Guidelines: One-paragraph Description

This guide is intended to help you write a short one-paragraph description, an overview of your residential intentional community. This would be your “elevator pitch” mostly used for marketing purposes. For example, the Team Up page where you can post a group description allows 100 words. A condensed IC description will help outsiders quickly understand the overall community type and mission for a quick evaluation of whether or not they should look more closely at how they may or may not be a good fit. Below are suggestions for the type of content we hope you will include in your nutshell version of your IC description.

Community Type

Your planned IC might be described as more than one community type, or you may be considering a few types. For detailed descriptions, see the Community Types pages.

Affordable Housing

  • Resource-sharing commune
  • Tiny homes community
  • Student house share
  • Shared housing in metropolitan area


  • Single-parent shared housing
  • Multi-family shared house
  • Cohousing: private residences around shared space

Nomadic or Time-flexible Stays

  • Expat residential communities
  • RV or mobile home parks
  • Van life co-travelers
  • Trial run: Join a household

Shared Cultural Values

  • Spiritual commune
  • Neighborhood mutual aid or resource-sharing group
  • BIPOC culture-focused commune 
  • LGBTQ+ commune

Self-sufficiency & Sustainability

  • Small farm or ranch
  • Ecovillage or urban agrihood
  • Off-grid commune
  • Disaster prep shared cabin

Care and Social Safety Net

  • Housing or shelter for a vulnerable group
  • Shelter for homeless
  • Medical risk bubble
  • Senior cohousing

Community as a Work Team

  • Retreat or event hosting as a community
  • Recreation venture teams as a community
  • Artist collective & live/work space      
  • Activist commune & shared work       

Population Served

If you are considering or have decided on a service-based IC, note what population(s) you intend to serve.

Population(s) Served

  • Animal rescue
  • Physical disability
  • Learning disability
  • Low income families with children
  • Low income 2SLGBTQIA+
  • Low income ethnic or racial minority
  • Refugee resettlement
  • Low income elderly
  • Low income with high medical risk
  • Chronically homeless
  • Mild to moderate mental illness
  • Mental illness involving delusion or dementia
  • Addiction recovery
  • Escaped from sex trafficking
  • Runaway or homeless minors
  • Aged out foster teens
  • In-system foster kids
  • Gang-involved youth
  • Ex convicts

Housing Type

Some of these decisions will only be applicable to certain types of shared housing or shared buildings. Also, if you community is large and will contain different housing clusters, each might have their own preferences for some of the following topics.

Residential proximity: 

  • Our members will be (or are) roommates (shared bedrooms)
  • Our members will be (or are) house mates (separate bedrooms, shared kitchen)
  • Our IC will have (or has) separate units (separate apartments but some shared common areas with shared resources)
  • Our IC will have (or has) shared land (separate houses possibly with some shared buildings)
  • Our group is a neighborhood mutual aid project or “cooperative housing cluster” (shared resources, houses aren’t adjacent)

Ownership type available to new members: 

  • Rent our shared housing or shared land
  • Rent-to-own with shared housing or shared land
  • Co-operative (buy into collectively owned separate houses or apartments)
  • Join with us for a land purchase to subdivide, hold shares, or hold “tenancy in common”
  • Join our established IC to learn and possibly stay long term
  • Rent a room as a trial run

Reasons for shared housing:

  • Ecological sustainability to reduce carbon footprint
  • Lower cost of living
  • Sharing resources (spaces, equipment, tools, vehicles, gardens)
  • Sharing meals and chores
  • Helping each other with childcare
  • Having social interaction while limiting the amount of influence or interaction with society
  • Having a “chosen family” to share good times and support each other thru hard times
  • Friendship and sharing activities
  • Traveling frequently and wanting a home base that’s maintained


Describe the place you currently live if you already acquired a property. Describe the location options your group has narrowed down to, by nation, region, city, or county/province.

Population density: Describe where you would be able and interested to live, such as urban, suburban or exurban, small town, rural, remote, nomadic

Preferred regions: Canada, Hawaii-Aleutian Islands, Alaska, Pacific Coast U.S., Rocky Mountain U.S., Upper Midwest U.S., Northeast U.S., Southeast U.S., Southwest U.S., Outside U.S. & Canada (be specific about favored locations or any that your group has agreed aren’t a realistic option)

If you don’t already have a definite site in mind or already in negotiation for purchase, what regions have your group members agreed you would be able and interested to live? To maintain a consistent definition of U.S. regions, please refer to this map: 

Size and Growth Plans

Current number of members:

Ideal number of members:

Phase of IC completion: “forming leadership team,” “looking for property,” “located property,” or “on property,” or “on property but still seeking members” (if on property and not seeking members, list on only, and not on

Governance Process

State this in one word or phrase, such as “consensus with majority vote as a backup for time-limited decisions.” You could choose from the options located in the governance agreements. Decision-making process is a crucial point that potential members want to know about, but you don’t need to go into detail here. The governance documents should be available for potential members to review.

Contribution Model

Without going into detail, it will help to define your financial and/or work contribution expectations.

  • Members need to contribute to property purchase and ongoing maintenance costs.
  • Members need to contribute to monthly rental and utilities.
  • Members need to participate in income-producing functions of the community
  • Members need to contribute to cleaning and upkeep chores

Links to Group Documents

If you’re part of a group showing in the Team Up page at ICmatch, or at, include in your group description a link to your founders’ documents.

Team Up page: Create a 100-word founders’ group description that links your group members’ ICmatch profiles. listing: Groups with an intended or established location are encouraged to visit the Foundation for Intentional Communities website. There you can make a free page describing your forming community. It’s connected to the map at, which helps if you have a general location decided on. There you can post your membership requirements and other important decisions.

Classified ads: If you have funding for it, consider posting in the classified ads with the Foundation for Intentional Community.