Re: Cash gifts to community?
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2020 10:37:03 -0800 (PST)
I've never heard of it in cohousing outside of raising money for a specific

As a person with a great deal of experience with restricted funds in
churches, I'd have a policy that says
"we do not accept restricted gifts that will not have been spent in full in
next 5 (or 7 or 9) years."
and also
"we do not accept gifts that do not have an agreement for how and when to
spend the principal."

We are in the process of asking the attorney general to change our steeple
lighting fund. Back when lights were expensive and we had to hire a lift to
replace the light bulbs this was a generous gift. Now the lights are LED
and will last years and the steeple itself is falling down and we can't
spend the steeple lighting fund on fixing the steeple, while the steeple
fund grows steadily. If we close we will be in the absurd place of finding
another church with a steeple to give the money to.
And this is the *easiest* of the "endowments gone awry" I've heard of.

Mosaic Commons Cohousing in Berlin, MA

On Tue, Dec 29, 2020 at 12:17 PM Lyn Deardorff <lynpeachtree [at]>

> Hello all,
> Wondering how you all have handled accounting and guidelines for using
> cash gifts to the community.  We have received two significant ones in the
> last two years - one restricted and one unrestricted.  We would like to
> establish guidelines for use for this one and future unrestricted gifts.
> Isn't this a nice problem to have?  Please send any suggestions, past or
> best practices you have.
> Thanks!  And Happy New Year!
> Lyn Deardorff
> Sand River Co-Housing
> Santa Fe, New Mexico
> lynpeachtree [at]
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(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

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