April 26, 2022
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:
Alicia Trepat Pont
“There’s a lot of love in our network, but not enough care”, “We don’t have enough money to cover our admin costs this year”. If you’ve ever been in a supporting role related to finances or value flows in a community or network, you can surely relate to some of these situations.
Networks based on self-organizing principles have come a long way in recent years to becoming true alternatives to working in more traditional organizations —from locally based or online communities, coops, freelancer collectives, “Neo-Guilds” or DAOs. Yet when it comes to addressing questions of money, value and power, we still seem to be lagging behind.
Jaya Brekke, Kate Beecroft, Francesca Pick
Peer-to-peer networks and protocols have inspired new ideas and ideologies about governance, with the aim of using technology to enable horizontal and decentralised decision making at scale. This paper introduces the concept of ‘dissensus’ from political theory to debates about peer governance in online communities