Re: Setting up new membership fees for Friends and neighbors in Lakeland
From: James Kacki (
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2018 10:55:05 -0800 (PST)

> On Dec 7, 2018, at 11:33 AM, Lynne Markell <lmarkell [at]> wrote:
> I live in Ottawa, so grant sources may be different in your town. One grant 
> was from the local community foundation that was interested in what we were 
> trying to do - provide a supportive community for seniors to age well. At 
> that time we were  attempting to provide affordable housing as well.
> The other was a national alternative investment fund that helped groups 
> prepare for applying to them for financing.
> These are very specific to our project, and we had to fit into their criteria 
> and get a local group that had charitable status to administer the money. We 
> also had people in our group that knew how to apply for grants and write 
> grant proposals because of their work experience in non-profit organizations. 
> This is a very useful skill.
> Neither of these grants were specifically for cohousing.
> My advice- look around your community and see who would be interested in what 
> you are trying to accomplish. Describe your project in terms of what it will 
> do for the community, how it will meet a community need, how it is 
> innovative, or how it will help disadvantaged people. Don't talk about about 
> your need for money to pay for expenses. Talk about doing feasibility work to 
> prove it will work or developing a plan so it can be accomplished (so it can 
> provide some community value)
> My advice comes from years of experience and if this is new to you, find 
> someone who understands this and can help you. Pay them to write your grant 
> proposals. If you haven't already done so, hire a cohousing consultant. 
> The founders of a cohousing project have to put out money to plan their 
> future community. There will be costs, so face this and ask for money. Every 
> group goes through this phase.
> Hope this helps.
> Lynne Markell, 
> Lmarkell [at]
> (613) 842-5222
>> On Dec 7, 2018, at 8:47 AM, Fred-List manager <fholson [at]> 
>> wrote:
>> Debbie Fox <xof5 [at]>
>> is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
>> Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
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>> --------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------
>> Lynn Markell:
>> I would like to know more about the grants that you obtained to pay
>> for attorney fees, etc.
>> Debbie Fox Ralston Creek Cohousing Arvada, CO
>> Lynne Markell <lmarkell [at]> wrote:
>> Sounds like you are in the startup phase. Have you set up a formal
>> organization for this  phase? We started a non profit organization
>> and charged a $200 membership fee for full members and $50 for an
>> associate. Full members had a vote. Associates could switch up, when
>> they were ready.
>> Then we created an equity membership with terms and conditions such as
>> being willing to share the deposit for a bid on land and the down
>> payment for the mortgage. This cost of $1500 ( per household) was used
>> along with the original membership fees for expenses. This money was
>> at risk, but will be credited to the final purchase,price, if the
>> project goes ahead.
>> We got two small grants to help us with some feasibility work to pay
>> for lawyers, consultants, etc.  Generally you should count on costs
>> of between $30 - 50k., until you get into land and architect costs.
>> Benefits are an investment in a future home, larger sums being used
>> against final unit purchase price, first in line for unit selection,
>> and the right to make decisions and policies. People who join near the
>> end may not have the same opportunities to shape the community. Hope
>> this helps.
>> Lynne Markell,
>> Lmarkell [at]
>> (613) 842-5222
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