Community CTA: Submit your proposals for the revised community funding framework

First off, thank you to everyone who was able to attend the Guild Leaders AMA today and to @erik.near for facilitating the ongoing conversation around what’s next for the Guilds Program.

If you missed the AMA, you can catch the recording here:


  • the clearer need for a full NEAR Community overarching purpose was established

  • many potential definitions for a community were shared and the multiplicity of possible definitions

  • the nuances around when someone becomes an active community member vs. a passive community member were explored - conclusively it seems most appropriate to create opportunities for community members to self-identify their involvement / affiliation with a specific community and it would be best left up to the community in question to create those opportunities

  • the move of referring to everyone - Guilds, DAOs, groups, etc. - as simply communities of NEAR was well-received

  • a desire for a clearer framework for ‘laddering up’ support (predominantly funding) for communities was also established

    • some differing views as to the structure of this framework - is it a tiering system? a funnel into NF Grants? something else?
  • what metrics should exist to assess community ‘success’ were understood to be a mix of off-chain (# of Telegram group members, # of Discord server members, etc) and on-chain (# of wallets, # of DAO council and group members) but more clarity is needed within the framework on this

    • a need for the broader Community to establish for themselves what is most important to measure came through

The main call-to-action that emerged out of this conversation was:

For those willing and interested, you can submit a proposal here on the Forum in the Community Fund subcategory (tagging @community-team & @erik.near) outlining YOUR thoughts and plan around how community funding could be redesigned i.e. the framework we established is necessary to more clearly define.

Please post by Wed. April 13 so the entire Community can have the opportunity to read through the proposals and respectfully engage with them before our next community-wide discussion (estimated to occur by end of April). The next conversation can be modelled as more of a working group session to dig deeper into these proposals, but this will all depend on what thoughts get shared before then!

Some suggested questions to consider while preparing your proposal are:

  • how inclusive / accessible is this structure or framework you’re proposing so anyone no matter their knowledge and understanding of crypto and the NEAR ecosystem can engage?
  • how are we looking to reward contributions (what kind of contributions, how are these contributions being defined) to the NEAR ecosystem?
  • what parameters or criteria need to be established as part of this framework? ex. how individuals qualify or self-identify as members of the broader NEAR Community / any specific communities?
  • at what point does NEAR Foundation need to be included in the framework and at what point is it best for no NF intervention?
  • how are we looking to fairly distribute the Community Fund resources within a balanced approach of a structure that isn’t too rigid or strict, but provides more guidelines than currently exist to help channel community member energies & reward quality contributions?

Anyone who would prefer to share their thoughts more privately, can feel free to do so here in this Typeform (shout-out to Guild Ops for setting this up). Your impressions and thoughts will be passed on via Guild Ops to the NF Community Team and this can happen anonymously if you prefer.

Thank you in advance for your participation and feel free to drop questions or comments below.


Hello @mecsbecs and community,

I have been active in the discussions regarding this issue, so I feel I must at least try to contribute with something.

I speak as a DAO co-founder, former Creatives DAO Council, former Creatives DAO community moderator, and artist.

I will not try to reinvent the wheel, as I think the models we are using have lot’s of strengths. I think the community has expressed willingness to try the tiers system proposed by Grace, or some sort of ladder. I will try to address their weaknesses, or at least re-frame them.

I propose a model with 3 entry points/3 basic tiers, and I use 3 DAOs to describe their characteristics:

1) Community DAO
target: individuals
goal: to on-board as many people as possible
activities: bounty-based, game-like activities.
level of expertise: low
mood: fun
Council: no council, just moderators.
NF return: # of basic users
NF actions needed: select moderators team + providing a GRANT (rewards).
rewards: low, sporadic
% of funds (from Grants): lowest from the 3

This group would target mainly individuals and be online-focused. Community members would be everyone engaging with NEAR, even if it’s just being on a telegram group, trading Near on an exchange, selling NFTs on Mintbase or Paras, etc. I propose that the current Community DAO is the perfect place for such a thing.

