Request to refund Dreams that exceeded their budget

H Henrik 🤖 Public Seen by 69

Hello Hello,

At the General Assembly it was said that there was a leftover of about 2k € from the Dreams Fund. At the same time there are Dreams that didn't get their spendings refunded, some of them because they went above their allocated budget, some of them because they didn't follow the fomalities. I would like to re-start the discussion again wether those Dreams that went over budget should get their excess money refunded or not.

Disclaimer: My Dream, the Temple of Eros, exceeded their budget by 120€, for which we have receipts. Now that I'm not part of the board anymore I'm not in this weird position of conflicting interests and can fully focus on my role as a Dreamer who spent too much money.

The reason to not refund those Dreams was to not send the message that overspending is OK and thereby motivate Dreamers to get better at budget planning.

I understand this point. We do however should allow mistakes to happen, as most of us are new to building art. If the full allocated Dreams budget had been spent, I would accept the consequences of my poor planning. But since 2k€ of the Dreams budget are left over (info from the General Assembly on Dec 8th) I have a hard time accepting my "loss" of 120€. Many people enjoyed the Tempel of Eros and a part of their ticket price which was meant to go towards Dreams is still sitting on the bank account. It seems unfair to not get back the money when there is still enough money available in the Dreams fund.

And I'm less motivated to start bigger (and potentially more risky) projects knowing that I don't have the support of the community if things go wrong even though funds are available.

Happy to discuss!


Karlo Walz Thu 12 Dec 2019 2:53PM

I can only say Yes and that I share the opinion above.
happy to tell more from my opinion face to face


Alina, also known as Universe Sat 14 Dec 2019 9:08PM

Oh the Dreams.... It's a tough balancing act. I believe it's normal that bigger dreams like the temple might go over the initial plan. 120 seems not massive for a big dream like this (what's the percentage of overspend VS planned budget?) I'm not sure how to address the overspending globally and whether there is history/precedent in this matter that prompted the board to be hard on this? Can we have some background/context on that please? Is the overspending a systemic problem? @henrik @alexxx? How was it in 2018? In 2019? I believe it's smart to have a contingency in place - perhaps this is why there is money leftover? All of this said, if there is contingency in place and money is leftover, overspending could and perhaps should be compensated on a case to case basis (not across board)? Going over happens even to the best project planners and doers (yours truly too ;)) Thank you for your energy and loving offering! <3


Valentin_Seehausen Mon 16 Dec 2019 2:05PM

What about another round of application AFTER the burn? Obviously, there is money left and the temple is the only project that applies for a little money afterward. In my opinion they should get what they ask for. As long as we don't face the actual hazard of projects overspending on purpose (and I don't believe we will), I propose to just give unconditionally as long as there is money left. When we run out of money in the future, we can find different rules. In my feeling this is in alignment with the burn principles.


Alina, also known as Universe Mon 16 Dec 2019 7:57PM

@henrik thank you for getting back with more context, it helps. I was not involved in the orga so I do not feel like I can do a - GENERAL - "yay" or "nein" on this one. I do stand with you as in, getting your costs (and other overspent dreams' costs) back. I am thankful for the creations that were brought to our little playa. I did feel like the Dream process f*cked up in 2019 in a sense that the citizen voting was half-arsed and we did not have much independent art or performances - mostly camp offerings and dancefloors - but that is another story ;) It feels like the process was also not thought through financially till the end, to top this off? In terms of next steps and consulting us citizens (thank you), if I were you, I would probably consult with the Finance lead and the Dreams lead to come up with some sort of proposal that we - the citizens - could support. We are with you <3


Remy Schneider Mon 16 Dec 2019 8:04PM

Hey @henrik - I brought this up with the board and it is something that could happen. I personally would LOVE to see this happen with dreamers :) After talking it out.. it seems like the threshold to actually make this happen seems kind of high from my perspective. If you or someone else would be willing to take this process on, then we can see what we can do to make it happen.

So first, we do have money - there is the leftover €2K from the dreams budget that can go to refunding Dreams that went over-budget. However, we can't just refund a single dream. We would need someone to figure out a fair and transparent way to give all dreams the option to prove they went over budget, by how much, and then fairly allocate funds.

The process would look something like:
- contact all the dream projects that happened (I can provide a list)
- asking them if they went over budget
- figuring out a fair process to determine that a) the money actually went to a dream, which happened originally b) that they haven't already submitted this receipt
- determining a fair process for refunding the money (e.g., if it goes over €2K then does everyone get a percentage back? This would probably need to be discussed as a proposal)
- Work with finance team to actually refund the money (this may not be possible beyond 2019 due to book keeping purposes - so how then do we refund them? Through perhaps money raised in a precom.. or some other means? This would probably need to be discussed as a proposal)
- get the money refunded to the dreamers (meaning getting receipts submitted exactly as they need to be for the finance team to process them - then send the money out to all the bank accounts which we should already have from the dreams process)

There are likely things I am not thinking of - but I am happy to work with anyone on refining this process who wants to take it on!


Henrik 🤖 Mon 16 Dec 2019 1:19PM

To answer your question: The Temple got 580€ via the dreams.

I talked to some people about it and another problem is that it's quite a hassle with the bookkeeping, so it needs someone who is willing to take over the paperwork (doocracy anyone?)

I don't know how the overspending issue was dealt with the years before. For this year there wasn't any planned buffer but it just happens that there is a leftover because Dreams didn't happen or didn't request a refund.

Now we have an opportunity to make a general case about overspending and find a sustainable solution for the next years. My proposal would be to pay refund dreams until the dreams fund is used up. The question about the distribution remains - who should get how much?


walto Tue 17 Dec 2019 9:14PM

The previous years, we encouraged dreamers to hand in more receipts than the amount approved for the art project. The argument was that we wanted to see if there was money leftover and then give the art projects that went overbudget some of the leftover money. I believe we again communicated it like this.

If I remember correctly, we did in the past refund projects that went strongly over budget on a case-by-case basis. But not 100% sure.

This year, the processes were different, with no art grant committee, and sturdier bookkeeping. The latter however means, that the flexibility in terms of art grant refunds is more complicated.


walto Tue 17 Dec 2019 9:18PM

Finance, and in particular, the bookkeeping is the hardest part here (art grant receipts are already booked, putting in 2019 receipts for 2020 bookkeeping is not completely legal (as far as we know) and Nadja, the behind-the-scenes accounting powerhouse, would need to be on board to do all this).

A potential third way, but rather confusing, is to follow the above process Remy outlined, but then write out "gutscheine", or art grants, for 2020. This would avoid having to re-do parts of the 2019 bookkeeping.