Co-budget Trial - starting now til 12 July

So as many of you will know (and as discussed at global HO on Tues) we have set up a “co-budget” (collaborative budgeting) trial. We would like to see if co-budget is a good tool for crowdfunding features and projects within our community. Co-budget is an open source tool being developed by crew at Enspiral in NZ. It’s in Beta, so they will be grateful for any feedback we can provide them, and its only going to get better.

The trial will run for a month until the next Global HO. So its now time to have a play! OFN Group:

If you haven’t already been invited to the trial send your email address to hello ‘at’ and I’ll add you in as a user to our group (this doesn’t happen automatically yet).

How we plan to use CoBudget:
This tool is primarily for the OFN instances to make contributions to core pieces of development. No money is actually transferred, which avoids transaction costs. It’s just a way of expressing your commitment to contribute to a feature/project. All contributions go to a specific feature/project, and you can see who else has contributed and how close we are to the target amount.

Limitation of CoBudget:
It is invite only, so the public is not able to contribute via this channel. It’s therefore not the right platform for doing crowd funding that’s targeted at the public, but may be suitable for highly involved enterprise users (eg hubs) who wish to contribute to feature development.

Check it out
We have invited many of you to join, and once you login via your invite email, you’ll see that everyone has been allocated $100,000. Don’t get too excited this isn’t real money, it just means you have a balance if you want to contribute to one of the projects on CoBudget.

We’ve set up a ‘Test Idea’, feel free to place a “dummy” contribution against this project, with no implications. Placing a contribution doesn’t involve any transfer of money.

We have also turned on a couple of projects as real projects. The Standing Orders projects (phases 1 and 2) and the Rails and Spree upgrade projects are real projects, which are candidates for actual shared funding. Others are also welcome to put projects up for real funding during the trial.

Guidelines for use:
· Anyone can start an idea. When a project is an idea, it will be open for comment, but not for contributions. Once you click ‘start funding’ other users will be able to contribute.

· We suggest that the majority of discussion continue on discourse, so please put a link to discourse with any idea that you open on CoBudget.

· An Admin of the group needs to add contributors and give them credit, so contact us if there’s someone else who wants to join.

· You can’t change the $ amount of a project after it’s posted.

· It’s currently in Australian Dollars.

The future of CoBudget
@Myriam has proposed that we could use CoBudget and Open Collective in tandem. This would involve transferring funds raised on instance and global Open Collective pages to CoBudget. Then instances could choose where their donations are used. Lets have a think about how these platforms could be used together when we are playing with co-budget this month.

More info re cobudget here (including link to co-budget slack channel if you want to join the convo):

Thank you @serenity for kickstarting this trial :slight_smile:
I think cobudget is a great way to enable the community to crowdfound features, even though I hope that in a next version of co-budget, we can avoid the step that an admin has to add the money on a user account before this user can allocate it. I would love a feature like a button “add money to my cobudget wallet” so for example if OFN France (when we have money) decide to allocate 10% of its revenues, we can ourself put the amount in cobudget and then allocate it.

As you did, by default putting a large amount (100 000$) is a workaround that works for now, but the problem is that we loose maybe an information which is “how much money is available to be spent”… but I guess every instance can follow that on their side.

I find it also a bit limitating not to be able to modify the $ when you start funding. What is the workaround if you realize after a comment from a contributor that you underestimated the cost and you have to raise it? For example in the Mangopay case, I have no real idea about what will be the cost, so maybe I should have keep it on the idea side until it’ more precise, or “phase” the project, like put a first bucket for example with a very low budget (like 100$) to explore, list all the todos and budget it.

Also the fact that Co-budget manages only one currency is a bit of a problem, and especially here it doesn’t indicates that it’s AUD, it just shows $, it can be a bit confusing for an international communities. Ideally every user can choose it’s currency and the amounts are converted with the conversion rate of the day in your local currency, so everyone can manage it’s contributions in its own currency and see how it evolves by the end of the campaign with the evolution of the change rate.

For the link with OpenCollective or other fundraising tools, maybe it’s simpler to just write there a sentence saying that if the donor want to get more involved in the project and have a say in how the money is used, he can join the community forum and cobudget… because not all the people who give a bit of money want to spend time in really going into what we are doing. But let’s see when we become really concrete on it.

Well, I think that’s all for the moment!
So for me it’s great that OFN can use Co-budget, and I hope the French instance will soon have funds to be able to participate to buckets :slight_smile:

Cheers :slight_smile:

Hi people

In considering my response to some questions / suggestions from @MyriamBoure I logged into co-budget, and it seems to me that if we are starting to use this a bit (and if we intend to use it properly) then it needs a clean-up and some structure e.g. one clearly identified login per instance / funding pool e.g. UK, Eaterprises (me and Serenity), Norway etc and the funding amounts set to real amounts so we can actually see what we’re working with.

