Index Coop (as a DAO) Contributing to the Crypto Relief Campaign

Hey guys,

I wanted to propose that we, as a DAO, contribute to Crypto Relief, which is a community-driven effort to mobilize funds and resources to support COVID relief in India. It was started by Sandeep Nailwal, co-founder of Polygon. In less than a week, it has organically grown to a community of 800+ members.

Over $3 million has been raised so far, including donations from Vitalik Buterin and Balaij Srinivasan. ~$1 million has been donated to ACT, whose immediate goal is to tackle the shortage of oxygen supply. They plan to support the deployment of 50,000+ oxygen concentrators across India.

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Here are a few items the Crypto Relief community is currently working on:

  • Sourcing essential equipment from around the world and supplying it to under-resourced facilities
  • Setting up Oxygen plants and dedicated COVID centers in underserved areas

If anyone has further questions, please let myself or @HelloShreyas know.

There are a couple of ways we could do this. One is to donate some INDEX from the Treasury outright. I don’t have a strong view on the amount - I’m sure we can come with something as a community. The second option is for Index Coop to match donations of its contributors. This is pretty common in the traditional corporate world.

I believe that DAOs and crypto protocols more broadly can have a significant role in financing public goods and charitable causes around the world. The Coop could be a leader in this space and act to catalyse action from other DAOs.

Adding a couple of quick polls to gauge support.

Should Index Coop donate to the Crypto Relief campaign?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

If you answered “Yes” above (if you support either option, please just pick one and leave a comment)

Should Index Coop:
  • Donate outright
  • Match donations of its contributors

0 voters

EDIT: It looks like there’s some general support for this, with some valid caveats. To move this forward, I’d like to propose that we make the donation from the DAO, with 50% of the total amount donated outright and 50% reserved for matching. I’m adding a poll to gauge the total amount after which I will put forward a formal IIP.

How much should Index Coop donate:

  • $50k (split 25k/25k between outright and reserved for matching)
  • $25k (split 12.5k/12.5k between outright and reserved for matching)

0 voters

4 Likes

Love this proposal @verto0912. This could set a powerful precedent for DAOs. I’m happy to answer any questions on Crypto Relief and how the money is being used. Index Coop’s contribution could help get Oxygen concentrators and other critical supplies to people who need it and quickly. A donation would involve a transfer to this address: 0x68A99f89E475a078645f4BAC491360aFe255Dff1.

2 Likes

Agree with this wholeheartedly @verto0912. I voted “contribute directly” because I think we can organize and deploy an impactful amount more quickly that way, but am ultimately not too religious about the how of this.

1 Like

@verto0912 I’m strongly against this.

I love that people want to support Covid-19 relief in India, but think that individuals should be doing that on their own.

Index Cooperative is effectively a startup; almost all of the Coop’s resources have come from the market giving the Coop capital in the form of a very high token price relative to revenue and profit. We should not be donating other people’s money that the Coop needs to finance growth for the future.

In the the traditional startup world, it is more common for a the company leadership to contribute to a cause and match the donation’s of others, rather than use the company’s resources. I believe it should be the same for the Coop.

I really do not like the precedent this would set either for the Coop. If the Coop leadership can donate on behalf of the community for covid-19 relief, why not any other cause? We would be incentivizing the creation of an an activist class within the Coop that would spend the Coop’s intellectual and financial capital.

I believe the right approach would instead be to become a “mission focused” DAO and have the community adopt that approach (this is what Coinbase did last summer):

https://missionprotocol.org/

@overanalyser @LemonadeAlpha @DarkForestCapital @BigSky7 @Kiba @jdcook @gregdocter @reganbozman

9 Likes

I initially voted yes, but since I can’t formally change my vote above, will voice here. I agree with the points made by @TenaciousTerrier (appreciate your input). The Coop has an incredibly ambitious and impactful mission - the treasury (especially considering as young as we are) should remain devoted to that mission.

4 Likes

I’m in favor of this - companies donate to charity all the time

$100K is trivial from the Coop’s treasury but would make a huge difference to people on the ground in India

3 Likes

@TenaciousTerrier this is totally a fair point.

Ignoring the specific COVID relief contribution, here are a few open questions to address longer term:

  1. Why should the Coop fund public goods outside of its immediate scope?

  2. If the Coop does fund these public goods, how should we decide what to fund? There needs to be an effective, community-driven process to decide what to fund.

  3. How can the Coop monetarily benefit from this?

We’re in the early days of DAO treasuries so we’re crafting what these pools of capital can and should do. There are some parallels of DAO treasuries with corporate treasuries and university endowments. But there are also ways in which open communities are quite different. Even the nature of moats are different. Community matters, attracting new talent matters, being culturally relevant matters.

Going forward, NFTs might be a better way for DAO treasuries donate to charity while acquiring valuable cultural assets. Artist and charity collaborate → artist puts up NFT for sale → DAOs and individuals bid on it → proceeds go to charity. This way, the DAO can acquire a culturally relevant NFT that benefits the treasury monetarily in addition to helping fund a cause.

4 Likes

I think @TenaciousTerrier and @jdcook, you guys are overthinking it.

