Welcome to Austin Cooperatives, a directory of housing co-ops, student housing co-ops, alternative housing, co-op advocates, member & worker co-ops, credit unions, and collectives & community organizations in and around Austin, Texas along with a few national & international co-op advocates.
What is a co-op?
Cooperation is the process of groups of organisms working or acting together for common, mutual, or some underlying benefit, as opposed to working separately in competition for selfish benefit.
A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise.
A housing cooperative is a legal mechanism for ownership of housing where residents either own shares reflecting their equity in the cooperative's real estate, or have membership and occupancy rights in a not-for-profit cooperative, and they underwrite their housing through paying subscriptions or rent.
A cohousing community is a type of intentional community that is planned, owned, and managed by the residents and composed of private homes with full kitchens supplemented by extensive common facilities for groups of people who want more interaction with their neighbors.
A credit union, a type of financial institution similar to a commercial bank, is a member-owned democratically controlled nonprofit financial cooperative. Credit unions generally provide services to members similar to retail banks, including deposit accounts, provision of credit, and other financial services.
The Rochdale Principles are a set of ideals that have guided the operation of cooperatives since 1844. The International Cooperative Alliance has since revised and summarized these seven principles as: voluntary and open membership • democratic member control • member economic participation • autonomy and independence • education, training, and information • cooperation among cooperatives • concern for community
College HousesStudent Housing Co-op
College Houses is a student housing cooperative owned and managed by its student residents with houses located in West Campus near the University of Texas at Austin.
College Houses is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides over 500 beds of affordable student housing across five properties near UT Austin and Austin Community College. Our mission is to serve as a transformative environment that empowers students through democratic, cooperative living. We provide affordable housing to foster community, support education, and promote personal development and well-being. Established in 1964.
College Houses offers both shared and apartment style co-ops. The shared style co-ops house anywhere from 60 to 122 members in private or two-person furnished bedrooms. These co-ops feature fully stocked industrial sized kitchens and dining rooms that serve up to 17 meals per week. Members do an average of four hours of labor per week. The two apartment style co-ops house 20 and 36 members in private furnished bedrooms and bathrooms with shared kitchens/kitchenettes and no meal plan. Members do an average of two hours of labor per week.
Each house has various amenities that are available to all College House members including computer lab, exercise room, game room, TV room, sundeck, high speed internet, study lounge, laundry facility, library, outdoor space, garden, fire pit, bike shop, public bikes, tool shed, swimming pool, sports area, and more.
- 707 W 21st St, Austin, TX 78705
- 1905 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78705
- 1905 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78705
- 1905 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78705
- 1906 Pearl St, Austin, TX 78705
- 2000 Pearl St, Austin, TX 78705
- 2612 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78705
ICC AustinStudent Housing Co-op
ICC is a student housing cooperative owned and operated by its student members with houses located in West Campus near UT Austin.
ICC Austin is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to provide quality, affordable, and healthy cooperative housing for students with financial need. We are dedicated to ensuring students have access to affordable housing near the university to reduce the financial burden of attending college. We own and operate nine cooperative houses in the west campus neighborhood and we welcome all central Texas university students. Established in 1937.
ICC Austin operates nine houses that each house anywhere from 15 to 34 members. Within the larger ICC Austin community, each house supports a smaller close-knit community of students as unique as the architecture itself.
One of the most unique parts of cooperative living is an equal sharing of resources and chores. Our houses are stocked with everything you need to live comfortably. There is no need to buy pots and pans or buy living room furniture. It’s included! All members are responsible for completing an average of five hours of chores per week. Some examples of chores are cooking, cleaning, basic maintenance, yard work, and house leadership. This keeps the cost low and the houses running smoothly.
- 2212 Pearl St, Austin, TX 78705
- 1910 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78705
- 710 W 21st St, Austin, TX 78705
- 1909 Nueces St, Austin, TX 78705
- 2309 Nueces St, Austin TX 78705
- 2610 Rio Grande St, Austin, TX 78705
- 510 W 23rd St, Austin, TX 78705
- 1805 Pearl St, Austin, TX 78701
Anormalidad is an independent housing cooperative in the Cherrywood neighborhood in East Austin. Founded in 2018 as Concordia Co-op and re-enchanted as Anormalidad in 2021. We are an LGBTQ+ household, intergenerational, and also have a vegan-friendly kitchen. We welcome all in our home.
In 2020, 68 homeowners and their families took a major step toward securing their financial futures when they took ownership of the land beneath their neighborhood by purchasing the North Lamar Community Mobile Home Park, becoming the second resident-owned manufactured housing community in Texas.
A cooperative community in the Brentwood neighborhood in North-Central Austin that began as a conversation at the Austin Cooperative Business Association (ACBA). When word spread and interest grew, Hardy House was realized as a housing cooperative in August of 2019.
La Réunion is an open, non-discriminatory, and democratic apartment-style community based on cooperative principles.
Our mission: To create a cooperative housing community that values and strives to support affordability, equality, empowerment, education and the promotion of the fundamental principles of cooperation, both within the collective and among the wider community.
We are a housing cooperative located in Austin Texas. Our focus is on environmental sustainability and community building. We are governed through consensus process and highly value communication. Roots was founded by 10 activists out of the Occupy movement and takes a strong political and social stance for equality by gaining awareness of societal generated oppression and creating a new standard for non-hierarchical relationship. Founded in 2012.
Since its inception in 2011, Rosewood has had many folks live within its walls. Throughout each of our iterations, however, we have emphasized affordable housing, sustainability, creativity and mutual aid. Our members are committed to confronting systems of oppression through reading groups, mutual aid efforts, and questioning/working to change how our house reproduces inequity.
Sasona offers individual rooms in a spacious, democratically run, member-owned household. Members of the Sasona enjoy conveniences such as a home-cooked meal every day, a stocked kitchen, paid utilities, free laundry, internet access, and a TV room.
Sasona follows the Rochdale Principles of cooperation: We strive to create an open and diverse community in which all people and lifestyles are accepted and valued. Our open membership policy ensures that anyone interested in the benefits of cooperative living has the opportunity to live at Sasona.
