Greetings, future cohousers, cohouseholders, audacious agers, village network members, and others finding new ways to plan for their future and Age in Community in the Bay Area and beyond:
Aging In Community - San Francisco Bay Area is starting a voluntary dues of at least $10.00/month to cover costs of running this Meetup and to grow our ability to carry this work forward. This has been a personal labor of love, and my wife and partner Betsy Morris and I really want to invest more time in building it to serve you, but we can't do that without your help, and we're willing to offer premiums and incentives and discounts to make it easier for you to continue to get the most from this group.
Your dues will help in many ways:
- Cover Meetup costs: We've been putting personal funds towards not just the $15/month basic MeetUp fee for hosting the group, but the related website costs for the parent Aging in Community website, and also advertising to do outreach for events, both in the East Bay Express and on Facebook really do add up. We also pay monthly for site-stats tracking and social-media tools that help us find useful resources and prospective members.
- Help compensate organizers: We've been spending on training for me to become a Certified Senior Advisor and to participate in the American Society on Aging and Village to Village Network and we want to help bring this info back to the group. This month I met the HUD (Federal) Commissioner of Housing, and established a basis to work on cohousing. Dues will enable me to followup with her, and continue working with groups such as the Partners for Affordable Cohousing, the consortium of Northern California Community Land Trusts to create new options for affordable, sustainable community. We'd also like to have a budget to cover local travel so we can host gatherings in the South Bay, North Bay, SF, and far East Bay, not just in the East Bay.
- Encourage more engaged members: This MeetUp group doesn't do any of us any good if it just sits there. We'd like to invest in supporting and training you to use it more effectively, including hosting your own gatherings with our help.
- Have a reserve fund: For the past seven years, I've been financing it out of pocket, and I can't afford that anymore. If some of you can contribute on an ongoing basis, we can replenish those reserves.
- Provide supplies or equipment: We want to be able to reliably show videos at our gatherings, and that means improving the sound system at our office/clubhouse at The Long Haul in Berkeley, plus fixing the screen. We'd also like to provide refreshments at meetings, and coffee beans and tea leaves don't grow on trees (so to speak). And with perhaps a little paid help, we can broadcast meetings, offer conference-call webinar options, transcriptions, and other ways to make them more accessible to you.
- Improve Meetups: For too long we've just been running on autopilot, listing Elders Guild and Elders salon meetings... I think there's a lot more we can do to gather and talk about what YOU are interested in. We are planning a survey of all members, and your input will help tell us what to work on in the next year.
There are several ways you can contribute - all are welcome.
- Pay securely online here on MeetUp a month at a time. Your $10 will help - and you can cancel at any time. Once you sign up for dues, you will be automatically billed each month. You will always be reminded before each charge, and you can cancel your dues at any time.
- Contribute an annual $100/year (by check or paypal or in-person), and be appreciated as a supporting member. You save $20 (in addition to discounts at eents we host) and be a featured supporting member, eligible to host events with us. You'll be the first to hear of opportunities to create or live in community.
- Get a group together (we can help you find each other) and for $250/year we feature the group and support you in the process of defining community.
We'll start out with voluntary dues -- we're not kicking anyone out. We are not restricting RSVPs to paid members, unlike some MeetUp groups -- but we may do this in the future. We can do more to follow the energy of those who are able to step up and make this small commitment.
We can also accept payment in timebank hours through Bay Area Community Exchange (BACE) and BayBucks business barter network. Please don't think you can't afford to be a part of our group any more. Talk with us about work trade options or other ways you can tap your elder wisdom and connections in mutual service with us for the greater good of the community -- and co-creating together new options for growing older together.
Your feedback will be essential, and look for my next email with opportunities to join in a monthly conference call and some in-person events where we can follow up, like this Thursday's lunch on Creating an Elder Salon/Community, at Berkeley Cohousing.
I look forward to working with you on your journey.
Raines Cohen, Certified Senior Advisor and Cohousing Coach
Aging in Community
2150 Allston Way, Suite 400, Berkeley, CA 94704. [masked]