This is a popular structure for community groups, as it shares the responsibility of running the group between members who all have equal rights and shares in the organisation.
A co-operative is defined by constitution, and may allow individual members to vote on issues, or at least to elect a management committee to make decisions on their behalf is it is suitably large.
Co-operatives are generally not-for-profit, and provide limited liability for members. They are also set up for the benefit of members – not for a community – and this should be reflected in the constitution.
The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) has published seven principles which co-operatives should follow.