target: communities
goal: to serve as a gateway for communities to establish their projects on NEAR
activities: community activities
level of expertise: medium
mood: engaged
Council: peer-based
NF return: an ecosystem of promising communities using NEAR; some might develop online tools, some might just on-board mid to high level users; others will bring to Near their afk projects.
NF actions needed: select first batch of DAOs + select moderators team
rewards: 1k-3k-5k(small tier system); 1 month cycles
% of funds (from Grants): in the middle

This mimics the current Creatives DAO + Marketing DAO Verticals. We are seeing a huge inflow of DAOs being created; the value for these communities is quite clear (funding), however most communities are not sure how can they provide value back to the NEAR ecosystem.

I believe guidelines can be put into place in order to clarify tiers of funding and scope of activities, rendering most council work obsolete.

I also propose moving from forum-based open proposals to close form-based proposals, with strict fields guiding proposals.

A note on current Vertical councils:
The costs associated with running the Verticals is really high, if we look at monthly costs vs funds awarded (too much $ spent on paying council members vs what the community is getting). I propose that the guidelines are streamlined and voting is made by peers.

3) Partner’s DAO
target: communities with a established practice/ ecosystem projects
goal: to establish funding channels to high output projects that contribute to the growth of the ecosystem.
activities: project-based, road-maps with strict metrics
level of expertise: high
mood: professional
Council: peer-based
NF return: groups of various types; block-chain solutions, world-wide community endeavors, metaverse platflorms, DeFi platforms, location-based groups with large members base, etc.
NF actions needed: select first batch of projects + some sort of guidance/collaboration
rewards: 10k-20k; 3 month cycles
% of funds (from Grants): highest from the 3

This mimics the current grant system. This allows for groups in the second tier a way upwards.

General notes:

  • even if peer’s are voting on the distribution of funds, either by voting yes/no or by voting on % of funds allocated to each group, a turnout system would be ideal; for example, expiring-date NFTs serving as voting rights, or some sort of automated system
  • some sort of tier system is paramount to the engagement of communities; when people start engaging, they will want to grow
  • the names I have are utilitarian, for clarity purposes.

@mecsbecs @erik.near

Appreciate the opportunity to submit some thoughts/proposal for how to proceed.

I’ve provided my full thoughts and a potential framework for review: NEAR Guild and Community Programs.

Exec Summary

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): We should consider establishing two distinct programs going forward - a NEAR Guilds Program and a NEAR Community Program.

  • Believe it’s a mistake to wholesale replace guilds with communities. Inability for people to understand the difference is more of a failure of NEAR’s programs to adequately design and explain the framework of the program than it is of the word being used. It’s an issue of education, marketing, and management.

  • Based on the definitions in the article, I’d suggest we could agree going forward that guilds and communities are not the same thing. Guilds are a subset of communities but communities are not necessarily guilds. I go into this in more detail in the article, but instead of eliminating one, we should be capitalizing on the strengths of both, resourcing appropriately to expand the ecosystem.

  • NEAR should be concerned with clearly articulating intent and then empowering community and guild leaders with sufficient resources to run with that intent and make great things happen (Mission Command).

  • The article provides a NEAR Guilds Program framework focused on four steps or areas: onboarding, setup, growth, and review. A NEAR Community framework could be developed in a similar manner. In essence, this is establishment of program strategy and implementation directives should follow.

  • Suggest we need to provide the tools necessary for these programs to be measured and operate, so some emphasis should be put on facilitating successful outcomes.

  • We need to recognize the efforts of community and guild leaders who are doing work/expending time/resources of their own in setting up and running these guilds and communities. While most likely do them as passion projects, they are often making sacrifices that benefit the NEAR ecosystem, but are not appropriately recognized. I think we can do better in this area in many cases.

Thanks again for opportunity to express an opinion. Happy to discuss further as desired.

