My comments in the APQC blog relating to Community funding models:
I have not come across these models of funding within organizations.Most of the communities are either funded(by the organization or jointly) or not funded at all.
Couple of observations:
1. I agree with what Farida says about “donating money”.If a community has evolved to a certain point where the members themselves start investing money (apart from time and enery)-it should be a wakeup call to the organization. Managers need to understand the increasing influence for organic structures like communities on how decisions are made. They need to step-in and ensure that the communitie’s objectives are aligned with that of the organization(They need to do this without trampling the freeform of conmmunities).
2.Organizations would be extremely uncomfortable with the idea of having a parallel funding source-more so today than ever before because of compliance issues. Again as Farida points out if there is clear alignment of objectives between the organization,the parallel funding source and the members it may make sense.But in either case if the funding is coming from somewhere else,managers in the parent organization have got to take a serious look at why this is happening?
While communities for the sake of it is a good idea,Im increasingly seeing the relationship between organic entities and formal units as a “symbiotic relationship”.Managers need to align community objectives to organizational objectives to ensure value is created.And the community has to realise that to have susbtantial influence it has to be institutionalized.(Funding would be one of the dimensions).