Re: Very Quick Question - Cohousing Research Funding
From: Fred H Olson (
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2008 03:56:52 -0700 (PDT)
Thomas Lofft <tlofft [at]> is the author of the message below.
It was posted by Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
after deleteing most of long mangled quote (original carriage returns
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

On Mon, 25 Aug Craig Ragland wrote:

> In addition to the volunteer efforts that Donna invites I'd like to
> remind> folks that Coho/US also uses money to make good stuff happen. A
> future, paid> deliverable that COULD address some of the questions Kay
> would like answered> is the upcoming 2009 Annual Cohousing Census, but
> only if we can> sufficiently support that project.

Craig, et al.,

The funding question is always a challenge whether at the national,
community, or household level.  How do we analytically or intuitively
allocate limited resources?

One technique we've used successfully is the "Pass the hat - earmarked
funding' approach.

While community annual assessments, where used, are generally approved on
a general budget category or line item basis, either from a 'funding cap'
approach or on a 'minimum absolute requirements' basis, generally there
are always other projects or wish items that people want to complete.
Some members can't manage additional contributions due to personal budget
limitations. Perhaps some really don't support a particular proposal.

 "Pass the hat - earmarked funding' approach proffers a proposal to
undertake a project based on contributed funding.  When enough sponsors
offer enough funding, the proposer becomes the advocate/project manager
and sees through collection of funds and recruits a project manager or
takes on management as an extension of the advocacy.

This is a real test of the waters to see if there is real community
support to complete a project - putting their money where their wish list

Now my whole point is that theoretically, this funding strategy could be
used at a national level by any advocate seeking to undertake a project
that would benefit many communities, but not necessarily all communities.
Perhaps every community might allocate a portion of its budget for later
determination as a contribution to a CoHoUS project TBD.  Otherwise, they
might find a few advocates internally who are in a particular stage of
community development that they might like to financially sponsor external

Yes, it often takes longer and therefore requires greater lead time to
generate the funds and undertake the project.  The strength of the
advocacy is often a great determinant of the strength of the response.


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