Accountability and Transparency
Up until now the unMonastery expenditure pattern has miraculously maintained itself frugal but generous. It has stretched its largess to a wide variety of efforts that seek to forward the process. There has been little debate about any of this because it has been an invisible process in the hands of one person according to a kind of “them that raises the funds calls the shots” ethos. The spreadsheets are said to lie open, but perhaps surprisingly for a group that esteems citizen participatory budgeting, there is no ritual for collective reading and evaluation of them.
The biggest expenditure has likely been travel, because the funding has a UK base this has most readily gone to UK residents. Open more to whim than outright abuse, any questioning of the going priority setting has been trickle down and retrospective. This chapter nears its end without serious alarm bells.
However, this system will clearly not function in our upcoming international phase. With several wings of the unMonastery active at once, each grouping will have its own priorities. A large amount of annual unSummit meeting time can easily go to apportioning resources.
One available and logical principle is that each identifiable separate endeavor manage its own financial life based upon its own turnover with perhaps substantial start capital from central sources that can help leverage local funding. The choices may or may not adhere to established principles and/or use developed tools.
It is unlikely however that borderlines will remain that clear cut. Already initiatives branch out and overlap in precisely the intricate manner we have envisaged. The need for outreach to and followup of the many inquiries and suggestions of further sites requires a future developments pot. This raises the question of strategy and coordination. Should there remain a central command position that gradually absorbs the role of much maligned head office?
Law of 10%
It has been postulated that much could be achieved through a bilateral tithe system. This is the traditional proviso that a tenth of income be donated as a gift to the faith. In our context this should work two ways: one tenth of that which comes through central hold goes to seed new projects in the regions - one tenth of expenses regionally is recycled to support central hold. Essential a central organ supplying some start funds and support; which is then repaid in kind as living local organisms establish themselves.
Ethics of sustainability dictate that as little as possible gets given to the airlines. Short term we shall likely remain highly compromised here, and up to now this has been a major post perhaps because of the relative ease of bookkeeping with fewer, large, readily documentable entries. This may not be our preferred strategy; a system where the mobile, nomadic types pay for their own voyages and recompense occurs in the field at the local rate via housing, our frugally abundant kitchen and minimal pocket money, may better serve to anchor the major strength of our efforts in long term resident commitments locally. This also addresses the current trend towards superficially convenient large metropoli.
Another mechanism that bares debating as we establish criteria and principles for disbursing economic resources: that we insert an anti-cronyism barrier that can still reward for loyal service as an extension of the newly installed Time Banking System. It perhaps holds a key that allows that the right to orchestrate disbursement follows tangible effort and we then tend to concentrate compensation at the hot spots of unMonal activity.