[S16 Proposal] INTEGRATED DAO Operations Budget Request

Each contributor decides their own professional development path :slight_smile:


It was great connecting! I read the considerations you laid out in your governance post and agree to a degree that coordinating our resources and developing metrics to track our progress are essential to a successful transition.

For our part our budget is flat with exception for one hire to support our protocol work. We’re starting the process now to keep pace with the DevRel initiative and Design Partner launches happening this season.

I also see cause optimism. As I shared in our 1:1, the workstream coordination continues to improve – we’re asking each other better questions, which in turn is building our strategy muscles. The risks you lay out are good call outs, and ones we’re all thinking about.

Either way, I hope we can count on your support this budget cycle. :slight_smile:


@SLBK123 appreciate your support!

To add to @sandy_gitcoinDAO’s response, last season many contributors used the professional development funds to reimburse costs related to ongoing coaching or classes to level-up in their functional areas. Examples of approved reimbursements include a content writing, agile project management, and full stack engineering courses; we also reimbursed ongoing coaching to improve communication, time management and leadership skills.

We are asking for the same funding amount as last season, which was fully utilized.


Thank you Jodi and Shawn for taking the time to chat with me this week – the time you’ve given to help with onboarding has been amazing and is much appreciated! I’m curious what data you typically use to determine salary range, i.e. for the technical support new role?

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Hi Rachel! We have been using OpenComp as a standard and combine this with insights across other DAOs. Hope this helps!


Hi Rachel! We have been using OpenComp as a standard and combine this with insights across other DAOs. Hope this helps!


Hi! Thank you for the clarification – much appreciated!

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To note - This proposal is now live on Snapshot and will be open for your vote through Nov 23, 2022, 6:00 AM EST



Why I have $gtc but can’t vote

Brand new Steward, lacking context. Apologies if questions and comments are naive while I get my footing

  1. The previous budget requests and Season Reserves caught my eye—what was going on between S13 & S14 that led to dramatically large jumps in % unspent?

Screen Shot 2022-11-17 at 7.34.22 AM

  1. Saw that you had trouble tracking engagement in Discord. Not certain of your needs, but I think there are several bots or custom integrations you can implement that will help track your most engaged contributors! Check out https://statbot.net/

and some of the documentation here: Understanding Server Insights

If not, maybe its something that could be built—would be a valuable tool for any community and Gitcoin grantee!

  1. I am a brand new steward and have not seen anything about the Steward Council calls or steward-specific channel yet!

  1. The S16 goals around CSDO sound important! However the outcomes/likely projects seem a bit more vague than what I have seen in other workstream budget proposals. Are there specific KPIs you are trying to meet? Is there existing data on where bottlenecks exist, where contributors fall off, where onboarding stalls, topics that get lost between workstreams etc etc?

Thanks for the time & effort everyone put into this proposal—was very detailed and helpful :slight_smile:


hi @mingyuezong can you DM me and I can help?
discord: shawn16400#5507
twitter: @shawnlgrubb
or here via discourse mail

Hey thanks a lot for the proposal.

I have some comments here. I am not really convinced in how important this workstream’s work is for the operation of the DAO which is bleeding a very big amount of funds in the most severe bear market we have seen in years.

I am happy to see that you have unspent reserves from S15.
I am not happy to see an increase in budget request during such market conditions. If I compare the salaries you guys pay they are higher than I have ever made as an opensource developer, even in good market times.

I am also trying to understand and judge what exactly does the DAO gain from this workstream. Looking at the S16 commitments and the outcomes and initiatives I just don’t see any of these as actually important, except perhaps the Support section which is indeed something Gitcoin should have.

As things currently stand I will have to vote No in this proposal with the feedback being to recognize the terrible state of the market and the industry and adjust the budget accordingly. And to also keep only the stuff that is absolutely essential to the DAO and shed everything else.


I agree with Lefteris. Though I am going to make a harder stand and vote no on this budget request and every other one as well.

We need to make cuts and the only way the stewards can signal it is by voting no.

Voting no on all work streams until we get our spending under control is the only thing I can do at this point, and I hope other Stewards will follow suit. We have given strong warnings over the last few seasons and they don’t seem to be enough.

We cannot spend this much money in this market, it is a bad strategy.

I am happy to work with the Gitcoin Hiring team to explain how Giveth finds intrinsically motivated high caliber contributors in lower income countries to keep our budget at 1/10th of the cost.


I also voted No here though :thinking:

And my abstain in PGF may change to no if no sufficient answer comes.

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I meant that I am going to take a harder stance in general and vote no on all the proposals this round. Sadly I missed the FDD vote and left a yes vote on the Product team. It’s definitely my bad for not getting that all in correctly, but 'm not sure why these votes were scheduled with different lengths of voting time… :-/

Either way, the stance isn’t going to stop anything this round it seems. But I’m planning on voting no across the board until we see serious budget cuts, and next season I will rally more support for this across the stewards group if there isn’t a change.

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Welcome and thanks for your thoughtful questions!

