Dear friend of Communities magazine,
I’ll cut to the chase: Communities, that stalwart chronicler of the communities movement since 1972, is on the chopping block—at least as a print publication, and perhaps in all forms. To survive, we need a very substantial, “all-hands-on-deck” step-up in support through subscriptions, back issue and compilation orders, and donations. (Advertising and issue sponsorships help too.) Failing adequate financial support, the board of the Fellowship for Intentional Community may be making the difficult decision to pull the plug sometime in the near future, putting an end to the preeminent publication focused on cooperative culture in North America and worldwide.
We are heartbroken to share this prognosis, but want to provide you a chance to make it different. You can make the outcome different, in concert with the many other people who believe in the magazine and, we hope, will want to help it survive when they learn that it is in serious danger.
If, within the coming weeks, 200 people or groups each spend $50 to $100 on subscriptions/gift subscriptions/orders/donations, and 20 send $500 to $1000 or more our way—or we receive equivalent amounts of financial support in other forms—we can stave off Communities’ demise and in fact assure its continuation. We all know it deserves to continue. But the financial reality is harsh, not only for the magazine but for its parent organization, the Fellowship for Intentional Community, also stretched thin in its efforts to respond to its mission in the world.
Communities, the FIC, and the communities movement itself are needed now more than ever in light of the legion of challenges we as a species face. Cooperation is part of the answer to almost any problem that confronts us. By sharing stories of cooperation, of new ways of living together that promise a healthier future for our planet and its people, of cutting-edge experiments in what it will take to survive and even thrive collectively, and of the accumulated wisdom of generations of communities and communitarians, the magazine makes an essential and enduring contribution to the culture change we all recognize is necessary.
If you support us financially at this time, and we cannot follow through with the issues and subscriptions you’ve ordered, we will offer refunds. But our strong hope is that this “SOS” to those who have been with us over the years can precipitate a turnaround in our balance sheet, and that you will have not only our gratitude, but Communities magazine’s continued existence and future flourishing, as a reward for your support of this unique publishing venture.
You can subscribe and order gift subscriptions here, donate directly to Communities here, or give to FIC’ s general Fall Fundraising campaign here. Thank you for anything you can do.
PS: Here’s what some of our contributors and readers say:
I love Communities magazine. I’ve read and kept every issue since 1972. Deciding to be communal is the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. Communities has been there from the beginning.
—Patch Adams, M.D., author and founder of the Gesundheit Institute
Our mission at Utne Reader is to search high and low for new ideas and fresh perspectives that aim to start conversations and cure ignorance. To that end, Communities has become one of our go-to sources for thought-provoking pieces about people opting out of the rat race and living life on their own terms. We’re pleased to share the voices we come across in Communities with our readers because they remind us all of the virtue of cooperation and the world-changing potential of coexistence.
—Christian Williams, Editor, Utne Reader
I’ve been subscribing to Communities for over a decade. Each issue is a refreshing antidote to the mainstream media’s “me, me, me” culture.Communities overflows with inspiring narratives from people who are making “we” central to their lives instead. Specific group process tricks I learned in Communities have been extremely useful in all the group endeavors I participate in. All the articles are written by people who are on the ground, doing this work of innovative culture-building, and reading their stories always reminds me that our many separate ventures add up to something big.
—Murphy Robinson, Founder of Mountainsong Expeditions
Community has to be the future if we are to survive. Communities plays such a critical role in moving this bit of necessary culture change along. We have to see what we have lost, what we have, and have yet to gain. Knowing and caring about each other on a manageable scale is the beginning of supporting each other at the universal scale. Thank you Communities for beating the drum and helping us see.
—Chuck Durrett, The Cohousing Company, McCamant & Durrett Architects
For more than 40 years Communities has done an outstanding job of promoting the communitarian spirit to a public in need of that message, as well as serving intentional communities and other groups of people coming together for the common good. I read every issue cover to cover.
—Timothy Miller, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Kansas
For many years we’ve been associated with and have strongly supported Communities because we’re convinced of its unique contribution to the communities movement in the United States and the world. Since the 1980s we’ve been writing articles about our intentional community in Wisconsin, and have shared our reflections as the meaning of community has continued to broaden, including the focus on sustainable living. We applaud the magazine’s role in furthering and extending the outreach of the Fellowship for Intentional Community.
—Lisa Paulson, writer and artist, Belden Paulson, Ph.D., retired professor, University of Wisconsin, cofounders of High Wind community
Communities has been important to me ever since I began researching intentional communities back in 1980. In fact, along my office wall sits every issue of Communities since #50. I appreciate Communities because the articles are well written, usually by long-term communards or scholars, and the magazine is well edited, designed, and printed. While Communities promotes the broad range of intentional communities, the Editors have always been willing to include critical articles which challenge accepted norms. And, while the majority of stories and readers are North American, Communities includes coverage of this movement from across the globe. I highly recommend Communities to anybody interested in any form of intentional community.
—Dr. Bill Metcalf, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia
Communities mentors me with real human stories and practical tools: networking, research, and decades of archives that nourish, support, and encourage evolving wholesome collaborations. The spirit and writings have helped guide me to recognize and contribute to quality community experiences wherever I am. The magazine is an irreplaceable resource and stimulus during the times when community disappears and isolation/withdrawal looms; and an inspiration and morale booster when I am once again engaged with intentional and committed group work.
—Shen Pauley, reader and author, Barre, Massachusetts
Communities is an invaluable resource for information on the many forms of intentional communities. The editors dedicate each issue to different core subjects, acquainting readers with both the problems and achievements of communal life. I have received every issue since the magazine’s very beginning in 1972, establishing a full collection in the Department of Communal Studies in Yad Tabenkin Research Library. This collection has been very useful for my research on modern communities and in writing my book The Globalization of Communes. I warmly recommendCommunities.
—Professor Emeritus Yaacov Oved, Tel-Aviv University, Yad Tabenkin Institute
As a reader of and contributor to Communities, I feel connected to the community of people that has developed around the creation and dissemination of the magazine. Each time I receive the publication, I look to see which authors I know, some of whom are friends of mine and others whom I’ve come to know through their contributions to the magazine. I feel as though I have traveled around the world and experienced a wide range of community perspectives each time I finish an issue, all the while sitting on my couch. It’s an uplifting gift each season!
—Devon Bonady, Founder, Fern Hill Nursery, Cottage Grove, Oregon
If living in an intentional community is the grad school of interpersonal skill-building, Communities is a compilation of the most brilliant research being done in the field today.
—Valerie Renwick, Twin Oaks Community
I’m grateful for Communities because it has repeatedly served as a guide for me to keep on coming back to in my search for intentional communities and to keep on learning about the topic. I always feel confident referring people to it, knowing they’ll get the knowledge they need from it.
—UB Hawthorn, editor of The Mindful Word, author of Journeybook
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