Vital Point AI


Chloe’s General Thoughts

Imo, I agree with @frnvpr & @ALuhning above in many respects. Would love to start from there and continue. If we are to have an efficient Guilds Program, there needs to be a distinction between funding for communities and for guilds.

Starting with funding communities

Imo this should be distributed to any community that decides to form “on-chain” around any theme/purpose that supports the NEAR ecosystem as a whole. I believe that the current Marketing DAO and Creatives DAO are great examples of community DAOs that are funding communities to get started “on-chain” using Astro.

Since this funding would be distributed relatively quickly to communities, it would be reasonable that the funding amount available to be distributed by the Marketing and Creatives DAO should be lowered as well. This funding should not be used to support peoples living wages, but instead to spur community involvement and development around an assortment of themes.

For example:

If there was 1m stNEAR available for the community funding program, that would be over $1,000,000 USD available a year to distribute in funding (only taking into consideration staking rewards and current NEAR value in USD). If the max funding amount per community/month was ~$1,000 USD (paid out in NEAR and dependant on current NEAR/USD price) then this stream of funding could support ~100 communities comfortably without having to dip into the NEAR reserve.

This endowment of 1m stNEAR could comfortably fund 500 communities that were requesting $1,000 USD from either the Creatives or Marketing DAOs for at least a few years. (500 communities receiving 1k USD/mo would burn $6m/yr)

As communities are forming, there is already the DAOcubator program to support their DAO growth and offer up to $10k in funding. I believe that this would be an efficient pathway to train communities to use their NEAR Astro DAOs more efficiently and also understand the tools available to them before requesting larger funding amounts within the NEAR ecosystem. Running a community treasury is a large responsibility, and there should be a clear pathway toward community participants being able to do so safely and effectively.

Funding Guilds

Imo the Guilds Program should be separate from the general community funding flow and should be available to communities that fit certain criteria. @ALuhning has already laid out a lot of details here and I do not feel the need to delve in much deeper.

Similar funding as above could be set aside for the Guilds Program, but I feel as though it should be run more like an accelerator. Instead of “perpetual funding as a social good”, it should be almost like start-up funding to get a guild to the stage of self-sufficiency.

Since guilds generally track membership and provide tangible service to the community, the funding that Guilds receive should be geared to that. A tiered approach where guilds receive a larger amount of funding each month, or as they hit milestones seems appropriate. How Guilds decide to use those funds would be up to them, and after they have “graduated” from the program, they would leave the Guilds Program in terms of a funding avenue and would instead be another guild in the ecosystem providing services.

I think the biggest question I have is what entity will take on the task/responsibility of running this program, regardless of the specifics. If this program was run as an accelerator with a cohort (rolling or otherwise) there would be a smoother process for guilds “forming” and “opening up for providing services”. While community funding makes sense to be held as an endowment by the grants team for example (where funds are directed by Marketing and Creatives DAOs), the Guilds Program seems more efficient as a program that one entity takes on the task of building out; creating self-sufficient guilds that can provide services within the NEAR ecosystem.

@ALuhning, I feel as though your proposal for Guilds makes a lot of sense and as an accelerator would be even more efficient. Instead of a few hundred dollars a month, the guilds going through the program would get funding to build out their service pipeline how they saw fit. Many guilds may not last forever, and IMO that is fine, the guilds that are efficiently providing services for the community should hopefully flourish.


Thank you to everyone who posted their thoughts. We’re going to take some time to process over the Easter long-weekend and expect to hear more next week!

Have added mine at Proposal: Simplifying Community Funding


  • Change pretty much anything that talks about “guilds” to talk about “on-chain communities”

  • Provide a very basic simplified funding framework for new communities, run by an Onchain Communities team (overlaps Concierges) and funded via an endowment grant

  • Onchain Communities team works with Concierges provides operational support for the community leaders and help ensure there is discoverability for these communities