So what do you think? For $35 a month we can get rid of the ads and have the page point to duhc.org. Another $30 gets ride of the Ning-ness but I don't think it is worth it to bother with that. There are a lot of other bells and whistles I haven't explored yet - like a classified ads app that would also mean we could probably use this format for the Exchange site too. You were totally right - how did I not look at this sooner??
Next week they're adding in a big integration with Facebook too. I decided the other thing, while not uncool as well, would probably get less support than this Ning business so I thought it likely that more apps would be worked on, more integration with other things, etc if we stuck with this more popular platform.
I just need to find someone with mad photoshop+coding skillz who can help customize the style sheets. I know just enough to spend hours and not get it quite right. Our logo is vertical but the format for the templates is all very horizontal so I need someone who knows more than I who can do a level of tweaking that I can't. Grrr.
But, hey, yay! I spent 14 hours straight on this yesterday.