Guilds As Professional Associations: a new funding model

If you don’t mind @jonvaljonathan I’d love to piggy back of your amazing response, as I think it touches on the viability of the DAO long-term and the utility of DAOs in this regard.

@samanthaj I am trying your thought experiment and have the following ideas:

  • I’d pay dues (optionally) to my guild if I saw my dues as an investment into the projects and revenue generation initiatives to sustain the DAO, and in turn my ROI (*ROD?)
  • The measurable value I get from the guild is BANK. I joined the DAO to earn and contribute to a mission I believe in - enabling others go bankless. My guild pays me BANK in return for my dues paid (both sweat and BANK) to fund its projects.
  • I am currently more active in a project team (Bankless Academy) than in the guild (Education) - and I am fine with this. I find the project scope more focused and easier to contribute to.
  • If my guild disappeared, it would either reform out of necessity or reform as an integral part of other guilds in the DAO.

I see the DAO as the sum of its parts; Guilds organise the DAOs activities and projects delegate guild initiatives into teams working towards the viability of the DAO through value creation and member compensation & retention.

My 2 cents.


I’m curious as to the frequency these dues would have to be paid. Is this a 1 time payment or a regularly recurring payment? I think a 1 time payment will eventually run out unless the guild is always growing its membership numbers. If these dues were seasonal, I could see guilds becoming self funded just from dues. But then we have to determine how guilds are rewarding contributors compared to projects. It is my opinion that most guild funding covers remunerations to role holders. Are participating members earning more than the proposed dues? If not, they would just stop paying dues.


Thank you for highlighting many roadblocks and suggesting solutions.
In S3, 60% BANK was allocated to projects and 40% to guilds as you have highlighted. The main problem I see is that if we keep spending BANK at the current rate we’d be gone for soon.
This is why I think we need to look at two places

  1. BANK distribution between Guilds and project

If we are to say that projects are our bread and butter, we should look at allocating 80% seasonal funds to projects, as opposed to 60% now.

  1. BANK per hour/max. BANK per season.

The IMN project is working on an average of 70-80 BANK/hour, whereas rest of the DAO has 1000 BANK/hour rates. This is not sustainable since I wasn’t able to find a single person in the DAO who could tell me that they are being compensated at 1000 BANK/hour for the whole time that they dedicate to their role. So in my opinion, it’s incorrect to say there is some problem in the guild/project if a role is over 10k BANK at (1k BANK/hour).

What we should focus on is:

a. Identify what is the max BANK we want to spend per season?
b. What % of this should go to project vs. grants?
c. How to allocate between guilds and projects?

The first two are open questions for the DAO. I personally think we should allocate less and less BANK each season for expenses. It’s meaningless to argue about BANK/hour since it’s pretty much a YOLO number that is not uniformly followed. Rather, we should evaluate on the basis of:

‘Given the amount of funds we have what is xyz project or abc guild worth this season?’ Projects/Guilds with low funding but high contributor commitment will find ways to get funds from outside the DAO and succeed. Projects/guilds with low results will not receive popular support either way.

For point ‘c’ a simple snapshot vote to signal distribution would suffice. More contributors interested in a guild/project = more BANK allocated towards it in any given season


I really like the idea of an 80/20 split and sticking to it. That’s a very actionable step that I feel like we could move toward in Season 4.

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Yep exactly. Paying dues would get real messy real fast. Which is why I think a different funding model from top down makes sense. BUT, if guilds truly are talent pools, shouldn’t that talent be paying their coordinators themselves? Paying for a service, essentially?

Thank you for raising this up. :heart: While I support rethinking the funding model and thinking sustainable, I think we need to look into a) the motivation of active members b) whether the incentive will lead to the value creation for bDAO before making a decision.

I conducted the onboarding surveys for both the Marketing and Daolationships guilds, and the results showed that money is not the first thing for people to join bDAO but goes after "share the same value“, "learn something interested with”, and “do something good at”. I agree we can provide some BANKs for active members, but it’s better not a big number like 10k, which may discourage people who are more active or make more contributions. The task-based compensation may better encourage bDAO members to make more contributions.

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Thank you for your comment! But we’re not giving the 10k to members. That’s how much the guild gets per member to fund their operations (it goes to the guild treasury to pay for guild role holders, bounties, etc.)

I propose a different solution. Guilds are community centers whose purpose is to educate members on how to be better project contributors. Funding is only given to projects and developing members’ skills.