Sasona Cooperative was founded in June of 2002 by a group of alumni from the College Houses and Inter-Cooperative Council student cooperatives in Austin. With the support and assistance of the campus cooperatives and the North American Students of Cooperation (NASCO) development consultants, they found a spacious house in the Zilker Park area of South Austin and secured a loan to make a down payment on the property. After two years of operation, Sasona Co-op joined NASCO Properties, a confederation of cooperatives across the United States.
Sunflower was established in 1980 by a group of Austinites "who envisioned establishing a small, vegetarian, independent co-operative." Since then, it's been called home by hundreds of members young and old, and from various walks of life.
A nonprofit housing cooperative in the Cherrywood neighborhood in east Austin, TX.
Established in 1949, Whitehall is a democratically run, vegetarian, multi-generational housing cooperative located in West Campus. Our mission is to offer affordable housing, with an emphasis on community living.
The Austin Community Land Trust (ACLT) is unique in that it separates the ownership of the house from the land. It creates affordable housing by taking the cost of land out of the purchase price of an ACLT home. It keeps housing affordable for future buyers by controlling the resale price of ACLT homes through a ground lease and resale formula. If a homeowner sells their ACLT home, the formula price ensures the ACLT home remains affordable for the next family.
Austin Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) permanently owns the land under the ACLT home, while individuals own the ACLT home pursuant to a deed for the home and lease the land pursuant to a 99-year, renewable ground lease.
AHFC is responsible for the administration and oversight of the day-to-day activities of the ACLT program. Austin City Council created AHFC in 1979 as a public, nonprofit corporation under the provisions of the Texas Housing Finance Corporation Act chapter 394 of the Texas local government code. Austin City Council serves as the AHFC's board of directors.
Earth, timber, straw, lime, permaculture, natural building contracting, and workshops in Austin, TX.
W.E. Tribal Village is a unique experimental, off-grid intentional community located just outside of East Austin that is based on the principles of permaculture, sustainable concepts, and healthy intentional community design.
Austin Community Reinvestment Cooperative is a real estate investment cooperative based in Austin, Texas. Our mission is growing Austin's cooperative housing community by connecting people, capital, and resources. ACRC collects capital from investors, buys properties, then leases those properties to community coops. A key feature of our model is that any income from the leases is shared between the residents and investors, with priority given to the residents.
Our mission is to facilitate the creation of cohousing communities in Austin or the surrounding areas. The communities we develop will consist of private homes clustered around shared space and facilities and feature principles that are environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable.
We work as an incubator, by gaining skills and knowledge from more than 150 communities that exist throughout the United States. Our monthly meetings serve as a resource to educate Austin residents and provide the tools for potential residents to gather, organize, and develop communities.
The ACBA is dedicated to growing and strengthening the Austin-area cooperative community through accessible cooperative education, inter-cooperative support, and advocacy to make it easier to start and expand cooperative.
The ACBA grew out of two contributing organizations the Austin Cooperative Think Tank (ACTT) and the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA). The Austin Cooperative Think Tank developed gradually, beginning in 2010, with the mission of growing the Austin cooperative economy, and officially began taking on projects in 2012, the International Year of the Cooperative. It finally solidified into the ACBA in June of 2013 when the NCBA agreed to fund the program with a grant supplemented by contributions from founding member cooperatives in Austin.
Boomers Collaborative Foundation (BCF) is an Austin-based nonprofit providing a holistic solution set for retirement—cooperative housing and assistance to cooperative entrepreneurs—primarily to 'elder orphans' (single adults, aged 55 and older, with little or no supportive family or children). We do this so economically fragile seniors can continue to contribute and stave off dependency on public services through the sharing of resources as they co-live, co-create, and thrive in retirement.
At Boomers Collaborative, beneficiaries share resources and responsibilities to live and create in a common place so together they can thrive in retirement. We greatly reduce socio-economic stressors by promoting the independence AND well-being of beneficiary Baby Boomers and other seniors through the sharing of facilities, equipment, risk, food, meals, and supplies.
Under our easily replicated model, beneficiaries co-live and co-work in a co-op tailored to local conditions and constituent needs, through sustainable mixed-use, mixed-income senior housing—outwardly focused for intergenerational and community engagement—within vibrant, environmentally green urban-village settings. We provide nonprofit small business / creatives' supports as well as a storefront bistro or coffee shop with oversized commercial kitchen, retail gallery, and event space. We also educate and mentor new and prospective beneficiaries in cooperative stewardship and other meaningful skills.
CHEA is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), cooperatively-owned housing organization in Austin, TX that creates and sustains affordable cooperative housing communities. CHEA runs Sasona and La Réunion cooperatives.
The NNDC's mission is to share and teach the beauty and practicality of traditional building practices to improve the quality of life for all by providing opportunities of creative grassroots empowerment through traditional arts of sustainability. The NNDC is spearheading one of the first campaigns for whole neighborhoods of mixed income and diversity to be designed and eligible for federal grants in live-work artist residencies, cultural preservation, sustainability, affordable housing, and owner-builder support and education.
Creative financing and equity models will create more affordable rent and home ownership opportunities through: shared or limited equity cooperative housing (home ownership or rental), sweat equity - learn and help build under contract/mentorship of professional natural builders and architects earning sweat equity, cooperative investing among the homeowners (owners own their neighborhood, not just their own home), tax and grant benefits of partnering as a mixed income and sustainably designed community, and live-work residences.
Naturally built neighborhoods use holistic approaches to sustainable development. They are permaculturally master planned communities with appropriately sized custom bungalow homes with varied setbacks interspersed with walkable gardens and sidewalks through food forests responding to natural site variations and preserving trees. No clearing. Only sensitive harvesting of all vegetation, private outdoor spaces integrated into the architecture of the homes.
The Texas Agricultural Cooperative Council (TACC) is a voluntary statewide industry association created by Texas cooperatives themselves in 1934 to serve as a collective voice, catalyst and clearing house on all co-op activities in the state.
