Overall Membership Process

This is a sample document from a community that is part of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities. Thank you, http://www.theFEC.org, for providing all these sample documents.

As you can see, membership process is quite detailed, and it is essential that people who are serious about joining a community go through various stages so everyone can feel reassured that there is a good fit.

How many times have you met someone, or joined a group, convinced that this person or group was the perfect match? I have done so countless times, and so I want to create a process that can be enriching, and enlightening to everyone.

I will be editing this very soon, but I want to show you, interested reader, the kind of process that many intentional communities utilize after decade of experience.

……………

Remote Membership Process Overview

Hi! We’re glad you’re are interested in us! First, a little background. While taking in new members is exciting, it can also be challenging to balance both the needs of the house and the needs of the individual interested in us. Historically, we at Emma’s have been a bit hesitant about engaging with folks from far away because we really value a lot of face-to-face time to get to know each other
.
From our past experiences, we feel its important that any prospective member is both interested in us as a community and in Seattle as a place to live. Because we are a small collective with no business of our own, people seeking membership should have the ability to find local employment as well as to create a social life for themselves outside our community. That said, we’re excited to engage with folks who might want to join our project!

Phase One: Information
In Phase One, we make sure that you fully understand what our house is about before you come to stay with us. The onus is on you to move the process forward. Don’t be afraid to be persistent, ask questions, and call often.

    • Read the website.

 

    • Read the “Quick and Dirty” document (#2).

 

    • Review the house documents: Political, Historical, and Economic Overview (#3,4,5).

 

        • Fill out the

“get to know me” questionnaire

      • , and send it to us. We’ll give you a “buddy” who will be your go-to person through the rest of the process.

 

    • Have an introductory phone conversation with your buddy.

 

    • Have a one-on-one phone conversation about the political purpose and foundation of the house (Politics Overview).

 

    • Have a one-on-one phone conversation regarding the house economics (Economic Overview).

 

    Schedule a visitor stay.

Phase Two: Visitor Stay (optional)
Your visitor stay period is an opportunity to get to know us, learn what we are about, and delve into the details of the house systems. If you already know you are moving to Seattle, you can do your visitor stay when you first arrive, with the expectation that you will then move out until the membership process is complete.

    • Come visit Emma’s for one to two weeks.

 

    • Attend house meetings, including one where we will talk about your interest in Emma’s.

 

    • Meet everyone, hang out with each member one-on-one, participate in house events. Engage house members in conversion. Get a feel for us, let us get a feel for you.

 

    • Explore the city! Go out and about, attend community events, go to interviews, get a feel for the local culture.

 

    • Meet with a member to get detailed specifics about how your financial/labor situation would fit with our economic system, and see what it would look like if you were a member.

 

    Leave. Before we continue with the membership process, we require that people leave after their visitor stay.

If you have completed all the above and you are still interested, let us know by shouting “Green light go!” and proceed to Phase Three.

Phase Three: Move to Seattle and Follow up
In Phase Three we clarify details, continue the get-to-know-you process, and follow up on any open questions you or we still have.

    • Ponder if EGFS is right for you.

 

    • Schedule one or more follow up phone conversations.

 

    • Move to Seattle! In order to not rush the process from either end, we ask prospective members to move to Seattle but stay somewhere else for a short period of time (1 month or so). We may be able to help you find temporary housing/sublet at another collective in town.

 

    • Attend house meetings, work parties, events, and hang out with anyone who wants more time with you.

 

    • If you are still enthusiastic about applying for membership then you should schedule a membership interview and get the page of “Membership Interview Questions.” (#7).

 

    • Attend a Membership Interview, where we and you can ask any questions that haven’t been answered yet, and where we will give you a definitive Yes 🙂 or No 😦

 

    Move in! You are welcome to move in anytime after your membership interview as a “prospective member”. As a “prospective member” you will participate and function in the house in almost every way as a full member, except 1. you do not have blocking power in our consensus decision-making process 2. you can be exempt from some agreements like our spending cap and owning your own car 3. we don’t figure you into our catastrophic health care budget item.

Phase Four: Full Membership
After living with us for 3 months, we will have a membership check-in, where you will have a chance to say what’s been good/hard for you at Emma’s, and we also can give you feedback. All together we can discuss any concerns or issues that have come up. At this point you tell the group if you are ready to become a full member (and make a 2+ year commitment). If you or we want more time to feel things out, we j continue checking in every 3 months or so for up to a year. Usually by then it will be clear to everyone if Emma’s is a good fit for you and vice versa.

P.S. Well, you made it through that document! Congrats. While this is the process we try to follow, some adjustments can be made around particular circumstances. Feel free to ask any questions through your contact person.

 

Published by Patricia Mikkelson

My goal is to find people to co-create with me Wellspring Community, Tiny Home Village, and Learning center where we learn to love each other and all of life.

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