Our first two seasons as a workstream included a couple key personnel moves, including several contributors transitioning to the DAO from Holdings. A couple of those moves took longer to occur than planned, which led to larger than expected rollovers at the end of each season. Then, ahead of of S15, four contributors left DAO Operations and excess funds in our multisig were returned to the DAO’s treasury (about $270k).

Appreciate this suggestion. Tagging our discord manager to follow up with you with questions. @kylejensen

Tagging @shawn16400 to help get you onboarded.

We don’t have specific KPIs for CSDO. But anecdotally some of the important projects CSDO members asked DAO Operations to drive in S16 include:

  • An updated CSDO charter and DAO OS with clear metrics
  • A streamlined budget process that balances planning with execution, and borrows from best practices in the broader ecosystem.
  • Experimentation with workstream coordination that improves internal communications and project management (i.e., working in cross stream pod or guild structures).

Each is listed as a DAO Ops project commitment this season.

We appreciate you naming these concerns. For our part, in S15, People Operations rolled out a compensation framework that tried to balance fiscal responsibility with the ability to attract value-aligned talent. Based on those recommendations, most workstreams (including DAO Operations) re-leveled contributor pay to 50% of U.S. median salary. This ensures that all contributors, regardless of where they live, are paid the same for the same work.

But we love feedback. We have one contributor repping our hiring team – tagging @safder should you want to connect with him or if he has more to add regarding our compensation work last season.

If not for one projected Support Engineer hire, DAO Ops’ budget would be flat, and like last season, we will look for ways to spend less than budgeted wherever possible. This is why our S15 rollover balance includes approximately $31k of unspent budget.

And we’ve also heard stewards on spending, only using reserves in S15, returning $261k to the DAO’s treasury.

As for our value to the organization: our commitments to the DAO remained largely unchanged in S16 in accordance with CSDO’s decision to keep planning to a minimum this season. That said, DAO Ops is a service-oriented team that is constantly responding to the needs of the DAO. That means that in addition to the commitments listed above, we are also assessing a number of projects that stewards, workstream leads and contributors have already raised since the start of the season, including:

  1. an updated treasury dashboard
  2. contributor pay survey
  3. creation of a CSDO charter
  4. Facilitated strategy sessions to set the DAO’s operating system and set value proposition as a protocol and grant giving DAO.

Hope all this helps but @krrisis and I are here if either of you would like discuss further.

I appreciate the thoughtful engagement here Griff, and I’m very much in alignment with the need to minimize costs. On compensation/hiring, we recently went through the process of developing a compensation model in collaboration with workstreams, one that aligns incentives with performance and accountability. Currently the DAO Ops, FDD, and MMM workstreams are using this new performance-based compensation model.

As Jodi mentioned, this model uses the US median for base salary numbers from the data provided by OpenComp, which aggregates salary data from hundreds of companies in its database. The base numbers here are pretty reasonable, and NOT meant to be competitive with FAANG/high CoL area tech salaries. One reason we use US numbers, and it makes sense for us to continue to do so, is that a majority of our full-time contributors are US-based. It would not be prudent to lay off and attempt to replace our entire workforce with contributors from lower CoL regions. I would note here that the costs of replacing a strong employee/contributor can be much higher than potential benefits of rehiring someone at half the cost. Here is a good read on the costs associated with turnover, and there is a lot of research that has been done on this.

That being said, what is important is ensuring that compensation makes sense for the skills/experience/value each contributor is bringing to the DAO by having high levels of accountability, and I think this is an area the DAO could definitely improve. This is what the compensation model attempts to solve, as well as potentially some of the budget auditing work @shawn16400 is looking into.

Would love to continue working with you as well as other Stewards in exploring how we can continue to ensure that we’re only taking what we need from the treasury in the ongoing market conditions.


This snapshot has passed with ~80% approval rate.
843 unique votes
~12.4M GTC tokens cast.
And thank you to all the commenters & voters who took the time to participate in Gitcoin Governance.

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I’m not saying we need to fire good contributors that are making high US salaries, we have who we have and if they are performing we should keep them 100% agree.

That said, it is a huge mistake to be spending so much when there is no clear business or economic model for a path forward for GTC, and setting the salary rate high for people that are hired in the future doesn’t make sense to me. Fine, people are paid a lot who work here now… that doesn’t mean we should maintain that policy into the future. There are incredible people all over the world that can do work just as well as someone from the states. I know because we hire them at Giveth, and they don’t care that they aren’t getting paid American wages.

I said as much here when the idea was presented, and i’m surprised it was pushed through anyway given the debate there:

In general we are going backwards with the approach in budgeting.

We should say how much GTC and DAI we are willing to spend each quarter, given our current holdings and the macro outlook, divide that up amongst the working groups and live within our means. This is how we need to build a budget for the DAO in the bear.

Right now we don’t actually have a budget, our process (cynically) looks like this: Each working group spends way too much time trying to sell their work in forums and calls, then they put out a number that gets nickel and dime’d by a bunch of stewards that don’t have enough of an incite to really judge the request and then it gets approved eventually and we spend whatever, with no concern (at least outwardly) about how the increase in supply is going to be met with demand.

^^^ This is a fine pattern in a bull market where the macro environment can generate tangential demand… that is not where we are right now.