Grant Payment Structures

Until we reach a sustainable level within our treasury to support the Founding Members so we can bring our core initiatives to life and fulfill our mission, we need to support ourselves and our initiatives through grant funding. I propose the following payment structure and disbursement schedule so we know how to structure the budget sections of our proposals and, more importantly, so we all agree upon a fair and equitable payment structure before a grant is applied for and awarded. This is a guide, as each grant is different and may require different structures. If we agree upon the following structure, or one that’s adjusted based on input, then we have a framework to follow for grants that do not conform to the structure below.

I strongly believe that the payment structures in the DAO ecosystem that only offer bounties or payment upon completion of work are not fair or sustainable and am trying to change this paradigm in all the DAOs I work within. In this scenario, bounties are only one-off tasks and are the only payments made upon completion of work. The rest of the team doing daily work should be paid up front or pay as you work (details below). Since we are at the very beginning of our journey into payments and bounties, I propose we test the following out on ourselves, see what works, what needs to be adjusted and that we set a precedent for other impactDAOs to follow when it comes to fair pay structures.

  • Each grant project needs:

    • A Grant Writer/Project Manager/Grant Liaison Person/Admin (this should ideally be 2 people). This person/team will be the force that moves a project through from start to finish so there’s cohesion on all the things. An ideal structure, if the budget allows, is 2 PMs. One focuses on PM+Admin+Liaison and one focuses on PM+ production team, bounties, etc. Both PMs work closely together, but this seems like a logical distribution of labor so no one burns out or gets overwhelmed.
    • A Dev/Builder/Producer (can also be multiple people depending on scope and deliverables)
    • Researcher (depends on grant)
    • Bounties (ideally, we’d always offer some bounties for one-off tasks within all grants, but it will depend on the individual projects)

    Pay Disbursement:

    • All Founding Members participating in a grant are paid at the beginning of the project, once grant funds are in the treasury and work begins. If the project is ongoing, the Founder Members should be paid in monthly increments starting with the first day of the project and then disbursed at 30 day increments. The pay structure should be stated in the grant (if appropriate) or stated and agreed upon internally under the grant Notion page before the application process begins. This may change once our treasury is fully funded and the founding members are receiving regular salaries.
    • All Active Contributors or producers/developers/researchers doing on-going work for the duration of the grant project will be paid via token streaming. This is a pay-as-you-work scenario. The PMs will be responsible for ensuring that the token distribution is fair and in alignment with the work being done. This will be done through Sablier.Finance (Sablier is a token-streaming, open source protocol and we can use Polyg, Optimism or ETH).
    • Bounties will be paid once the work is complete. The applicant, task oversight, work approval and payment will all run through Wonderverse and task communications will be conducted in the Server under #incubator-tasks and direct action on the bounty itself (acceptance and approval) will run through #incubator-bounties

While each project is going to be different, a loose pay structure should exist for all of them. The structure below is a guideline but should be solidified during the grant application process and posted to the governance forum. Something like:

Grants Over $20K

  • JD Treasury: 15%
  • PM(s)/Admin: 25%
  • Builder/Producer 1: 25%
  • Builder/Producer 2: 25%
  • Bounties: 10%

Grants Under $20K

  • JD Treasury: 15%
  • PM(s)/Admin: 30%
  • Builders/Dev/Producers: 45%
  • Bounties: 10%

Grants Under $5K

  • JD Treasury: 20%
  • PM(s)/Admin: at least $1k Each
  • Bounties: $1K Total

I also propose that we deploy grant-specific wallets or a universal grant multisig with only a limited number of signatories on it- a PM and the Treasurer? I’d love ideas on the best way to set this up. Here’s why I think we should explore this now:

  • I do not think our main wallets, even multisigs, should be connected to external apps like Wonderverse, DeWork, etc.
  • I’ve seen other DAOs try to disperse bounties or make payments associated with a grant project that required too many people on a multisig and those who did the work were left hanging until the DAO rounded up all the signatories.
  • I want to be sure we’re safe and also efficient, especially when we have multiple projects and things in motion. Once we’re at scale, the PMs can be the signatories on the project-specific wallet along with the treasurer and can also report to the Finance Bureau to file regular reports on payments and expenses (for larger grants).

That’s it! Phew! Thanks for listening and feedback below would be lovely!

Very thorough proposal here, and I totally support it. I think this grant-based organizational paradigm, with hierarchy taking a provisional form based on the case-by-case needs of projects, is a good way of reconciling order with decentralization. I also think having project-specific multisigs is a good way to A) keep power decentralized and B) make accounting easier.

Thank you @cstreet for putting this proposal together, and for the energy you’re bringing to JournoDAO.

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Thanks so much for the thoughtful feedback. You’re exactly right about the reconciling order with decentralization. I feel like ensuring order is baked into our infrastructure from the very beginning is a safer way to move forward and as we bring each project to life, we can adjust and remove any hindrances to workflow as needed. From what I’ve seen in other DAOs, it’s much easier to remove layers of infrastructure or webs of centralization when they become dysfunctional than it is to add them in because the decentralization took precedence over all else.

I based this structure on doing project management as an independent producer for many years and coordinating contractors to bring a project to life. I feel as though most of our team is also used to producing in such a manner, so it also helps us replicate project structures we’re already used to navigating.

And yes, project specific wallets seem like a solid way to monitor/understand accounting and keep project funding more fluid as we grow.

Thanks for your input @Clinamenic – eloquent and thoughtful as always!

True. Dedicated wallets make more sense. I would suggest adding some asset hedging to this payment structure. Diversify the stablecoin holdings as a routine policy. Migrate a certain amount to Polygon to avoid gas fees but not enough to expose the entire treasury to a hack.

Multisigs make more sense when the treasury budget is high enough to require checks on human corruption from exit-scamming. JournoDAO’s treasury doesn’t warrant that at this time.

I suggest limiting this to pre-approved apps in a list like you’ve written here. The less apps you connect to the wallet, the better.

I think it’s simplest to reduce coordination and give the founding members discretion at the current scale if/until a large grant is secured (~>$100K) and warrants more formalized structure. There are also compliance considerations that don’t make sense until the budget increases a substantial amount (long-term issue). At that point, some support costs will be considered to do accounting as a 501(c)(3) for tax filing whatever funds fall under that entity. That’s for later. For now, this all makes sense to me.

TLDR; diversify risk and you’re all set imo.

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Great points, Nick! I love that you thought about the diversification of stablecoins, etc. That’s def something we’d have the treasurer (Spencer) really dive into-- with your help if you’d like-- once we get grants in motion. I actually think a call to flesh this out when it happens would be a great idea. My brain def doesn’t work that way! And def less wallets attached to apps. Wonderverse is the one I’m working with now (heavily with another DAO and I really like it), but that operations wallet attached to the wonderverse def needs to be insulated and very low risk (aka-- not much $$ in it).

Once we land our first large grant-- fingers crossed, we’re waiting to hear back on one soon-- we’ll def flesh this out deeper. Thanks so much!

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