Collaborative Funding

At Enspiral, we are using facilitated cobudget rounds to decide on how to distribute money.

(Contributors only: read more context about this on Loomio.

General funding round process

rough guide

  • At the start of a funding round: GT enter Funded Buckets from the previous round into the Cobudget spreadsheet dashboard.

  • Ops receives a notification that there is a new Funded Bucket

  • Once the bucket details are entered in the spreadsheet, an automated email is sent to the bucket owner with instructions on how to invoice Enspiral Foundation. (Specifically this email is triggered using Zapier). The invoice must include: the total amount for the bucket (Amounts in Cobudget are GST-exclusive), bucket name and URL, a clear indication of whether GST is included in your invoice, and the recipient's bank account number.

  • The bucket owner sends the invoice to Foundation and Ops enters this in Xero as a bill for payment.

  • The 'real money' payment is made from the Collab Funding account to the recipient and Ops changes the status of the bucket in the spreadsheet to 'Paid' and records any necessary comments. The bucket balance total in this spreadsheet is reduced accordingly.

  • Simultaneously, at the start of a funding round, GT add funds from the Audit Log list of queued funds to individual's accounts.

  • Once GT have confirmed that funds have been allocated, Ops audits the total in Cobudget with the spreadsheet dashboard and makes a once-monthly transfer in/out of the Collab-funding account to/from the Invoices/Expenses account or Reserves.

  • GT facilitates and opens the new funding round and the above process repeats at the end/beginning of the next cycle.

  • Ops marks the bucket in Cobudget as 'Completed'.

How to get paid for a Cobudget Bucket

Once you've proposed a Bucket and it gets Funded (Woohoo! High-five!!), at the end of the funding round you will be contacted by email with a request to send an invoice to Enspiral Foundation via

In your invoice, be sure to include:

  • the total amount for the bucket (remember, the amounts in Cobudget are GST-exclusive)

  • bucket name and URL

  • a clear indication of whether GST is included in your invoice

  • bank account number

Detailed Ops Processes for Cobudget

Ops is working with the Greaterthan (GT) team to deliver collaborative funding for the network through Cobudget. Cobudget is currently run in monthly funding rounds. The following is a detailed description of the operational processes that back up the action on Cobudget and in the Enspiral Foundation bank accounts. (Contributors only: view this Loomio discussion for the latest discussion about collaborative funding rounds.)

Enspiral Foundation has a dedicated "Collab Funding" bank account, which is the "real money" that underwrites the funds circulating Cobudget. Ops runs a spreadsheet database in collaboration with GT as a bridge between Cobudget and the bank account. While Cobudget continues to be developed, the total funds in the Collab Funding account is comprised of the following allocations/breakdown of this total in Cobudget:

  • Available Funds - this appears at the top of the screen and shows the total unspent funds in your individual account. The figure to the right of this shows the total 'unspent funds' for the whole group, including: unspent funds in all individual accounts, including invited users with funds.

  • Total Incomplete - this is the total value of funded incomplete buckets

  • "Funded Now" Total in "Funding" Buckets - this is the total amount of funds that have been allocated to "Funding" buckets

  • Completed Unpaid Buckets - this is the total amount of funds sitting in "Completed" but "Unpaid" buckets, that is buckets that haven't been paid out with real money from the Collab Funding bank account.

Not all of the above is clearly represented at present in Cobudget. As such, Ops and GT use a spreadsheet to track the total funds in Cobudget vs. the total in the Collab Funding account.

How funds enter Cobudget

Contributors can allocate funds to their individual Cobudget account as part of the annual Opt-in process or via the Variable contributions form. For tax purposes, Variable contributions are treated differently than the funds allocated as part of annual Opt-ins. (View the above link for further details about this).

Once this money is received in the Enspiral Foundation bank account, Ops reconciles the bank payment in Xero and adds a record of this payment to the Cobudget "Audit log". This list of users and Cobudget contributions in the Audit Log are queued up for the subsequent funding round. At the start of a funding round, these funds are added to individual contributor accounts. Ventures also make contributions to Cobudget to team accounts; these payments are similarly recorded into this audit log.

Here's a link to the Financial Agreement

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