Funding Model

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Below are proposals for funding models for the Omni Collective, namely the mechanisms by which income covers expenses, and creates revenue (in this case, primarily for re-investment, and some for savings).

Draft Proposal: Membership Model

Background

At heart, the Omni Collective is a spokescouncil, a deliberative collective that is fundamentally a voluntary association, but that is a representative-based, thin, coordination-level organization to facilitate the effective collaboration of member-groups that comprise the whole collective. Its primary function should be consensus-building among the member-groups, using delegates as fully-accountable representatives of each member-group. See the Founding Document for more...

The Omni Collective nods to the historical use of voluntary associations of many varieties, and the practice of membership as a means for horizontal organization, free of coercion and based on consent, in order to work toward common goals for mutual and public benefit.

Membership Model

In order to respect the Omni Collective's structure and values, while also working within multiple, overlapping social-political-economic contexts, the only effective funding model is that based on membership, also known as a subscription business model. To translate membership/subscription into monetary systems, the fee is used.

This implies that the Omni Collective shall:

  1. Itemize a collection of assets and services
  2. Generate corresponding prices based on access to those assets and services
    1. These prices should correspond to costs/expenses and change over time.
  3. Levy consented-upon fees that correspond to the relevant, priced assets and services for each member-group.
  4. Provide discounts to certain fees as may apply, depending on the nature of membership and activities of each member-group.
  5. Generate other sources of income through donations, and other ways of leveraging assets and services (e.g. event rentals, sub-leasing, etc).
  6. Potentially provide multiple forms of membership in order to match access to assets and services to the needs and interests of membership-classes.
    1. For instance, "Friends of the Omni" may be a special kind of membership for family and friends who wish to support the Omni Collective, and as a result, get access to some desirable assets and services, such as discounts at the cafe/bookstore, special one-on-one website consulting session with a hacker, workshop materials fee waiver, etc.

Income

Expenses should be matched (and exceeded to generate revenue) from multiple forms of income, including membership as its absolutely minimum. Meaning, if no other sources of income are possible, the member-groups are responsible for eating the debt and contributing more through membership income in order to at least match expenses.

Membership Income

Concretely, the core membership of Omni Collective will be responsible for the following fees (unless some discounts are agreed upon collectively):

  1. Membership Fee (e.g. $50 / mo)
  2. Common Space Access Fee (e.g. $150 / mo)
  3. Private Space Access Fee - (e.g. $1500 / mo for half of the bocce ball court)
  4. Overhead Services Fee - (e.g. $75 / mo)
    1. Serves as partial income to cover other funding expenses, like building-level insurance, supplies, maintenance, standing funds, etc.
  5. Special Fees (case-by-case, but forms an available pool / history for other member-groups)
    1. Kitchen Usage Fee (e.g. $100 / mo)
    2. Roof Access Special Fee (e.g. $50 / mo)

Discounts could include, for example:

  1. Groups like Food Not Bombs get 100% discounts on private and common space access fees, based on the solidarity nature of their work (giving away free food to people who are hungry).
  2. Groups like Sudo Room get 50% common space discount for providing free internet service in common spaces in the building.
  3. Groups like CAMO (Contemporary Art Museum of Oakland) get 75% discount on Overhead Fee, but a Special Fee of $50 for spackle / wall work (from nailing/hanging artworks, etc).
Other Income
  1. Donations
    1. Fund-raisers
    2. Crowd-funding
    3. Other
  2. Rentals
    1. Event rentals
    2. Filming / Production rentals
  3. Events
    1. Sliding-scale public events
  4. Member-group income
    1. Profit-sharing model with:
      1. Book Store / Cafe
      2. Performance member-groups (events)
      3. Any for-profit member-groups (e.g. worker cooperatives)

Expenses

  1. Routine Operations (e.g. monthly recurring expenses)
  2. Expenses that vary with use (e.g. bigger events raise post-event trash collection, electricity costs than small ones)
  3. Costs of "Sales" (costs associated with producing revenue, like fundraisers, event management, rent collections, etc.)
  4. Seasonal Operations (e.g. Fall roof inspection, Spring HVAC cleaning, Summer exterior painting, Annual inspections and permitting)
  5. Capital Reserves (e.g. New Elevator fund, repairs contingency fund)