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I am looking for an idiomatic expression (something similar to "by choice" or by "one's volition") that would mean 'by volunteering.'

Sentence:

Meeting in cafes (or sometimes in private apartments by volunteering), we would discuss a wide range of subjects.

I mean to say that in addition to cafes, which were our regular setting for meetings, some members would volunteer to host us in their apartments.

P.S. The expression "on a voluntary basis" a) sounds a mouthful to me, and b) implies a sense of regularity which I don't mean to imply in the sentence. Thanks.

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    "By arrangement" might be better. It goes without saying that the use of someone's home would be voluntary. Personally, I would just say "or in private accommodation" and leave it at that. – Mick Oct 25 '16 at 6:59
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    Or possibly 'by invitation'. – Dan Oct 25 '16 at 7:18
  • Thank you @Dan, but that would imply that it is "available only to people who have been formally invited." Not quite what I mean. macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/… – asef Oct 25 '16 at 7:40
  • You have already used the verb 'host' in your explanation, why not 'or sometimes hosted in private apartments' or possibly flowing better 'sometimes hosted by members in their apartments'? – Spagirl Oct 25 '16 at 10:52
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Offered = volunteered

Meeting in cafes, or sometimes in a private home, offered by one or another member, we would discuss a wide range of subjects.

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You could consider using (by) courtesy of which means

given or allowed by.

According to the Cambridge Online Dictionary definition

Note: Used to say who gave you something that you would usually have to pay for.

You should pay for drinks in cafe unless private homes are offered by members.

Meeting in cafes (or sometimes in a private home by courtesy of a member), we would discuss a wide range of subjects.

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