“There are lots of plusses, and really no minuses associated with membership in our cooperative,” says Pioneer CEO Michael Shepard. “Membership unlocks a host of benefits and offers the opportunity to have a voice in the governance of the co-op via the board and member voting activity.”
When Pioneer acquired ARC Media, everyone was introduced to a broader range of content, print and website support. But ARC Media clients did not automatically become Pioneer members. To earn patronage and access other member perks, a member/consumer-owned utility or utility association must apply for co-op membership and pay a one-time $10 fee.
“Everyone who receives regular support through Pioneer Social can join Pioneer, even if the underlying contract and invoicing is with ARC Media,” says Pioneer Utility Resources Vice President of Business Development and Strategy Andy Neidert. “We hope everyone takes this step to access co-op benefits.”
One of the biggest perks of membership is the chance to get money back. Pioneer Utility Resources has returned more than $2.5 million dollars to members via patronage.
“It helps our members’ bottom line to not only keep costs affordable, but also to receive patronage as an added bonus,” says Shepard.
Just as many public power consumers get patronage or capital credits based on how much power was used, this refund depends on the volume of communication services used. In 2021 PUR distributed $295,536 in patronage, based on how much each member spent in 2020.
Historically, members get back about 5% of what they spent with Pioneer in a given year. In 2021, members received checks equal to 8.3% of eligible spending.
In addition to receiving patronage, Pioneer members also:
As a member-led communications cooperative, Pioneer Utility Resources has powered efficient communications since 1956. Pioneer partners with more than 250 community-owned utilities across the nation, providing everything from advertising campaigns, communication training, websites and targeted social media support to a variety of content-driven print and digital publications.
To join, a utility must subscribe to at least one Pioneer service, such as Pioneer Social and be a community-owned utility (broadband provider, electric co-op, public utility district or municipal utility). Statewide and regional associations serving members in these categories may join, too.
Members accept our cooperative articles of incorporation, bylaws, policies and amendments but are not liable for the company’s business decisions.