HOW TO START YOUR COMMUNITY

Use my member survey tool to narrow down your members, define your cultural values, desired property features, financial obligations & more. This tool is a great first step, but is just one of many other necessary steps.

Do you have a group of friends who fantasize about creating a community together? Or, maybe you’ve already made some headway with your group, but you’re spinning wheels or everyone has their own (different) vision of the community.

Overwhelmed? Not sure what the next step is? Do you all feel like you’re herding cats?

SAMPLE RESULTS FROM MY MEMBER SURVEY TOOL

Have no fear. I’ve developed a tool to help your group along. Read on! (or skip the explanation & jump to the Member Survey Tool)

You will lose AND gain new members before becoming an actual community.

This is completely normal & should be expected. Some may drop out when they find their ideals don’t align as closely as they thought. Some may drop when you decide on a property. You will likely lose people when real money is introduced, such as purchasing property. Your group could even divide into different groups.

But fear not. You will likely pick up more people as you progress. And those people will be better aligned with your group’s core values. 

But it is definitely easier to find out if your core values align TOWARDS THE BEGINNING of the process instead of down the road. 

To that end, I developed the form below. The tool is essentially a weighted survey form. Its purpose is to assess the type of community that each potentially-interested village member prioritizes.

I presented this tool to my group for feedback. Together, we fleshed it out further to meet everyone’s needs. We decided on the following topics: Land Tenure, Community Governance, Finances & Economics, Health & Spiritual Wellbeing, Tools & Tech, Buildings, Community Population Density & Timeline. We then added several questions within each topic.

If you create your own form, your group will likely add to it & customize it as well. Perhaps you’ll add desired amenities? Or desired terrain or proximity to oceans or mountains? Desired climate? 

This tool serves multiple purposes. It will:

  1. Outline key criteria for your group to consider.
  2. Show how the ideals within the group trend. This will help redefine your core group and part ways with those whose goals differ too greatly.
  3. Create crucial talking points when the results are assessed.

Let’s look at the results my group assessed in the Land Tenure section of the tool.

RESULTS INTERPRETATION: 

You can see here that my group heavily favored the idea of buying a piece of property as a group and sharing it. This means no individual would own the property. You’ll see that for some, this was a deal-broker (some opposed, some in favor) & shows that some of the people in our group had incompatible goals. However, this presents a great opportunity for people to discuss the polarity. Sometimes these incompatibilities can be corrected through discussion. Other times, it signifies that someone will leave the group and search for another group that aligns with their goals.

Our group was also fairly open to individually owned lots. But felt so strongly about using a large portion of the food growing, that it was a deal-breaker (in favor) for many. We had mixed results for the geographic location. The land prices are VERY high in our area, so most of us were open to renting a property first as a stepping stone.

See the form below.

This form was made in google forms. You can recreate your own form within google forms or contact me to make a copy for you. Ultimately I would like to add this as a customizable form directly on the SearchTinyHouseVillages.com website.  Google forms will create useful graphs, as shown above, to easily make sense of the data.

(If you prefer, you can view the Member Survey Tool in a separate window ).

What would you add to this form? Add your comments below!

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Jill Kanto

Jill Kanto combined her background in Intentional Communities, living in her DIY Tiny House, her skills as a Front-End Web Developer and not being able to sit still to create SearchTinyHouseVillages.com. She travels to 1-2 Tiny House Festivals a month as a speaker. Learn more about her journey.

See all posts by cyfarian

2 thoughts on “Do you and your friends want to start a community, but aren’t sure what to do next?

  • July 18, 2019 at 12:22 pm
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    Thank you so much for the work you are doing! So exciting…

    Reply
    • July 18, 2019 at 1:45 pm
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      You’re quite welcome. I’m glad you are finding it useful!

      Reply

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