Systems & Structures Catalog

Federation of Egalitarian Communities

Twin Oaks " East Wind " Dandelion " Appletree " Mettanokit " Sandhill Farm
Tekiah " Krutsio " Veiled Cliffs " Alpha Farm " Ganas " Acorn
Federation Tax Package " Order Form
Twin Oaks. The largest and oldest Federation community was founded in 1967 and has a present population of about 100. Twin Oaks uses a planner/manager system of government, where a group of three planners (with staggered, non-renewable, 18 month terms) have responsibility for all major community decisions. Member input is regularly solicited, meetings are generally open, and members have an opportunity to appeal any decision. The community has a work credit system where all labor is equally valued and all adults are expected to work the same amount. Twin Oaks has considerable experience with child-rearing, which, over the years, has gradually evolved from highly communal to parent-centered.

TO-A Government

Catalog # Item Price  
TO-A1 Bylaws $2.50  
Legal document describing purposes and policy. Subheadings include Membership, Governance, Property code, Dissolution, and Amendments. Included as an attachment is the eighth-page Membership Agreement used by the community.
TO-A2 Articles of Incorporation $0.03  
Legal document used to establish the community as a not-for-profit entity in Virginia. It outlines basic values and how the community is organized, with particular view toward satisfying IRS requirements for tax exempt status under Section 501(d).
TO-A3 Decision-making $1.70  

A collection of documents that describe the community's processes for decisionmaking; who deals with what; how to address a particular issue; dealing with violations.

TO-C Budgeting
Catalog # Item Price  


1992 Tradeoff Game $2.00  
Example of worksheet given to each member to solicit input on spending priorities (both dollars and labor hours) in preparation of the annual Economic Plan.


1991 Economic Plan $1.00  
Example of annual budget for the community dollars and hours, illustrating how work is organized, and relative distribution of resources.


1985 Six-month Review $0.20  
Example of worksheet given to members at the mid-year point, soliciting input for making adjustments to the Economic plan for the year. This is much more modest in scope than the Tradeoff Game, but does show what flexibility exists in the system and the lengths to which the community goes to incorporate member input in such decisions.
TO-D Labor
Catalog # Item Price  


Labor System $4.90  
An extensive description of the Twin Oaks labor system, its principles, policies, and operation. Given the communities longevity and success it could be very helpful to groups considering organizing labor for larger numbers.
TO-E Recruitment and Membership
Catalog # Item Price  


Letter to Women $0.20  
Form letter sent to all women correspondents who express interest in membership, addressing what it's like to be a woman in community.


Flyers $0.20  
Two different versions suitable for bulletin boards or as handouts, encouraging visits and explaining how to arrange them.


Visiting Twin Oaks $0.80  
Two different pieces are included. The first describes the essentials, including how to arrange a visit and when are preferred times. The second is in pamphlet form and expands on the first by including a map, travel information, and a list of available literature featuring the community.


Membership Handbook $2.40  
The handbook describes the essential things that members need to know about living in the community such as: where things are located, rules and norms, how systems operate, and much more.
TO-F Children
Catalog # Item Price  


Child Program Information $0.90  
Complete overview of the child program, including history, visiting with children, policies prior to conception and birth, facilities and childcare workers, specific agreements affecting children, and how the program and policies vary with the age of the child.


Adult/Child Sexual Activity Policy Proposal $1.50  
A policy proposal made to prevent child sexual abuse. It establishes clear boundaries for acceptable behavior, process for concerns being expressed and a bibliography covering the topics: violence against women, counseling, and related material.
TO-G Conflict Resolution
Catalog # Item Price  


Addressing Conflict $0.50  
"A procedure for dealing with differences, getting issue clarification and working on resolution."


Self-Examination Response $0.60  
This document describes a "method for dealing with any situation in which people feel that a person is behaving in ways that are having an intolerable impact on the community or the individuals herein."
East Wind. East Wind was established in 1973 and has a population of approximately 75. It started out with a Twin Oaks-style planner/manager government, but has since evolved into a community with direct democracy and communal childcare. Major decisions are made by members voting at community meetings. Some management and committee positions are community elected while others are appointments. Community members work a quota of hours and have considerable freedom in organizing their work life.
EW-A Government
Catalog # Item Price  


Bylaws $0.80  
Legal document describing community policy. Subheadings include Purposes, Membership, Work, Distribution of income, Property code, Government, and Amendments.


