February 10, 2021
For any group or organization to be effective, it needs to be able to make decisions about how to allocate its resources. Especially for organizations aiming to be self-managing, participatory, or ‘teal’, collaborative decision-making models for allocating funds are not very developed yet. Tools such as Cobudget can make collaborative budgeting and funding process easier, but there is much more to successful budget allocation than using a tool!
To understand how to do collaborative financial decisions well, it is useful to look at some of the practices that have been developed in self-organized communities and networks such as Enspiral, a network of entrepreneurs and freelancers helping more people ‘work on stuff that matters’.
One of such practices developed in Enspiral is called the ‘Collaborative Funding Round’, which is a time-bound participatory proposal process, also called a Cobudget Round (because this is the tool Enspiral uses to run them).
The development of the Collaborative Funding Rounds practice stems from two common challenges that groups tend to face when looking to do collaborative funding:
How can we enable more strategic thinking and conversations about how to spend our money?
What structure for our collaborative funding practice will provide the momentum and focused attention needed to make timely, good decisions?
Here are some of the advantages of using rounds instead of having a continuous funding process:
If this practice sounds like something you would like to try with your organization, check out this simple guide to collaborative funding where we have documented how this practice works in 5 steps:
To get inspired by other groups and organizations doing collaborative funding, check out our Cobudget case studies:
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