Re: Cash gifts to community?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2020 12:40:21 -0800 (PST)
> On Dec 27, 2020, at 1:29 PM, Lyn Deardorff <lynpeachtree [at]> 
> wrote:
> 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.

We have always accepted cash gifts and they are donated in different ways:

1. By paying for some service that we need — a worker to put the new slings on 
the piazza chairs, the  person who cleaned the toilets for years also ordered 
and paid for the toilet paper, people donated to fence in the SE corner, for 
new gym equipment, etc. No one has ever donated money for something we haven’t 
already expressed some interest in. 

2. Donating with a preferred but not restricted use when they sold their unit — 
for the guest room refurbishing, solar energy. Because we have an active resale 
and rental pod, this has become a significant resource, a much larger fund than 
we have ever had.

3. Cash donations for a celebration like an anniversary party. Sometimes people 
would like a catered dinner or something more festive than others are willing 
to use the operating budget for. Others do not want to start charging for 
tickets to attend. People donate whatever amount they wish, usually gauged to 
their desire to have a small or large party. The party is then fit to the 
amount donated.

Except for the donations for current events or products, the funds are held in 
the Capital Reserve account. We recently renamed this the Special Projects Fund 
so it can be used for a wider range of things — like paying the lawyer to 
review our revised bylaws above the operating budget for legal fees., other 
purchases or upgrades that might not technically add to the capital value of 
the property. 

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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