Re: Love your budget process?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Fri, 8 Jul 2011 13:14:46 -0700 (PDT)
On 6/29/2011 12:13 PM, Robert Heinich wrote:

> We are a 13 year old co-housing community in search of an improved
> budgeting process. 

We were fortunate when we started to have members who were experienced in doing 
budgets in the Ethical Society, non-profits, etc. where the process is 
cooperative and not competitive. We have used the same process since we started.

Each team submits a dream budget based on their wants and needs. Any 
individuals who want to add something speak to the teams — Admin, Community, 
Facilities. We have smaller "pods" that are sub-teams but the budget categories 
are in three large groupings.

The Admin team compiles and adjusts the requests in terms of budget categories 
and discusses the draft with the membership at a big meeting. They give a 
figure in terms of "If we do all these things, we will need to increase condo 
fees by __%" and we discuss the feasibility of that. What items people think 
should be removed or which are too high.

Admin talks to teams again and usually comes back with 2 more drafts before we 
agree on one.

We start collecting figures in late August and approve a final budget by 
Thanksgiving — first week in Dec at the latest. Our management company needs 
time to send out new payment coupons, etc. before the end of the year.

The only change we have made is moving the begin date for the process to late 
August instead of October — which really didn't work. Too much pressure. Now it 
works very well.


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