We set a side a small discretionary budget and decide how to spend it using a process called collaborative funding, on a tool called Cobudget.
Our current policy: The discretionary budget is determined as part of the overall budgeting process (approved by the board). Half of that amount goes to collaborative funding and half is managed by the coordinators.
The funds are shared out equally among all co-op Members, to decide how to allocate to projects of their choice. All workers (not just Members) are invited to put up ideas for projects to be funded, called "buckets".
The purpose is to increase efficiency and clarity of discretionary budget, and reduce the need to have Loomio's or get everyone's buy-in on so many budget decisions. We know we have a certain amount of funds, and we each make our individual choices about what to prioritise with them. To get something funded, you don't need everyone's approval, just enough to fill your bucket.
These funds will still need to spent on things team members feel will help us achieve the Loomio mission, but will offer the flexibility to resource experiments, training, and other opportunities. After 3 months, or when the Cobudget money runs out (whichever comes first), we'll reassess and see if Cobudgeting is working for us.
If you're a member of Loomio's Cobudget group, you can access it here.
In the past, we have also used modified versions of the collaborative funding as a thinking tool for overall budgeting and strategic prioritisation. We assigned everyone in the team "points" to put against the priorities they thought were important, and used the results to help guide strategic decision-making.