. This session reviews best practices and pit falls for effective board oversight, including: supporter versus enforcer roles, effective oversight, and strong policy/arm’s reach governance.

Decision–Making Tools for the Board Room

The top function of the board of directors is to make good decisions that are the best for the cooperative and its members. This session will take a deeper look at strategies that enhance cooperative decision-making abilities. We will explore a range of both process and closure tools that can increase participation and overcome common sticking points in reaching a decision. 

Cooperative Finance 101

This session will provide an overview of cooperative finance including defining terms, reading financial statements, questions boards should ask and tools for monitoring financial performance including reports and key indicators.

PowerPoint Slides

Cooperative Board Self Evaluation

Board evaluations are a critical component of maintaining a healthy, functioning board of directors, however they often fall to the backburnerThis session will explore why and how to conduct board evaluations. It will also explain different methods for conducting board evaluations and their respective advantages and disadvantages  

Cooperatives and Community Needs

Cooperatives & Community Care Needs

Many communities find that the lack of affordable or available childcare is a barrier to attracting and retaining workforce talent. Supporting the care needs of seniors who are aging in place may also present challenges for a community. This webinar highlights how communities in rural Wisconsin and North Dakota are using the cooperative model to address their child and senior care needs.

PowerPoint Slides

Cooperatives & Business Succession Strategies

Over the next two decades, an estimated 70% of privately held businesses will change hands, many as a result of retiring baby boomers. Who will take over these businesses, and will they remain in their communities? This webinar presents the conversion of businesses to cooperatives owned by the employees as one effective method for retaining businesses, jobs, and wealth in local communities.

PowerPoint Slides

Cooperatives & Community Broadband Needs

In the past, the cooperative model was used to successfully provide electric and telecom services to rural areas where low population densities could not provide the return on investment that larger investor-owned utilities required. This webinar highlights how two cooperatives have used partnerships to meet broadband needs, and the challenges and successes they have encountered.

PowerPoint Slides

Legal Webinar: Working with Cooperatives in Wisconsin 2020

In Working with Cooperatives in Wisconsin, attorneys become more familiar with the unique cooperative business model. Attendees will come away with a better understanding of: different types of cooperatives and how they’re financed, other areas of law that impact working with cooperatives, and strategies for conversions. 1.5 CLE credits

The webinar continues to be available on demand through December 2021. UWCC has worked with the Federated Youth Foundation to make available a limited number of scholarships for this webinar. For information about the scholarships, please contact UWCC’s Megan Webster at mawebster@wisc.edu.

Legal Webinar: Working with Cooperatives in Wisconsin 2020, image of farm with hand shaking in front