Thank you for putting in the time to research and post about this topic. The public good analogy seems like a real stretch. I’ve never heard of someone calling a guild a public good. Is that actually happening? Even if that term is being used, it doesn’t mean we would have to operate in the same way and tax members, ask for donations, or have volunteers. This just doesn’t seem like a strong or applicable argument to me.

Pushing that to the side, I see this problem and solution in a different way. I’m going to take points from “public good” and “professional association”.

Guilds are not public goods because…

They don’t really operate or communicate between each other in a way that benefits the entire DAO like an interstate highway would—at least not in a way that is measurable or large-scale enough to fund, like an “infrastructure bill” in the U.S.

A professional association is…

A group of professionals in the same field of practice who choose to share knowledge and resources.

Those two statements are directly related. And the real problem in my opinion is that guilds do not do these things and they should. Guilds “do not operate or communicate with each other.” And we are not a “group of professionals that share knowledge and resources.” I’ve said this in the last two coordinape surveys. To me, it feels like we have created an environment where we all operate independently from each other instead of working together. Someone literally told me that their role is to develop people in the guild, not the DAO, so they didn’t see a need to promote resources to the DAO. Well, the two groups need each other to survive. So we should always have the two in mind. And whenever two teams want to work together, it’s “How are you going to pay me?”. If instead, we had an environment where we all worked together towards a single goal and were rewarded when that goal was met, we wouldn’t be nickel and diming each other for BANK any time someone did a minor task. And we wouldn’t be gating resources to only active members of a certain guild.

It’s not obvious to me that your proposed funding model will help us all work together or share knowledge and resources. If I was to offer a solution that could potentially create that…and I haven’t spent days thinking about this so it might be a terrible idea…it would be something like this…

  1. Guilds operate like clubhouses. They are just a place where people hang out with individuals with shared interests.
  2. Each guild gets a budget, but not for projects. It’s for member development to support stronger project delivery. For education to help guild members learn the skills relevant to that guild. And those learned skills are then used to contribute to paid projects. An example is what design is doing by teaching members how to use different tools. If you want to be a contributor to a project like Bankless Academy, take a blender course from design. Tokenomics can get an education budget for how to create better token-driven systems. Want to help create utility for BANK and drive up the price? Take a course from tokenomics/treasury. Learn about the challenges so you can be better positioned to solve our biggest problems. Writers guild can get a budget for teaching copywriting, and so on. And really, education guild could even be turned into a project that is funded upon successful education of bDAO members on Web3 topics. That’s my guild so I’m sure I’ll get hated on for that statement. But really, guilds can just be individual communities. Not public goods but community centers. DAOlationships could also be the same. Community development and business development for BanklessDAO. Funding comes from successfully creating relationships that strengthen our public image, get us access to grants, paid education opportunities, etc.
  3. Project proposals can come be born within the walls of the guild, but the Grants Committee is what funds it. And again, the emphasis is not “how will I get paid”. It’s, “How will this advance the DAO”. But ultimately they will get paid if they put together a strong proposal with a strong team.

This makes us all work together because projects pull talent from various guilds (community centers). And because we only get paid from well-put-together projects proposals, we need to work together to get talent from every single guild. By giving guilds an education budget, we develop all bDAO members and build the skills to be able to work on paid projects.

We need to start thinking like an interdependent system. One where we all rely on each other for success. Guilds develop skills that are used to get on paid projects and solve our problems. As you develop skills, you can get paid to transfer those skills to help level up other members to get on paid projects to solve problems and on and on and on.


Thank you for this very thoughtful reply! I appreciate it. I was curious what metrics you’d use to determine guild success, and therefore guild funding, if not using a member-based metric. I feel like we agree on a lot of things! Budgeting for member development rather than projects, for example.

Thanks a lot for explaining it. Then this method means a guild with less than 9 active members will find it hard to afford 3 common guild role holders (guild coordinator, governance coordinator, and talent coordinator) before having any Coordinape allocation and bounty budget.

So maybe we could:
a. Investigate the number of active members for each guild to get a clear picture to help us make decision.
b. Do not count the essential guild holder role budget into this 10K BANK per active member rule and then adjust 10K to some small number.

On the other side, we should have Ops(GSE)/Grant committee to review whether each guild meets bDAO’s goal/vision/strategy. If a guild is important but has fewer active members, we may still want to fund it.