I have created a google sheet with the existing user info and a new sheet called ‘real - Dec 2016’

Once the data in the real sheet makes sense, I’ll upload it into co-budget and then we can actually use it for tracking contributions

Please go into this sheet and nominate

  • correct user for your instance / funding pool
  • amount of money available - including money that has already been contributed to the projects that exist in there (multilingual instance, spree and rails upgrade and standing orders)

The main thing that remains unclear to me is how much we actually use this for e.g. is whole uk budget there, or is only for projects that are trying to raise money from multiple sources (making this transparent). I suggest we probably start with the latter and move towards the former as people grow confident

I will then clean out the other users so that this is the working info for actually using co-budget
@lin_d_hop @NickWeir @danielle @CynthiaReynolds @tschumilas please ping others that would need to act on this - I’m a bit out of the loop on where else money is / is likely to be coming from

Re. currency - I think we are just using AUD for now, so just use a currency converter and we’ll have a general idea of where we stand, potentially needing to adjust things if / when there are major currency shifts.



Ping @sreeharsha @lin_d_hop @Sara @JozeHladnik

@sstead @oeoeaio @RohanM @maikel

We have no budget now, so can’t participate in founding. I hope it changes in 2017.

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Thank you @Kirsten, I suggest we use cobudget, to start with, for what concerns the “shared global tasks” or cross-instances tasks:

  • projects: new features developments that are multi-instances projects and are funded by various instances & people. Or more generally we could say projects that have a positive structural impact for various instances. Like ideally if @CynthiaReynolds develops a super communication tool to explain the positive impact on OFN multiple instances could contribute in funding that tasks it’s a project, not ongoing.
  • structural tasks: that are done for the global community: code review and merge for non funded projects and volunteer contributions in code, community facilitation, support to new instances, … those are more ongoing tasks, not project based

I suggest we create one bucket for each cross-instance project and one bucket for each structural tasks, and that we make transparent what is funded when it’s already done. Even if there is no funding yet, we can open an idea bucket so that we raise consciousness that those tasks should be valued at some point :slight_smile: I’m thinking especially in community facilitation for example or non dev tasks which are not funded yet.

We should I think just be clear about what goes into a project and what goes into an ongoing cross-instance task.
After your response @Kirsten I suggest that we include in the project the time and budget corresponding to code review and merge for the project, it’s a direct cost of the project. AND that would be awesome if projects could also give back a small amount to finance other ongoing structural costs (if enough fundings of course)… We could decide to set up a % (10 to 20%?) for projects that would cover the code review and merge and a small amount for other ongoing structural tasks. So if the dev work is estimated to 1000, the co-budget bucket should be set up to 1150 for example, and the 150 finance first code review and merge, and if money remains, it can be transferred to another bucket for ongoing tasks. (this is an example of process, but please make other suggestions!)
For example for VAT overhaul, I will create a bucket on co-budget, and in the amount I will put: the work done by Rob & me to find out how to implement that, the work by Rob for estimation, the work needed in actual development, and the work of code review and merge, and testing + we could add a little to contribute to ongoing tasks (depends on funding possibility! Of course some of it can also be volunteer if people agree to, like I do for tax). In the amount set up on a bucket the objective should be to try and fund correctly the projects so that we don’t burnout people on the way and we manage through funded projects to put a bit of money aside to finance the community development :wink: So ideally we should think not only on dev tasks, but also all the organization and facilitation tasks that today are mostly not funded.

BUT we also need to abound in a fund that enable to review and merge pieces of code for contributions that are not funded or for new instances/developers just starting to enter the process of contribution to code. So this would be more a structural tasks, like we can propose to finance collectively one or two days per months to pay the people who do that for the collective (I’m not sure if that is already funded today indirectly by Australia, or if done on a volunteer base by the Aussie core dev, or if it’s just not done and nothing is reviewed and merged if not funded… this is not clear to me)
So we can have a bucket “code review and merge”, “community facilitation”, “international development support”, “global website”, etc. and set them up to 0, 1 or 2 days per month for example, as we consider that for the next 6 months we would like to be able to finance for the new instances who have not yet funding or for random contributors who would submit pieces of code without being funded (volunteer contributions) so that they code be reviewed and merged.

In OuiShare we do that a bit the same way, we have projects and global ongoing tasks, so every year in November, we raise buckets for the ongoing tasks for next year, so that people can know that they are going to be paid to do this or that (like to do community facilitation equivalent 1 day per week) for the next year. For projects buckets can be raised anytime.
We use the same cobudget space for global projects and structural costs AND for national projects and structural costs, we have just used FR when the bucket only concerns French projects or ongoing tasks, ES for Spain, etc. So it enables also every local instance to work with open budgeting and crowdfunding within their local ecosystem. And it enables transparency within the whole community.
Also other input from my OuiShare experience, OuiShare France who created OuiShare is still after 4 years financing most of the global ongoing tasks, even if there are communities in 30 countries. Now that communities in Spain and South America starts to structure and organize projects that brings money in they are going to contribute also from next year. Maybe we will manage in OFN to distribute quicker the financing of the global tasks, but I know it’s not easy, and it takes time.