Administrative Reorganization $1.60  
Legislation that created some changes in the community's administrative structure; Replaced some committees with managers and attempted to be more in line with typical co-op administration.
EW-B Economics
Catalog # Item Price  


Economic Agreements $0.70  
Collection of community policies in four major areas: labor, money and spending, personal property and leaves of absence.


1987 Annual Plan $2.30  
Example of how the community develops annual goals and detailed budgets through intensive community process. Subheadings include Objectives and Goals, Space Use, Income Projections, Expense Projections, Profit Use, and Labor Budgets.


Work Improvement Proposal $2.90  

Comprehensive description of how community work was organized and managed, delineating members' rights and responsibilities, and emphasizing opportunities for members to control their own work areas.


Raise in Allowances $0.10  

This legislation exemplifies change in the distribution of money, away from needs-based entitlements towards more personal allowance. Historically the question of distribution of resources is an ongoing issue at East Wind.


New Business Formation $0.20  

This outlines a process for the community to follow for starting a new business.


Long Range Plan $0.60  

Adopted in 1993, this plan was intended to be part of a more comprehensive plan. This part deals with domestic support areas.

Catalog # Item Price  


Policy on Sexual Harassment $0.20  
A policy developed to address the problem of sexual harassment.
EW-E Children
Catalog # Item Price  


Children's Program $0.30  
Overview of the policies and objectives of the child program written in a conversational style, and used in correspondence with people with children who are considering membership.


Values about Children $0.10  
Statement about adult/child interaction as it pertains expressing emotions. The basic premise being that emotions are okay and need to be expressed.


Visitor Information Packet $1.00  
 Comprehensive collection of information and expectations given to people visiting the community.
Dandelion. Dandelion has varied in population from a few to 15. The community was founded in 1975 and was patterned, in part, after Twin Oaks. These documents are concise and well written.
DN-A Governments
Catalog # Item Price  


Bylaws $1.10  
Legal document that describes community policy. Subheading include General policy and values, Membership agreements, Property code, Government, and other legal matters.


Working Government $0.30  
Outline of the rights and responsibilities within the planner/manager system including how planners and managers are selected, how they will do their work, and how decisions will be made.


Agreement and Consensus $0.10  
This paper discusses the importance of adhering to agreements made under consensus decision making, and throws some light on how this relates to problems that might crop up with a changing population.
DN-C Labor
Catalog # Item Price  


Labor Credit System $0.10  
Description of how and why the community keeps track of member labor.


Labor System $0.40  
This paper explains the rationale behind the system that Dandelion used and makes the case for structure, pointing out the problems arising when there is too little.
DN-D Membership
Catalog # Item Price  


New Member Orientation $0.10  
Description of how community affairs are organized into areas, indicating which manager is responsible for each.


Membership Register $0.10  
Form used by community for maintaining clear, accurate records.


Membership Agreement $0.20  
Formal document signed by members and community representatives, stating rights and responsibilities.


Provisional Agreement $0.10  
Formal document signed by people joining the community.


Clarifying Points on Membership and Visitorship $0.30  
Delineation of the rights and responsibilities of people involved with the community other than as full members.


Behavior Code $1.10  
Dandelion's roots go back to a strong interest in behaviorism. This code is a collection of group norms and guidelines of how members would like to act and interact. Subheadings include Neatness, Social Interactions, Work, Meetings, Mealtimes, Health, Corrections & Feedback. Has missing parts.
DN-F Children
Catalog # Item Price  


Communal Childrearing Program $0.20  
Description of how the community did childcare, including statements about general philosophy, how the work was organized, the rights and responsibilities of parents, the opportunities for non-parents, attitudes toward education, and policies regarding discipline and diet.


Children at Dandelion $0.20  
Updated DN-F1 including sections on history, current approach, community with children, but emphasizes the philosophy more.
Appletree. Established in the early 1980's Appletree was a Federation community for seven years. During its period as a communal group it did much work to create systems of fairness. Where most small communities rely on trust and oral agreements Appletree worked to make explicit what equality would look like as the community grew to the greater numbers that were envisioned.
AT-A Government
Catalog # Item Price  


Bylaws $1.00  
The bylaws that the community used from 1984 to 1987. Subheadings include Purposes, Membership, Board of Directors, Officers, Decisionmaking, and Dissolution.


Bylaws $1.30  

This is a draft version of the previous document and was not adopted for use. It contains some elements that were not carried forth to the final version.


Middle Ground Decisionmaking Policy $0.20  
Summary and example of how the community made all major decisions. This process replaced consensus.


