Proposal - GMC Member Stipend

I recommend the implementation of a nominal stipend to recognize GMC member’s valuable contributions and to encourage sustained commitment to the committee’s mission, with the stipend becoming effective starting from the next roster appointment.

GMC members have never requested a stipend; this is my personal proposal. Despite their dedication driven by their passion for the Rocket Pool community, introducing incentives can help maintain their commitment.

On average, GMC members dedicate 1-2 hours per week, with some highly active members contributing even more. Unfortunately, at least three members have expressed burnout or a change in bandwidth over the last few months, highlighting the need for action. I operate on the assumption that members refrain from stepping down because there might not be suitable replacements, and their departure could potentially do more harm than good.

The stipend proposal aims to address these issues by reducing burnout, increasing applications for the upcoming appointment cycle, and establishing a minimum activity requirement. It’s important to recognize that member contributions will always vary, and this stipend is intended to acknowledge and promote a baseline level of commitment.

Should GMC members be rewarded a monthly stipend for their efforts:

  • Yes, award each member $500 monthly
  • Yes, award each member $750 monthly
  • No, this creates a political nightmare
  • Other (please comment)
0 voters

I’ve commented on this before, and my beliefs are mostly unchanged.

I think it’s a political nightmare. I put “Other”.

I think we would need to address the political nightmare head on:

  • I just want to note the prices we’re saying here: $500/month for 1-2 hours/wk is $62.50-$125.00/hr. $750 gets us $93.75-$187.50/hr. These prices map onto 6-figure salaries (though obviously the hours aren’t there for that). The high end of this - 1 hour/wk at $750/month maps on to over $250k salary. (I’m using 1500 hours for conversion; one of several rough rules of thumb for contract work to salary mapping)
  • The bar must be dramatically higher than it’s been.
    • It’s completely unacceptable for a paid position to require nagging to sign something, eg.
    • Communication must also improve a lot – “I’m going to be traveling so I won’t be able to sign at our usual time the 3rd week of November”.
    • For some context, we are paying the dev team $163.5k/3-periods at current RPL prices (both pDAO expense and oDAO seats). (though it’s worth noting they had ICO funds etc too, so we’re not the entirety of their funding)
    • If we’re paying 14% as much to the GMC as to the dev team (that’s the $500 price + admin), my expectations are significant.
  • I take real issue with paying the same for 1 hr/week as for significantly more than 2 hours per week. If someone is creating 4x the value, we should pay them a hell of a lot more (maybe not 4x, but…). (I’ll also note that I do think output value is a better target than input hours, but I understand that’s super hard to measure).
  • People who put in work before stipends should be rewarded; more cuz pure volunteering without any guarantee is good; less insofar as they did less
  • We should pay for all similar positions; here that would mean IMC and pDAO treasurer.

I definitely think major pDAO committee members should get compensation. GMC and IMC, for sure (and treasurer). As Val says, maybe $500/month is too high. Maybe more in the $250-$300 range. I think eventually it’s going to be hard to find enough people to volunteer, especially when there is a decent amount of RPL in the treasury.


Some disconnected thoughts

Poll design really benefits from experience and knowledge of common pitfalls. Not intending to call out ShfRyn specifically here, because I’ve seen this a number of times looking back through forum polls here, and it used to happen all the time at Maker as well. I think humans naturally do this badly. In general:

  • The goal of a poll is to get an unambiguous + precise signal with least cost to voters.
  • Yes / No with riders creates ambiguity around results (in this case, I can’t signal no without also signalling I think this is a political nightmare. I can’t signal yes without expressing an opinion on a dollar amount).
  • Imprecise is usually preferable to ambiguous. (So simple Yes/No with no riders.)
  • Multiple short polls can be a better option, providing high-level imprecise input, then gathering a more precise signal with a larger range of options. But does incur a higher cost to voters. Example Link

The possibility of an issue being a political nightmare cannot be an automatic stop-sign that prevents a decision being made. Ultimately, some decisions will not be easy, but still need to be made for the community / daos / project to move forward.

