By Morgan Pitts 2/28/2019
As a cooperative, The Energy Co-op exists for one reason only: To meet the needs of our membership. While we on staff are all deeply committed to our membership, cooperative principles and sustainable, affordable energy, we are all fairly new to the association and still have a lot of room to better understand the needs and interests of our members. In 2019, we resolved to better know our members. As a first step, we invited our membership to join us for one of several lunch meetings in late February. (We expect to hold more gatherings such as these on an ongoing basis in the future.)
We learned a lot at these gatherings and received excellent feedback from those who participated. While there were many takeaways, what we heard loud and clear was that members are interested in being more engaged with/by The Energy Co-op and that members want to be empowered to act as ambassadors to their communities.
This really excited us on staff – an engaged membership is exactly what The Energy Co-op needs to be successful and is a huge asset as we continue to educate the public about the benefits of a cooperative business model and clean, affordable sources of energy.
The overwhelming takeaway from these gatherings was that members are interested in more engagement and opportunities to participate in the Co-op. We look forward to working with interested members to expand on these ideas over the next year, but three of the key takeaways from the meeting were:
- Empower members to act as Energy Co-op Ambassadors in their communities through training, volunteer opportunities and by providing information and marketing materials.
- Create more opportunities for the community of Energy Co-op members to come together. This could include events with expert speakers, film screenings, happy hours, or other similar events.
- Use technology to make The Energy Co-op more accessible to members, particularly at the Annual Member Meeting.
Since hearing from our members this past weekend, staff have been brainstorming ways to bring these suggestions to fruition to benefit the association. In the coming months, we plan on working to establish a member-led volunteer committee to help with our outreach efforts. And, we look forward to more member engagement events over the course of 2019, possibly featuring some of our very own members as speakers.
If you are a current member and are looking for ways to be more engaged, please email us at [email protected]. If you’re not yet a member, visit http://www.theenergy.coop/enrollment to get started today.