Promoting sustainability through community donations

So this recent GMC grant round brought home to me that there are many more amazing works happening in rocket pool than we have the resources to fund from pDAO inflation; even as RPL rises, I hope high quality community projects will increase faster. Creators donate their time and technical expertise, but monetary donations are a great way to be a part of building rocket pool for anyone without time or expertise.

The benefits of community donations
  1. Rewarding creators’ hard work encourages future hard work
  2. Users donate to projects they actually use, rather than having GMC guess on which projects will be most useful
  3. Encourages building outside of specified GMC grant periords
  4. Increased flexibility, as funds are not linked to any specific grant
  5. Can potentially provide seed funding- retroactively reimbursed by GMC if approved, so project start times don’t get delayed
  6. Decreasing pDAO funding for ongoing expenses allows for increased funding for other projects (or theoretically decreased inflation).

At this point, however, tipping/donations seems relatively rare; this topic is intended to discuss how broaden the base of contributors.

I think Rocketarb is a good example of the free-rider problem because the lines are so clear.

I’ll ignore the huge benefits Rocketarb has for rETH growth as this free-ridership is hard to solve (the precise benefits are hazy and the effects are socialized).
However, the direct arb benefit is readily attributable to a single NO, who receives between 0.05 and 0.5 ETH per minipool. This requires almost no (5-10 minutes) work on behalf of the beneficiary, would not be possible without the author, and in fact additional support is provided by the author. The risk to the beneficiary is mostly just malicious code and fat fingers.
Despite this ‘free money’, of the ~300 ETH gained by beneficiaries, it looks like far less than 1% is being directed towards the author for those efforts. In a normal market, this number might be 10%, 25%, or 50% charged for such a low risk arb without competition.

In terms of some of the GMC grant proposals: is already charging for its excellent services. But Rocket Fuel would get 50% of its asked grant with ~1$ per view on YouTube (~3$ per hour for viewers, think of how many batteries that would buy); the rescue node just needs a small amount of its benefit returned to pay its ongoing costs; rocketArb-obviously is underpaid, particularly if some mega-arb is enacted with LEB8. #Support is another place that provides massive user benefits without expectation of payment (saving a day of attestations or 6 hours of troubleshooting is worth a lot, to me).

My first question is:
Should we be encouraging community members to donate to the services they use:

  • Community members should not contribute to public goods; we have enough funds from pDAO to cover good works. Buy RPL instead.
  • Community members just haven’t thought much about who funds the works we utilize. Education is needed.
  • Community members already want to contribute to public goods, but don’t have a great way to do it. Streamlined pathways are needed.
  • Community members know they should be contributing to the free products they use, and are technically savvy enough to do it without much trouble. Unfortunately, our NOs are poor and human nature is…well… human nature. It doesn’t matter what we do, community members will just buy RPL.

0 voters

My take is that community members will contribute if given an easier method; here are are a few possibilities that I’ve brainstormed. I make no promises on how good they are, and they aren’t really flushed out because the details matter a bit less at this point, and I want more and better ideas.

Each quarter, a quadratic fund is set for rocket pool. Creators link/refer contributors to the fund ± expected donation amounts. Donors can choose a few (1-4 maybe) projects to direct funds to. This method removes a large amount of discomfort with asking for money as funds are distributed to all public goods in rocketpool; however, users directed by Waq will likely choose Waq so there still is direct benefit because of quadratic/matching nature.

project of the month

Each month, a project is highlighted on discord, Reddit, Twitter; the costs and benefits are discussed, and the donation address listed. Essentially a telethon for public goods. POAP for all donators.

oDAO sabbatical

i realize this reeks a bit of “money printer, just add an oDAO member”, but here goes: One new oDAO position is created and run by a trusted member who is donating their expertise; each quarter the community chooses a extremely high impact community member to funnel those oDAO RPL rewards (effectively, this is retroactive reward for their past contributions). This allows even a high income individual to take leave from work to focus largely or entirely on rocket pool development. How they choose to spend their time is entirely up to them. An individual can’t be chosen more frequently than every 4 quarters. If they slack off, they won’t be chosen again and their debt for past efforts will be considered repaid.

marketing assistance

Ad hoc or on retainer, have someone in marketing (hopefully within the community) work with each project on increasing income.

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