Monday Program – Money in Community

See below for the schedule of the day.


Andros at MENF 2010 small_2.previewMoney tends to be an alternately scary and boring topic for most people. Most people don’t like money, don’t want to deal with it, and spending a lot of time trying to make it is certainly not why they moved to community. But it’s an essential part of the world we live in and necessary to create the amazing communities we want to build.

In this year’s Monday Program, we’ll examine our relationship to money and the emotional blocks to dealing with it in a straightforward way. We’ll look at the nuts and bolts of starting businesses, financing, and fundraising. We’ll also spend time looking at new models for financing and financial organizing that support the kind of social culture we want to build in our communities.

Specific Goals

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about:

  • Starting and running cooperative/collective businesses;
  • Fundraising for non-profits;
  • New models of:
    • Financing for for-profits;
    • Innovative legal structures and legal structure combos (LLC & 501(c)(3) for example), from both governance and financial standpoints;
    • Alternative financial models, from income sharing to expense sharing and beyond;
  • Cultivating greater ease with money through:
    • Transparency of finances in cooperative organizations: how to have open and honest conversations about money and finances
    • Becoming comfortable dealing with money, business, finances (even if it means becoming comfortable with discomfort, aversion, disgust, “evil-ness,” fear, etc.).

Our Not-so-hidden Agenda

Intentional communities have the potential to be a major contributor to the larger movement towards a sustainable and democratic global economy. The lack of information and the emotional blocks to dealing with money, finance, and business limit their ability to realize this potential. Our agenda with this program is to move intentional communities towards empowerment and greater activity when it comes to business and leveraging financial resources, and to be more active collaborators with other branches of the larger movement.


  • Beth-RapsOur keynote presenter this year is Beth Raps of RAISING CLARITY: to cultivate abundance in noble causes, people and organizations. Her approach to anything involving more money is cultivating clarity at the same time as building budgets and fundraising plans. She’s developed some nicely weird and workable ways of doing that, partly honed by building relationships in grassroots community organizing and fundraising, and partly building  her own inner clarity. She is drawn to the intersection between sustainable relationship-building that heals the world and inward stillness that ceases harming the world. She’s moved by the way money beliefs impact our actions (and inaction) with money. She’s a certified money coach; published translator, philosopher, and blogger;and 10-year homeschooling mother of a now 16-year-old musical theater “triple threat” who has a fine analytical mind and witty pen herself.
  • LAIRDPIC fr SusanLaird Schaub Laird has lived over 40 years in community, most of it at Sandhill Farm (MO), an income-sharing rural community that he helped found in 1974. He is also the administrator of the Fellowship for Intentional Community—a clearinghouse for information about North American communities of all stripes. In addition to being an author and public speaker, he’s also a meeting junkie and has parlayed his passion for good process into a consulting business on group dynamics and sustainability education. His specialty is up-tempo meetings that engage the full range of human input, teaching groups to work creatively with conflict, and at the same time being ruthless about capturing as much product as possible.
  • Jim Johnson picJim Johnson has been in small business and freelancing for over thirty-five years, and has spent over twenty of those years working with and for co-ops. He’s a co-founder of the Democracy At Work Network (, the technical assistance service initiated by the US Federation of Worker Cooperatives, and currently serves on DAWN’s Board of Governors. Jim also currently serves DAWN as a certified Peer Advisor, actively providing technical assistance to worker co-ops, start-ups, and conversions. Jim is also a graduate of the CooperationWorks! Training for Cooperative Development Practitioners, and a member of the Grassroots Economic Organizing media collective (, which has been chronicling the worker co-op and solidarity economics movements in the US and around the world for over thirty years.


9:00 – 10:00am Opening session

Review of the agenda and goals we’ve set for the day.
Beth leads opening guided meditation on money.
Introduce Laird, Jim, Beth, and introduce the tracks. Take questions.

10:00 -11:30am: Tracks 1

Nonprofit  (including both fundraising and Board development): Led by Beth Raps

New Models Track: Led by Laird Schaub

Cooperative Business Track: Led by Jim Johnson

11:30-12:30: Lunch

12:30-1:30 Plenary

Beth returns to the guided meditation on money and sharing as desired, leading into a facilitated discussion about what folks are going to do with what they’ve just learned:  What are you working on in your life you hope today will assist you with? What did you get out of the morning–how will that support you? And: what are you still looking for?

1:30-3:00: Tracks 2

Nonprofit: Led by Beth Raps

New Models Track: Led by Laird Schaub

Cooperative Business Track: Led by Jim Johnson

3:00-4:00 or 5:00: Plenary/Small Groups/Plenary

Return to guided meditation: any  lingering fears, concerns, issues as you think about going forward in your life, work, organizing? Inspirations you want to strengthen and share?
A discussion on the Not-so-hidden Agenda.