CASE

Budgeting for Outcomes in Fort Collins, Colorado (2005-present)

First Submitted By Scott Fletcher

Most Recent Changes By Scott Fletcher

General Issues
Economics
Planning & Development
Governance & Political Institutions
Location
Fort Collins
Colorado
United States
Scope of Influence
City/Town
Files
Engaged Cities Award Case Study: Budgeting for Outcomes, Fort Collins, Colorado
Budgeting for Outcomes 2019-2020
Links
Budgeting for Outcomes
Videos
How Fort Collins Transformed its Budget to Better Serve Citizens (Webinar)
Start Date
Ongoing
Yes
Time Limited or Repeated?
Repeated over time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Deliver goods & services
Approach
Consultation
Citizenship building
Evaluation, oversight, & social auditing
Spectrum of Public Participation
Consult
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Open to All With Special Effort to Recruit Some Groups
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
captive
Targeted Demographics
Racial/Ethnic Groups
Appointed Public Servants
Stakeholder Organizations
General Types of Methods
Public budgeting
Planning
Public meetings
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Collect, analyse and/or solicit feedback
Manage and/or allocate money or resources
Recruit or select participants
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Participatory Budgeting
Surveys
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
Yes
Facilitator Training
Professional Facilitators
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Both
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Ask & Answer Questions
Teaching/Instructing
Information & Learning Resources
Expert Presentations
Teach-ins
Written Briefing Materials
Decision Methods
Opinion Survey
Voting
If Voting
Preferential Voting
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Report
Public Hearings/Meetings
New Media
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Funder
City of Fort Collins
Type of Funder
Local Government
Staff
Yes
Volunteers
No
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Types of Change
Changes in how institutions operate
Changes in civic capacities
Implementers of Change
Elected Public Officials
Appointed Public Servants
Formal Evaluation
Yes
Evaluation Report Links
Fort Collins: 2018 Engaged Cities Award Finalist

Since 2005, Fort Collins has pursued a budgeting strategy based on the efficacy of funded programs rather than price. Final budget allocations are intended to reflect citizen priorities and to return the best results per dollar spent.

Problems and Purpose

Fort Collins instituted its Budgeting for Outcomes program to better align public spending with citizen priorities and needs. According to the City, "[t]he old system [of budgeting] didn't work - the short term approach of spending down reserves, freezing employee wages, and not filling vacant positions is not sustainable; that approach only leads to mediocrity." Budgeting for Outcomes recognizes that funding is limited, the time of economic prosperity is largely over, and that public dollars should shift from "paying for costs to buying results."[1]

Background History and Context

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

Participant Recruitment and Selection

Methods and Tools Used

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

Analysis and Lessons Learned

Fort Collins' unique budgeting system made it a finalist for the Cities of Service 2018 Engaged Cities Award. According to the Award Case Study, "[b]y providing different avenues for engagement that allowed residents to delve deeply into the process or quickly provide feedback, Fort Collins was able to reach more citizens and a broader range of community members." City officials continued to reflect on and improve the citizen participation experience, spending a significant time on education and outreach that ultimately proved effective: the number and diversity of participants has increased and, according to Annie Bierbower, the City's senior coordinator of public engagement, “we’re still just getting started.”[2]

See Also

Participatory Budgeting

Cities of Service

References

[1] "Budgeting for Outcomes," City of Fort Collins, accessed July 7, 2019, https://www.fcgov.com/bfo/

[2] Cities of Service, Budgeting for Outcomes: 2018 Engaged Cities Award Case Study, accessed July 5, 2019, https://citiesofservice.org/resource/budgeting-for-outcomes-fort-collins/.

External Links

City of Fort Collins

Notes

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