The Communities Directory is a platform for intentional communities to present themselves, often for the purpose of attracting new members. While the FIC reviews each listing before publishing, we do not have the staff time to examine communities firsthand and assess the accuracy of the information provided. A published listing in the Communities Directory is not an endorsement of any community.
In order to provide a useful and secure service, communities are required to provide current and accurate information. Likewise, community seekers must do further research about the validity of information and unmentioned details not described in each listing. If you think a community’s listing is inaccurately portraying themselves, please read Policy Violations & Other Issues below.
When filling out the listing form for a group in the Communities Directory, by submitting your information you are agreeing to have that information made public, unless noted in the form, and to follow these policies. You also agree to be contacted by those viewing this website and/or using print versions of the Communities Directory, and to be honest and respectful in your responses.
Intentional community can be defined in many ways. These definitions help us identify the kinds of groups that are within the scope of our mission. Our goal is to serve groups to whom this definition could reasonably be applied.
- A group of people who live together or share common facilities and who regularly associate with each other on the basis of explicit common values.
- The social and economic relationships of a group of people who share values, physical space, and resources.
- An organization providing the governance and management of shared resources by a group of people with a shared mission or purpose.
To be listed in the Communities Directory groups must not:
- Engage in, advocate for, or condone any kind of physical, sexual, mental, financial, and/or emotional violence, coercion, manipulation, abuse and/or harassment, directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, towards any person or people
- Prevent or interfere with anyone attempting to leave the group or to contact people outside the group
- Misrepresent themselves in any way, intentionally or unintentionally
- Discriminate individuals based on certain protected classes as defined by the Fair Housing Law. See next section for more detail.
Fair Housing Law
The 1968 Fair Housing Act is a federal act in the United States intended to protect the buyer or renter of a dwelling from seller or landlord discrimination. Its primary prohibition makes it unlawful to refuse to sell, rent to, or negotiate with any person because of that person’s inclusion in a protected class.
Because the Communities Directory provides a platform for housing options, the FIC must comply with U.S. Fair Housing Law. Federally protected classes are race, color, religion, national origin, handicap/disability, and familial status. Some states have further protected classes, such as gender, sexual orientation, or marital status.
The FIC cannot provide any information in any listing in the Communities Directory by any group, regardless of whether they are in the U.S. or another country, that violates federal and all state-specific protected categories of the Fair Housing Law.
For more information about state specific protected categories and a good FAQ, visit the Craigslist webpage on Fair housing Law.
The Directory Manager may make suggestions to Listing Editors to help improve the listing, which are completely optional. While our goal is to require modifications as minimally as possible, we do retain final editorial control, according to these policies, over any content in Directory Listings. If Listing Editors do not comply with requests to add or modify their listing we retain the right to take it down. The Directory Manager will make it clear whether something is a suggestion or requirement.
Listings must be regularly updated or the listing may be put into draft mode. Forming communities will be reminded to update every 12 months. Established communities will be reminded every 18 months. In both cases, an automated email will go out to the listing editor asking that they visit the listing and verify its accuracy.
After 30 days if the listing has not been updated/verified a second email warning is automatically issued.
After 14 days if the listing has not been updated/verified a third and final warning email is automatically issued to the listing editor (cc:ed to the Directory Manager) stating that the listing is set to be moved into draft mode.
The Directory Manager may at their discretion use other methods to contact the community, including phone calls, or looking for contact forms or alternative email addresses on the communities website. The Directory Manager may also choose to extend any of these deadlines if there are extenuating circumstances that justify an extension, or may choose to terminate early if there is clear evidence the community is closed.
Policy Violations & Other Issues
If someone believes a community is in violation of any of these policies they may bring the issue to the FIC by contacting the Directory manager firstname.lastname@example.org.
If someone has another issue or complaint about a community that they want help addressing or they believe is serious enough to warrant review by a third party, they may also bring it to our attention. Our hope is that the parties involved can reach a mutually agreeable resolution to the situation. We will do our best to provide resources or support resolution as our capacity allows and keep a record of the incident.
It is the intent of this clause to provide a reasonable avenue for people to address concerns about a community and hold communities accountable, while also avoiding subjecting communities to frivolous accusations.
It should be understood that our capacity to evaluate complaints is limited but we will do our best to understand the situation and respond accordingly. Please keep in mind we are neither a law-enforcing authority nor do we have the capacity as an organization to function as a mediator. Other than communicating with the parties involved and attempting to provide resources or support resolution, our only power in a situation is to require modifications to a listing in the Directory or refuse service. In some cases we may go as far as to communicate the issues we’re aware of to other organizations that list communities.
