Member-Based Guild Funding

Summary

  • The Grants Committee has a mandate from the Season 5 Specification to implement automatic guild funding (now called member-based guild funding)
  • Current Guilds will choose to be Guilds or Departments (see definitions below) for the Season 6 Funding Round
  • During the Season 6 Funding Round, both Guilds and Departments must submit a forum post which describes progress made the previous season as well as plans for the next season
    • Guilds must also submit a list of active members they have, and a calculation of their definition of active members (i.e no detailed budget required)
    • Department must also submit a detailed accounting from the previous season and a detailed budget for the next season

Background

In the Season 5 Specification, BanklessDAO members voted to implement “Seasonal Automatic Guild Funding”. This initiative was first introduced in a forum post, and reached consensus as part of the Season 5 Community Vote. Based upon feedback, the name of this initiative is now “Member-Based Guild Funding” to better reflect the ideas presented to the community.

The impetus for the change to member-based funding originally came from the Season 4 Community Vote and Season 4 Specification, where BanklessDAO members expressed a desire for more accountability for guilds and projects.

In Season 4, Grants Committee rolled out a KPI reporting framework for projects (you can see some results here). In Season 5, Grants Committee will continue acting on the DAO’s desire for accountability by using member-based guild funding as an accountability mechanism.

How Does Member-Based Guild Funding Create Accountability?

Guilds have been around since the early days of BanklessDAO, and are colloquially defined as talent pools. In practice, guilds are not REQUIRED to be talent pools, and that can be seen in their seasonal budgets. Some guilds use their budgets to attract, retain, and upskill their talent by hiring talent coordinators and holding educational events. Other guilds use their budgets to pursue project work. Still other guilds use their budget to run the basic machinery of the DAO.

The result of this loose definition is that it’s very difficult to hold any single guild accountable to their budget. Since there was no hard definition of a guild, anything a guild did was acceptable. This led to guild budgets being rubber-stamped by the Grants Committee for at least 3 seasons in a row (i.e. there was no accountability).

Member-based guild funding solidifies the idea that guilds are talent pools by funding guilds for the active members they have (see Specification for more on “active members”). By attracting and retaining talent, guilds are deepening the “pool” of active talent available at BanklessDAO, and are rewarded by being funded more BANK. Guilds are thus incentivized to be talent pools, and the accountability to do so is encoded into the funding mechanism itself.

Specification

Guild vs Departments

As per the Team Taxonomy forum post, we have the following definition of Guilds and Departments:

  • Guilds are responsible for attracting, retaining, and upskilling talent, and nothing else.
  • Departments are responsible for keeping the DAO running (aka infrastructure teams).

Some examples of Departments could include the Operations and Treasury Guilds - they perform basic functions to keep the DAO running and aren’t really operating as talent pools.

Season 6 Funding Procedure

To ensure that the transition to automatic funding is smooth, Grants Committee proposes the following procedure:

  1. All Guilds will have the choice to become Guilds (funded via # members) or Departments (funded via seasonal budget submission).

    • We assume that Guilds will require consensus from their members, so the time frame for this decision will have to be 2-3 weeks.
    • Those that choose to become Guilds must start recording who their active members are at any given time.
  2. During the seasonal planning process for Season 6, both Guilds and Departments will still have to submit a seasonal forum post, which details what they accomplished in the previous season, and their plan for the next season.

    • Departments will also submit a budget request for the next season in their forum post, as well as detailed accounting for the previous season (i.e. how each BANK was spent)
    • Guilds will also submit the # of active members they have in their forum post, as well as a written calculation for this number and a list of Discord usernames who are active members of the guild.
    • Guild “internal projects” will be admitted into the seasonal funding round as standalone projects (i.e. they must submit a forum post which requests seasonal funding, similar to a department or existing project)
  3. Grants Committee will review all forum posts (including guild active member calculations), and recommend disbursement based on the quality of the information provided.

Guilds Departments
Funding mechanism Seasonally, via # members (see formula below) Seasonally, via budget ask
Seasonal forum post describing previous season and plans for next season Required Required
Next season’s budget Not required Required
Previous season’s accounting Not required Required
List of active members + calculation Required Not Required

The Guild Funding Formula

Based on the Team Taxonomy forum post, BanklessDAO will use the following formula to calculate Guild funding for Season 6:

Seasonal Guild funding = 260,000 BANK (seasonal role hours, 4 role x 5 hours x 13 weeks)
                         + 13,000 BANK (Notion administrator role)
                         + (# active members) x 10,000 BANK

…up to a maximum of 1,000,000 BANK

It’s important to note that guilds can do whatever they want with this funding. They can decide to have 4 roles at 5 hours a week or have 2 roles at 10 hours a week. They can create more roles, they can kick off smaller internal projects/education efforts, or they can allocate it to a coordinape. How the guild uses their funding is up to the guild.

