Re: Handling donations
From: Richard L Kohlhaas (
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 15:31:02 -0800 (PST)
Here is our donation policy, established six years after movein, which has been 
in effect for 5
years with no controversy:

                                      at Casa Verde Commons

                                       COMMUNITY PROPERTY POLICY

                  July 20, 2009

           Established by Maintenance, Common House, and Landscape Maintenance 

Background: One of the main tenets of cohousing is sharing of resources.  A 
large amount of
material (furniture, garden tools, kitchen items, etc.) has been donated or 
loaned to the Casa
Verde community over the years, for the use of all the residents.   However, at 
some point,
we may have enough rakes, wheelbarrows, linens, etc., so items to be donated 
should not be
anonymously placed in any community  common spaces.

1.  Items (supplies, furniture, tools, kitchen items, equipment, etc) may be 
offered to the
community as:
    Unconditional donation:  Community may then modify, sell, scrap, or
    otherwise dispose of the item at any time
    Indefinite loan:  Community will return item when it is no longer needed, or
    upon request of the owner.
                                  Loan for a specific period:  Community will 
return item to owner at the end of
the period.

2.  Any item to be offered for donation or loan to the community must be 
approved in
advance by the appropriate team (Landscape Maintenance, Common House,

3.  Any item stored in community spaces (e.g. common house, workshop building) 
will be
presumed to be absolute community property, unless it is CLEARLY marked with 
name (and return date, if appropriate).

4.  Items on loan to the community will be maintained and repaired by the 
community, and
will be returned in good condition, normal wear and tear excepted.

5.  All community property as well as items on loan may be used by any 
resident.  If an item
will be removed from where it is normally stored or used for more than one or 
two hours, a
notice must be posted.  Notification logs are posted in the common house 
kitchen, workshop,
and garden storage area.


On 19 Jan 2015 at 17:54, Tim Hunter wrote:

From:                   Tim Hunter <cohousingl [at]>
Date sent:              Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:54:53 -0500
To:                     Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]>
Subject:                [C-L]_ Handling donations
Send reply to:          cohousing-l [at]

> Hi folks!
> Our community is struggling with how to handle donations of
> furniture and equipment. How do others handle this issue in your
> community? Can you recommend a best practice?
> We´re lucky to have some very generous members at Durham Coho.
> These folks are able - nay, eager - to donate furniture and
> equipment for use in our common rooms, and also money to buy such
> things. When we were moving in we relied on donations to furnish our
> common rooms.
> However, now we´re in and we´re looking at donations that
> replace or augment our current furniture and equipment. As much as
> we´d like to just say "Yes! We love donations!" we´re also
> aware that the issue might be a bit more complicated that it first
> appears.
> What if somebody wanted to donate a hot tub? A hot tub requires
> ongoing utility costs and maintenance costs and may only appeal to a
> subset of the community. Should we accept a donation that commits
> the community to these costs?
> Do donors have control over their donations? ("You have to put my
> couch in the media room and move the one that´s there somewhere
> else!")
> Do members that can´t afford to make donations feel less valuable
> to the community?
> When should we turn down a donation?
> Is a monetary donation different from a material donation?
> There are many more of these kinds of questions, but I won´t
> bother to list them all as I´m sure you can think of them
> yourself.
> How should we decide when to accept a donation and when to turn it
> down?
> Thanks for your advice!
> -
> Tim Hunter
> Durham Central Park Cohousing Community

Dick Kohlhaas <rlkohl [at]>
Board Member, Cohousing Association of the U.S.
Resident of  Colorado Springs (Colorado) Cohousing Community at Casa Verde 
Completed March 2003. 34 units on 4 acres

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