Concept

North American Students of Cooperation

Résumé
The North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) is a federation of housing cooperatives in Canada and the United States, started in 1968. Traditionally, NASCO has been associated with student housing cooperatives, though non-student cooperatives are included in its network. NASCO provides its member cooperatives with operational assistance, encourages the development of new cooperatives, and serves as an advocate for cooperatives to government, universities, and communities. NASCO teaches leadership skills, provides information, and serves as a central link in facilitating the fruition of the cooperative vision for students and youth. NASCO acts as the organized voice of the "group-equity" cooperative housing movement, both in terms of bringing together student and community co-op activists, and in maintaining relationships with national cooperative organizations, including the National Cooperative Business Association and the Cooperative Housing Federation of Canada. NASCO works with its members and the general public on a variety of more extensive training and consulting activities. The NASCO staff visits Active Member groups at least once every two years, providing free consultation and training on a variety of topics as a member service. NASCO holds numerous workshops with topics including meeting process, board roles and responsibilities, planning, staff relations, marketing, diversity awareness, conflict resolution, facilitation, consensus decision-making, and organizational development for new cooperatives. Recent consulting efforts have included general manager evaluation assistance, business plan development, and expansion assistance. Other on-site consulting has included work on governance systems, accounting systems, maintenance planning, member recruitment, and participation strategies. NASCO's Co-op Voices newsletter features reports on activity among cooperatives in Canada and the United States. It reports on NASCO's activities and provides updates on co-operative news.
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