Anchor Partnerships with Community Organizations

More than just living together, there are opportunities to explore weaving together our missions and organizations across generations, too. What role might sister’s spaces play in hosting Millennial-led organizations that are carrying out much of the same work in the world?

Many of our organizations are in constant need of space for community gatherings, workshops, office space, organizing space, or leadership retreats. We are currently paying for these spaces elsewhere, and the constant search alone is a drain on our time and resources, as well as on our spirit, knowing that our hard-earned resources are often going to rental properties, rather than mission-aligned communities.

We think this need presents a unique opportunity to support the sustainability of sister’s spaces. One approach we have seen is building “anchor partnerships” with value-aligned Millennial organizations in regular need of space.

This applies to rural just as much as urban properties, with possibilities ranging from food hubs and permaculture schools, to thriving urban cultural centers and freedom houses. (The shared equity cooperative model discussed above can also extend equity to organizational tenants.)

Two Case Studies

Case Study: Canticle Farm (Oakland, CA)

Inspired by Franciscan and Catholic Worker roots but outwardly secular and interfaith, the Canticle Farm intentional community regularly hosts visiting groups focusing on everything from restorative justice to earth-based spiritual practices, as part of their model both of community building and financial sustainability.

Case Study: White Rock UMC  (Dallas, TX)

So many churches with declining memberships have long-since recognized the value their spaces offer to the community and have opened them up in boundary-breaking ways.

In the process, they have become vibrant hubs of activity and innovation, offering space to nonprofits, food incubators, arts collectives, local cooperative businesses, and more. Just a few other examples (there could be hundreds of churches on this list) include: