The Communities Directory and Communities Magazine are both published by the Fellowship for Intentional Community, and contain a wealth of information that is useful for forming and established communities. The most recent version of the Directory was released in 2007, and Communities Magazine comes out quarterly. Content and ordering information is available at http://store.ic.org or phone 800-995-8342.
"Creating a Life Together". Subtitled "Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities", this book was written in 2005 by Diana Christian, editor of Communities Magazine. You can find out more at http://store.ic.org.
In addition to "Creating a Life Together", the http://store.ic.org webpage contains an entire section on books on the theme of "Building Community". Visit the FIC's Store main homepage above or specifically http://store.ic.org/products/building-community-list.html or phone number above.
For people specifically interested in a large-scale, rural, income-sharing model, there are several books written about Twin Oaks, including the first five years. "Is It Utopia Yet?" is the most recent book (published 1994), and the earlier ones are "Living The Dream" and "A Walden II Experiment". Ordering information can be found at or by calling 540-894-5126.
The Fellowship for Intentional Community is a networking, umbrella group of hundreds of communities of all different styles. One of their primary missions is to distribute information about community building. They maintain a directory of community consultants. They also archive articles from Communities Magazine online and are searchable by tags such as "starting a community".
The Federation of Egalitarian Communities: this webpage features a "Systems and Structures" section, which is a compilation of policies from various income-sharing communities. They are freely available for people to peruse and use as they see fit, either modifying them to suit your group, or using them as a springboard for forming your own.
The Northwest Intentional Communities Association (NICA) is a community networking group for the NorthWest US. Their homepage has a large "Intentional Community Resources" section for creating community.
The Twin Oaks website has a lot of information about how Twin Oaks is organized, including a policies page. These policies are specific toTwin Oaks but could be modified or used as a starting framework for new groups.
REAL LIFE RESOURCES:
For forming groups, it is extremely useful to visit real life communities, including ones that are very different from your vision. Finding out how other groups organize themselves provides an enormous amount of information as a starting point, and can be very helpful in clarifying for yourselves how you do or don't want to do things. I encourage you to visit as many communities as you can. (it's often easier to do this in your geographic region, as it requires a lower investment of time and travel money). The FIC's webpage includes a list of communities, and you can search geographically, so you'd be able to find ones in the area you're interested in. (go to the "List of...." link and click "geographic search").
Twin Oaks hosts an annual Communities Conference which offers workshops on various aspects of living cooperatively (decison- making, interpersonal skills, etc.). The conference is a wonderful resource for meeting both other seekers who may want to join your effort, as well as experienced communitarians who have insights and skills to offer. For more information, please visit the Communities Conference website or call 540-894-5126.
You might also want to consider doing a Three-Week Visitor Program at Twin Oaks to learn how Twin Oaks structures ourselves. (Bear in mind that we are income-sharing, which may be different from your set-up, and still useful). Our Visitor Program is quite structured and offers orientations on various aspects of how we structure and organize ourselves--communal decision-making and self-governance, group health care, our legal structure and policies, child-raising, and more. If you're in our area sometime, you may want to come for a Saturday tour.
The Occidental Arts and Ecology Center in California offers a Starting and Sustaining Intentional Communities Course for those who dream of establishing a land-based intentional community or education center. It covers topics such as visioning; how to find land and finance a purchase; the various legal forms available for holding land (limited liability company, corporation, land trust, etc.); organizing as a for-profit or a nonprofit; group decision-making process (meetings, agreements, facilitation, agenda management, conflict resolution); financial organization of your community; legal and insurance issues and costs; dealing with zoning and regulations; and long-term planning. For more information, contact the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center.
Diana Christian, author of "Creating A Life Together," offers workshops on starting new communities. The workshops take place in existing communities around the country. She also offers consultations, webinars, courses, and other presentations geared towards starting or existing communities. More information is available on her website.
The Fellowship for Intentional Community maintains an events calendar on which individuals can list community-related events around the country.