Kim Scheidt has been the FIC accountant since 2006. Full bio below.
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This year the Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC) celebrates its 30th anniversary. It is hard for me to believe that I have been involved as a FIC staff member for the past 11 of those years. Time does certainly fly by.
I remember first learning about the idea of modern intentional communities from the printed Communities Directory in 2003 and being surprised when I saw that the book was published from an organization with a mailing address of only 40 miles away from where I had attended university in Northeast Missouri. “Small world,” I thought.
After college I moved to San Antonio, Texas and took a job with a small accounting firm. I had my own office, on the ninth floor, with one entire wall of glass windows, a U-shaped desk, a cleaning crew who came every night….you get the idea. However, after working in the big city mainstream rat race for a couple of years, I was ready for a change of pace and thought that intentional community life might be the answer. It was great to have such a resource database at our fingertips and the information presented in that Communities Directory eventually led me to travel and find my future home.
I explored some communal possibilities in Central America and the U.S. and ironically enough the place I ended up was a rural co-homesteading community back up in Northeast Missouri, farther north than I had ever thought I would live again, just a few miles from the office of the FIC.
Before I left Texas I would frequently be asked the question, “what do you plan to do after leaving public accounting?” My flippant answer was typically, “oh, probably go work for some struggling non-profit somewhere.” And indeed less than a year after I moved to the area, the bookkeeper for the FIC was preparing to move away and so that position was becoming vacant.
I applied for the job opening and came to the *office of the FIC in late 2005 to have an interview with Laird Schaub, the former executive director. I have to say, walking into that trailer office, I was more than a little taken aback. In comparison with the plush working conditions I had grown accustomed to, the FIC office was a dump. There were holes in the floor and a sign on the wall that said, “Do NOT turn on computer or printer if temperature is less than 40 degrees.”
Laird queried me about what I knew of the FIC and whether or the organizational mission was something I valued. In my head I remarked that “I honestly don’t know much except that I need a job and you need an accountant.” There weren’t any other applicants and I had stellar credentials so of course it all fell into place and I joined the FIC staff.
Since that day I have had untold opportunities to understand and be a part of the FIC mission of developing the evolution of cooperative culture. I was given the chance to decide whether or not it is something I value. The answer is a resounding “YES,” a hundred times over, “YES!!!”
I co-founded an intentional community; I live in an intentional community; and I raise my child in an intentional community (and she is the most amazing, well-spoken, well-adjusted 10 year old I’ve ever known.) I work with zest for this organization that truly makes a positive difference on our planet. I have personally received feedback from hundreds who have used the listings in the Communities Directory to locate intentional communities they would have never known about otherwise, to visit them, be inspired by them, live there as residents, members, interns, work-exchangers, etc. The impact has been completely life-changing.
The FIC is a remarkable network of individuals and community groups across the entire world. It has amazing offerings such as the online and printed book directory of all the intentional communities who wish to list with it. It is free for them to do so and free online for anyone to search for communities they want to contact, visit and perhaps move to one day.
Communities magazine is another huge cornerstone of how FIC provides information about intentional community life out into the world. Yes, it has been true that the FIC struggles to keep afloat financially, but if the organization got just a few hundred more subscribers, we could probably cover our costs rather than run the magazine at a deficit.
I know that it is high time to re-write the story of how I work for a “struggling non-profit” and rather shout out how proud I am of the work we do in the world and how I know for a fact that the FIC has positively influenced the lives of countless individuals, neighborhoods, and communities of people over these past 30 years. I can only imagine all the wonderful good we within the FIC can do with another 30 more.
*In 2015 the FIC thankfully moved its office to a cozy, natural-built strawbale structure at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.
Kim Scheidt has been the FIC accountant since 2006. She is a founding member of Red Earth Farms and lives there on a homestead of nine acres named Dandelion that has the vision of being an egalitarian-style sub-community based on the ideals of simple living, permaculture, feminism, and open communication. She loves gardening and orcharding, doing energetic healing work, cooking nutritious and delicious food, harvesting firewood, hanging out with friends, and playing ultimate frisbee.