Loomio
Mon 22 Feb

SPC Discretionary Fund Allocation

JS
Jeremy Simon Public Seen by 108

Over the years, the EnableFund and the Loomio voting process have funded some worthy initiatives. However, for small projects or expenses, the process -- launching a discussion, submitting a proposal, running a poll -- is too burdensome.

The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) recommends it be given the authority to allocate limited funds from the EnableFund up to a specified amount, to cover expenses that may not warrant a full proposal and voting process. For example:

  • Reimbursement of web hosting costs and other infrastructure-related expenses

  • Addressing needs or requests from chapters or volunteers that involve less than $1,000 in funding

  • Paying selected contractors for work that supports the community (i.e. the Communications Coordinator role)

Participation in our online SPC meetings is open to anyone in the community. Typically 1 to 3 people join the 4 "regulars":  Jeremy Simon, Jon Schull, Bob Rieger, and Ben Rubin. Notes and videos of the meetings are published to the hub for community review and oversight.

We propose that each week, SPC participants would review and discuss any funding needs or requests and would vote on whether or not to fund them. If all SPC participants agree to support a request, it is approved. If anyone strongly objects, there will be further discussion and/or changes to the proposed funding until a consensus is achieved.

The following limitations and guidelines would be observed:

  • Up to one thousand dollars ($1000 USD) per individual discretionary award

  • Up to 30% of the average available funds allocated annually (can be updated if new money comes in)

  • The program would start upon approval of this proposal, with the discretionary limit for 2021 based upon 30% of the current balance of the e-NABLE Fund. Moving forward, the discretionary limit would be determined at the start of each calendar year and updated as needed when new funds are received.

Nothing would change with the existing mini-grant process. Funds would still remain available to support initiatives approved through community voting. This would just provide a more expedient way of funding smaller expenses and critical infrastructure costs.

JS

Jon Schull Tue 23 Feb

I'm Jon Schull, and I approve this message ;-)

BR

Bob Rieger Wed 24 Feb

I completely support this proposal!

JS

Jeremy Simon Fri 26 Feb

Would love to hear from others... Anyone care to comment?

MM

Michelle Massie Sat 27 Feb

This is an excellent idea!

KB

Ken Bice Sat 27 Feb

We don’t want to handcuff our advisors. Some discretionary funds are necessary, We within my makerspace have a limit of spending without oversight from the board.

Do we intend to set a limit for this discretionary fund?

P

Patrick Sun 28 Feb

I am interested to see how this forms and functions.

AA

Adam Armfield Mon 1 Mar

Seems like a valid way to manage funds. We do as Ken says above and have amounts set for smaller items and a vote required for larger amounts.

KB

Ken Bice Thu 4 Mar

I’m not aware of what the current funds under management are (magnitude wise), and what would be reasonable for the discretionary fund. True, I could look into the SPC recordings/minutes, but I’m inherently lazy.

I would think a good starting point would be a projection by the advisors of what the discretionary fund would need to be (per month/quarter/year, you choose) to cover fixed costs and volunteers dedicated to high hour commitments, throw in an estimate for covering chapter/volunteer requests for small funding, and publish it here. If we have to add more high hour commitments for other volunteers, it either comes out of the current discretionary allocation for that time period, or a request to bump the discretionary budgety goes to a full Loomio vote.

I definitely think this discretionary fund is needed, and over time the amount will fluctuate but likely quiesce to a stable budget.

B

Ben Thu 4 Mar

There are lots of items that come up regularly to continue infrastructure, I agree with @Ken Bice and @Adam Armfield - a limited amount of funds, and regular reporting. Things can certanly be tweaked as needed.

JS

Jeremy Simon started a proposal Thu 11 Mar

Let's Vote: SPC Discretionary Fund Allocation Closed Thu 25 Mar

Outcome
by Jeremy Simon Fri 26 Mar

Thanks for voting, everyone. This proposal has been approved unanimously.

UPDATES, March 18, 2021:

After reviewing comments from the community and having further discussion, we have decided to make the following modifications to this proposal:

  • Whenever a transaction is approved through this program, that transaction will be entered into OpenCollective and tagged, such that anyone will be able to easily see any transactions we're approving

  • The limit for funding through this program will be $1,000, at least for now. This may be revisited in the future, but for now, requests for larger amounts will need to go through the existing Loomio discussion and voting process.

  • Chapters will be encouraged to utilize the Wishbone Program (details coming soon) to obtain the support they need, utilizing this SPC Discretionary Fund Allocation program only as a backup option

  • Language was clarified to remove references to "staff". e-NABLE does not have any paid staff, so if someone is paid for specific work performed, that individual would be considered a contractor.

This voting process is open until March 25, so please feel free to change your vote or offer further comments.


Over the years, the EnableFund and the Loomio voting process have funded some worthy initiatives. However, for small projects or expenses, the process -- launching a discussion, submitting a proposal, running a poll -- is too burdensome.

