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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

What Co-ops and Charities Can Learn From Each Other

For the charity sector, co-ops are business clubs focused on private gain – values-based, open and entrepreneurial. That is seen as in contrast with a wider public purpose – indeed charity law tends to test public benefit negatively, through the absence of private benefit.

For the co-operative sector, philanthropy is about the public works of private people – generous with their time and money, prosperous, often establishment. That is seen as in contrast with the working class roots of the self-help movement – participatory and emerging out of need.

Each probably think the other is in some way the status quo – charities representing a more traditional, paternalistic approach to service delivery, co-operatives being part of markets that still leave people in need.

In reality, each has always aimed higher, at transforming society through values.

Read the rest at Ed Mayo's blog

 

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