Work Quota $0.20  
Explanation of work expectations, including quality standards, adjustments for illness, quota accounting, and work choice.
AT-F Visiting
Catalog # Item Price  


Visiting Appletree $0.20  
A handout for people visiting the community, explaining fees, work, household logistics, kitchen and food, childcare.


Visiting Appletree $0.20  
Summary of policies concerning visitors and guests, especially written for answering correspondence inquiries.


Response to Federation Membership Questionnaire $0.60  
Shows how the community described itself in making its successful application for Federation membership. Note: you will need to order AT-A3 to make sense of this.
Mettanokit. Mettanokit, while no longer a communal group, was a member of the Federation for four years. This collection of documents emphasizes childrearing and interpersonal relations. The group valued a sense of family with commitment to each other. While there was an expectation of shared work loads there was no labor accounting. Decisions were made by consensus.
MN-A Government
Catalog # Item Price  


Community Agreements $0.40  

These agreements cover the areas of Cooperation, Cooking and Cleaning, Sex guideline, Smoking, Drugs, Money and Oppression.


Ideas of One Small Family $0.50  
The philosophy and workings of an intentional community. Sections include "What makes us different?", Becoming a member", "Family Economy", "Young people". A concise statement of philosophy focusing on the community's special approaches to childrearing, work, art, spirituality.
MN-B Children
Catalog # Item Price  


Childcare Sign-up Sheet $0.10  
Example of form used by the community to organize childcare over a ten-day period, dividing slots evenly among the adult members with each one choosing their own preferred time.


Joyous Childrearing $0.20  
Outline of a workshop the community offers on improving parenting skills. It illustrates community philosophy and approach to raising their own kids.


Home Education Proposal $0.50  
Sample of yearly proposal for homeschooling accepted by state officials, outlining a tentative curriculum, rationale for homeschooling, and qualifications of community members to act as instructors.


Our Homeschooler Goes to School $0.50  
Article written about the community's ten-year old deciding to attend public school for the first time, and the sensitive negotiations surrounding this decision, showing how the child, community adults, teachers, and local school officials all played important roles.


Visitor Correspondence $0.20  
Information sent to people in correspondence with the community about the possibility of visiting. It describes visitor policy and provides information about the community.


Response to Federation Questionnaire $0.40  
Shows how the community described itself in making its successful application to the Federation.
Sandhill Farm. Established in 1974, the community has been, and intends to remain, small enough to always be a well connected family of friends. There is no labor accounting. Decisions are made by consensus. Sandhill has gradually developed a strong, unifying relationship with its land, and prefers not to develop much bureaucracy. In consequence there is little written material about structure.
SH-A Government
Catalog # Item Price  


Bylaws $0.30  
Legal document describing policy areas of Membership, Economics, Government, and amendments.


Statement of Spirituality $0.10  
Simple statement of philosophy.
Note: the above items are included in the Sandhill Tax Package (SH-TXP)
Tekiah. Tekiah is a small community established in the early 90s. The community's vision includes the development of a number of clusters that make up the whole community. Tekiah wishes to create structures that foster community while respecting the privacy of its members.
TK-A Government
Catalog # Item Price  


Prior Assets Policy $0.10  
A policy that spells out how the community will allow members the use of personal assets owned prior to membership, both cash and non-cash.
Krutsio. Begun in 1976, Krutsio is a very small community with a large vision. They live in a remote section of Baja California, yet consider themselves internationalists. They promote the use of Esperanto as a universal second language and have developed ideas about egalitarian systems with a view to being a model for the cellular, organic growth of communities worldwide.
KR-A Government
Catalog # Item Price  


Bylaws $1.10  
Legal document describing purposes and policies. Subheadings include Objectives, Means for development of the community model, Promoting Communal metamorphosis, Membership, Behavior, Government, Economy, Work, Property, Education, Norms, Amendments, and Dissolution.


Response to Federation Membership Questionnaire $0.50  
Shows how the community described itself in its application for Group in Dialog Status. Also included is a one-page description of the community in Esperanto. Note: you will need to order KR-A above to make sense of the answers.
Veiled Cliffs. Founded in the late 80s, Veiled Cliffs was a small community located in Southern Ohio. It is one of the newer Federation communities. Recently disbanded approximately year 2000.
Catalog # Item Price  


Compiled Packet $3.80  
This is a comprehensive compilation of the community's documents. In contrast to other listings in this catalog all of Veiled Cliff's materials are contained in one collection which contains sections on Bylaws, Membership, Governance, Property code, Dissolution, Health. Also included are forms the community developed such as resident agreements, child and pet forms, and health and financial forms.
Alpha Farm. Alpha Farm, while not a member of the Federation, is an income sharing community which meets all the requirements for Federation membership. The community was founded in 1972 and has averaged 15 to 20 members.
AF-A History
Catalog # Item Price  


Alpha, A Prospectus $0.60  
The Prospectus, aimed at attracting early support for the development of the community, describes the values and visions of the group, the locating of property in Oregon, and an outline of the financial situation.