What is an Active Member?

Active members are those that contribute to the guild in some meaningful way. Meeting attendance is one possible way to measure contribution, but it precludes asynchronous contributors, so it might not be the best way.

Some BanklessDAO guilds are already tracking something similar to active members:

Why can’t we just use the number of people who have guild tags from #role-select? The short answer is that people who self-select into guilds aren’t necessarily contributing to the guild. The purpose of automatic guild funding is to encourage guilds to engage talent, and selecting a tag from role select does not accomplish that.

It’s important to note that the benefit of tracking active members goes beyond the attached funding. You can tie your active member status to guild perks like Coordinape, roles, and governance participation. Guilds may feel incentivized to make their definition for active members low-effort, but in doing so you might be opening your member perks up to non-contributors. Be careful.

All active member calculations will be reviewed by the Grants Committee prior to funding being disbursed. Guilds who try to game the system by artificially inflating their active members will have their funding adjusted at the discretion of the Grants Committee.

Next Steps

  1. Create draft procedure
  2. Gather guild coordinator feedback
  3. Gather community feedback
  4. Adjust funding procedure as necessary
  5. Work with seasonal planning squad to implement

What do YOU Think?

If you’re reading this, I’m talking to you! What are your thoughts? How does this fit with the experience in your guild? Any potential pitfalls we haven’t taken into account? Leave a comment to help make this transition smooth.

7 Likes

As always, supportive of all efforts at bDAO improvement. Generally like the new process being put in place. I have no issues but see a place where we have Guild funding established and within a guild specific departments. Is this an all or nothing choice of either a guild or a department? Clear to me that ombudsman would be a Department . I would vote for EDU to remain a guild but perhaps the Edu Work area to be a Department within the Edu Guild putting on their How to sessions and Knowledge Sessions. Just my 1st reaction. Looking forward to Season 6 and what it will bring. BDAO strong and relentless

7 Likes

Nice work links! This will streamline much of the seasonal transitional work for guilds and improve the GC workflow, its a win-win.

I think the biggest challenge will be how guilds are defining active contributors, where it could be easy to set a very low threshold in order to get more bank, but what is that bank really being used for? I can see situations where guilds start stock piling bank because they are not using full seasonal allocation. But those are problems we can address later if/when they come up.

2 Likes

Yeah I don’t think it’s inherently bad if guilds hold some BANK in their multisig, as it could allow them to have flexibility around funding their own projects. If guild members start seeing excess BANK being stockpiled, I suspect they will elect a guild coordinator who has a plan to use it.

As you said, we will have to see if this problem materializes and then take actions to adjust if necessary. Sense and respond :wink:

3 Likes

@links This is a very nice proposal. I just want to ask, the figures 260,000 BANK, 13,000 BANK and 10,000 BANK are they fixed? If they are am curious how did you come up with it.
Then the 13,000 BANK allocated to notion administrator does that mean every guild should have a notion administrator role. If so that will be a very welcomed development. All in all, I am really bullish about this transition and I think it will help the DAO minimize funds being misused. I am all about accountability and transparency and this proposal does justice to the both.

The 260,000 came from a poll in the first forum post: An Idea For Team Taxonomy aka WTF is a Guild?

The 13,000 BANK came from this forum post, and yes I think every guild should have a Notion admin: Decentralization of Notion Permissions Proposal

The 10,000 BANK number was explored in a few forum posts, and you can see some calculations on the impact in the comments here: An Idea For Team Taxonomy aka WTF is a Guild? - #7 by links

Thanks for your feedback!

1 Like

Ive been a fan of streamlining processes. This can give a better insight to budget tracking and motivations across the DAO. You guys are brilliant.

What I also like about this is that it gives more of a focus on talent building with respect to contributors, and a togetherness that we may have lost over the last couple of seasons. While entrepreneurs are definitely always a plus, I am also a fan of farmers, and building each other up so we all have a seat at the table. Thank you again.

1 Like

Appreciate the big :brain: thinking on depts and guilds. Hope to see transitions smooth out org funding pain points Has anyone else had to write a funding proposal with little/no context before?

1 Like