Re: Handling donations
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 20 Jan 2015 05:54:15 -0800 (PST)
We do what others have mentioned. The community has to accept the item. 
However, we just decided that all contributions when people sell their units 
will go into the capital reserve fund. We have no other way to fund that. 
People can ask that it be earmarked but that isn't binding.

We have had projects for which people have donated money but the community 
decided they wanted it first -- a fence around an unfenced corner, for example. 
A universal gym.

Consumables like paper cups and plates, napkins, spices, etc are just put in 
the cupboard. Items for the workshop.

The problem I have with the person in charge of a room making the decision is 
that not everyone has the same taste or the ability to say now. This needs to 
be done by either a team or the community. It's been a long time since we had 
offerings of furniture -- we just bought furniture for the CH. But one person 
just dumped several items in the kids room that were totally to big and then 
she went to Europe for 3 years. They included a rocking chair and a life size 
cradle. Do we get rid of them? She came back on vacation and took them to her 
storage unit but what if she had left them? The person in charge didn't know 
what to do.

It also means one person is put on the spot for saying no. Not usually a good 

The process we had and will be using this month to choose new artwork for the 
CH is to ask for donations, display them, and allow all community members to 
rate them using the idea rating sheets. Then a team goes from there.

I highly recommend the idea rating sheets. We have put list on the wall and 
used stickers to rate them and used pieces of paper with X's for "no" and check 
marks for "particularly like." This gives many more options and a place to put 
initials so we know who has rated (but not their rating). 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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