Reimagining the NEAR Guilds Program

Thanks for your hard work chronear! It is great to have someone approachable within the foundation to talk to while as things are being sorted out.

I strongly believe that at its core, there is a lack of awareness and consensus about what a Guild actually is. This presents challenges on any subsequent limb of the discussion.

The tension seems to be between the Foundation wanting or expecting Guilds to be professional services providers and between the Foundation wanting to encourage community growth and a healthy ecosystem.

This definitional issue has resulted in unrealistic expectations placed on some Guilds - leading to a lot of wastes time, zero compensation, and valuable members moving forward as well as the most valuable community members actually not being part of any formal structure yet being consistently approached by Foundation for remunation as they recognise the work they do.

I personally disagree with the current view the current Guilds program should operate as a Start-up Accelerator with Seed funding and then expecting self-sufficiency. But assuming that this is the way forward (professional services) the key question needs to be: who is the client? who is receiving the bulk of the value being created?

To me the answer is very simple, if you are a Guild on the NEAR ecosystem, you should be engaging in activities that add value to the entire ecosystem (in one way or another), and given that the Foundation is sitting on billions of dollars worth of Community funds, then it is only logical that the Foundation foots the bill. Why force Guilds to charge other early stage startups or individuals for performing services that the Foundation reaps most of the rewards? (Guild work contribute towards appreciation of price which results in the Foundation increasing their coffers by dozens of billions so we can keep paying Foundation employees to offload all work and responsibility to the community who they don’t want to distribute funds to - ok)

I would also suggest that before we present more programs and structures, we include an account of what happened to the last round of ambitious, centralised DAO governance changes that have already been quietly dismissed.


Hello @chronear thanks for taking care of such important matter for the community.

Could we have like an open meeting, @jlwaugh runned a very interesting one about the Community DAO, could be something similar with the upper management involved and guild leaders and the community ?

@Jessica @jcatnear @mecsbecs @shreyas

I believe this are big steps and with rapid changes we should try more communication channels openly. Not just forum.


The post is based on several discussions on the forum and community channels. This isn’t something that was spun up overnight. Now, the goal here is simple and clear - we need to ship fast, coordinate innovative governance experiments and most importantly do all of this publicly - with the community, for the community. It is as simple as that.

I have never hesitated a bit in sharing my Calendly on public forums and I am more than happy to talk with anyone and everyone from the community. Not sure how arranging a “townhall-esque” gathering speeds up the process. An AMA though is not a bad idea once the roll-out is complete. Thanks for being an active contributor. Cheers!


Thanks for a passionate and thoughtful response, AVB! I admire your dedication towards the ecosystem and honestly, it is quite hard to match the level of energy you bring to discussions.

I think we are losing sight of the larger picture when we conveniently ignore the spirit of the discussion and stretch ends to the extreme.

Much of the reasoning for changes in the first place are making the experience easier for Guilds and Guild Leaders.

Quoting this as it has been specifically mentioned in the original post that there is often an unrealistic level of expectation on Guild Leaders in terms of delivery and reporting which leads to what may be perceived by some as favouritism by towards overachievers; community drama, unhealthy discourse and even disenchantment of contributors. WE CANNOT LET IT HAPPEN!

Community is at the heart of whatever is done in the NEAR Ecosystem and staying true to that spirit, together we need to do everything to make community-governance easier, simpler and more rewarding. I would also philosophically and fundamentally disagree with some views shared here about Foundation supposedly reaping benefits from community activity. This type of discourse is not helpful in facilitating healthy discussions. That being said, this exercise aims to actually empower the community in the most ambitious ways possible. Together we are building a highway to success and scalability for Guilds by encouraging participation in governance. The roll-out as it progresses, will make understanding of things a lot more clear. Being intentionally light on details and focusing on shipping what works best for all is the only priority!

Heyyy =) Chronear, I am here again. Thanks for taking care of us :hatching_chick:

thanks for taking care of such an important matter for the community.

I will need your help,

I need to understand better what you mean, and I may be having a misunderstood with this here:

Did you mean that the discussions already made are enough, the new way to do things has been settled down, and there is no room for more meetings? Or why do you highlight it?

I don’t get why you said so, I mean, I know this is not overnight, this is work done step by step with the best intentions, and we have good results and some mistakes that we have learned as a community.

So, this will keep evolving… more discussions are needed, forever. (and ever) :cowboy_hat_face:

Web3 → DAOs → independent communities, the self-sustainable communities we want to build, are evolving thanks to us!

We are now pioNEARs creating a new and better society in how we interact and make decisions.

So, please listen to us. We need to talk about this more.

We are here 24/7, we are members with full commitment and proven contributions, who want to share more thoughts, so if we said here that we want to discuss this further, then why not do so? There is something more critical, or is there another priority?

This is not enough time for feedback, not everyone is aware of this, even myself, I am not feeling part of this change but I do feel part of the community, this is 100%, not enough time and not enough discussion. Not everyone speaks up, others need more opportunities for communication.