Established in 1941, Texas Electric Cooperatives (TEC) is a statewide organization dedicated to representing the interests of cooperative electric utilities in Texas and the member-consumers they serve. The association also publishes Texas Co-op Power, a monthly magazine reaching 1.68 million electric cooperative members in 65 Texas cooperatives.
The Texas Rural Cooperative Center exists to improve the economic conditions of rural Texas by assisting with the start-up, expansion, and operational improvement of rural businesses, especially cooperatives and mutually-owned businesses.
Member & Worker Co-ops
4th Tap is a small, worker-owned brewery located in North Austin's '58 beer district. A couple of Austin natives banded together with a few transplants from Houston, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi to build the 4th Tap brewery in their old stomping grounds of north/central Austin. After six years of work, they finally opened their doors to the public in late 2015 with a focus on inspired ingredients to make honest beer. The taproom was designed to bring together their neighborhood community - those who live and work in the vicinity - to share in 4th Tap's love of beer, art, music, and much more. Open 6 days a week, the taproom is run by everyone at the brewery. Come by, introduce yourself, and join us for a beer or two.
All Austin Cooperative Nursery School is a part-time preschool program in Central Austin created and supported by a community of parents, teachers, and children, working together to provide high-quality experiential learning for our children in a secular environment.
In 1953, a group of progressive parents founded the All Austin Cooperative Nursery School with the purpose of providing a racially integrated, educationally sound learning environment for their children. AACNS was one of the first progressive preschools established in the state of Texas. Over the years, AACNS expanded and developed into a family-centered school, continuing to maintain a policy of nondiscrimination with regard to race, religion, color, and national origin. It was many years, however, before the co-op was able to realize its dream of owning a space of its own. Finally, in 2002, on the eve of its 50th anniversary, AACNS purchased, renovated, and moved into a building designed solely for the use of young children and their families.
The Artists Screen Printing Co-op is a non-profit co-op serving the needs of artists and designers who desire to share a common screenprinting workspace and studio in which to collaborate and create original works.
We began in the summer of 2009 with an idea and an ad on Craigslist. Founder, James Tootle, wanted to find other artists who wanted to join together to buy screen printing equipment and rent a small studio space. Two people answered James’ post so they met for lunch and sketched out in general what a collaborative would look like. After about a year of research and countless organizational meetings at local Austin libraries, the original idea had grown from a 4-5 person collaborative into starting an official non-profit cooperative. With invaluable assistance from Texas C-Bar and staff attorney, Whitney Cox, ASPCO was born in July 2010!
ATX Co-op Taxi is an organization of taxi drivers that take pride in providing taxi services in the Austin area.
The Austin Raw Feeders' Co-op is a purchasing cooperative for people in the Austin, Texas metropolitan areas (including Buda, San Marcos, Kyle, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Hutto, Cedar Park, Leander, Manor, Elgin, Bastrop and Georgetown) who feed their pets a natural, fresh foods diet. We are an unincorporated non-profit association of friendly, like-minded people who value cooperative ideals. We promote education and community through classes and social events for members.
Founded in 2002, ARF is the oldest, largest cooperative for raw-feeding pet owners in Texas. ARF Co-op began as a loose association of raw-feeding friends who ordered staples from Buddy's Chicken (now closed) in Gonzales, Texas together. One member drove to the supplier every month and everyone picked it up at her house. As time passed and word spread around Austin we added more suppliers, grew in size, and fine-tuned our ordering and delivery model. Today we are structured more formally but are still a friendly association of like-minded folks.
This group talks about self-organized software co-operative based issues and solutions such as economics, compensation, structure, strategy, and philosophy.
With a special focus on local producers, the basic mission of the Black Star Co-op is to foster an environment in which member-owners, as well as the general public, may realize the principles of co-operative ownership, worker self-management, education and community action through the responsible enjoyment great beer and food.
Before becoming the world's first cooperatively owned and worker self-managed brewpub, Black Star took root from an idea that looked beyond the path of conventional wisdom. A pub and brewery – owned by the community, for the community. Co-founder Steven Yarak spread the idea of this unique business model throughout the neighborhood, which led to a meeting of 16 people in a vacant lot in Austin, Texas on January 14, 2006.
In September of 2010, Black Star opened its doors to the public after raising nearly $500,000 from Member-Owners. Situated in Central Austin’s Midtown Commons complex near the corner of Airport and North Lamar, Black Star welcomed guests with seasonal house crafted beers, 20 guest taps from craft breweries near and far, and made-from-scratch local, sustainably sourced Texas pub fare.
Providing safe, reliable, affordable power to our members in 14 Central Texas counties since 1939.
The BuyBoard National Purchasing Cooperative is a cooperative formed by governmental entities to streamline the buying process for public schools, municipalities, and other governmental entities.
Developed to assist members in complying with their purchasing legal requirements, BuyBoard vendors have been awarded contracts for products and services through a competitive procurement process, thereby giving members the opportunity for bulk discounts, combined with the ease of online, web-based shopping.
The Texas Cooperative is open to all local governments, and other political subdivisions in the state that are authorized to be a party to an interlocal cooperation agreement under the Interlocal Cooperation Act. While not eligible for cooperative membership, TASB also offers nonprofit, tax-exempt entities use of the BuyBoard through a nonprofit subscriber agreement.
The seeds for the Central Texas Farmers Co-op were planted back in September of 2016. A group of young farmers and farming advocates began to meet on a monthly basis to discuss the opportunities and benefits that might be created through working together, rather than in competition.
From these meetings a new cooperative association was formed. The Central Texas Farmers Co-op is jointly owned and democratically controlled by small and beginning farmers in Hays, Caldwell, Blanco, and Travis county. The CTFC currently operates a multi-farm community supported agriculture program in the Spring and Fall in San Marcos, TX.
We operate as a worker-owned enterprise and are the first political consultant firm in the country organized as a worker cooperative.
All of our workers are union-members through United Professional Organizers and employees of our cooperative. We don't make people work as independent contractors like most all firms and we look out for our worker best interest.
We are worker-owned which means our labor isn't working to make one person profit. Our workers are the owners so our profits go to our labor.
