If you haven't written clear agreements,
Your chances for success are at risk
There are many reasons one might put off writing formal agreements for their project.
- You might think that there are too few people to make it worth it.
- You might assume that everyone is on the same page, because of your shared interests.
- You might just have an aversion to doing the time-consuming work required to think of all the things that could go wrong, along with all the things that are needed to make them go right.
Why would you leave yourself so vulnerable?
Whatever your reasons are for not having clear agreements written around how members and guests of your organization are expected to interact with each other and your project, you need to get over it!
Too many regenerative projects have had to close their doors due to interpersonal drama or failure to document the needed elements of their plan. With clear agreements, everybody knows what they're signing up for, what they have access to (or not,) and what's expected of them.
To help you on your journey, I've begun compiling a list of different land-based projects in Costa Rica, who've shared their documents for your to peruse. Most of these documents have been offered as open-source material for you to copy, modify, and use as you will for the strength and longevity of your organization.
A few of the owners may prefer to keep their material copywritten and prefer that you use them for inspiration, but do not directly copy the content. (It will be noted, where this is the case.)
As you embark on the important work of crafting the security and success of your project's future reality, I encourage you to look through as many of these documents as you feel called to.
Some of these agreements pertain to aspects of daily life. Others pertain to shareholding responsibilities of the members. Some are short and sweet, Some are dozens of pages long. Take your time.
These are living documents. As you write yours, keep in mind that it should be flexible to change with the circumstances and people involved. Having a draft to refer to, though, to communicate some basic information, can be invaluable.
If you get to a point where you'd like some feedback on your process, send an email to email@example.com and I'll be happy to take a look.
Many thanks to the mavericks who've taken the time to assemble these gifts of guidance!
* If you find a document that particularly inspires you, contact the owners and send them a little thank you note, for sharing.
I'm sure they'd love to know that their hard work is being carried forward to help make someone else's dreams come true.
** If your project has some documents like this, already created that you'd be willing to share with the community, please pass it our way!
I'll be happy to add you to the list of awesomeness!
Finca Morpho's On-Site Reference Guide – link to all working documents
Finca Morpho's Red Book – Welcome Book and info about the structure of the farm
* Remember friends, the future success of all of your efforts rides on you not getting sidetracked by assumptions and the drama that comes with it!
Use these resources to invest in your future. Create your own version, put it on your website or a Google doc, and link people to it when they want to visit your place or even join as a member.