Welcome to CDI

We make democratic ownership work for everyone.

Cooperative Development Institute (CDI) is the source for cooperative business development in the Northeast. CDI’s mission is to build a cooperative economy through the creation and development of successful cooperative enterprises and networks in diverse communities in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Rhode Island and New York.

Cooperative Development Institute staff specialize in helping people work together to plan and launch a cooperatively owned business. We help existing privately held businesses convert to ones owned by their employees or the consumers of their products and services, we help start-up cooperatives, and we support existing cooperative businesses.

Our organization provides education, training and technical assistance to cooperatively-structured enterprises in all business sectors: food, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, housing, energy, arts, retail, service, health, and more. Find out more about CDI’s consultation services and our educational and training programs.

CDI fully supports the statement of values and principles adopted by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA). CDI’s work is also guided by the Madison Principles, professional standards set by cooperative development leaders in Madison, Wisconsin in 1994.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA’s TARGET Center at 202/720-2600 (voice and TDD).

To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Wardtown Mobile Home Cooperative becomes the 6th Resident Owned Community in Maine

Freeport, ME, May 13, 2015 — The residents of Wardtown Mobile Home Park in Freeport recently secured funding support from the Genesis Community Loan Fund in Damariscotta, and Maine State Housing Authority (Maine Housing) in Augusta, to become the 6th Resident Owned Community in Maine.  Aided in their purchase acquisition by assistance from the Cooperative…

Why We Must Support Maine’s Cooperative Development Legislation

CDI staff members Rob Brown and Jonah Fertig recently testified before the Maine legislature on the importance of a bill that would improve the state’s support for co-op and employee-owned businesses. Below, Rob shares his thoughts on why this is bill is of critical importance. Given that co-ops keep money in communities and improve job…

Co-op Cathy: What are residency requirements for joining a co-op in the US?

Meet Cathy, the Cooperative Development Institute’s new answerwoman! She can take on any co-op questions you might have, big or small. Today we address the submitted question: “What are residency requirements, if any, for joining a co-op in the U.S.?” See all of Cathy’s answers and ask your own on her home page. The full…