So for example Kirsten you put 10K in cobudget in June, maybe you will allocate 6K to a cross-instance project (like standing orders) but maybe some of the money were used to pay for Rohan’s or Rob’s time to do estimates or code review for other instances not yet funded, so for example 2K maybe will reflect that in the bucket “Code review and merge” and maybe you have 2K remaining that you can decide to allocate to a project or an ongoing task when you want. So we will see clearly the contributions from each instance to support the development of the global community, either through projects or ongoing tasks.

Ongoing tasks might work first on a base: "if there is money cool we can do stuff, else find a way either to raise money or find people who agree to do that on a volunteer base." We’ll see when we have more money if we can have 3/6 months missions with some paid days of work for those ongoing tasks.

I would suggest that we avoid counting the volunteer contributions of people like put an hourly rate on people time doing things on a volunteer base and put that in co-budget as a founding. Like if I start counting my time and putting a hour rate one my time, if Rohan, Kirsten, Danielle, if we all start doing that I’m afraid we start counting every time we spend two hours answering messages, like I just did for this post. If we want to give light also to volunteer contributions and value them we can think about how to do that but I suggest we don’t start with that in co-budget.

I suggest we put the email address of the people who represent an entity who could potentially contribute, even if the amount is 0 for the moment in contribution so that you can still have look at what happens on co-budget and get used to how it works. Like @JozeHladnik for example it’s not because you have no funding yet that you can’t be into co-budget, you will have 0 to spend, that’s all.

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Ping @Arthur following our discussion :slight_smile:

hi all. I did some tidying up of co-budget yesterday to get all the ‘fake’ money out of it. I was a bit of a klutz and only belatedly worked out how to reduce money, after I had already deleted and recreated users using the csv.

The CSV I uploaded, based on limited info people had put in the google doc, is now in there as a 3rd sheet

@MyriamBoure - when you use the csv upload it is additive - it doesn’t delete any users or money, so you can just use a csv that only has the info you want to add in it

Apologies to all the people i deleted and recreated, you will now just have to go back in, but you no longer have $200,000 to spend :slight_smile:

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and if anyone can work out how to revive archived projects so we don’t have to create duplicates (e.g. Standing Orders - Phase 2) that would be great. I can’t work out how to do it!

Is Co-Budget meant to be something every OFN contributor can join or is it only for the instance coordinators etc.?

There is an option to ‘Show Archived Buckets’ at the bottom of the screen below. Lynne has retrieved the multilingual bucket because we want to use this live. I have also added some budget to my row in this csv. Please can someone upload it so that I can pledge. Thanks

Actually @Kirsten @NickWeir it doesn’t seem you can retrieve an archived bucket, you have to recreate a new one basically, but not sure there is a problem with it?
The only thing is that regarding history tracking we will keep those “fake” buckets in the history… I guess if we ask the co-budget team we can find a way to hard-delete them… is it @serenity who is in touch with them?
I can ask Francesca from OuiShare esle, she is our cobudget steward :slight_smile:

Who should have access

About who should have access to co-budget, I would suggest that anyone active in the community should have access. Even if that would be possible I would suggest the group to be “public” (visible with the url) even if not everyone can do stuff, everyone could see.
In OuiShare as soon as someone becomes a connector he got access to co-budget. Even if he has no money to spend, but so that he can see what’s happening and start contributing whenever he wants/can.

Co-budget shared folder

I created a folder in the OFN global drive:

Co-budget stewardship tool

I took a big inspiration from the co-budget stewardship spreadsheet we use in OuiShare and created an OFN version here:

You will find:

  • in the first tab the list of people having access to Co-budget, with their balance (formula connected to the other 2 tab): here we can add all the people that need to be added to co-budget, and we can confirm they have been added by putting the date
  • in the second tab: all the money that goes into co-budget (revenues)
  • in the third bucket: all the money allocated to buckets (expenses)

Also I suggest we use some common taxonomy on how we name the buckets so that it doesn’t become a mess super quickly and so that we can use Co-budget with flexibility. So I suggest we start all bucket by some [CODE]:
[FEAT] = a feature we want to crowdfund
[CORE] = the core Commons buckets
[AU], [UK], [FR], [NO], [CAN] = local buckets if local instance want to use co-budget to manage local stuff

Stewardship process

We need a co-budget steward, who will be the contact point for anyone wanting to add money in a Co-budget account. This steward is in charge of:

  • adding new people to co-budget upon request from instances
  • upload the csv to add money to some account upon request from co-budget users
  • keep track of the activity in the spreadsheet so that we can all know real time what is happening and what has happened in the past.

Does anyone would like to play that role? @Kirsten as you have started to, do you want to be the co-budget steward? Else I’m happy to volunteer for that but I’m already doing lots of stuff so great if other people want to take responsibilities :slight_smile:

For me, that role should be funded, included in the “community facilitation” core CC bucket, it’s on of the roles of community facilitation. So as suggested by @Kirsten I suggest this bucket is funded only when the three other core CC are funded (as we still have happy volunteers to do that for now :slight_smile: ).

For info I see some inconsistencies in the current set up, for example in the spreadsheet Lynne is set up to 0 and 4130 in co-budget.
Also for the community consciousness and clarity, I think it’s important to be precise for example if an individual gives money himself, or if he represents an entity (which is a big difference). And if the money is related to some OFN project or not.