Guilds' Tiering System: An evolutionary Path for Community Development

Here you will find a proposal for a tiering system to facilitate the Guilds’ evolution while empowering and allowing for a development and growth path.

Situation

An increasing number of Guilds are currently supporting our Ecosystem. Unfortunately, due to the growth and demand of the current payout system, the process has become cumbersome and tedious. We consider this a scaling challenge.

Rationale

To speed up the process while recognizing the valuable contribution of the Guilds, a Tiering system is proposed to support Guilds in a way that is more relevant to their needs.

The plan is that early-stage Guilds continue their familiarization and develop their accountability towards the NEAR Community, while matured, established guilds may be eligible for the Guilds Grant Program.

We expect the Tiering system to allow the Guilds Program to scale and offer an evolutionary path that leads to active engagement in the NEAR Community, NEAR Forum, and Council Roles. We encourage Guild leaders and members to join DAO Councils to gain experience, visibility and be part of the development of our Ecosystem. Guilds, as sub-communities, are the vehicle for community-focused development, growth, and keeping accountability to the rest of the Community.

Community groups who want to scale and grow sustainably can then follow the suggested path broken down into tiers, each with a qualifying criterion and potential for funding support. We want to help communities turn passion into success stories on NEAR and potentially viable businesses. And success to us means a high level of NEAR Ecosystem support in the form of:

  • User Adoption
  • Building on NEAR
  • Education
  • Projects support
  • Developers
  • Global Meetups
  • Regional Hub Support

Making Sense of the Tiers

Tier Qualification Criteria Method to Apply Funding Body
Tier 1 - Trusted Guilds 1- Mission, Vision, and monthly objectives and communicated and shared on the Forum;

2- Active Guild in the community for at least 3 months;

3- Capabilities of the Leadership Council (min. 3 members);

4- Delivery reputation (quality, time, reporting):

5- Proven Engagement and connection to the NEAR Ecosystem (traction, connection to other Guilds);

6- Onchain membership (members of the Guilds are all on-chain);

7- Projects Swarmed/Feedback from their work via survey;

8 - Guild has a legal wrapper and/or is protected by a legal entity;

9- Potential to connect to other communities outside of the NEAR Ecosystem
via Application Guilds Grant Program*

- through the Ecosystem Development DAO
Tier 2 -

Incubated High Potential Guilds
1- Mission, Vision, and monthly objectives and communicated and shared on the Forum;
2- Capabilities of the Leadership Council (min. 3 members)

3- Delivery reputation (quality, time, reporting):

4- Proven Engagement and connection to the NEAR Ecosystem (traction, connection to other Guilds);

5- Onchain membership (members of the Guilds are all on-chain);

6- Projects Swarmed**
/Feedback from their work via survey
via Application Guilds Grant Program*

- through the Ecosystem Development DAO
Tier 3-

Active On-Demand Guilds
1- Mission, Objectives;

2- A Guild Lead;

3- Delivery reputation (quality, time, reporting);

4- On-chain/Off-chain membership
N/A - self-designated DAO Verticals

[Ecosystem Development DAO, Marketing DAO, Creatives DAO, etc.]
Tier 4 -

Seeding Guilds
All are welcome! These Guilds are at an early stage and have not created a value contribution model yet. N/A - self-designated DAO Verticals

[Ecosystem Development DAO, Marketing DAO, Creatives DAO, etc.]

*The Guilds Grant Program empowers Tier 1 & 2 Guilds. These Guilds will be invited to submit their Mission, Vision, and Objectives, along with a 6 months roadmap and budget. The GGP will be offered as a one-time funding per quarter, covering 3-months scope of delivery and execution. Another Forum post will follow with further details specific to the logistics of this Program.

** Swarming means activating your Community to raise awareness and generate buzz about NEAR projects and dApps around their various launches or drops. This concept was first brought to the NEAR Community Team’s attention.

Guild Funding Tiers - per month

Tier 4: Seeding Guilds (Sandbox) - max payout USD 2,000

Tier 3: Active on Demand Guilds - max payout USD 5,000

Tier 2: Incubated High Potential Guilds - max payout USD 8,000

Tier 1: Trusted Guilds - max payout USD 15,000 + bonus NEAR may apply

Tier Definitions

Tier 4 - Seeding Guilds (Experimental)

The Tier 4 Guilds are new to the Ecosystem or chose to contribute based on experimentation and curiosity. These Guilds are at an early stage and have not created a value contribution model yet. Guilds at this stage need to be stimulated to find the right match of Ecosystem contribution with their interests and passion.