Founded in 2014, the Cuernavaca Arts Cooperative is a cooperative support group for visual artists that live in or near the Lake Hills neighborhood in Austin, TX. Our purpose is to create a community of artists to network, share ideas, support and inspire one another, and find spaces suitable for art making, galleries, and classes. We are here to promote one another's work, and to promote the arts in general within our local community.
Established in the mid-1970s, the Darkroom Co-op is a community darkroom space independently maintained and organized by its members.
Austin's downtown recycling center. Ecology Action of Texas was founded in 1969 by a group of visionary UT students after the Round Earth Conference on UT campus, part of the organizing for the first Earth Day celebration. An all volunteer group at the time, Ecology Action sought to promote a variety of environmental issues, eventually focusing on recycling and landfill diversion. Today, we continue in Ecology Action's tradition of stewardship across the city of Austin, serving the entire community as trusted advocates of the environment to educate and empower people to create a healthier environment through waste prevention and accessibility to recycling.
eQuality HomeCare Coop is an in-home care agency run by the people who provide care: the caregivers! That means that the dedicated workers who come into your home are not only licensed, insured, and experienced, but also have a stake in the company they themselves manage.
The first worker-owned caregiver cooperative in Texas, eQuality HomeCare Coop has offices in downtown New Braunfels, right in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. Our team helps elderly and disabled people to have high quality of life while remaining in their own homes.
In an industry known for underpaid workers and high turnover, worker-owners of the eQuality HomeCare Cooperative chart their own course by working together as a team of equals without syphoning off dollars to a big care franchise or private owner. Co-op caregivers earn more, have a stake in the agency, and stay long-term, which not only improves their lives but the lives of the families they serve.
Inspired by the success of the very first community-based trade association called Atlanta Retailers Association (ARA), the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board of United States appointed a special task force in 1998 to establish similar trade associations in other geographical areas. As a result of this effort, Greater Austin Cooperative Merchants Association (GAMA) came into being on October 5, 1999.
Since then, GAMA along with a group of twelve trade associations, serve convenience store and gasoline station owners under the umbrella of the National Alliance of Trade Associations (NATA) by equipping the business owners with bulk purchasing power, industry know-how, and the right connections to strengthen their business models and practices.
We are an inclusive, secular homeschool cooperative re-imagining education and instilling a lifelong love of learning. We are passionate about creating a communal learning experience that empowers the leaders of tomorrow to be compassionate critical thinkers and creators.
Key Figures is a worker-owned and operated cooperative that offers a variety of bookkeeping & financial management solutions as well as tax preparation and consulting to a diverse assortment of small businesses, non-profits, and cooperatives in central Texas and nationwide.
Key Figures was formed when five bookkeepers, each with their own personal history in the world of cooperatives, found themselves working together in a growing local bookkeeping practice in Austin Texas. Our backgrounds range from worker co-ops to housing and consumer co-ops, as well as nearly all areas of financial management, small business management, and non-profit social justice work. In the spring of 2014, Andi Shively, co-founder of Cooperation Texas, a nonprofit worker cooperative incubator, started her own freelance bookkeeping practice, and began hiring other skilled people she met through her work at Cooperation Texas. By the summer of 2015, conversations began around the idea of converting the practice into Texas' first financial services worker cooperative, leading to the first steps being taken in early 2016. Key Figures officially formed as a worker-owned entity in the summer of 2017, with the cooperative officially taking ownership of Andi's bookkeeping practice on September 1st. Together, we strive to provide the most high quality service possible for our clients, and an exciting opportunity for other bookkeepers to make a fulfilling career move by joining our growing, inclusive team of financial service professionals.
KOOP (pronounced koh-op as in "co-op") is a community radio station in Austin, TX, owned and operated by its members in a cooperative structure depending primarily upon its volunteers and supporters for all operations of the station. KOOP provides a diverse array of programming, emphasizing programs that deal with local issues and/or serve communities which are under-served by the mainstream media.
The Austin Co-op Radio project was initiated by James R. (Jim) Ellinger, whose community radio experience included social justice programming for prisoners, broadcast on KOPN-FM in Columbia, Missouri; local information programming on KAZI-FM in Austin, Texas; and engagement with NFCB (the National Federation of Community Broadcasters and AMARC (l'Association Internationale des Radiodiffuseurs Communautaires / World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters). He also worked with cooperatives in the areas of housing and food. He released a first call-out for interested persons in December 1983. In 1985, Austin Co-op Radio was incorporated with the State of Texas, had its bylaws approved by the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, and received charitable status from the city of Austin.
Money Positive is a worker-owned certified B Corp financial planning service. We started by helping artists, and now we are here to help everyone. We strive to help BIPOC, LBGTQ+, and traditionally underrepresented people.
New Music Co-op is a grass roots community organization made of up of composers and performers from the Austin area dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of new music. We create opportunities for performance, education, and composition of adventurous sound.
Since 2001, the NMC has presented over 30 concerts featuring over 150 new works, many of them premieres. The group runs by consensus and gains its strength from its members' varied experiences and interests. The New Music Co-op is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations to the group are tax-deductible.
Founded in 2009, NATC's Mission is to create an affordable homeschooling community where parents and students share student-inspired, parent-coached, enrichment learning opportunities.
The first worker-owned Tex-Mex cooperative in Austin, Texas. It's all about cracking eggs, homemade salsa and keeping Austin real.
Since 1938, Pedernales Electric Cooperative has served our members, supported our communities and helped extend electric service throughout the Texas Hill Country. As a PEC member, you are an owner of this organization, its history and its future.
Polycot Associates is a mission-driven, member-owned business offering web consulting and managed web design and development services. We endeavor to support other mission driven organizations including non-profits, co-ops, green and sustainable organizations, social good businesses, and B-corporations.
We are web developers, strategic consultants, and more. Jon Lebkowsky co-founded Polycot Consulting with partners in 2001, which spun off Polycot Associates as a sole proprietorship in 2007. The current team coalesced in 2012 and converted the business into a democratically run partnership in early 2014.
