Re: Funding and Organizational Model for Coho US
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2015 06:59:36 -0700 (PDT)
> On Jun 4, 2015, at 6:20 PM, Linda H <linda [at]> wrote:
> One possibility to consider would be having both community and individual 
> memberships. I think I have seen other organizations using that model. Though 
> I think it is likely the individual membership model by itself would raise 
> more funds. It would, however, cost more effort and money to administer.

When organizations have both the organizational membership will be a business 
or professional joining to show support  but also for publicity if nothing 
else. My hunch is that if people “gave at the office” they don’t give 
individually. Particularly in cohousing where they pay for the community 

I think it is also easier to target fundraising if you target one or the other. 

Does national have a database of all the residents of cohousing? Wouldn’t that 
be valuable? One annual emailing would probably produce more donations than are 
received from communities. 

I remember a presentation at a business conference where the speaker talked for 
awhile then said, “Okay, I’ll show you something. Everyone give me one dollar." 
He ran up and down the aisles collecting money. No easy feat since it was 
stadium style seating and he had to run up and down stairs as people waved 
dollar bills in the air to pass to him. Some even said, "I don’t have a one, 
will  you take a five?" He would grab as much money as he could hold and run 
back down to pile the money on the table where he had been speaking. And run 
back up again to collect more.

At the end he was sweating and out of breath, could hardly stand up, and had a 
huge pile of crumpled dollar bills, many now falling on the floor.

The moral of the story was all you have to do is establish credibility and ask 
for the money. It was a very persuasive experience. (Of course, I don’t do 
anything with it.)

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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