About the Cooperative Leadership Fund

The Northeast Cooperative Council (NECC)  and Cornell Cooperative Enterprise Program (CEP) collaboration is a national leader in developing and promoting quality educational programs for board members, management teams, future leaders, and professionals working with cooperative businesses. CEP activities have focused on improving the effectiveness of boards of directors, increasing leadership skills of both current and future leaders, and improving the understanding of the cooperative enterprise among a range of key audiences and stakeholders.


NECC leadership has seen a need, beyond supporting the current operation of the CEP, to create a fund for long-term support of education and research on the cooperative business model within the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. In 1999, the NECC board of directors established the Cornell University Cooperative Leadership Fund with an initial gift from the Council to the Cornell University Foundation. The Cooperative Leadership Fund is a donor-advised fund and managed as part of Cornell University’s endowment.

Purpose of the Cooperative Leadership Fund

Monies from the Fund are used to support students interning at NECC member cooperatives and to offset costs of college and university students to attend the NECC Cooperative Leaders Forum. In addition, funds are used to support presentations on the importance of cooperatives and their unique business structure to colleges and universities within the NECC service area.

Cooperative Internship Recognition Award (CIRA)

Monies from the Fund recognize up to 5 college students who successfully complete an internship with an NECC member organization. The award recognizes the students achievement of a successful internship along with outstanding leadership and scholarship. The awards are presented at the NECC Cooperative Leaders Forum.

Project Partner

The NECC collaborates with the Cooperative Development Institute via the NECC Education, Outreach, and Research Project to provide resources for outreach programs, support educational opportunities and applied research, and investigation of issues relevant to agricultural cooperative-structured businesses.

Making a Gift

Gifts are welcome from anyone interested in supporting the goals of the Cooperative Leadership Fund. Donations may be made in honor of or in memory those who have worked with cooperatives or have an interest in cooperative affairs. Contributions are tax deductible. At the discretion of the NECC and the Cornell Foundation, up to 50% of the Fund balance may be donated to other not-for-profit institutions other than Cornell.

Contribution Form