From the outside a co-op may look like any other business – it’s what happens inside that makes them different. All co-ops are based on the same principles and they share a set of values.
The DFC is a type of co-operative called a Charitable Community Benefit Society (CCBS). A Community Benefit Society is a specific type of co-op that is owned and controlled by its members for the benefit of a wider community – in this case all the people and organisations involved in the UK documentary community.
Co-ops UK have provided this handy guide, which explains in simple terms what a co‑op is (and why they’re so great).