Re: budgets post-development
From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2006 23:52:18 -0700 (PDT)
When do you start your budget process? How long does it take?
At RoseWind Cohousing (long built), we have monthly business meetings, and several discussion circles a month. We start budget discussions in September, if I recall correctly, and aim to get the budget passed by the early-November meeting, for the following calendar year.
Does your finance team put it together? Do the teams/committees put it
together? Other? How is it presented to the members?
Finance coordinates the process. Committees put together draft budgets, with explanations, and these are emailed, and talked over in discussion circles, to give committees input, which may modify their requests. Budget includes annual operating expenses, an overall contingency line item, annual additions to reserve funds for depreciation and repairs, legal contingency fund, as well as some project funds that get funded over several years till capital is sufficient to do them. We typically aim to have about the same total assessment as last year, which implicitly guides what committees ask for. Once the requests have all had some feedback, a total draft budget is proposed and discussed. And passed. Only once did a (mostly nonparticipating) member show up and throw a monkey wrench in the gears. It wasn't pretty. I don't think it would be likely, again. It also helps that we now have a slightly sliding scale, allowing some people to pay up to 20% less. We've experimented with various processes- you will too. Look at some other communities' budgets to note what our line items are, to start you off. RoseWind Cohousing is in Port Townsend WA, and we have a resale home for sale at $195K. See http://www.rosewind.org for photos.
Lynn Nadeau

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