Re: Donations from Community Funds
From: Peg Blum (
Date: Thu, 15 May 2003 08:38:03 -0600 (MDT)
At Cambridge Cohousing, we get lots of requests for contributions to
organizations and fundraising events from our very active community members.
The requests, are directed to us as individuals and individuals respond.

Our one exception is Coho/US which we consider a membership ($200 per year),
not a contribution, and that has come out of community funds after being
presented at a general meeting.  (We do not reimburse members who attend
Coho/US conferences.)

We also may consider becoming a member of Community Associations Institute
($100 per year), an organization for community, condo and homeowner
associations, if the Managing Board thinks it would be useful.

We have held candidate nights here for City Council and School Committee,
inviting the neighborhood.  A couple of members have used our living room to
host individual candidates.  I consider that the same as if I had a coffee
at my apartment  for a candidate, since the community living room is an
extension of my home.  We have been pretty much opposed to political signs
on our "street face" because we do have some political diversity within our

Peg Blum

pegb [at]

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Snyder-Grant" <jimsg [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Thursday, May 15, 2003 9:36 AM
Subject: Re: [C-L]_Donations from Community Funds

> At New View (Acton MA) we don't have a policy against this, but we haven't
> done it. Contributions have all been organized by one or more households,
> asking other households if they want to donate.  Sometimes, households
> asked if the contribution can be done in the name of New View. Each time,
> someone has raised a concern or an objection about it, based on their lack
> of support for the specific cause, and the donations have proceeded
> that label.
> We even do our contribution to the TCN -- I mean Coho/USA -- this way. A
> households contribute the money & tend to get first dibs on the magazines.
> A lot of money gets raised using this model, without any need to involve
> monthly meetings or the steering committee.
> The closest we get to supporting outside organizations is that we have a
> political sign policy, regarding the use of the common space that is
> the main public road. We did manage to agree to support one state rep
> candidate, and her sign was on our 'front lawn' for a couple of weeks.
> -Jim
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Sharon Villines" <sharon [at]>
> To: <cohousing-l [at]>
> Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 10:32 AM
> Subject: [C-L]_Donations from Community Funds
> Question: What are your agreements and practices concerning making
> in the name of the community from your general funds to local projects --
> like bricks in public parks, books for the local library, funds for local
> historical societies, funds for people burned out of houses, peace
> etc.
> Our current issue is donating money to put a brick with the communities
> in the walk of the recreation center in a nearby park. The most opposing
> concerns are that :
> 1. we would be doing this without considering the other donations and
> in the community. Is this a priority greater than other needs? We have a
> policy of not taking positions in the name of the community although we
> support individuals in their efforts in the larger community.
> 2. For heaven's sake! It's $50. Just do it. It's the public rec center in
> the park down the street where our kids play. What's the big deal? I'm
> disgusted that people are being so stingy.
> I realize that the second concern is stated emotionally and the first is
> not, but that is how they are being stated here and I can't edit them more
> objectively. BUT I would note that some of the emotion in the second
> is probably in reaction to the unemotional "we just can't shoot from the
> on these things" tone of the first concern.
> Sharon
> --
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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