The Privacy Co-op brings you unparalleled control over the secondary use of your information. You will be able to opt-out and, more importantly, opt-in to a fair value exchange. Companies use your information for billions and billions of dollars. By joining the co-op, you begin the journey of finally getting a piece of the action!
Since 1989, REI Austin-Gateway has been providing outdoor enthusiasts in the Austin, Texas area with top-brand gear and clothing for camping, climbing, cycling, fitness, hiking, paddling and more.
We've been your outdoor co-op for 82 years. REI was founded in 1938 when a group of 23 climbing friends, united by their love for the outdoors, decided to source quality and affordable gear for their adventures. Today the REI community has 20 million lifetime members, nearly 15,000 employees and 168 locations. Annually, more than 70 percent of our annual profits are invested back into the outdoor community through dividends to REI members, employee profit-sharing and retirement, and investments in nonprofits dedicated to the outdoors.
South Austin Children's Co-op (SACC) is founded on the belief that the pre-school years are critical in a child's physical, intellectual, and emotional growth. This is an exciting time for children, when they are busy discovering the world about them and how they fit into it. It is a time of experiencing life through the senses, and for children to explore their creative potential. SACC provides a bridge between home and this exciting outside world. Here, with the support of their parents and facilitator, children learn how to treat others, how to get along in a social setting, and how to build a sense of assurance about themselves as individuals.
We are a statewide association of the small, rural telephone cooperatives and independent local and/or family-owned telephone companies. TSTCI members are committed to providing rural Texas with the best telecommunications available.
A collaborative of local businesses that provides a platform for local makers and entrepreneurs to showcase their products and network with other creatives.
Treasure City is organized for solidarity not charity purposes, and/or educational or scientific purposes, including protecting the environment by transforming waste into resources which benefit our communities, educating the public about alternative economic structures, educating the public about zero waste, providing community space for historically marginalized communities, inspiring art and creativity, making local and donated goods available and affordable for all people, and providing support to other organizations to build a just and sustainable society. The store is collectively organized and supported entirely by donations from the community.
Vulk Co-op is a worker-owned, full stack development consultancy based in Austin, TX. Vulk offers a full range of software development services, including design, user interaction/user experience, agile project management and infrastructure scaling. Contributing to the open source community, mentoring newcomers, and actively supporting the cooperative movement by hosting the Austin Software Co-operatives monthly meetup are just a few of Vulk's core values.
Since our inception in 2013, we at Vulk continue to challenge the norms of traditional management, question what it means to be a business owner, and determine how best to steer members’ personal development trajectories to their fullest potential. At Vulk Coop, our members determine management direction, budgetary decisions, and developing software philosophies.
WebHosting.coop is the world's first completely transparent, socially democratic, internet-run web hosting cooperative association. WebHosting.coop services its members all over the globe with fully transparent and honest website hosting solutions. Town Hall meetings and WebHosting.coops digital voting platform are some of the ways we give our members the ability to vote on important issues relating to WebHosting.coop's operations and service offerings. This innovative approach will help increase confidence in business, leverage the evolution of the internet, and raise the bar for service-based organizations of the future.
Wheatsville Food Co-op is a full service, natural foods cooperative grocery store, which has been serving the central Austin community since 1976. Wheatsville is the only retail food cooperative in Texas and has over 24,000 invested owners. Invested owners participate democratically and financially in the co-op.
The purpose of Wheatsville Co-op is to create a self-reliant, self-empowering community of people that will grow and promote a transformation of society toward cooperation, justice, and non-exploitation.
The mission of Wheatsville Co-op is to serve a broad range of people by providing them goods and services, using efficient methods that avoid manipulation of the consumers, and minimize exploitation of the producers or damage to the environment. The primary focus for this mission is supplying high-quality food and non-doctrinaire information about food to people in Austin, Texas.
A+ Federal Credit Union was founded in 1949 by a group of 50 teachers during a picnic meeting at Zilker Park in Austin. These foresighted individuals liked the idea of having a not-for-profit, financial cooperative that would be built on a philosophy of people helping people.
In 1967, ten Austin-based IBM employees pooled their resources to form an employee credit union. Now, five decades later, Amplify Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative with more than 60,000 members and more than $2 billion in assets under management.
Organized in 1967 to meet the financial needs of the employees of the Veterans Administration Data Processing Center, Austin Federal Credit Union is now open to anyone who lives, works, volunteers, or worships in our South Austin Community.
Austin Telco Federal Credit Union is a member owned, non-profit financial cooperative committed to serving our members with an array of high quality products and services. ATFCU has been serving the Austin Area since 1941 and is a strong and safe financial institution with over $2 billion in assets.
Capital Farm Credit is a customer-owned cooperative, providing financing to rural landowners, country homeowners, agricultural operators and agribusiness firms throughout Texas.
Capitol Credit Union exists to provide convenience to its members through a range of quality financial services and products offered at the best possible rates in a professional and personalized manner. Established in 1954.
We're a cooperatively owned wholesale bank that finances agriculture and rural America. We fund rural lending co-ops, so they can make loans to farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural property owners. Our bank is a part of the Farm Credit System, the nation’s oldest and largest source of rural financing.
In the early 1900s, commercial lenders considered agriculture to be a large risk. Interest rates were high, and long-term financing for farmers and ranchers was scarce. After congressional and presidential studies, Congress passed the Federal Farm Loan Act in 1916. The act established the nationwide Farm Credit System — a network of rural lending co-ops — to be a reliable source of funding for farmers, ranchers and aquatic producers. This system was based largely on Germany's Landschafts, a cooperative agricultural credit system that had operated successfully since 1769.
The legislation set up 12 district banks across the country to provide funds to local mortgage lending cooperatives that would be owned by farmers and ranchers. One of these banks, the Federal Land Bank of Houston, was designated to serve the Tenth Farm Credit District (now known as the Texas Farm Credit District) and later would become the Farm Credit Bank of Texas.
GEFCU was formed in 1931 as a financial cooperative to provide a way for its members to save money and obtain loans. We are the oldest credit union in Austin serving not only Travis County but also all of the counties that border Travis County. Over the years, our credit union has expanded beyond its roots of serving postal and federal employees to serving many different groups in the Austin area.
