Citizen Budget – Redeem your offer2021-06-15T10:24:11-07:00
team collaboration on a laptop with fingers pointing at the screen

Citizen Budget

Powered by Ethelo

Balance your budget and get community buy-in

Citizen Budget is North America’s leading budget simulator. It lets you engage residents, help them understand complex financial choices, and inspire taxpayer support for decisions.

Redeem your offer and talk to a community engagement expert

To help you make the most out of your 2022 budget engagement, we offer you a free accessibility audit that includes User Experience (UX) and content optimization upon purchase of an Ethelo project.

Enter your information to get a free one-on-one consultation with one of our specialists

Offer expires on july 31, 2021

Trusted by:

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Educate

The tax assessment tool lets residents see how you invest their tax dollars so they can understand challenging financial decisions.

Educate

The tax assessment tool lets residents see how you invest their tax dollars so they can understand challenging financial decisions.

Engage

Using the auto-balance feature, participants can make trade-offs and balance their own budget, giving you a full picture of community priorities.

Engage

Using the auto-balance feature, participants can make trade-offs and balance their own budget, giving you a full picture of community priorities.

Engage

Using the auto-balance feature, participants can make trade-offs and balance their own budget, giving you a full picture of community priorities.

Inspire

We help you include a representative sample of residents so you can reduce polarization, build consensus and make more inclusive decisions.

Inspire

We help you include a representative sample of residents so you can reduce polarization, build consensus and make more inclusive decisions.

Make decisions that meet the needs of your whole community

Including a more diverse group of residents in your engagements helps ensure your decisions reflect priorities across your community. Learn how our team can help you engage a representative sample of hundreds or thousands of residents.

100+ Local Governments Across North America Use Citizen Budget

People may say taxes are high at the beginning of the process, but as they go through the Citizen Budget tool, it provides more awareness of the process and impacts of decisions they were making. The result was we saw users come away with a better understanding of where their taxes are going

Erika Botond

Senior Manager of Communications
at Town of Whitby

Both Citizen Budget's front-end and back-end work very well and sports a polished interface. The presentation is solid, and the level of detail of the data generated is excellent. We're looking forward to continuing and evolving with the Citizen Budget product.

Giles Merriott

IT Coordinator
at Town of Edson

I had a very good experience. What I found really valuable was how the platform automatically adjusted tax dollars in line with what was important to each individual. Quite a few participants had noted that as a great feature as well. This makes it much easier to be transparent with numbers across the board, which is always helpful for municipalities.

Jessica Latchuk

Community Engagement Coordinator
at City of Lloydminster

Citizen Budget Includes

The best technology with a full suite of professional services

A simple platform that’s easy to navigate

Interactive budget simulation and tax calculator

Algorithmic analysis of unlimited budget scenarios
Full-service support for setup and launch
Digital marketing and amplifying services

Customized data analysis and reporting

Learn how the Town of Whitby increased participation by 7,750%

Erika Botond and the Whitby team reached more people than ever before to build a better budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

We use Canadian servers therefore your data is held under Canadian law. If you are in the United States, we also provide an option to host your data in your country.

The participants and their responses are held in two separate databases – so although you can cross-analyze how various groups voted, you cannot match how any individual participant specifically voted (similar to how our electorate system works). Privacy & security are an utmost concern.

A representative sample is a subset of a population that accurately reflects the characteristics of the larger group. When a representative sample has participated, your council/staff can make confident decisions from your Ethelo engagement knowing the results reflect your constituents.

A representative sample must reflect the various demographics (age, sex, income, political views, etc) of your community. Our Participant Recruitment services can specifically target and attract larger and more diverse groups of people to achieve representative sampling.

We collect 5 types of data on Ethelo:

  1. Survey data, which often includes demographic data such as age, gender etc.

  2. Comment data, that is, the comments that people make on the Ethelo platform

  3. Vote data, that is, how people scored, ranked and weighted the various options to identify their favourite scenario

  4. Usage data; which includes how long were people on the platform, types of device used, how many of the questions did they answer

  5. Personally identifying information, such as names and emails.


We ensure privacy protection is various ways:

  • Transmission of information: We use https encryption to ensure that information is not captured in its journey from the participants device to our server.

  • Server security: We use best practices in terms of server and password security. We are hosted on large cloud platforms including Google Cloud and AWS which are market leaders in security and have constantly updated firewalls, etc.

  • Jurisdictional security: All data is hosted in Canada, and comes under the jurisdiction of Canadian law.

  • Architectural security: All personally identifying information is segmented and stored separately on the database level from survey, comment, vote, and usage data. Clients can download names and emails as one file, and the other, anonymized data in another file. They can analyze the anonymized sets but they are not able to connect that data with personally identifying data. There is an exception in some cases, if the participant gives explicit permission through a special consent form on the platform but this is generally a rare occasion and reserved for special use cases.

Absolutely. Each consultation can be written in the preferred language and on its own unique URL.

Currently, Ethelo’s system words (“submit”, “next” etc) are available in English, French, Spanish, Punjabi, Cantonese, Mandarin and Mongolian. Other languages available upon request.

You are responsible for writing your custom content in whatever language(s) you select. If your consultation includes several versions each presented in different languages, then the results from each language can all be calculated into the same collective results on request.

Your staff can have as many moderators as you’d like. You’ll have access to the moderation panel in the admin area that allows you to search/edit/delete any comments at any time.

Participants are able to flag comments they deem to be inappropriate which notifies your moderators.

We recommend that staff interact with participants on the platform, answer questions and clarify information. Although comments are usually helpful and respectful, we also recommend you direct participant’s attention to the Usage Policy or add a ‘how to comment’ section at the beginning of the engagement journey to inform participants.

None! The engagement process is hosted on our servers. You can embed our platform on your website, or link it from anywhere to our dedicated URL.

You will need around 4-5 days to decide which topics to include in the consultation and gather the contents (images, text, financial information).

This may require internal communication so we recommend starting early on this. Once the information is provided the fulfillment team will need 5-7 business days to build the first draft of the Ethelo platform.

Once that is complete, you can access the admin panel to edit the contents or add more pages. We can assist with best practices/tips regarding the content, and we’re here to support you the entire way.

Free Resources to help your budget process

Webinar

Top Tips for Effective Budget Presentations for City Council

It’s a tough year to build a budget, and staff presentations to Council can make or break a budget proposal. How can you make sure your presentation really lands?


Watch on Demand
Masterclass

Reaching beyond the usual suspects

As someone who works in local government, you know how challenging it can be to reach a broad cross-section of your community and hear from underrepresented groups. In this Masterclass series, you’ll get access to five free, daily videos, highlight tips and tricks to expand your public engagement.


Start Now