NCF prides itself on being an innovator. We have assembled a collection of research papers, publications and brochures which represent interesting and sometimes groundbreaking initiatives in the co-op world. Also included are NCF’s collection of toolbox publications related to housing, worker-cooperatives and community supported agriculture. These toolboxes are available for sale and are also free to download below.

Publications & Research


Visit CFED's I'M HOME - Innovations in Manufactured Homes for more resources on manufactured housing development and advocacy.


The Cooperator is a bi-monthly newsletter written and designed for the Boards of Directors, committee members, and other leaders of the resident-owned communities (ROCs) that NCF supports. The purpose of The Cooperator is to provide Board Members with valuable and timely information on governance best practices, foster connections between leaders from different communities, and provide leaders with content for their own community newsletters.

Print copies of The Cooperator are sent by US Mail to all ROC Board Members and community leaders. Those with email accounts also receive online version of the newsletter. NCF supports ROCs in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. Some of the content of the newsletter may be state-specific. 


Issue 1, 12/21/2016: updates to Fair Housing rules, NCF policy updates, Eagle's View project update

Issue 2, 2/1/2017: The Get-To-Know-You Edition; overview of NCF-supported co-ops and introduction to NCF staff

Issue 3, 4/5/2017: Understand Your Community's Insurance Coverage, new annual expectations, update on single family finance resources 

Issue 4, 6/23/2017: Hosting community events, ROC Summit leadership conference announcement, key steps to a 'project-ready' ROC

Issue 5, 8/17/2017: The Budget Issue; report on ROC budget trends and best practices, budgeting for faster internet speeds, the case for regular lot rent increases, budgeting for tech purchases.

Issue 6, 10/24/2017: Celebrating Co-op Month; home winter weatherization, updates on NCF's 2018 legislative agenda

Issue 7, 12/20/2017: Board communication, year-end celebrations & frustrations, ROC Summit recap, 2018 legislative session updates, cooperative solar updates

Issue 8, 2/8/2018: Introduction to G Suite, managing Accounts Receivable, planning community events, ROC Leadership Institute announcement

Issue 9, 4/11/2018: Succession planning, managing onsite staff, successful board meetings, ROC Property Taxes, Co-op Day at the Capitol, ROC USA Better Together Grants

Issue 10, 09/20/2018: Board compensation, succession planning - part 2, hosting better board meetings - part 3, income surveys, Pammel Creek Estates ROC Spotlight



Housing Toolbox-1.jpg

This guide is designed for use by housing cooperative boards of directors, resident members and co-op partners. It defines what a co-op is, highlights the history of the cooperative movement, explains how co-ops are managed and governed, explores what co-op members can do to recognize and weed out problems early on, and provides guidelines that allow the best elements of cooperative living to take root and grow.

Hard copies at $20.00 each (plus postage) are available to order by email, phone or fax. Click here to download a copy.



As community leaders seek affordable housing solutions, people continue to make difficult choices about where to live. Cooperative housing is one solution to  increasing the availability of affordable housing. This guide is designed to assist community leaders in determining whether co-op housing is right for their community, and helps with choosing, planning and organizing co-op housing developments.

Hard copies at $20.00 each (plus postage) are available to order by email, phone or fax. Click here to download a copy.



Communities value the relationship with the farmer and the land that participation in a CSA provides. CSA’s can also act as educational tools, where farmers teach their communities about the land, what it takes to produce vegetables from week to week and provide nutritious recipes for the produce they deliver. This publication can help partners decide whether and how to implement community supported agriculture. Spirit Lake CSA is featured in this guide.

Hard copies at $20.00 each (plus postage) are available to order by email, phone or fax. Click here to download a copy.


A Cooperative Entrepreneurship Curriculum

Collecting Ourselves Cover.png

The curriculum walks participants through an examination of the philosophy and practice of cooperation, the meaning of "development" and "entrepreneurship" in their lives, the steps required in starting a cooperative business, and an exploration of two of the most important steps - organizing people into a Steering Committee, and creating a Business Plan. All activities use Popular Education methods, drawing directly on the expertise and insight of participants to guide the learning process.

"Collecting Ourselves" is comprised of 9 full workshops encompassing up to 16 hours of cooperative entrepreneurship training - the curriculum can serve as content for a semester class in university, be used in regular community study groups, or be fodder for a retreat-style academy. It was developed for youth (teens to 30s), but is modular and adaptable for most age groups (as well as for identities, experiences, etc).


"Collecting Ourselves" is open source and free (both its usage and price) - licensed formally with the Creative Commons as a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

This license lets others remix, tweak, & build upon work non-commercially - as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under identical terms as this original resource.

This license lets others remix, tweak, & build upon work non-commercially - as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under identical terms as this original resource.

The curriculum was authored between 2014 and 2016 as part of the Kris Olsen Traveling Cooperative Institute (TCI) by its Program Director, Emily M Lippold Cheney. TCI has been part of the Northcountry Cooperative Foundation's suite of programming since the organization's founding in 1999.


Thanks to the open licensing of this resource, "Collecting Ourselves" is available to everyone for free as a pdf download, as well as for the cost of printing and shipping in hard copy format. If you value the curriculum and the work being done to create more accessible cooperative development resources, please consider donating to Northcountry Cooperative Foundation and the Traveling Cooperative Institute program here via GiveMN.

order a hard copy (at cost)

If you would like a durable, spiral-bound, hard copy booklet of the curriculum at cost, you can purchase it via the online store of Toolbox for Education and Social Action (a worker cooperative of educators). Additionally, keep your eyes out for hard copies being vended at conferences and events near you! Follow us on Facebook to hear where we'll be headed.

dOWNLOAD a digital copy (for free)

You can download the Full Curriculum & Appendix (176 pages), or download individual sections and workshops as you need them. If you are a user of Teachers Pay Teachers, you can download this resource and rate it over in the Cooperative Entrepreneurship TPT store.

Check out the Summary of Workshop Objectives (2 pages) to easily reference the content and purpose of each individual workshop.

If downloading workshops individually, be sure to download and read through the Curriculum History, Method, & Use (18 pages) and Related Appendix Items (9 pages) - it provides invaluable information for how to interpret and act on the content and format of the curriculum.

Individual workshops are as follows:

Additional Downloads:


If you like the curriculum, please share it with your networks so as many people as possible can have access to resources to support them in pursuing cooperative entrepreneurship. Here are some ways you can share the curriculum with your friends and colleagues -


Have you used the curriculum and are willing to share about your experience? Do you have any questions about the curriculum's content or usage? Any questions or feedback are greatly appreciated.

Please fill out the below form or email

Name *