Systems & Structures - 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 Promoting Twin Oaks $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."
Property Code
Membership Agreement
Statement of Religious Beliefs
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