Tag Archive | crowd sourcing

Conference Site Kitchen – Can you help?

There is a debate within Twin Oaks these days about earmarked gifts.  On one side there are members who are concerned that our carefully designed and mostly democratic budgeting process gets hijacked by outsiders who generously give us money, but require us to spend it on a particular thing (solar panels, bees, orchard, musical instruments, commie clothes, and parties are some historic examples).  Others feel like we have a large operation which regularly runs tight budgets. We rarely budget extra money for musical instruments or parties. These things are not just desirable, but important for the quality of life here.  There is no easy answer.

Fortunately, there are some places where we agree that non-members giving us earmarked grants is a good thing, in fact a very good thing.  One of these areas is the Twin Oaks Communities Conference.  We are currently running a crowd sourcing campaign for upgrading the kitchen at the conference site.  I would like to strongly encourage you to support this project, and I want to tell you a bit about why.

Me doing workshop at Comm Conf from middle of table.

Me doing workshop at Comm Conf from middle of table.

The communities conference is a transformative event for a fair few people who attend.  They meet people who are practicing community living in a way they can see themselves embracing.  It is often the case that these participants do not then immediately quit their straight jobs and move off to the community, but the path is set and people begin moving in that direction.

But even more importantly (from my never modest perspective) is that participants of the conference see that this other lifestyle is possible and highly desirable.  Even if they do not find the community of their dreams, they realize that they want more community in their lives.  For some it is the flexible work schedule, for others it is great access and involvement with their children, for others it is the dramatic decrease in carbon footprint/ecological impact that community often represents, for many it is about having a supportive extended family or tribe that they are part of.   Once the community idea has gotten into many participants minds, it gives their lives a direction it did not have before.


The kitchen is at the heart of the communities conference (and the Women’s Gathering, which happens on the same site).  Unfortunately, the conferences themselves are not big money makers for the community, so they do not get the economic resources they need to maintain their infrastructure well.  And it is the kitchen which is the biggest and most important piece of the puzzle.  It is also the most expensive.  There has not been a significant upgrade to the conference site kitchen in the 15 years that I have lived at Twin Oaks, despite having served literally thousands of people.

If the conference organizers are able to raise $8K from external sources (like the Indiegogo campaign), the community has agreed to match and exceed this amount with another $10K.

If you can support this project even in a small way, I would appreciate it.  And if you can please end your contribution in a single dollar (like $51 or $21) so we can tell this blog helped bring you to this campaign.

This is the link to go to the Communities Conference Kitchen Upgrade sight

Because ultimately we need sustainable education

My dearest friend Joan Jr altered me to this Indiegogo campaign for scholarships to the eco-village training course in Missouri.  As with most good crowd-sourcing pitches they have created a compelling video which i would ask you to take a couple of minutes and review.

While this is an international project, it has a strong set of local roots and a commitment to investing mostly locally.  This text from the Indiegogo project description.

Your contribution does much more than to help bring a student from the other side of the world to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in mid-America. Your contribution has further impact by growing our local economy and local currency system. Last year, 87% of our budget was spent within five miles of our community.  EEUS and Dancing Rabbit model the power of local economy 365 days a year using our alternative local currency, ELMs. Scholarship contributions help immerse students in our community and continue to strengthen our local economy long after the students return home.

imagine a better future and then help people build it

imagine a better future and then help people build it

Please feel encouraged to help this scholarship fund crowd sourcing appeal.