Rural cooperatives as a small member-owned organizations are the potential to facilitate socio-economic development in rural areas. This study presents a novel hybrid method to develop strategies for development of rural cooperatives. It combines SWOT analysis, TOWS strategic alternatives matrix, and the analytic network process (ANP). SWOT was used to analyze the external and internal environment of rural cooperatives in Iran using the contributions of a team of experts. This team identified 19 SWOT sub-factors. A TOWS matrix was then constructed and the internal and external environmental sub-factors were combined to create good strategic alternatives. The expert team used the TOWS matrix to identify 11 strategic alternatives. ANP was applied to prioritize the strategic alternatives. According to the experts’ team, the presented combined approach helps managers to choose the best alternative strategies considering both internal and environmental factors.