Tier 3 - Active On-Demand Guilds

Tier 3 Guilds are considered part-time contributors for the most part. They work on a project basis, provide their contribution and receive rewards based on that single contribution. Although they do not have a continuous monthly engagement, they could pause and resume engagement developing on the job and the requirements.

Active on Demand Tier 3 Guilds have established offerings for the Ecosystem (i.e. set # of developer hours, # of design hours, etc.) and produce reports of their work with clear Feedback on the quality of the work by the relevant stakeholder.

Tier 2 - Incubated High Potential Guilds

The Tier 2 Guilds are active and have been incubated for 2 months. These Guilds are considered high potential because of the level of engagement in the Ecosystem. In addition, they have developed a value-creation model that is repeatable with a clearly defined market need.

High Potential Tier 2 Guilds produce monthly projections of their work; this shows the Guild’s work plan, goals for the month, and estimated budget. The Guilds will report on achievements based on the work plan at the end of the month.


The Guild Tiering system is the next step towards decentralization and Community-driven governance. Your Feedback is, as always, appreciated and needed to continue building and scaling our Community.

22 Likes

May I also suggest Measures of Performance (MoP) and Measures of Effectiveness (MoE) be part of this roadmap? Have seen many discussions in the forum questioning the return on investment (ROI) of funds provided to various Guilds, and that’s a good thing in terms of transparency and accountability. However, Guilds could eliminate or drastically reduce the interrogation by publishing a framework that describes the metrics that indicate their success and report (ideally automatically) on progress in meeting those success metrics.

I also think questions around accountability arise where there is potentially misalignment or at least misunderstanding of what a Guild considers successful and how they relate to the overall level of NEAR Ecosystem support (which I’m happy to see spelled out here in general terms):

For reference, MoP should assess what the Guild achieves in terms of quantitative performance gains - the day-to-day workings that indicate how it is operating and at what levels of efficiency/optimization. MoE assess the impact that actions of the Guild have on the effectiveness of achieving their vision/objectives. Both will be necessarily tailored/potentially unique to each Guild - but the point is that they should be communicated openly/transparently so before someone starts questioning whether they are providing a positive ROI, the concerned party can look at the Guild’s activities through a lens specific to that Guild and not a generalized view that Guilds all need to operate and provide value in the same manner.

For example:

  • MoP - number of members a Guild has. Corresponding MoE - assessment of how effective each of those added members (or all members as a whole) are at moving the Guild towards achieving its vision/purpose.

  • MoP - for a meme Guild - number of memes it produces/distributes. Corresponding MoE - assessment of how effective each one was in bringing awareness/engagement to NEAR

Can obviously get pretty detailed if one gets into it, so developing automated systems of measuring/reporting help facilitate and let the Guild focus on achieving what it sets out to achieve vice getting bogged down in administration. But they also act as waypoints (decision support) to help the Guild make decisions about where to allocate scarce resources to target the efforts that are/will reap the biggest return.

7 Likes

Good morning.

Happy to see clear and transparent rules for members and guilds :clap::clap::clap:. I like these improvements.

Great job @grace and your team.

Please, do it month-to-month. Community will have more chances to clarify some questions and give proposals.

Dear @David_NEAR Since January 1st Reddit guild status will be downgraded to tier 4 (one council in DAO, no communication with community).

Every community member can see transparent criteria and understand what is tier # will have guild since January 1st.

Thank You

6 Likes

I will prepare report for all Marketing DAO grantees, please keep in mind this information to determine right tier. If guild’s members didn’t prepare report after Marketing activities, they cannot to be included in tier 1,2,3 guild’s list.

Also, I Propose support it , it can give more information about real environment in guilds.

Thank You

6 Likes

Agree. Thanks for bringing this up.

2 Likes

Hey @grace much appreciated for giving strucrture to guilds further works. :sunny:

Have filled the form for budgeting Stars Guild week ago. Didn’t got no reply yet.