Feels like there is room for imagination here. A stipend is perhaps the simplest method, but may not be the most effective. There may be some hybrid method that gives a better trade-off between (for lack of a better term) volunteer spirit and consistent effort.

Stipend after a few months active work on the committee might be an option. In this way there is still a bias toward volunteers (unpaid for first few months), but as the lustre and feel-goods of doing something nice wear off, and the reality of the role being a job kicks in, so does a stipend.

If IMC and pDAO treasurer are included, RPIP editors should also be included. To be honest, RPIP Editors should potentially also be a committee, and be given a wider role in governance operations.

The non-financial incentives for being on this committee are pretty negative over the long term. There is a high chance of public controversy, and contention will only increase at those times when funds available to the GMC become more limited.

I don’t believe financial incentives can reduce burnout. At best, they encourage the individual to remain in an environment or role that is burning them out for a longer period of time, this can be a benefit to the organization, but rarely to the individual.

At some point, Rocket Pool needs to ratify a structure that allows individuals to be consistently and reliably funded for taking roles that are not fun. Grants and volunteer work only work in the long-run if the work is intrinsically enjoyable to the person doing it. There are some types of important work for which very few people are intrinsically motivated.

I suspect this issue falls under this umbrella. I’m moderately sure this stipend thing has come up before in this community, but I don’t think there has been any real movement on an implementation. As someone that has triggered several political nightmares, this is a political nightmare, and being responsible for a political nightmare is not fun. Why would a volunteer or a grantee subject themselves to this when they could pick any one of the less intimidating problems to fix, and work on that instead?

The end result being that the hard problems (which are often some of the most important) don’t get worked on, to the detriment to the community and the project.


Thanks, ShfRyn for bringing this topic to the forum. While a nominal stipend for committee members might be a reasonable way to retain membership and recognize the work of the GMC (and other groups), I would like to introduce some alternative incentives that could serve to bolster commitment and recognize member effort. Building on @LongForWisdom’s callout that monetary incentives may not increase member satisfaction, I’d love to hear a reaction on how the community feels the following list compares to a stipend:

Alternative Incentives:

  • Community Spaces/Call Slots: Rotating member schedule of Twitter Spaces/Community Calls, meant to introduce committee members and give them a chance to share their knowledge and experience from serving on their committee.

  • Psudo-Voting Tokens: Contributors to committees could earn community input voting tokens. These tokens could later be used for signaling in snapshot polls, allowing active members to be polled and have a more substantial influence on governance decisions.

  • Coordinape Circle: Instead of individual stipends, the budget could be used to form a monthly giving circle among committee members. This would let members express mutual appreciation and allocate funds based on the value each member provides.

  • Recognition NFTs: Simple POAPs or custom-designed NFTs could be awarded to members who excel in specific areas. Think of these as seasonal rewards, but web3 style.

  • Grant Review Leaderboard: Helpful comments and questions during grant reviews could be verified by the GMC administrator. A leaderboard could keep track of these contributions and be used as a basis for retroactive grants after an experimental period.

Curious how @ShfRyn & committee members feel about these alternatives, as well as the broader community. These alternatives are not meant to suggest committee members are unworthy of monetary compensation (arguably 2/5 of the list would go to that purpose), but to throw out some ideas for persevering the motivation of committee members to take on their role. Thanks for providing a fun topic to brainstorm on :slight_smile:

1 Like

Originally we had talked about using self-nominated/peer-nominated RAs as a way of paying any MC member (or pDAO officer) for their work. Given how hesitant I was to self-nominate even four months after being off a Management Committee, I can see why that system is not particularly workable. It’s even more awkward if you are currently a member of the GMC, self-nominating for your work on the GMC. I’d personally support the pDAO providing stipends to any elected position, but I’m wondering if there’s a more holistic way to go about trying to set numbers.

