April marks my one year serving as Executive Director of Coho/US. So how is the association doing? In a phrase, just fine, and getting better! Here's a profile of Strategic Plan progress.
Stabilizing Revenue Stream - As we refine a business model for long term sustainability, we now enjoy a much stronger financial position than one year ago, including:
-- Cohousing Community Support - 48 communities gave $13,113, a record, with an average of $247. Even better: more communities include Coho/US in their annual budget;
-- National Conference Sponsorships - we are tremendously proud to be partnering with more cohousing professionals and communities than ever before.
Educating and inspiring through national and regional conferences
-- The 2015 National Cohousing Conference will be our first since 2012. With a dynamite "Next Generation" program, we may attract over 400 participants, from as far away as Australia, China and South Korea.
-- The Regional Cohousing Conference in Boulder (Sept 2014) - 90 folks attended from across the US and Canada. Our spontaneous flavor allowed for abundant story sharing and organic issue discussion.
Serving as a connector for communities, resources, services, and events
-- Our redesigned Coho/US website receives 3,000 page views daily, and provides a growing database of resources; forming communities report a surge in inquiries after profiling on the Cohousing Directory;
-- Our Facebook page is fresh and enjoys 2,000 likes and growing; we have a new Conference Twitter feed .
Building a national cohousing community
-- A growing rate of listings on the Cohousing Directory confirms increasing interest nationally;
-- Collaborations strengthened with several aligned organizations: PFAC, CRN, FIC and SCA;
-- A redesigned Cohousing Now! monthly eNews enjoys a subscription of 9,200;
-- New Cohousing Blogs are on the rise with a growing authorship.
Elevating Cohousing to a Household name
-- Media hits have doubled in the last year, including major outlets, such as the US News & World Report;
-- Redesigned Cohousing Brochure and Slide Show serve as great resources;
-- Presentations by cohousing professionals and veterans at over a dozen national conferences raised visibility.
Creating a cohousing-friendly social and political environment
-- Housing and Urban Development now treats cohousing condominiums the same as all other condominiums for certifying for federally backed mortgage insurance;
-- Collaboration with CRN aspires to increase understanding, credibility and viability of cohousing;
-- Initiative launched with PFAC to increase access to financing and create affordable models
In partnership with amazing volunteers, and a network of cohousing "burning souls" and professionals, we will continue to strengthen and expand the impact of cohousing. I'd welcome comments and ideas: alicecohous [at] gmail [dot] com