[UPDATE] Guilds Program Funding Approach

The NEAR Guilds Program has undergone another update in its processes. This time we’ve re-examined the program’s rewards and incentive model.
[This new approach to program funding has already taken effect, and will be the focus of August 2021.]

Guilds are encouraged to drive membership engagement through a variety of ways. Two of the most prominent means of engagement are bounties and the development of new projects on NEAR. The Guilds Management Crew has been working to develop and maintain robust yet adaptable Goals and Objectives centered around member participation and ecosystem interaction.

a) Reward & Recognition Models

Guilds are empowered to set their own models and systems of member reward for work undertaken to promote and build the Guild and the broader NEAR ecosystem. Every reward should be related to a goal held by the Guild and the Guild’s vision more broadly.

Previously, Guilds were encouraged to reward member activity on a task-specific basis. However, this model did not necessarily encourage deeper and long-lasting Guild member engagement with the Guild community.

NEW: Guilds at a higher level of independence will be encouraged and assisted by the NEAR Community Team to adopt a project rewards model to drive member engagement and to strengthen Guild governance and oversight.

:vertical_traffic_light:Guild Level Self-Classification:

:red_circle:Red Level Guild - Guilds at this level generally require more assistance from the NEAR Community/Guilds Management teams when designing their rewards structure. Guild leaders at this level are still trying to get their footing and so we recommend they stick to the status quo for now and maintain a rewards model based on the completion of individual tasks (ex. an infographic designed for the Guild) to determine $NEAR reward allocations to members for tasks completed, or follow the detailed example of task-focused rewards as outlined by Open Web Sandbox depending on whether or not the Guild leaders are determining the rewards model independently yet or not.

The aim is to achieve the highest level of independence so as to be operating in a decentralized fashion, and the NEAR Community Team is happy to support you and your Guild to get there!

:dvd:Yellow Level Guild - Guild leaders at this level are familiar with Sputnik DAO v. 1, but still need some more support when it comes to determining how best to motivate participation in their Guild. These Guilds are ready to move to a more bundled incentive approach.

This means, instead of offering members rewards on a task per task basis (i.e. writing a blog post) as bounties they can consider granting funds to community members based on linked tasks or series. For example, a posted bounty, instead of breaking out and presenting a reward based on individual Tweets for the Guild Twitter account or independent instances of content creation, members could be encouraged to take on the Twitter promotion and growth campaign for the Guild’s Community Calls for a two-month or three-month (quarterly) period. The community member would be tapped to devise the Guild Twitter growth strategy for this period (or longer) and the metrics to measure success (i.e. __% increase in audience engagement and growth). The Guild leader would work with the community member to determine the appropriate reward for the amount of growth received by these efforts/how well they match their metrics for success. For example, 100 NEAR could be awarded for 40% social channel growth.

At the beginning of this roll-out, the Guild leader may need to specify an approximate number or range of how many Tweets this reward would include to convey appropriate expectations and to transparently convey how the work is being valued based on the old task model, but the hope is this Guild would be able to phase out any reference to task-based rewards almost entirely in the not-so-distant future.

The value and worth of these rewards would be relatively higher for the more dedicated attention and activity from the community member. This should encourage members to take greater ownership over projects as well.

:green_heart:Green Level Guild - Guild leaders are operating predominantly independently and are currently working within a rewards model they have largely devised themselves. The NEAR Community Team provides support but it is more in the form of a partnership with little Guild oversight. Moving to a model that is predominantly based on project rewards is possible in the immediate future.

Rewards are determined by ongoing or new Guild projects and events, such as Telegram channel moderator for the quarter (3 months), Community Call MC for the quarter (organizing, advertising, and hosting the Guild community calls), Guild Web Wizard (responsible for website design and content updates) for whichever period is appropriate, etc.

As a result in this shift in the rewards model, Guild members are recognized for taking on greater responsibility of a series and are able to contribute to and grow more within the Guild with projects they can flex more creative muscles with and can sink their teeth into. Some of the organizational pressure of the Guild as it scales up gets redistributed off the Guild leader’s shoulders as well and Guild activity becomes more decentrally owned.

In sum:

Guild Level Type Description Recommended Rewards Model
:red_circle: Red Level Guild Requires more centralized support Tasks (Bounties) Rewards Model
:dvd: Yellow Level Guild Requires some centralized support occasionally Mix of Tasks (Bounties) and Project Rewards Model
:green_heart: Green Level Guild Is fully decentralized and independent Project Rewards Model (with some tasks as needed)

If you’re unclear about which level of independence applies to your Guild, please reach out to the Guilds Management Crew for assistance.

Do you have reward and recognition models to propose? What has worked well for your Guild or what have you been experimenting with? Add below!

Regardless of the chosen reward model, the current preferred process for Reward Claiming is:

  1. Each Guild leader posts a new topic on the Governance Forum under the “Community > Guilds” subcategory with their individual Guild-specific tag and the “guild-reports” tag (and other tags they prefer to use for their own classification purposes).

  2. The post on the Forum includes:

    • which projects and tasks were completed by the Guild that month with links to completed materials and previous Forum post of project proposals as relevant;
    • the impact and metrics of the work undertaken by the Guild by project/activity (ex. # of retweets, # of attendees for events, etc.);
    • be sure to highlight the Guild’s successes over the past month and challenges encountered
    • an update on the timeline or deadline of the project(s) if they’re still in progress;
    • any other pertinent details.
  3. If you’re unsure about what projects should be worth, refer to your fellow Guild leaders’ posts and the Open Web Sandbox to find equivalent tasks and projects and their rewards for your reference. It’s all open source!

    • It helps to create a Rewards or Bounties Guide for your Guild you can easily link to and update as needed (here’s an example from the Createbase Guild) so you have consistency for your community members and for the Guilds Management Crew about what your different activities are valued at across projects.

Please note: as the DAO VERTICALS activate, the above process will shift so Governance Forum posts are made to the specific DAO vertical council overseeing the respective thematic project area (i.e. creative, education, marketing) instead of to the general “Guilds” subcategory. Another update on that soon!

Hackathons - the MetaBUIDL Hackathon staring August 27th in particular - also provide great ways to drive engagement for your community! Consider becoming a Challenge Sponsor or hosting a bounty or two and benefit from this added pool of available $NEAR - above the amount your Guild can receive on a monthly basis for your projects and activities.
Any questions, reach out to the Guilds Management Crew or reply to the posts in the Global Hackathons subcategory.

The Guilds Management Crew aims to check in with Guilds on a monthly basis to assist with project and bounty crafting as needed, but feel free to reach out to arrange a call if you have any questions or concerns.