Financial Results for Conference?
From: Marty Maskall (
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2015 07:01:32 -0700 (PDT)
Thank you, Alice, for your thoughtful post about a revenue model for
Coho/US.  Fair Oaks EcoHousing will continue to support Coho/US as an
community, and I will continue to support Coho/US as an individual, and also
encourage others to do so too.


Do you have financial results from the Conference?  Can you share that with


Thanks for all you have done to make such a successful Conference for
Coho/US, and for all the other things you do.


In appreciation,

Marty Maskall


Marty Maskall, Future Resident & Project Manager -- a Family-Friendly Green Neighborhood

(916) 967-2472 


Message: 1

Date: Mon, 8 Jun 2015 12:16:50 -0400

From: Alice Alexander <alicecohous [at]>

To: Cohousing-l <cohousing-l [at]>

Subject: Re: [C-L]_ Funding and Organizational Model for Coho US


      <CAK_ucoPUM+38=Ls+g_beCCA_7So7A=aO6kHR3zhw42HmLJJYtQ [at]>

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Many thanks to the good comments on a revenue model for sustaining Coho/US.

To confirm:


Coho/US is not a membership organization; we are a 501(3) nonprofit
organization. We do not require membership dues from individuals or
cohousing communities, and our services as a connector and clearinghouse to
grow and support cohousing are available to everyone, not just "members."


Coho/US relies on financial support from individuals and communities both.

Individuals gifts can be claimed as a charitable donations; cohousing
communities may prefer a reference to membership dues or support, and this
is fine. "Membership" can be a generic term!


In 2014, I sent out two requests to all our subscribers (9,300) to encourage
individual charitable donations; this yielded gifts from individuals of
$4,061. We have invested time and will continue to invest time in growing
this support from individuals.


Also in 2014, we encouraged all cohousing communities to support Coho/US,
and we received more gifts from cohousing communities than ever before -
over $13,000. Just last month, I sent a "Community Connection" newsletter to
encourage planning for annual support to Coho/US - sent to those who are
tagged as reps for their cohousing communities. I am happy to share this
with others.


However, with an operational budget in 2015 of $62,444, Coho/US continues to
be challenged in raising sufficient funds from individuals and communities
to be sustainable.


A strict membership structure as a business model for associations (one that
requires dues, and provide services to a select audience) generally only
works well for trade associations representing for profit businesses (think
American Medical Association).


Cohousing communities are not profit centers, and support is based on a
decision to recognize that Coho/US (1) provides credibility and relevancy
for cohousing as a housing and living option; (2) attracts the public to
cohousing, thus helping provide communities with robust waiting lists; and

(3) serves as a clearinghouse and connector for cohousing resources.


Other sources of revenue include advertising (which at $50 per month for a
classified ad is a great deal! we keep this cost affordable as a service to
the cohousing world), and support from our cohousing professionals


I appreciate the ideas for foundation grant support; as a career nonprofit
fundraiser, our status is a huge challenge for traditional funding (we serve
cohousers who for the most part are not foundation target populations).
Project-oriented work as Sharon Villines has suggested is likely our only
avenue, but that requires staffing, and resource investment; consideration
would have to be very thoughtful to balance our priorities. Please share
ideas! But understand that project grant funding does not support
operational funds generally - so we are back to the challenge of


A challenge that inspires me actually, and one reason I am committed to this
position, knowing the importance of stabilizing and strengthening our basic

Alice Alexander, Coho/US Executive Director





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