NEAR Community DAO

Evolving the v1 Community Squad DAO

This collaborative forum thread is for strategic planning as we introduce our new approach to Community Fund governance. Our vision is to enable more communities to build trust and responsibly distribute funds in order to develop and grow the NEAR ecosystem.


172 million NEAR tokens were allocated to community grants / programs in the initial block:

On behalf of stakeholders, a Community Council was established to decide which funding proposals get approved. At first, we conducted votes on the NEAR governance forum (with a special poll widget). Earlier this year, we started using DAOs to implement a better system for transparency / accountability. The Community Squad formed a council serving as an on-chain governance model for the Community Fund.

So far, we have redistributed nearly 250k NEAR!


As we continue to push forward evolving NEAR Community Fund governance with Astro DAOs, the goal is to support multiple “DAO verticals,” which are categorical DAOs that receive funding directly from NEAR Foundation. We have DAOs for creatives, marketing, education, data projects, and more! Overall, the goal is to streamline rewards for individual contributors.

Ultimately, our mission is to empower trusted Ecosystem DAOs which redirect funds to specific DAOs in various categories. Here is a simple “before → after” diagram:


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Here is a 3-phase process that other DAOs may use to inform their own participants:

Start Your Own DAO

Everyone should coordinate collaboratively to make decisions together as a community!

How To Create DAOs on NEAR:

:artificial_satellite: v1 (Sputnik): Your Guide to DAOs on NEAR - NEAR Wiki

:sparkles: v2 (Astro):

:clipboard: Examples of DAO Guides: Topics tagged guide

Launching Community DAOs

Considering the number of different communities in our growing ecosystem, how might we understand the overarching purpose of NEAR as a whole? Generally, the answer to that question depends on everyone who participates, especially in decision making. That’s why more and more Community DAOs will be needed to represent a diversity of perspectives on what successful / good means for NEAR. Hopefully, squad members are trusted contributors, although we are limited by our personal vantage points on community issues.

Sputnik DAO stats:

To address the centralization risk of this v1 Community Squad DAO, we’re planning to introduce another iteration when Astro launches October 4.

Recent Update:

We hope to include any / all community leaders (whether employed by the NEAR Foundation). The plan is to leverage role-based voting policies and potentially social tokens, which enable more contributors to get involved.

Preliminary Experiments

Sandcastle DAO:

MetaBuild Hacker DAO:

Potential Next Steps

Community Choice Awards

To debut the first Community DAO on Astro, as in previous experiments, anyone with a NEAR account may join the “Community Choice Awards DAO” and vote on submitted proposals in various categories, or they can propose options to be considered.

Winners of the community choice awards in each category will get a prize at NEAR | CON regardless of whether or not they are physically present.

NEAR Community Council

Leaders of several core guilds will represent our community on a council of representatives, overseeing the distribution of NEAR Community Fund into a few trusted Ecosystem DAOs.

This forum thread is meant for discussion about a NEAR Community DAO and how to decide membership of representative councils.

Since April, the Community Squad DAO council has played the role of reviewing proposals here on the governance forum and facilitating payouts via Sputnik DAOs. I’m excited to see more and more open web contributors maximizing their potential in the NEAR ecosystem. However, there is a need for adaptive accountability, which means greater flexibility and responsibility.

Objective DAOs




Council: Initial Members to the Growth DAO


User Quests / Badges:

Coordination: NEAR Data Project:

Recent post: September Update




For anyone who is exploring such governance questions further, I am helping coordinate a research group, led by Token Engineering Academy, focused on analyzing, modeling, and simulating reward systems. With Astro just around the corner, I’m hoping to support everyone reaching for the stars :sparkles:

Let’s create your best possible NEARverse together!


Discussion Topics / Questions

What is the main goal of a Community DAO?

“To organize and support NEAR communities through a direct connection with the Community Fund (via NF Ops Team and Funding Platform). These communities would be highly engaged in projects and activities related to empowering individuals working together for a social purpose, from a specific locality or globally.” – @mecsbecs

How should the “Community Council” operate?

Fairly, responsibly, and wisely! The goal is to represent organizations participating in the NEAR ecosystem. Who is eligible? What are the processes? Will you help with our experiment?

Why does NEAR have a Community Fund?

That’s up to you! Let’s discuss here and continue improving how resources are shared with ecosystem participants. Your input + feedback is much appreciated :slightly_smiling_face: