How to Find and Join an Intentional Community
by McCune Porter, eNews editor
A key component of the non-profit Fellowship's mission is "To serve as a reference source for those seeking intentional communities, conferences, and other community building experiences and practices appropriate to their needs."
One of the most frequently asked questions through our web contact form at ic.org relates to exactly that part of our mission, and goes something like this: "I was wondering if you have some suggestions for me in regards to visiting or joining an intentional community."
The writer may go on to further detail her/his interests and skills, and may state preferences for a region or country, such as in this paraphrased recent example: "I was hoping you could help me in my search for an opportunity to work or volunteer in an ecovillage or community in Southern California."
Here is an outline of the sort of references we give to those asking for such information. Most of this is free information available online:
1)Search the FIC's Online Directory. Visit our homepage, then click on the tab labeled Directory to begin your search for communities that meet any requirements you may have. Contact the communities individually on the list you generate and pose your questions to each community on the list. To contact an individual community, use the contact information at the upper right of that community's listing.
Communities by alphabetic list
Communities by geographic list
Search using maps
Complete advanced search
Note regarding advanced searches: There is a check box on these pages which has an important effect on the results which reads "Check here to include communities who have not answered a given question in search results."
The Search Our Site box at the top left of every page on our site might also prove useful if none of the other online Directory search tools seem to help locate what you're seeking.
2)REACHBook Online Bulletin Board. Read the postings and/or post on our free online bulletin board which is read by thousands of people. Looking for communities that have openings? Follow this link to see current results of such a search.
3)Print books, DVDs, and magazine. Our print resources may be helpful, particularly the Communities Directory, Communities magazine, and the book Finding Community: How to Join an Ecovillage or Intentional Community. See all of the titles in our online bookstore that are in the category Finding Community here.
4)Networking Events . Attend one or more regional or national intentional community events. The FIC sponsors some of these, for example The Farm Communities Conference held annually in the spring, the Twin Oaks Communities Conference held annually on Labor Day weekend, and the Art of Community conference (in some years; the most recent was held fall of 2012.) These events are an excellent way to make connections with other community seekers and are often attended by representatives of various intentional communities.
5)Visit/Tour Local Communities. A visit to or tour of intentional communities near your place of residence can be very useful. (Always pre-arrange such visits—never show up without an appointment to visit or tour.)
6)Other Resources Beyond Those Provided by The Fellowship. There are a few other directories online or in print that are of value if you're interested in cohousing, communities in the UK, or communities in Europe. There is a forum that hosts various intentional community discussion groups. Search yahoo groups and google groups for others. The FEC has a helpful article on visiting a community within their network.
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