The Strategic Planning Committee (SPC) recommends it be given the authority to allocate limited funds from the EnableFund up to a specified amount, to cover expenses that may not warrant a full proposal and voting process. For example:

  • Reimbursement of web hosting costs and other infrastructure-related expenses

  • Addressing needs or requests from chapters or volunteers that involve less than $1,000 in funding

  • Paying selected contractors for work that supports the community (i.e. the Communications Coordinator role)

Participation in our online SPC meetings is open to anyone in the community. Typically 1 to 3 people join the 4 "regulars":  Jeremy Simon, Jon Schull, Bob Rieger, and Ben Rubin. Notes and videos of the meetings are published to the hub for community review and oversight.

We propose that each week, SPC participants would review and discuss any funding needs or requests and would vote on whether or not to fund them. If all SPC participants agree to support a request, it is approved. If anyone strongly objects, there will be further discussion and/or changes to the proposed funding until a consensus is achieved.

The following limitations and guidelines would be observed:

  • Up to one thousand dollars ($1000 USD) per individual discretionary award

  • Up to 30% of the average available funds allocated annually (can be updated if new money comes in)

  • The program would start upon approval of this proposal, with the discretionary limit for 2021 based upon 30% of the current balance of the e-NABLE Fund. Moving forward, the discretionary limit would be determined at the start of each calendar year and updated as needed when new funds are received.

Nothing would change with the existing mini-grant process. Funds would still remain available to support initiatives approved through community voting. This would just provide a more expedient way of funding smaller expenses and critical infrastructure costs.

Agree - 22
Abstain - 0
Disagree - 0
Block - 0
22 people have voted (12%)
SM

Skip Meetze
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

I believe the SPC will be fair minded and appropriately responsive to criticism.

JS

Jon Schull
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

I agree (and helped formulate this proposal ;-). In case it needs to be explicit, all of our allocations will be made visible to members of the community. (nothing up our sleeves!)

KB

Ken Bice
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

Well thought through and included feedback from earlier discussion.

BR

Bob Rieger
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

SM

Shawn Mathiesen
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

MB

Madison Bondoc
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

QM

Quinn Morley
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

M

Magi
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

This sounds like a reasonable accommodation to facilitate operations.

MM

Michelle Massie
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

This is a good idea.

MB

Michael Bowman
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

EA

Eugene Ablordeppey
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

RM

Rob MacKay
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

Excellent transparency and accountability.

TS

Teri Sanor
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

WM

Will McCaffrey
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

EP

eNable Polska
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

JS

Jeremy Simon
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

LG

Leland Green
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

It seems to me (although I don't track it, I noticed in the beginning) that there are generally more funds available than allocated. So I think this is a great way to make use of those "stagnant funds".

I agree with @Skip Meetze; I'm sure the SPC will be fair and open to criticisms on this.

JS

John Skogen
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

RB

Rich B
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

B

Ben
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

S

Shashi
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

I think removing friction from this process is great idea.

NM

Nate Munro
Agree
Thu 11 Mar

TS

Teri Sanor Fri 12 Mar

Hi Jeremy,Of course I will vote yes. Wondering though, is there both a $2500 and a
$1000 limit?
Thanks for all you do,
Teri

M

Magi Fri 12 Mar

Jeremy,

I would be honored to be on the team.

Magi

Margaret "Magi" Whitaker
Science Department
F.I.R.S.T. Robotics Coach
FRC #2723, FTC #3638, 4266, 4962
Mount St. Mary Catholic High School

2801 S. Shartel Ave.

Oklahoma City, OK 73109

405-631-8865 x.503

405-919-6307cell

mwhitaker@mountstmary.org

www.mountstmary.org ( http://www.mountstmary.org )

JS

Jeremy Simon Mon 15 Mar

Hi, Magi. Are you referring to the Strategic Planning Committee that meets each Friday? You'd be welcome to join us! Just confirm that's what you mean, and I'll be happy to add you to the invite list.

M

Magi Mon 15 Mar

Jeremy,

I read the message,as an invitation. Was it not? What time are the meetings?

Magi

JS

Jeremy Simon Mon 15 Mar

Absolutely! I just wanted to make sure that's what you meant by "the team". We meet each Friday at 10am CST / 11am EST. I'll add you to the invite list and send you the invitation.

M

Magi Mon 15 Mar

Shoot! I would love to be a regular. However, I am a teacher and that is right on the middle of my school day. I plan to retire from teaching in about 15 months, so if there is a spot then I would love to help.

Magi

B

Ben Wed 17 Mar

@Teri Sanor you may be thinking about Wishbone, no? That does have a $1000 limit, but is a different project (one focused specifically on Chapters)

JS

Jeremy Simon Thu 18 Mar

Sorry, that was my fault, @Teri Sanor. When the initial discussion thread was started, a possible limit of $1,000 was mentioned. Then, when I wrote up the proposal for voting, I used $2,500 as the limit based on all of the discussions we had about the intended uses of this program. But I think the original discussion write-up got included in the post when the proposal went out, so it created some confusion by showing two different amounts.

...

UPDATE: We had a meeting today to discuss this and other related topics, and we decided that it would be better to start this program with a limit of $1,000 per transaction. So we have changed it back to that in the proposal. Anything over that amount will need to go through the existing Loomio discussion and voting process. We can revisit this in the future, but that seems to make the most sense for now.

BR

Bob Rieger Fri 26 Mar

👍 Congrats!!