Who i should catch up on forum or TG to speed process of review? :innocent:

3 Likes

Hey! Do note that the NF has been on holiday from the 24th of Dec - 3rd of Jan, so if you filled it around then it mightn’t have been reviewed yet.

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Got it!
Hopefully not till 9th January like in Russia :sweat_smile:

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Haha, unfortunately not! BAU now :100:

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Well, at least they know how to party :partying_face:

3 Likes

this is a good one and will encourage hard work on the guilds, and will put all guild members at work, and will take the vission and mission of near protocol to the globe, i love the inovation in near protocol.

3 Likes

Had another chance to review and would like to add a couple more thoughts after listening to the office hours replay today. Sorry couldn’t make it - would have debated with @blaze :slight_smile:

Also, I neglected to mention in my first comments that this is another great initiative. Fun to see the evolutions as things ebb and flow and ideas come/go as experiments are run, adjusted and incrementally improved and/or abandoned. Right @blaze? (P.S. I know you secretly love the name guilds :slight_smile: )

Couple comments for consideration - focused mainly on the Tier 1/2 guilds. Actually three comments and a question.

Comment 1:

Is there scope for posting these reports/objectives in other locations? When guilds are getting to a Tier 1/2 level where they have built up established identities with legal entities around them, they are also probably concerned with branding, reputation, owing their own content, etc… Guild reports are good content and help build credibility for the guild with its members. Members who are not necessarily watching the gov forum, but are engaging with the guild on their own platforms by this point. Reports/objectives could be posted in multiple locations, but it’s duplicating work for the guild. If they must appear on the gov forum, perhaps a link from the forum to the guild’s own site where these things are categorized/posted and maintained may also be considered?

Comment 2

This is suggesting that all guilds need to have councils - is that the case? I’m wondering how that might conflict with legal entities. Depending on the entity type (e.g. sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation) that may cause some issues with anyone (regulators/govt, etc…) looking at how the guild runs. Perhaps the guild activities/way it’s run don’t warrant a full on leadership council at whatever stage they are at (even when they hit tier 1). I’m not a lawyer, but if you’ve structured around a sole-proprietorship but you’ve given people in your guild leadership decision capabilities - is it really a sole-proprietorship? Might be more suitable for something structured as a corporation with a board, but even then there is still a CEO making the decisions. If others are given that type of responsibility, do they become liable in those structures in the eyes of regulators/gov’t, etc… (and perhaps it varies by locale where the entity is created). Be curious if any legal input has been acquired to ensure this requirement meshes with the types of legal entities that would be acceptable.

Comment 3

Swarming - honestly, have never really been a fan at all. Get the idea/cross promote work, help each other market, but it also comes across as spammy especially when you get a request that may not necessarily line up with the values/beliefs of the guild. Sometimes it’s actually detrimental. I can remember at least one instance where we got burned by promoting an opportunity promising a prize/contest that was subsequently pulled after the announcement/swarming despite people having started work. That didn’t go over well and I wasn’t super impressed. We took a chance and it affected the guild’s reputation with its members - ultimately leaving it to us to pick up the pieces/decide whether to compensate members/rebuild that trust.

Have been around internet marketing long enough to make sure we’re only promoting the things that we actually have insight/believe in through use or due diligence. So, I personally have a big aversion to being asked to promote something with no real context or firsthand experience that has absolutely nothing to do with what we do. At minimum, needs to be some kind of linkage to something useful our members would get out of it.

Guess that’s the long way of saying that maybe a better metric than how many times the guild promoted something it was asked to promote without question in the community simply because its asked to is needed - focus more on something that measures how good a neighbour the guild is to its other neighbours or how it’s trying to make the entire guild ecosystem a better place/mentoring others in the space.

And the Question

I see the funding tiers for the Guilds but nothing about how that funding is accessed (unless I missed it). We’ve gone through iterations of discussing guild leader compensation on a continuous basis so they have a reliable stream, a process more akin to grants where initiatives are defined and funded monthly (huge amounts of admin/overhead on the guild for that), and more recent funding models around opportunities/after the fact reporting and approvals. How are you envisioning this funding being administered?

As always, sincerely appreciate the work you’re all doing to enable the guilds and all of us working to build on NEAR in whatever form. Thanks for continuing to push the improvements @grace @mecsbecs @shreyas and the entire team. You all rock!

3 Likes