Setting a Retreat Budget

Setting a Retreat Budget

Typically Forums do one multi-day retreat per year. But because each Forum mate tends to be in a different financial situation each year, setting a budget for the retreat can be a challenge. Here are three options that I’ve seen work with Forums I’ve trained:

  1. Set it and Forget it – put a set retreat budget in your Forum Constitution and that’s the budget for the retreat that year without room for negotiation. It’s nice to know the number ahead of time for budgeting purposes, but it might cause a real challenge if a Forum mate is having a tough year and can’t afford the normal retreat costs that were set when that member was flying high financially.
  2. Anonymous Average – Have each person submit to the retreat coordinator their ideal spend for the retreat. Then the coordinator will find the avg for the group and use that as the retreat budget per person. You can also do this average by throwing out the high and low numbers just in case someone wants to be a big baller spender one year.
  3. Lowest Wins – Have each person submit to the retreat coordinator their ideal spend for the retreat and then the coordinator picks the lowest budget and uses that for the retreat budget. The idea being that great Forums support each other in good and tough financial times and by picking the lowest budget, we don’t make someone overspend when they don’t feel comfortable doing so.

These are three ways I’ve seen retreat budgets get set. #2 and #3 are my favorites. #2 is the one I like the best as it allows for every voice to be heard while also not making the retreat budget get super limited to the lowest budget.

Have you used a different way in your Forum to create a retreat budget?