Member-owned refers to Cable co-op being a cooperative. So, what is a cooperative business?
Cooperatives are businesses owned by “member-owners.” Co-ops are democratically controlled by members, and unlike a traditional business each member is represented by Board members they elect and gets a voice in how the business is run via the elected Board members. Services provided by the co-op benefit and serve members only. By paying a monthly membership fee, a member gains rights to services and voting. Members may also run for board positions and help direct the Cable Co-op themselves.
Member-ownership of Cable Co-op is also key to how we treat our members, as members, not customers and in-turn reflect on why our tech support is second to none. We help when we can, we never try to upsell you, and we make sure all our members receive equal treatment. Cable Co-op’s focus on your community also stems from us being a member-owned business.
Board-directed refers to the elected Cable Co-op board duties of guiding the Cable Co-op in the best interests of its members. The Board has many duties that include approving an annual budget and ensuring the General Manager is following the budget throughout the year. The Board accomplishes this function via regular meetings in which the GM submits reports on “actual vs proposed budget spending,” current and future projects, and the general direction the Cable Co-op is heading. This also includes a member count and the services they are utilizing. The board also forms various committees to help present ideas for marketing, public relations, technology, and other aspects of how the Cable Co-op functions.
A profit is defined as the difference between total revenue and total expenses. Though many assume a nonprofit does not make a profit, this is simply not how many nonprofits work. A nonprofit refers to the fact that any “profit” made does not go to a shareholder or private investor, but the funds are used for the company to improve operations and/or services. A profit is never used for bonuses, incentives, or to increase wages. Although a nonprofit does not operate within the idea of maximizing profits, they still need to be a fiscally responsible business. As a co-operative, Cable Co-op uses profits to the benefit of its members. Cable Co-op utilizes profits to improve system performance, upgrade equipment, and maintain the lowest prices possible. We also use profits to assist our community by providing discounts, donations, and all the other great programs we have that help our community.
Community-focused is the benefit we have of being a member-owned, board-directed, nonprofit. We maintain operations via the services we supply, but some of our profit, and even our budget stems around the fact we love and cherish our community and do everything we can to help. This is how we afford to do fundraisers, food drives, free Internet for “The Bridge”, discounted rates for nonprofits, and programs such as “Helping with Homework” & “Embrace Oberlin”, plus the numerous other things we do for our community. Personally, this is one of the reasons I have stayed with the Cable Co-op for over two decades. Besides the pride I have for the quality of support our techs give, the thing I am proudest of is Cable Co-op’s involvement in our community.
Your Community, Your Cable Company:
With most of the advertising I do and information I put out there, I usually use the tag line, “Your Community, Your Cable Company.” As you can derive from the last four installments, we truly are “Your Cable Company.” As members you are partial owners and way more than just a customer. Supporting Cable Co-op also supports your community by way of all the programs we do for “Your Community.”