CoTech CoBudget


#21

Contributing what you want, when you want is pretty much what we have now, and it’s fine as far as it goes. However, as others have pointed out the lack of more significant collective funds is preventing some types of collaboration.

In terms of what it’s spent on, I guess that comes down to the process we choose for allocating funds - sociocracy, democracy, or cobudgeting. I guess buying a load of beer, buying a server, or renting a venue is not exactly keeping it in the movement but all seem like potentially good ideas.


#22

I think there might be a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem here where because there have been very few successful co-budgets in CoTech and the admin overhead is high, people are less interested in the idea. Perhaps if we had a small central fund that demonstrated some success and was easy to access/administer it might generate some enthusiasm and willingness to pool more.

I wonder if we could get consensus for a small per-member fee to go to a central fund to try the idea out. This might be simpler to collect and calculate than something profit-based. The website says we have over 250 staff in total across our members, so if we raised £10/month for each person from our member co-ops that would give us £2500 a month to play with. That sounds like quite a healthy sum that could be used to pay for people’s time to do something meaningful.


#23

Great idea @chrislowis - I think £120 per person per year sounds like a place to start.

A couple of questions to shape it into something we can vote on:

  1. Is it just members or FTE employees?
  2. Is it paid by the co-op on behalf of members, or paid by the members?
  3. Is it all or nothing (e.g. all individuals have to pay)?
  4. Who’ll hold the central funds?
  5. How will we vote on disbursing the funds? CoBudget? Loomio by consent? Loomio by majority?
  6. How will it be paid?
  7. What about co-ops that don’t want to pay?

My personal suggestions would be:

  1. FTE so if you have 5 members and 5 other FTE employees you pay £100 per month
  2. Paid by the co-op on behalf of members, but the members get named
  3. Yes - the co-op has to pay for each member
  4. One of the co-ops to keep overheads low
  5. CoBudget (but now it will be easy as the admin overhead of paying out the money will be dramatically reduced)
  6. In advance via invoice
  7. We create two levels of membership - “supporter members” who pay and “fledgeling members” who haven’t yet reached the point where they can contribute. The latter don’t vote on the disbursal of funds. Co-ops that can pay without creating hardship for their members but choose not to should not be members.

But I’d be up for trying most other combinations too.


#24

Sounds like most of these questions and suggestions are things that would fit in with the ‘Governance and Membership’ hack that will be running at the Gathering in November.

Aaron is taking a lead on that and has set up a thread here, which I notice is looking a bit lonely. Would any of you be up for helping Aaron to build the ‘agenda’ for the hack? I think there are other elements to the hack (including on-boarding etc), but CoBudget, or indeed, a central fund, will be an essential element.


#25

Just had a chat with Polly, and it would seem to make sense to converge these two things. A central fund based on membership subs seems to be a clear outcome and something that could be crafted into a clear proposal for members on the day.

Perhaps the Governance / Membership thread needs a rebrand to make it sound more engaging. “Make CoTech great again” perhaps??

In response to @harry and @chrislowis what you propose sounds both feasible and potentially very beneficial - the questions you outline, Harry, look like a good starting point from which to craft something. I’d also like to her from the Happy Dev folks, who seemed to suggest that they have some practical ideas that have worked for them.


CoTech Gathering: Governance and Membership hack