Initiation and Early History $0.80  
Describes the first five years of community's history; moving to Oregon, their first business, relations with neighbors, overcoming early hardships.
AF-B Government
Catalog # Item Price  


Bylaws $0.30  
Legal document describing purposes and policy. Subheadings include: Governance, Membership, Finances.


Governance $0.40  
Paper that supplements the bylaws by further explaining its provisions as practiced, especially regarding consensus government and member finances.


Work and Planning $0.30  
Short paper discussing the connection between good planning and work.


Support and Conversation $0.30  
A guide to personal behavior and social interaction.
Ganas. Established in 1980, Ganas is an urban community located in Staten Island, New York. The community has three different population groups representing differing levels of involvement. Some members work outside jobs while some work in the community's businesses.
Catalog # Item Price  


Increasing Community Income $0.30  
Article which advocates improving community economics. It points out the importance of improving systems and procedures for production, administration and training. Other topics include diversification of income sources, the importance of a higher standard of living, suggestions for community businesses. The article also describes the economic base of Ganas.


Intentional Communities as Laboratories for Learning About Direct Democracy $0.40  
Article that discusses aspects of small living group democracy. Topics include Problems with Cooperative Self-governing, Why intentional communities are motivated to build a better world and the Ganas Experiment with Feedback Learning.


Ganas Community $0.60  
A comprehensive description of the community including physical facilities, population groups, economic objectives, decisionmaking, organizational structure, approach to problem solving.
Acorn. We are a small, laid-back community in central Virginia. We are 8 years young, and still evolving as we grow and learn, and play and work together. Our recreation includes hackey-sack, hot tubs, and campfires. Our main income source is our mail-order seed business, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, which specializes in heirloom and open-pollinated varieties. Acorn lies on 72 acres of beautiful, newly certified organic land, which borders on the South Anna River. Our other businesses are hammocks and our Tinnery where we make recycled functional craft-art from tin cans.
Catalog # Item Price  
AC-A1 Sample Letter to Visitors $0.20  
Letter sent to people inquiring about Acorn. It includes an overview of the community and their cultural norms, a list distinguishing three categories of visitors, a description of how to arrange a visit, and guidelines for visitors.
AC-A2 Visitor Liason Job $0.10  
A description of Acorn's visitor liaison job.
AC-A3 Membership Application Questions $0.10  

Letter sent to people applying for membership. It includes a list of questions that Acorn members ask prospective members.


Federation Tax Information Package. Over the years the Federation Communities have gained considerable knowledge about dealing with the IRS. In particular, U.S. Member communities have been recognized as tax exempt under Section 501(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is information about obtaining this status that we have to share.

Section 501(d) is a relatively obscure portion of the tax code that was created in 1936 to help income sharing communal groups such as the Shakers. It allows exemption from paying corporate income tax and self employment tax. For purposes of taxation, all the community's income is passed on to its members on a pro rata basis as individual dividend income. Individual income taxes are paid accordingly.

Several of the Federation communities have obtained exempt status under this code. The information we have to share consists of letters and supporting documents from these communities' applications to the IRS.

This information is likely to be valuable only if you are seriously interested in applying for exemption under 501(d). This category is only available to groups with a common treasury (i.e., groups that practice total income sharing), and is generally denied to groups which earn a majority of their income from activities outside the community.

Catalog # Item Price  


East Wind Package $1.70  
East Wind was the first of the Federation communities to become exempt under 501(d) (1978). The documents we have are incomplete but do include some correspondence, bylaws, articles of incorporation, and the letter from the IRS that recognized the community as being exempt.


Sandhill Package $1.90  
Sandhill's application was the most recent of the three. Using the experience of its sister communities, Sandhill successfully negotiated the application process without a lawyer. The package consists of: the application letter, supporting documents, the IRS response asking for more information, the community's reply to this, and the letter from the IRS approving the application.


Twin Oaks Package $25.00  
The package of information relating to Twin Oaks' application is lengthy. The community had been in existence for 12 years when it applied to the IRS. The initial application was denied, as well as the appeal that followed. The case eventually went to tax court where Twin Oaks prevailed. This package consists of letters of application, lots of supporting documents, correspondence, and the court ruling.
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