  • I’m not sure what the sentence above means - are you suggesting that each active member generates 10 hours of work for role holders?.
  • From the comments, I can see that the idea is for GC to fund guilds based on a figure of 10K per active member, but it was not particularly clear to me from the proposal whether this was the case or whether you actually were suggesting that members pay dues.
  • The discussion about guilds being professional associations rather than public goods indicates that you don’t think GC should fund them, but then you simply suggest a different method of arriving at the amount GC should provide in funding…
  • I think before we adopt this method it would be wise to work out all the numbers - if they all end up similar as per your Writers Guild example, then good, but also, what’s the bottom line benefit in that case? If they don’t, we need to work out why not, rather than assume there is a time management problem.
  • Would every guild use the same method to work out the number of active members?
  • How would you propose that Ops and Treasury be funded - do they still get to nominate their preferred seasonal budget?
  • Lastly, I wanted to point out that Research Guild is missing from your calculation of total funding.

Thanks for taking the time to set this out.

The issue I see is a simple one: everything is called a guild, regardless of what it does. It can be solved using any wording we wish but it boils down to talent pools to supply bodies, lines of business of products or services or projects developing products or services, and internal operations and governance.

Ops Guild and treasury guild are not guilds at all. The test for a guild is if you can farm a live body out to a project or a line of business. Stop calling them guilds and the problem goes away.

There are many words we can use, I will call these workstreams or the equivalent of internal departments. These are not guilds.

A product or a service, is a product or a service. These are projects or lines of business or revenue or whatever words we choose to call them. Guilds are not in business. The fact that a project may draw solely on the resources of a particular guild does not alter that it is a project. Allowing a guild to claim it produces a product or service is an error by governance , to be corrected by operations or governance.

3/3 the main public good of guilds is the onboarding point and socialization with the DAO and shared community, this becomes a tribe inside a tribe. Public goods are not all publicly funded or based on emergencies. In fact the vast majority of public goods are shared and free: nobody pays for lakes and air or wild vegetables or food that grows.

We work in crypto. It’s not helpful to pull towards the meat space to add more speculation about market conditions trying calculate what tokens are worth in USD to figure out a distribution. It is the same as trying to time the market.

We probably wouldn’t be having this conversation if we addressed the membership and token issues. ie Separate membership (NFT) from BANK token and created parallels consensus mechanism in absence of a protocol ie staked validators etc


Guilds should not be paid.


Does anyone have a document that explains Grants Committees Current Operations and Governance Model?

I am looking for a document that explains how the Grants Committee makes decisions, other than that a project must align with the DAOs Mission and Values. Also I could find the snapshot that Created the Grants Committee for Season 1 but is there a snapshot that explains the Grants Committee project for additional seasons?

I am also looking for budgeting and accounting documentation, is this done via the Treasury Guild?


there are definitely folks trying to use guilds as service centers over talent pools.

It’s a WIP

Kouros can get you up to speed on accounting documentation practices

Reference season 1 spec for the scope of the GS as it was initially set up

When in doubt, check the archives of discourse

this was moved to the correct thread . posted here by mistake. moved by me. @rotorless.

Did you mean to post this in the discussion about a potential PM guild? Founding a Project Management guild 2.0

Yes! My mistake . Small cracked screen at the airport. Very sorry.
Thanks for pointing this out.

A very thoughtful piece. I voted yes but suggest the final proposal could use some insights from @ManuelMaccou and @rotorless, such as “Funding is only given to projects” and “Separate membership (NFT) from BANK token”. And also @jonvaljonathan asked a critical question need to be addressed, that “How can anyone define the value a guild provides the DAO without an understanding of the DAO’s plans to achieve profitability and ROI?”

My two cents 1) Should get a common agreement on what is bDao? What exactly we will do to “Onboarding 1 billion people to crypto”? It can be and should be changed over time, but still need a clear answer, we cannot just do everything. Community/Incubator/Ecosystem seems like the direction we are heading to, then make it clear. If it can be agreed on, then 2) how many Startups come from bDao is the key metric. 3) to do that we need the Guilds to attract, retain and training talents. Some of them will initiate and team up to start projects, then projects became subDao/startups, and bDao get profit from their successes. 4) So bDao should provide basic funds to Guilds, but most of funds should be paid/decided by the projects to individual directly, and the projects need to take risk, and also pay a fair return to bDao. 5) make the rules/structure as simple as possible, otherwise it is too complicated for people to understand and exectute. Imaging if we have 1 million members, what we should do.

It is a good proposal, suggest we should approve it. Get started first and we can always improve on the road.