Maybe we need to forget about speeding up the process.

What goods will bring to come up with another method that will not work and we will have to change again? And where a lot of members, councils, leaders could feel not being taken into account?

Haha, and hey, that will happen anyway because, as I said, this will keep evolving, but let’s be sure that all the community understand and share their part.

Let’s be sure that everything is wholly conversated, so on the next iteration of change, we know that the mistakes were good ones because everyone was involved while all the information was taken into account.

And let’s open more ways, more channels, let’s see how the community can participate more. Every initiative that opens communication is not just good but necessary for a healthy community.

We all need to understand that:

The way, the process, the guidelines for the Guild program need to work out for all of us, this is an inclusive community, so we need to talk about this even more. This is the way.

Hehehe I love being here! Building the web3, enjoying the process, and having fun with you my NEAR family! Cheers :beers:


Wow! Cool, AMA soon then! :handshake:


Reasons derive from not transparent guilds/projects and their patrons from NF.

NF guilds leadership all the way had different unclear expectations from guilds and community members. Some should provide detailed reports, and go through a red tape process to get rewards, some always had a green light, and were able to ignore questions from the community.

A great example is NF people created Flying Rhino guild /LLC, a six-month company with a huge budget that works with many guilds and projects, actively promoted by NF people (instead of working directly with marketing dao, ecosystem, etc), with absolutely not transparent rates. And yes, they recently got a grant from NF. Not surprised :blush:.

We took money from Community treasure, increased the amount on middleman’s service (for fellow friends), and used administrative resources to transfer rewards from guilds to Flying rhino.

Only NF is the reason for drama and unhealthy discourse. NF’s hidden calls, decisions, and favoritism toward certain persons.

Start building a transparent community with yourself if you CAN NOT LET IT HAPPEN AGING.

You personally, can share reports about Business DAO works and write information about hiring councils in the DAO on our social media (if you haven’t done it yet ). I believe we have million community members who are ready to work.

Equal access to opportunities.



hey bailey :people_hugging:
For some guilds this can be the case but I don’t think Regional Guilds can achieve this.
A question: Can you propose a strategy Regional Guilds to achieve this?

On the contrary, I think we should allocate more resources. We can develop tools which will allow us to monitor Guilds more closely whether the money is spent fairly and in the most effective way. Also guide/educate Regional guilds about growth hacking strategies starting with the countries where crypto is most prevalent.


Let’s see on improvements.

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Dacha, I have removed the inappropriate meme from your post which is not relevant to the conversation. The text remains as it is.

Yes, sure. I cannot argue with admins on gov forum. Thanks :blush: Probably, we need to start using decentralized platforms like near. social or the wiki.

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Hello everyone!
Here to give my two cents on the matter as the head of Near Argentina, a just two months old Guild and maybe a perfect example of a perspective towards we are (or may be) heading.

First, what a read! Excellent arguments from everyone and such diverse points of views from every member of a different community or guild. This is what web3 is about, showing every voice and what it has to offer.

Secondly, there is so many content to voice out or to quote. I don’t think my comment would make such an impact by going point by point. No one will be happy at the end and we will have to agree to disagree.
The solution for a certain agreement should be handled by a DAO, and actually a lot of decisions should be handled by DAO (as most of them are right now) and we should decide which will be the one or ones to handle it, but we should agree on it now. We should once and for all decide point blank and totally transparently which is the DAO or DAOs that will be foreseeing everything.

Third, I had to quote this sentence in particular because I have to give my own opinion on this matter. This idea is particularly having conflicts with this ones as well

So the situation up until now is… We are having over 130 guilds in our ecosystem, and some of them were naturally born for this. That is great. What should be done with the others that didn’t have an actual impact or didn’t make it?

Regardless of not being able to create good proposals, getting a good community together, completing derivables on time (or not even getting good results by any deadline alltogether).
Those results of those guilds should not be something to classify as, “guilds never became self-sufficient to stand on their own” as a way of saying, okay we made guilds, so now they keep relying on funding.

Well yes, as @satojandro mentioned, who is the client? every value created by those guilds, who is the one receiving the benefits from our work? For whoever gets those benefits, being the Near Foundation, or people managing a project, or even every member of every guild that wants to create work of value… Some has to foot the bill. It has to be that way, we can create any system we want, but in the end if you want whole communities to be creating quality work, someone should give a first push towards it.

But that push shouldn’t be driven towards dodgy proposals… Or even guilds that don’t seem that may be up for the job.

We should take more time in looking over the most potential guilds and aid them if we know they can deliver. This is where we should tighten our leash. Not on thriving guilds that are just starting and have a lot to offer. (Hey, I include mine as well! If my work does not deliver for the Near Ecosystem, I will be the first to go out from it!) But don’t separate really hard workers from an aid in developing incredible communities. That is really not the way.