Founded in 1952, Greater Texas is a not-for-profit financial cooperative aimed at providing an array of products and services to members across the state of Texas.
LCRA Credit Union was formed in 1976 as a not-for-profit financial cooperative to provide the members with a reliable place to save and borrow.
PO Box 19138, Austin, TX 78760
State workers started PECU in 1952 to better serve the employees of Austin's state agencies. In recent years, we opened our membership to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school within a 10-mile radius of any of our Central Texas branches.
Star of Texas Credit Union was chartered September 24, 1952 under the name of Austin Texas Employment Commission (TEC) Credit Union to serve the Texas Employment Commission employees and their families.
The credit union is democratically controlled and you take part in your financial future by electing your board of directors. As a member of Star of Texas Credit Union, you share in the ownership of a full service financial institution and being an owner makes a difference. We strive to keep costs low and profits are returned to our members through lower fees and higher dividends because we are not for profit, but for service.
You are invited to join Star of Texas Credit Union if you live, work, worship or attend school within Travis County, or if you have a family member who belongs to Star of Texas Credit Union. We also welcome Texas Workforce Commission employees.
Texas DPS Credit Union was chartered on July 16, 1954, with 10 members and fifty dollars ($50) to serve Texas Department of Public Safety employees and their family members. The credit union's first home was the desk drawer of Fritz Christian, Treasurer, at 5805 North Lamar in Austin, Texas.
Texas DPS Credit Union has expanded membership eligibility and grown steadily since those first 10 members. We now serve individuals across the state of Texas and some outside of Texas. Our field of membership has also expanded to include people from other types of public safety associations and anyone who lives or works in Austin, Texas.
Texas Health Credit Union (THCU) has been in operation since 1956. It was originally opened and staffed by volunteers looking for an alternative to higher priced, for-profit institutions. Since that time, THCU has continued to grow and now offers a wide variety of affordable products and services for both individuals and small businesses.
In the 1950s, Travis County employees realized that having a credit union would provide them with better financial assistance than banks. One man in particular – Giles Garmon – who worked for Travis County's Adult Probation Department, led the effort that eventually led to the organization of Travis County Credit Union in June, 1954. He and other employees shared a belief that there was a better alternative, and they sought to find it. Garmon made use of his contacts in the county and at the state for direction in establishing an employee-owned and operated credit union. The key employees pooled their money, depositing it with the fledgling credit union. With their deposits, the credit union was able to lend money to members in need.
Now serving all Travis County employees and residents through their main office location, and in partnership with hundreds of credit unions presenting members with thousands of shared branching offices nationwide, Travis County Credit Union stands out among small, local financial institutions with unprecedented passion for serving Travis County and a wide-reach of products and services to meet their needs.
United Heritage opened its doors in 1957 as Military Federal Credit Union, offering military personnel savings and loan services. In 1969, our name changed to Bergstrom Federal Credit Union and we expanded our service offerings and increased our overall membership base. By 1993, the Credit Union was given the opportunity to expand our membership base to include hospitals and hospital affiliates, along with select employer groups, allowing us to grow into United Heritage Federal Credit Union. Changing from a federal charter to a state charter in 1997, we're now open to the Central Texas, Austin and Tyler communities, enabling us to help more people than ever.
University Federal Credit Union was chartered in 1936, and it has grown into a strong, healthy and growing financial cooperative, serving more than 200 universities, associations, and employers in Central Texas and Galveston County.
The VATAT Credit Union was founded in 1961 when it was organized for the benefit of its members, the Ag Science Teachers of Texas. In December of 1999, the credit union expanded the membership base to include the Texas Industrial Vocational Teachers and the Family Consumer Science Teachers of Texas.
The credit union was originally chartered in 1947 as Austin Municipal Federal Credit Union to serve City of Austin employees. In 1998, we moved from a federal to a state charter, and renamed ourselves Austin Metropolitan Financial Credit Union (AMFCU) to better reflect the changes in our membership. In January 2003, we changed our name to Velocity Credit Union.
Today, we’re one of the largest and strongest credit unions in the state of Texas. We have over $922 million in assets, and serve more than 88,000 members. Our community charter is open to anyone that lives or works in the five county area (Travis, Hays, Williamson, Bastrop, Caldwell).
Furthermore, we are committed to the long-established ideals of the Credit Union Movement: cooperation, self-help, independence, and non-profit operation. These ideals are put into action in many ways, every business day, to meet the wants and needs of today’s Credit Union members. We count on our members to be active participants in the cooperative. And we will remain dedicated to meeting these needs for decades to come.
Collectives & Community Organizations
A collective is a group of entities that share or are motivated by at least one common issue or interest, or work together to achieve a common objective. Collectives can differ from cooperatives in that they are not necessarily focused upon an economic benefit or saving, but can be that as well.
A community organization refers to organization aimed at making desired improvements to a community's social health, well-being, and overall functioning. Community organization occurs in geographically, psychosocially, culturally, spiritually, and digitally bounded communities.
The 5604 Manor Community Garden is a collectively run community garden in the backyard of the 5604 Manor Community Center. The center is the home of the Workers Defense Project, Third Coast Activist Resource Center, and Cooperation Texas. The garden was created with a grant from the Outdoor Nation Foundation in September 2012.
The garden is a free and open space for anyone to play outside, build community, and cultivate food, herbs, and native plants in a way that is sustainable for the environment and healthy for the body and mind. We share knowledge, tools, recipes, and the food that we grow in the garden. All produce that is harvested is shared equally amongst garden participants and any excess produce is donated to Austin hunger relief organizations.
Absolutely no experience is necessary to get involved. Whether you want to dig in the dirt, drop off your compost, get free organic produce, or just hang out and make friends, you are welcome in our beautiful, green community space!
Asmbly's mission is to enrich Austin's creative maker community by providing a top notch creative space with tools and educational opportunities in a multidisciplinary, inviting, and member-focused setting. As an educational nonprofit, we will continue to expand class offerings to both our members and the community at large. Our classes already run the gamut from introductory woodworking to advanced welding, laser cutting, 3D printing and more.
The story begins in 2010 when four makers got together to create ATX Hackerspace as a community workshop – a place to work on projects together. Although originally formed as an LLC, ATXHS always operated in the spirit of a nonprofit as an all volunteer run organization with no paid staff. Any profits seen were always invested back into the space to improve the experience and offerings for members. Meanwhile, Asmbly was created in 2019 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit community makerspace in Austin, Texas. Asmbly aspired to bring the same caliber of tools and equipment to the community, while growing offerings and developing a professionally managed organization. In mid-2020, Asmbly and ATXHS began discussing a collaboration to help grow the makerspace community in Austin. After realizing each had a piece the other was missing, Asmbly and ATXHS decided to join forces in April 2021 to create Austin's largest nonprofit makerspace operating as Asmbly.
The non-profit Austin Visual Arts Association took over operation of Austin Art Space in January 2011 as a way to expand the opportunities for Austin artists to exhibit their work. The space continues to be run as a collective, managed by AVAA. AVAA and the resident artists are committed to providing a professional space where emerging and established artists can create, collaborate, and present their work. Annual juried shows that began at Art Space and at Artspoken continue unabated and are now complemented by numerous AVAA member shows. Austin Art Space is a studio co-op and gallery with our talented resident artists in a commercial in a storefront.
Austin Food Not Bombs cooks free vegan food out of donated and salvaged produce that would otherwise go to waste. We share it because we believe food is a right, not a privilege. We cook every Saturday and are always happy to have new volunteers.
Freecycle is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.
The Austin Time Exchange Network is a grassroots, community program, enables individuals to exchange services with one another by sharing skills within a network of people in Austin. Similar to concepts expressed in bartering and alternative currency systems, this grassroots initiative lets members exchange labor and assistance without using the U.S. Dollar. Launched in April of 2006.
Started in 1997, the Austin Yellow Bike Project (YBP) 501c(3) is an all-volunteer initiative to put bicycles on the streets of Austin and Central Texas by operating community bike shops, teaching bike mechanics and maintenance, and acting as a local bike advocacy group.
Bikes Across Borders (BXB) is an Austin-based collective that does annual migrations to México to establish/develop relationships of solidarity and to donate bikes.
BXB's mission is to build solidarity partnerships by promoting autonomous transportation & cultural arts. Bikes Across Borders has organized more than fifteen bike delivery caravans since 2001, sending over 700 bicycles to Mexico, Central America, and Cúba.
We facilitate the donation of bike tools, used bicycles and parts to support community organizations & bicycle cooperatives locally and in Latin America.
Community Gardens in Austin. Find a community garden near you.
FrankenBike (n) A free bicycle swap meet held once a month in select U.S. cities that is open to anyone who wants to buy, sell or trade bicycles and bicycle related gear or parts. FrankenBike was founded in Austin, Texas in June 2005.
Inside Books Project is an Austin-based community service volunteer organization that sends free books and educational materials to prisoners in Texas. Inside Books is the only books-to-prisoners program in Texas, where over 120,000 people are incarcerated. Inside Books Project works to promote reading, literacy, and education among incarcerated individuals and to educate the general public on issues of incarceration.
Inside Books Project was founded in 1998 and obtained status as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2012. Inside Books has always been a community-focused and volunteer-run organization.
Monkeywrench Books is an all-volunteer event space, literature distro, and social hub in Austin, TX.
Sunshine Community Gardens has been in existence since 1979 with over 200 plots on about 3 acres of land in north central Austin, Texas. The land is leased from Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) and they are our generous partners in providing the members of Sunshine with an urban oasis for growing organic food and flowers.
SCG is an all volunteer non-profit organization. With the assistance of Gabriel Valley Farms, a local grower, each spring on the 1st Saturday of March, our Annual Plant Sale and Benefit provides the Austin area spring transplants for their gardens. Heirloom tomatoes, sweet & hot peppers, eggplant, herbs and much more are sold to benefit the gardens. Funds help to keep our membership fees low, pay for maintenance of our tools and tractor, and provide opportunities for special projects at the garden.
Sunshine, through its parent organization, Community Garden Initiative of Central Texas, offers educational opportunities with garden tours, donations of seed and plants, and meeting space for other non-profits. A number of plots are set aside as designated gardens to grow fresh produce for the Micah 6 Food Bank.
Founded in 1896, the University Co-op sought to serve and meet the need for UT Austin students. Staying true to the original idea and vision set by future UT President, Dr. William J. Battle, our vision is to strengthen the Longhorn experience by focusing on student success and faculty initiatives, and our mission is to promote student success by expanding access to affordable learning resources, offering college-to-career initiatives, and providing opportunities for student learning and development beyond the classroom.
While many college bookstores are operated by for-profit corporations, The University Co-op is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit and operated by a board of directors comprised of students, faculty, and staff at The University of Texas at Austin.
We work with thousands of neighbors throughout Austin to galvanize communities around turning underutilized private and public space into productive gardens and farms, educational space, and activity centers. Our projects strengthen and beautify our communities while reducing the impact of landscaping and agriculture.
Vuka Foundation exists to serve nonprofits and social enterprises that have a critical need for physical and business infrastructure.
We do this by providing subsidized event, meeting, and workspace, a collaborative community of changemakers, and programming to accelerate and sustain impact.
The inequitable distribution of resources to women, people of color, and small nonprofits is known as the opportunity gap. Vuka Foundation exists expressly to address this gap.
All nonprofits and social enterprises that we serve are Austin-based. Their primary constituents are in both Central Texas and international communities.
National & International Co-op Advocates
The Law Center's mission is to cultivate a new legal landscape that supports community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment helping bridge the gap in legal expertise needed to transition from destructive economic systems to innovative and cooperative alternatives.
Co-opLaw.org is our attempt to create a comprehensive worker-owner legal resource library with plain-language legal resources, educational tools, and legal documents, providing guidance to worker owners in every US state. We believe that having these resources freely available will dramatically reduce the cost of legal services for cooperative entrepreneurs, community economic development specialists, and technical assistance providers supporting the growth of worker cooperatives across the country.