In the case of accusations of policy violations:
- We will evaluate whether the complaints indicate a violation of our policies. We will obtain as much information as possible from the person issuing the complaint and, when necessary and possible, seek third party or independent verification of any accusations being made.
- Depending on the nature, severity, and/or egregiousness of the accusations we may require that the person bringing the complaint to identify themselves in the process of addressing the issue with the community.
- If the accusation does not appear to be frivolous, we will contact the community, providing them with as much information as possible about the accusation, and ask for a response.
- Depending on the situation, non-responsiveness to our request for a response may be considered grounds for removing the community’s listing.
- If the community is found to be in violation of these policies, we will 1) provide clear actions that need to be taken in order for the community to continue being listed in the Directory, or 2) notify the community that we are removing their listing.
- If it is unclear whether the community is in violation, we will do our best to support and encourage resolution between the parties involved, and will keep a record of the incident in case future accusations are made against the community.
We will contact the Editor and/or Contact person for a listing regarding the content of their listing or changes to policy as needed. We reserve the right to send occasional communications for other purposes. These may include but are not limited to:
- Solicitations for donations – We will send no more than 5 solicitations per year via email and no more than 2 per year via postal mail
- Requests to fill out surveys, either that we create or from other entities with whom we are sponsoring or partnering, such as surveys related to academic research, or surveys requesting input on FIC programs and services
- Opportunities to participate in projects or programs that could provide direct benefit to groups listed
By listing in the Directory you agree to receive these communications.
With permission, the FIC may share public listing information with values and mission-aligned organizations who also operate directories of communities and/or other similar organizations so that groups listed in the Communities Directory will be listed in those directories. For example, we share listing information with find.coop, operated by the Data Commons Cooperative, and cohousing.org, operated by the Cohousing Association of the US.
We periodically provide condensed public listing information to researchers and journalists.
The Intentional Communities Web site is a publication of the Foundation for Intentional Community. All content is the copyright of the Foundation for Intentional Community unless specifically marked otherwise.
Please do not copy our pages and post them on another Web site. Distribution of digital issues you have purchased is not allowed. We consider these actions in violation of copyright. Some of the content of this site is from copyrighted print publications — please do not reproduce these pages in print form without publisher’s permission. Contact us if you would like to discuss the use of our material or if you would like to collaborate with us in our mission
Shipping and Returns
Orders placed on Community Bookstore are shipped as soon as possible, typically within 3 days. Shipping is calculated based on current rates and zip codes. Returns for in-print and DVD items are offered for all orders within 30 days of order date. Returns are not accepted on digital products. Contact email@example.com for any questions or concerns.
We store a cookie on your computer to store your session information (including your shopping cart). We also store cookies to allow certain site layout features and to prevent spam.
If you order from our online store, your credit card information is collected and transmitted to our order office via secure server. It is encrypted while stored on our server and in our order system. We collect your contact information when you place an order, and use your address to ship the order, and your email, phone number, and address to contact you regarding the order if necessary.
We do occasional mailings to promote a product, gather or disseminate information, or for other reasons (currently about once a year). We mail to addresses on our list within a geographic area when we are holding an event nearby. You have the opportunity when entering your contact info to accept or decline mailings.
We put out an email newsletter, currently about once a week. You can sign up for it here. When registering at our store, you have the opportunity to accept or decline the newsletter. Unsubscribing later is simple. We may occasionally do a special topic emailing to this same list.
We occasionally share mailing information with like-minded groups. (Some examples are Co-op America and the Communal Studies Association.) You have the opportunity when entering your contact info to accept or decline such sharing of your mailing address.
Phone numbers publicly listed on this website will not be shared with other organizations except through websites and printed Directories. Store customers’ and other registered users’ phone numbers will be used only for customer service (this includes calling you about your listing on this website). We will never give your private phone number to someone outside of our organization (unless we know through other contact with you that you are interested in community networking calls).
We do not share email addresses, but we may occasionally do a special emailing to our list for a like-minded outside organization.
Third Party Advertising
We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services potentially of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, contact us.
Obscuring Email and Avoiding Spam
Everyone hates spam. And no one wants their addresses harvested off websites by spammers with automated programs searching for email addresses.
We do our best on this site to prevent your email address from being harvestable by spammers. Your email address will only be displayed in such a way that it does not appear in clear text in the source code of a page.
Your address may appear normal but in reality it is obscured so as not to be harvestable.
This is not an invincible system. We can’t guarantee that your address will not be collected by spammers but we will do our best to prevent it. (Our address is posted in the same way.)