Organisational structure: open discussion

First of all, I’m not sure if this is the right place to post this, so feel free to move the post if you think it’d fit better somewhere else.

Following the discussion from the last meeting, I’m posting here the proposal for an organisational structure that Nina and I created.

The idea is that this structure can support the expansion of Cooperation Birmingham by including new operations (see for example the dashed lines on the right). Operations would have a certain degree of autonomy, but they would still be supported by the working groups. Decision-making would be made at the Cooperation Birmingham level, which would be open and we would encourage representation from all operations and working groups.

As you can see, we also suggest a small reconfiguration of the working groups. We haven’t thought much about the internal organisation of the working groups or operations, but it would probably we useful to have a coordinator (ideally a rotating position) who makes sure that unit is taking care of its responsibilities.

We think it is important to define which tasks will be assigned to each working group. This is obviously not carved in stone, but something flexible that can be modified, but should be written down to avoid confusion and ensure accountability. This is our proposal for task assignation to the working groups. Be aware that we are not familiar with some of the working groups intricacies, so this is just our guess. This list is a very early draft.

Admin & outreach:

  • Checking email account regularly
  • Answering emails or redirecting them to other working groups
  • Updating “waiting list” in spreadsheet order

Participants coordination:

  • Contacting new participants, onboarding them and adding them to the database. Keeping the database updated.
  • Sorting out the rota
  • Confirming shifts in advance and providing rota support for last minute changes (cancellations, etc.)


  • Maintenance of the forum, email and other digital platforms used by Cooperation Birmingham
  • Work with other working groups in implementing solutions that might improve processes (e.g. app for participants coordination)

Logistics & processes:

  • Coordinate operations on a daily basis (current participants coordination)
  • Create and improve processes that allow operations to run smoothly on a daily basis
  • Work out a logistics plan for potential expansion, including interaction between different operations


  • Manage budget and make payments derived from our operations
  • Develop plan for funds raising according to the needs and principles of Cooperation Birmingham

Communication & social media:

  • Keep the social media up to date and use them to support other working groups when needed (e.g. need for participants, fundraising campaign, …)
  • Keep participants mailing group updated and send emails regularly with information about meetings, decisions, etc.

[Flippant comment in response to well thought out post] Dissapointed that there’s no bubble background.


Let there be bubbles! … and there were bubbles.


the @info account recently had an email from MAD (these people which definitely points to the need for an emotional support group as part of co-op brum. I really think the structure above makes sense as a way to expand but also keep the flat structure we have been working with so far.

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I think it’s a bit unclear the volunteer coordination role - do you mean basically they need to onboard new volunteers and keep the rota going? But then it seems the logistics group also have some responsibility for that?

I think it makes sense to have a good few people working on contact new volunteers, onboarding them and adding them to the database. Then a few other people who sort out the rota each week and even perhaps one person whose job it is to confirm shifts each evening (or maybe it can be every few days) - then this person could be who you can report cancelling your shift to and they’d be the one to sort out any empty slots as a result.

There is also the question of the volunteer meetings which I think have been useful to people in the past. It needs to be someone’s job to organise those by emailing the volunteers list, setting a date and time and hosting the meeting itself.

If we clarify and change the above I think it would be good to post these up and see if anyone feels they can be involved in those working groups, as well as having an internal reshuffle ourselves.

Personally feel most of what I’m doing fits into logistics and processes WG, with a side of some volunteer coordination (though I’m doing less on that now).

Yeah, that’s what I meant. I don’t see there’s anything in the description of logistics that can lead to confusion. Is it something specific that you think should be changed?

This is precisely what I was suggesting, I will reword it to be a bit more specific.

I’m not sure who should be in charge of organising this… because those meetings are good for improving processes, but also for engaging people… Maybe it could be a joint responsibility of logistics and volunteer coordination WGs?

Update: the organisational structure was approved in the political meeting that took place on Friday 8th of May. See minutes here: Minutes For Meetings