Our resources are primarily meant for cooperative entrepreneurs, existing business owners looking to convert their business to a worker cooperative, cooperative developers, and legal professionals.
The Cohousing Association of the United States is a national nonprofit supporting cohousing communities in changing our world. Spreading the word about cohousing shifts the culture toward a new American dream where every home is surrounded by caring, collaborative neighbors who use less of the earth's resources while living an abundant life. CohoUS advances cohousing by assisting forming and existing communities and educating the public about the benefits of cohousing, from resource conservation to healthy families.
CooperationWorks! is the center of excellence for cooperative business development. We are a dynamic and innovative national cooperative created to grow the cooperative model across the United States. We envision a society in which thriving, cooperatively-owned enterprises are the bridge to a just, resilient democracy. Our mission is to strengthen America's cooperative movement by building and empowering a network of skilled cooperative development practitioners.
The Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) promotes self-help and mutual aid in community, economic, and social development through cooperative enterprise. CDF is a thought leader in the use of cooperatives to create resilient communities, including the housing and care needs of seniors and people living with disabilities. Through its funds, fiscal sponsorships, and fundraising, CDF makes grants and loans that foster cooperative development domestically and abroad. CDF provides recovery grants to cooperatives impacted by disaster, scholarships to train local cooperative leaders, and funding for research and education to advance the understanding of cooperatives. Headquartered in Washington, DC, CDF is the 501 (c)(3) non-profit affiliate of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA CLUSA).
Created in 1944, the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) was first known as the Freedom Fund. It focused on the reconstruction and development of European cooperatives in the post-war era, an initiative that engaged the entire U.S. cooperative community.
Since 2001, DotCooperation has united the cooperative community through a shared online identity and platform where cooperative organizations can participate, inform, educate, and pioneer a path for others to join and support the cooperative movement. We empower cooperatives to participate and thrive in the digital economy with identity tools and resources. Identity tools include .coop domain names and the Cooperative Marque, and .creditunion sector domain names. Resources include the .coop Global Directory and the Digital Empowerment Learning Hub.
The Foundation for Intentional Community (FIC) provides publications, referrals, support services, and "sharing opportunities" for a wide range of intentional communities, cohousing groups, ecovillages, community networks, support organizations, and people seeking a home in community. The FIC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in the United States.
The history of FIC began in 1937 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Intentional Communities website came online in 1994 and is published by the FIC. This website complements the FIC's print publications such as the Communities Directory and Communities Magazine in providing people with the information and resources needed to find, create, maintain and support intentional communities of all kinds.
Discover the diversity of alternative economic projects that are growing and thriving in North America! This is a collaborative directory that brings together multiple databases from groups working on alternative economies under many names: the new economy, the cooperative economy, the solidarity economy, and more.
Food Co-op Initiative began as a pilot project designed to test the theory that new retail food co-ops could open more quickly and successfully if they had appropriate guidance. Launched by a group of visionary co-op supporters in 2005, Food Co-op 500 started out by offering development grants and peer support to groups starting new food co-ops in diverse settings. By 2010, Food Co-op 500 was providing resources and guidance to over 100 startup groups but was losing some of its original funding support. The governing task force decided to incorporate the project as a 501(c)3 nonprofit so that we would be eligible for new grant funding. The newly incorporated organization was re-named Food Co-op Initiative.
Food Co-op Initiative paves the way for new food co-op excellence, leading to better fed, healthier communities with local control and connections. FCI improves the success and sustainability of new food cooperatives that deliver healthier food in diverse communities across this country. We provide information, training, technical assistance, and other support, and engage in research to blaze, maintain and improve the development path for new food co-ops.
The International Cooperative Alliance unites, represents, and serves cooperatives worldwide. Founded in 1895, it is one of the oldest non-governmental organisations and one of the largest ones measured by the number of people represented: 1 billion cooperative members on the planet.
NCB is a federally charted bank dedicated to delivering nationwide banking products and solutions to cooperatives and other member-owned organizations throughout the country. Established in 1978.
The National Cooperative Business Association is the nation's oldest and largest national membership association representing cooperatives of all types and in all industries with programs that help co-ops strengthen their businesses so they can better serve their members and transform the global economy. Established in 1916.
NASCO's role in the movement is to organize and educate affordable group equity housing co-ops and their members. NASCO identifies the shared needs and interests of group equity housing cooperatives in the US and Canada, and works to both support the missions of member cooperatives and to facilitate a strong movement network. Established in 1968.
Shared Capital Cooperative is a national loan fund and federally certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides financing to cooperative businesses and housing throughout the United States. Shared Capital's mission is to build a just, equitable and democratic economy by investing in cooperative enterprise with a focus on providing financing to co-ops to create wealth in low-income and economically disadvantaged communities.
Shared Capital is a cooperative association, democratically owned and governed by its members, with 300 cooperatives in 35 states and the District of Columbia. By borrowing from and investing in the fund, members directly engage in our work, connecting cooperatives and capital and supporting shared economic prosperity and ownership. Shared Capital Cooperative also raises investments from social investors who support the cooperative economy and are aligned with our mission.
Shared Capital Cooperative was founded in 1978 by cooperative leaders in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul who were frustrated by the challenges local co-ops faced in getting financing from banks.
Our mission is to cultivate the next generation of cooperative businesses at scale. We're here to jump start the next generation of cooperative businesses: we grow the entrepreneur pipeline and strengthen the cooperative ecosystem, we equip cooperative entrepreneurs with skills and tools for success, and we connect cooperative businesses with the capital they need to thrive.
The United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives (USFWC) is the national grassroots membership organization for worker cooperatives. Our mission is to build a thriving cooperative movement of stable, empowering jobs through worker-ownership. We advance worker-owned, -managed, and -governed workplaces through cooperative education, advocacy and development.
The USFWC was founded in 2004 when a core of worker co-op members came together with co-op developers, scholars, community organizers, and supporters from the broader co-op sector to strengthen worker co-ops through a national, sector-specific organization.
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