CoTech CoBudget


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

We’ve been into this idea at Animorph and would be happy go with something akin to what could hatch out of the recent suggestions by @chrislowis and @harry. There’s 4 members in our co-op. Looking forward to drafting it at the hack!


Hey y’all,

I’m double posting this from the events tread, sorry if that’s bad form!!

I’ve just created a CoBudget Bucket for the hack.

The idea is that this will go towards lunch on Thursday (I’ve booked a great pizza place round the corner), food and drinks on Thursday night, snacks throughout the day etc. I’ve not booked anywhere for lunch on Friday and was thinking we could play it by ear what people want to do, I imagine some might want to just crack on with things if they’re going to their respective home towns at the end of the day etc.

In terms of actually paying money, I’d rather that people bring some cash, so we don’t need to process a zillion tiny invoices. But I figured it’d be good to try out the CoBudget thing out, as a test of how it’s working.

I’ve not yet precisely costed things, but I imagine that after buying lunch on Thursday, dinner on Thursday, and allowing a bit for snacks etc in the space, there might not be tonnes over for booze - so byo also if you’re a thirsty-type.

Anyway, perhaps a test-case for how CoBudget is working!


Thanks Polly, we’re in!


Hi All, hopefully this is the right place to post. Is there any reason we are unable to vote on the ‘CoTech call on setting up the Fund’ in loomio? We also weren’t able to vote on the last poll around a CoTech fund proposal.


Are you maybe @nick48? I can definitely see ‘James Timbrell from Co-operative Web’ as undecided when it comes to the vote. By default all members of Loomio CoTech were invited… Poll equally invited all the members of Loomio CoTech. Perhaps we could add you if you share your e-mail? PM?