With everything said earlier, I am not against in getting Guilds to be self-sufficient, not at all. I think in the long term they should be if they are capable to, but that should be tested and we should be given the tools for it. We should be given the opportunity, in terms of human support and financial support as well, to demonstrate we can manage in the long term to create self sufficient proposals to continue our labor as a Guild.
But thinking that guilds should try to be self-sufficient from day one, and putting obstacles in the middle regarding fundings (quantity or in time of deliver) or aid in our growth is, in my opinion, a shot in the foot.

On a final note…
This journey here in Near has been quite a ride for me and my community. We are really glad that a lot of opportunities came through in the early days of the Guild’s creation.

We managed to get an active community, active social media, active educational social media and we are on our way to launch several projects that will aid one of the most critical pillars for the Near Foundation which is Education and Academics. We have NOTHING but gratitude to give you, that is for sure.

We managed to get a whole team of Devs that are nothing but anxious to get into projects and participate, we have Argentinian NCIs that are about to be certified and we have tomorrow a batch, as small as it may be, of members that will take the Analyst as well.

We did this up to today with really little funding. Imagine how far we could go if we got a real kickstart to propel this further. And imagine what could be the outcome not just for us, but for a lot of active and rising guilds if we stopped everything or changed it again from scratch.

Lets be patient. We will get there.
To get it sorted out, before any measure is taken, we have to do one simple thing that includes every guild leader that wants to take part in the future of this Program, and I will quote the answer right here:

This is all that it actually takes. Thank you


The concept of making Guilds independent from the NEAR foundation is a great thing, but still, many Guilds are dependent on the NEAR foundation for funding and mentorship.

As a Guild Ops, I would like to suggest that to make Guilds independent from the NEAR foundation, we have to increase coordination between Guild<>Guild and Guild<>projects, and to support this vision(Cross-Guild Cooperation), I’m creating a document where I’m listing services from guilds’ and requirement of Guilds’

This way, we can analyze and connect a service provider Guild with a Guild or Project who need that service, and in return, they can earn some tokens or NFTs or shoutouts or help or anything else.

As of now, everything is on a document. But I’m planning to scale it by creating a website like a job board where anybody can list tasks, time, rewards or salary.

On one more thing, I would like to add some light that if we are still very concerned about transparency then why have DAOs, Guild tiering systems and tools like Guild on-chain trackers?

Final thought: We should focus on Guilds’ to make them more decentralized and independent. We have blockchain to keep everything transparent. Once @shreyas said that ‘our blockchain is PoS, but our Community is PoW’. :laughing:


Hello Jiten! We can cross-collaborate with the BlockJobs project, from a NearUniversity DiR.

Let’s connect!


Surely, please provide me their contact details to start.

Is there a way we can make this on NEAR wiki?

Extremely agreed


Maybe NEAR wiki can be best for it but a dedicated website can unlock to have more features like verified tasks, time counter, chat, cv upload button etc. But thanks for your suggestion we can set up a call to discuss more on it.

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Just my two cents here. After reading through these replies I cannot agree enough with @FritzWorm and @nacho.near. There are aspects of the conversation that require further exploration and also unmentioned areas that could be further explored if the conversation were to invite more points of view.

Some that come to my mind are for example:

Do all guilds have to become self-sufficient? Or rather, see a certain goal fulfilled?

Hundreds (if not thousands?) of years of human collaboration have given birth to distinct entities to embody these forms of collaboration. Briefly, from what I’ve seen it can be boiled down to for-profit and non-profit organizations. Would guilds or DAOs, as being entities for collaboration, differ that much from these evolved concepts?

How would a self-sustaining decentralized model look like? How would the agency problem be addressed?

There are some good ideas here on this thread, and out there on other threads too. But we’re talking about an ecosystem of target 1 billion users. Would these schematics be enough to devise a working collaborative system of that scale? I myself would need some time to think about this one further. So hence, lots of benefit in adding viewpoints to the conversation here.

I’m sure I’m missing some other angles to this topic at the moment.


I’ll add my one cent to the two cents, as I think @idea404 brings up important distinctions that I think should be central to this debate about guild funding structures: profit vs non-profit.

Again ofc, hundreds (if not thousands?) of years of human collaboration has also discussed the concept of value, but in this context it’s relevant through two frames of reference: quantitative value (as money) and qualitative value (as community). In an organisational context, their relationship is circular: on the one hand, quantitative value can be outputted insofar as there is an environment with adequate qualitative value, otherwise humans (at least the ones we hope to attract) don’t engage in the process; but on the other hand, society simultaneously requires organisations to output quantitative value to self-sustain.

If this is reasonable, then two potential problems with NF’s proposals in my view are:

(a) not explicitly distinguishing organisation kinds (some off-shoot of for-profit vs non-profit) that aim to output only one primary type of value (qualitative vs quantitative), and

(b) whether NF distinguishes these types or not, attributing the responsibility of the circular relationship between value types to every guild, rather than attributing that responsibility to the whole ecosystem, or subsections of.

Point (b) I think is most important, and I hope that the primary output of each guild is not reduced to one of quantitative value, because a lot of qualitative value will be lost in doing so.


That’s a valid point, if not many guild will fade way due to inability to get their activities run on their own.

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