Legally: Circle Pines Center is a membership-based not-for-profit organization, incorporated under the laws of the State of Michigan. The by-laws govern the organization.

Philosophically: Circle Pines Center is a cooperative, and is committed to the Rochdale Cooperative Principles. Circle Pines members meet twice each year to participate in the democratic management and continued development of the Center. Members elect the Board of Directors at the Spring Meeting.

The levels of decision-making at Circle Pines are:

The Membership meets twice each year and has the final say on major issues affecting the Center, including major capital improvements, deciding land-use policy, or ammending the by-laws. The Membership also elects the Board of Directors. Important decisions from past metings and the schedule and agendas of future meetings are posted here.

The Board of Directors meets six times each year. The Board hires the managers of the Center, oversees the finances, and sets policies. Any member of Circle Pines is eligible for election to the Board. The members of the Board, important decisions from past metings, and the schedule and agendas of future meetings are posted here.

The Managers of Circle Pines oversee the day-to-day operation of the Center, including administration, hiring staff, program development, maintenance, and countless other tasks.