Reminder: 2011 Natl Cohousing Conference registration prices increase at midnight on May 31, 2011
From: Craig Ragland (craigraglandgmail.com)
Date: Mon, 30 May 2011 17:45:51 -0700 (PDT)
Its time to act if you want to save some money...

Prices for the 2011 National Cohousing Conference (June 15-19) in
Washington, DC increase at midnight on Tuesday, May 31. The three-day
conference registration increases from $400 to $450 and the one-day
registration (for Friday or Saturday) goes from $190 to $230. For full
information on pricing or to register:

http://conference.cohousing.org/2011/register

----  more about the conference -----

I'm so sad that so much of the Coho-L conference focus this year has been
unrelated to cohousing or to the value we offer through the conference.
There is so much that's great about this year's conference, including work
to support:

(1) Affordable Cohousing Advocacy
(2) Networking
(3) Fundraising

AFFORDABLE COHOUSING ADVOCACY
In 2010, the Cohousing Association board began advocacting for more
affordable cohousing. A great team, which includes several contributors to
Coho-L, is actively raising awareness about cohousing among people who are
in a position to help develop more affordable options. These include people
in governmental agencies, non-profits, and housing organizations who can
make a real difference when a cohousing group decides to include affordable
units. Housing (including Cohousing) is just too expensive for so many and
the association is committed to helping out within our small corner of the
world.

At the 2011 Conference, there are several breakout sessions that may help
future Cohousers understand what is available, today, should they wish to
include affordable homes within their communities - you can learn about
others' successes and failures as you plan for your own community. Other
sessions will help us clarify strategies as we do our parts to drive the
change that's required to allow millions of Americans to embrace the
lifestyle that has become so important to some of us.

NETWORKING
Every year we do an online survey to assess how we did on the National
Conference. This year's conference team heard, loud and clear, that you want
more networking opportunities.

This year's conference includes specific times dedicated to networking
including a Friday night mixer, and time to network before the banquet and
during dinner - before the Live Auction begins.

I'm very excited about a general session on Sunday Morning which is
dedicated to Interactive Conversations. Craig Freshley, a professional
facilitator, will help us network and learn together.

To top that off, throughout the conference there will be facilitated "Cafe
Roundtables" as one choice during each of the 12 breakout sessions. Expert
facilitators (including Craig Freshley and Laird Schaub) will help people
connect and discuss topics that matter directly to them, such as:

Family and parenting in community
 Supporting each other through difficulties
Pragmatism vs. Idealism among community members
 Dealing with death in community

I believe we'll set a new standard for networking this year.

FUNDRAISING
To acheive what's required, we need more energy - both volunteer and
financial. In the past, we've rarely asked for financial support. As an
entrepeneur, my emphasis has focused on providing high value services, such
as bus tours and conferences which are both self-supporting and provide some
additional funds to subsidize our free website, etc.

We are just now kicking off our first serious fundraising work to support
the association's financial needs beyond the conference. The impact of the
hotel labor situation is making it crystal clear that we are vulnerable by
relying on income from services that "make money." Our intention is to make
it easier for people to support Coho/US by making financial contributions.

At the 2011 Conference, we will help attendees better understand how their
support will make a difference. The association will do a much better job at
telling our story and sharing about the great new work we're doing in
cohousing research and advocacy. We're known for some of the cohousing
resources we provide, such as the Cohousing Directory, but few know how much
more we could do should we receive higher level of support.

We also hope to make it fun and easy to contribute - whether with your
dollars or time. Our 2011 Auctions (silent and live) will be amazing - and
this year we're tying the Raffle to the Live Auction. So, imagine if you win
the raffle... Your ticket will be drawn immediately before the Live Auction
begins. For your prize, you'll be able to pick an item from the Live Auction
Catalog... but you only have 30 seconds to decide. You can turn your $5
raffle ticket into a Coho-Vacation in Belgium, in Australia or in the
Netherlands. Or, perhaps you will select an Ultimate Coho-Vacation in
Boulder, in Seattle, or in the San Francsico Bay Area!

In many ways, the 2011 Conference will be unique. It will, once again, offer
the superb community experience that many have come to expect. I hope you're
among the folks that are able to join us in this fine event. For more
details on the conference overall, see:

http://conference.cohousing.org

Craig Ragland
Executive Director (Jan-08 to Jul-11)
Coho/US

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