Who’s using Cobudget and how?

Stats & insights from one year of private beta

Francesca Pick
Sep 4, 2018 · 3 min read

For the last 12 months, the collaborative funding tool Cobudget has been in private beta. After one year of learning about who, why and how groups are engaging with the practice of Cobudgeting, here’s a snapshot of key usage stats.

To join our private beta, everyone interested was asked to respond to a brief survey about their organization and why they wanted to try collaborative funding.

303 people participated in the survey and joined our beta.*

*there were an extra 48 responses in another form.

Basic Cobudget usage until today

In addition to this survey about intentions for using Cobudget, we’ve analyzed our usage stats.

An easy way to measure “success” in Cobudget is whether buckets are being funded or not (“buckets” are like budget lines or projects). This is more relevant than the absolute number of funded buckets per group, because groups tend to structure their projects in different ways. The ultimate “action” a user may take is proposing and successfully funding a bucket.

Looking at this metric, until today in Cobudget:

  • 52 groups have funded more than 5 buckets
  • 22 groups proposed and 15 groups funded more than 20 buckets
  • Of all confirmed Cobudget users, 24 % of them have proposed buckets

Cobudget use cases and models

The practice of Cobudgeting can be applied to many different use cases.
Among our top 30 groups, the most common Cobudget use cases are:

31% Internal crowdfunding

10 % Allocating surplus

55 % Collaboratively spending a fixed internal budget

In addition:

  • 41% of the top 30 groups received support services from a team member (setup support, onboarding, facilitation, etc.).
  • Almost half of the groups prefer the model of running individual funding rounds, instead of continuously doing collaborative funding (less than ⅓ do this).

What types of organizations are cobudgeting?

By far, the largest user group of Cobudget are currently networks, communities and membership organizations.

A specifc type of group of these that Cobudgeting seems to be popular with are Coliving spaces. Cobudgeting has in fact been a tradition for many years now in the Coliving Network ‘The Embassy’, who have published many stories about how they do it.


Insights

This data and our experience of helping groups establish a cobudgeting practice have shown that facilitation, setup and onboarding support are critical for the success of collaborative funding initatives. In the successful cases where our team did not faciliate, there were usually experienced internal resources that setup and ran the process.

This reinforces the notion that Cobudgeting is not a tool, but a practice — a practice that needs to be learned, facilitated and collectively trained like a muscle. To be effective, it is ususally part of larger efforts to create a collaborative culture and governance in organizations.


Thanks for reading!

If you would like to discover Cobudget, look here.
For inspiration on how others are using it, browse our
use cases and explore our Guide to Collaborative Money Practices.

Greaterthan

Digital tools and practices to collaboratively manage money and resources. http://greaterthan.works

Francesca Pick

Written by

Experimenting the future of organizations and collaborative governance @ Greaterthan, OuiShare & Enspiral. Co-founder OuiShareFest, steward of Cobudget.

Greaterthan

Digital tools and practices to collaboratively manage money and resources. http://greaterthan.works

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