The cooperative association; SKAR's new organisational model
Within SKAR the possibility exists for tenants of a building to set up a cooperative association. In a cooperative association tenants join forces and work together under one name on individual and collective goals. These include applying for subsidies, jointly purchasing materials (or services), setting up a good knowledge infrastructure or developing a distinctive character for the building. The cooperative can also rent space and create its own programmes. Here you can read all the information about the cooperative society at SKAR and how you can set one up.
The cooperative society
Why a cooperative society?
The advantage of a cooperative is that you can save money when you buy things together. Invest collectively in machines and tools or arrange cleaning together. The association also offers the possibility of applying for project subsidies together. And it can work as a business. So you can make money for the association. There are, for example, studio buildings where one or more rooms are managed by the association in order to turn them into presentation or workshop space.
What is the purpose of the cooperative society?
The purpose of the cooperative is to create added value for its members. The members democratically decide together what the cooperative should do to realize this added value. As you can read above, the cooperative can have different kinds of goals, depending on what you as a community want or need.
What does membership of the association mean for me as a tenant?
If your SKAR property has a cooperative association, as a tenant you (usually) automatically become a member of this association. All members pay an association contribution. This contribution is standard minimum €5 per rented meter per year. The association itself can choose to increase the contribution. The association contribution is always linked to the number of square meters that you rent. When the rent is terminated, your membership in the association automatically ends in the same month as your rent.
How does SKAR help with the establishment of the cooperative association?
If the tenants in a SKAR building jointly decide to set up a cooperative association, SKAR can help you. Condition is that (almost) all tenants participate. SKAR supervises the establishment process, pays the notary fees and can collect the membership contributions for the association. The contribution will then be transferred to the association in its entirety.
How can I set up a cooperative society for my building?
Are you a tenant with SKAR and do you want to set up a cooperative association with your fellow tenants? Send an email with the address details of the building and your contact information to SKAR via email@example.com. We will be happy to help you.
The organisational structure
How is the association organized?
The diagram shows the organizational structure of the cooperative association.
The roles and tasks of the various parties are laid down in the association's bylaws. These documents can be requested from and inspected by the board of your association.
Below is a brief description of each part.
The general meeting of members
What do the members of the association do?
As members of the association you determine together which policy or activities you will pursue in a certain period. All members of the association have an equal vote in this. Because it is not convenient to consult members on a daily basis about all kinds of issues or expenses, a board is composed.
What is the general member meeting?
At least once a year there is a general assembly in which the members discuss activities and plans of the association. In addition, there is a fixed annual meeting in January. It is also possible to organize an extra meeting in between. A request for an extra meeting should be submitted to the board. The board then calls all members together for a meeting.
What happens at the annual general meeting?
Each year, a general membership meeting is held in January, at which the board (and program manager) are accountable to the association's members. The topics discussed at this regular annual meeting include:
- the budget;
- the annual accounts and justification;
- the development of the substantive programme for the coming year;
- other proposals from the members or the board;
What is the role of the board of the cooperative?
The members of the cooperative choose the board of the association. The board has a supervisory role. The board members monitor the finances and the intended goals and results of the association. If there is a programme manager, board powers are sometimes (partially) transferred.
What does the composition of the board look like?
The board (and the programme manager) supervise the plans, policy and finances of the cooperative. In doing so, the Board must comply with the description of the cooperative's objectives in the articles of association. The board consists of a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 persons. Within the board, a chairman, a secretary and a treasurer are appointed. The board meets at least three times a year for a board meeting.
What is the role of association committees?
To ease the burden on the board (and the program manager), various committees can be established within the cooperative association. Think of a committee for the garden, the communication or the organization of a specific event. Each body within the association (board, programme manager, ALV) can set up a committee. In the minutes of the meeting must be recorded when the committee was established and what the mission of the committee is. The committees work autonomously on their goals after approval of the ALV.
The programme manager
What is the role of a program manager in the association?
In the first phase of the development of a property, SKAR sometimes works with a program manager. The program manager knows the potential of the members of the community and knows what needs and questions are present within the group. His or her work is paid for from the resources of the cooperative. The programme manager is responsible for the day-to-day running of the breeding ground. Together with the members of the association, the programme manager develops the content of the annual programme and draws up the annual budget.
Enthusiastic? Start your own cooperative association with your fellow tenants! Mail the address of the building and your contact information to SKAR at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to help you.