Valdorff’s comment put me in mind of a different way of approaching payment for GMC/IMC/pDAO Treasurer. Rather than trying to do it piecemeal, it might make more sense for the pDAO as a whole to decide “we’re happy to pay X% of the RPL inflation we receive every 28 days to DAO maintenance”, which would then be split among any officially-elected DAO roles (existing or to be created in the future). Admittedly it would be easier to divide that percentage up if we’d had anyone who’d actually been on both IMC and GMC and been pDAO Treasurer, but everyone in those roles right now strike me as good-faith actors and could reasonably negotiate that division amongst themselves based on how much work they believe the different committees put in.


@Valdorff, thanks for the numerical examples. You’re right; the math isn’t straightforward, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

@LongForWisdom, your points are well-taken. I admit the initial poll was overly complex and vulnerable to signaling. I appreciate your advice and examples for future polls.

@prose11, thanks for your input.

Regarding the suggestions:

  • Community Spaces/Call Slots: I’m interested in understanding how this would benefit our members more effectively.
  • Pseudo-Voting Tokens: While this is an interesting idea, it might be challenging to implement given the current workload of the team.
  • Coordinape Circle: I fear this could create resentment among members, and potentially lead to the least active being even less active.
  • Grant Review Leaderboard: Expanding the member activity sheet to facilitate this idea could work. It could grant far too much power to the admin though.

One fundamental drawback of adding performance-based rewards to a volunteer committee is the potential for demotivation when certain members are rewarded while others are not.


This offers a lot of soft value for participants, including the chance to raise one’s profile within the community and beyond. A leading cause of burnout is feeling like your work isn’t valued or appreciated (which I suspect is amplified when serving on a committee like the GMC where your decisions are sure to upset a subset of the community). If this idea feels like work it won’t be worth anything, but if it feels like an honor I think it would increase member satisfaction quite a bit.

Agree here, it’s not hard to do, but making it unified and meaningful across the community would be a challenge. I think this is one where if someone likes the idea and wants to permissionlessly play around with it something more concrete might develop.

This is the main one I think I would push back on. Yes there is potential for conflict to brew here, but I would argue it’s potentially “good” conflict. Having a fixed monthly space for reviewing each other’s work could encourage members taking more ownership of the system and encourage further development of committee groups.

There’s definitely a fine line to walk with volunteer work, and not getting the same reward as your peers could discourage some participants. But if the commitment is being elevated to a compensated role (even a lightly compensated one) I think having a formal review process is essential. The chance to do good work and be recognized for it should encourage a higher level of participation.

Agree here, would be interesting to see if anyone is interested in building out something like this, but the pitch is rather immature to depend on for compensated activities.

Overall, I think stipends are very easy on the DAO end and probably lead to less drama. However, for the reasons LFW pointed out I don’t think they are very effective for the committee members. Realistically, there are several questions at play here:

  • Should committee members be compensated?
  • If so, what’s the best use of funding for the DAO? What’s best for contributor longevity?
  • How should committee efforts be evaluated?

I am supportive of these conversations and appreciate @ShfRyn for bringing a space to explore them. I would love to hear from any committee members and others who have participated in similar working groups.


Hi @prose11, thank you very much for those different ideas and observations.

As a member of the GMC, I wanted to chime in here quickly and briefly.

Personally, I’m rather shy and don’t really want or need any community exposure. I’m doing this work to give back to the RP community and be of service that I otherwise couldn’t. I’m not really seeking any popularity, credibility, or notoriety from it.

As far as compensation goes, I’ve never expected to be paid for the volunteer work that I’ve been doing for the GMC. That said, receiving a stipend would in my case mainly justify the spent time on the GMC to my spouse, who sometimes questions my priorities as a new father.

Generally, I would like to shed a bit more light on the estimated 1-2 hours a week that @ShfRyn brought up. In my personal experience, this might be a slight underestimation of the actual time being needed to properly review transactions, research the different Grant/Retro-Applications / bounties, and then negotiate said GA/RAs with the applicants, as well as talk to the other GMC members about our potential decisions. Although Shfyrns new sub-committee implementation has definitely helped to reduce the workload and hence let us focus more specifically on GA/RA’s that pertain more to our expertise, I’d estimate the actual workload to be easily 3-4 hours a week at least.