$10-20k out of the Treasury to match individual contributions is 0.017% of the Treasury. But with matching, it’s $20-40k going directly to the cause. Maybe we inspire 1 or 2 DAOs along the way and that’s a meaningful amount.

I don’t see how sending 1 transaction to an address is distracting us from our mission.

Let’s remember that our Treasury and all our funds, in general, were created out of thin air. We are where we are because some folks in the market saw the potential of the Coop and other folks in the community chose to put in time and effort to make something out of nothing.

Let’s pay it forward.

3 Likes

PRO

I can understand the points Thomas made, but but the Coop has to face its social responsibility.
I thought about it several times, even mentioned it to other Owls that we have to face this in the future. Why shouldn’t we partnership with spendless.io for example?
But to come back to this issue. Just go for it. I hope the Index Coop can be more then just a traditional startup (what ever this is).

1 Like

We are where we are because chances for everyone are not equal for everyone on this planet.

So giving back a tiny piece of it may bring this planet a gram more into balance. Hopefully.

This is about helping in need, solidarity and humanity for a small moment. And tomorrow, Monday morning, we can all go back to our little everyday problems.

Thank you, Verto for the proposal.

1 Like

@TenaciousTerrier these are great points. This is also a brave stand - one of the strengths of our DAO is that we are very good at approaching problems from different angles and thinking about things in complex multi-faceted ways.

The second and third order effects of this type of giving need to be considered carefully - we do not want to set a dangerous precedent when it comes to giving in the future especially around politically charged issues. Those kinds of debates can destroy communities and distract us from our core mission.

I personally am deeply disgusted by the constant PR efforts from large multinational corporations when it comes to charitable giving. We need to avoid this and focus first and foremost on our mission.

With that said - we are laying the framework for an organization that will radically change the world. Although we have many similarities to 2000-2019 Silicon Valley start-ups, we are building something very different. Over the next 5 years untold lives will be changed and improved from the coordination efforts pioneered by organizations like our own. Lets set the precedent early that IC is a force for good in the world.

@HelloShreyas nails it here. Community is the single most important moat for our organization - and community needs more to thrive than just revenue. Communities should be a force for good, they should help every member grow and improve, and they should help other communities in times of need.

We need to be careful here - and charitable giving like this needs to be very closely analyzed and examined. In the future we should have a small quarterly budget for this exact kind of giving - and have it focused on Coop specific missions. I for one would love for us to narrow our focus to Owl Conservation - they are our mascot and would probably be pretty stoked to have us helping them out. However, this is a good starting point.

The culture we are building today is the same culture we will have at $1 Billion AUM, at $50 Billion AUM, and at $100 Billion AUM. What do we want that culture to be? What kind of impact do we want to have in the world?

6 Likes

I think BigSky has summarised both sides of the coin pretty well here. There are questions to be answered and a process to be built out around how we do this in future, however I think most of us are here because we think this crypto thing is gonna change the world and this is just a small step in that direction.

My preference is to do the opposite of what ‘we would do in XYZ LLC’ and to experiment with new approaches for organisation and action. I’m in favour of donating something at the very least because it’s got us discussing how we do this in the future and we will learn valuable things about our own community as well as the wider space.

I’ll leave a couple of highlights from our guiding principles as I feel they are relevant here:

  • People > Profits - Making money is easy, doing the right thing is hard. Our mission is to help everyone in the world achieve financial freedom and optimising for our own wealth is in direct conflict with our mission.
  • Internal Motivation - We do things because we believe them to be right, find them worth pursuing in and of themselves, and help us become who we want to be. We are not driven by external factors like politics or appeasing investors.
8 Likes

As a newcomer to the DAO, I am so happy to see such well reasoned and respectful argument for both sides of this and the various implications. It says a lot for the culture of this place.

I have nothing major to add to that other than I think that Index should definitely have some element of giving built in because its in line with the bigger DeFi / crypto ethos of helping make the world a fairer place, and it seems right that there should be a strong voting and / or community participation element to pick the causes on a pre-agreed cadence.

What I actually came in here to say is that whilst we decide Index’s position, there is nothing stopping us individually donating. First hand I’ll say that it feels frickin’ good to give through crypto, directly and transparently :upside_down_face:

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Pretty sure this is my 1st post here despite lurking through most if not all of the topics posted since joining.(Thanks to those who set up the email feeds).

My heart and head are torn on which way to go with my support of an endeavor like this. My heart finds excellent points that have me apportioning a donation of my own. My heart would agree that matching funds (with some sort of cap of course) would be the way to go and would allow the community to be more involved in understanding and owning what they’re supporting and why. It also helps to spread awareness of the cause as it directly involves more people knowingly participating. My heart voted for this option. Direct donation just seems lazy (to blunt the point) despite it being more convenient.

My head is skeptical of rushing this decision without careful deliberation on the precedent being set and how to manage this (and inevitably future) charitable efforts in a balanced manner moving forward. My skepticism arises from some of the points @TenaciousTerrier brings up, in addition to how we intend to vet the organizations receiving funds to ensure that they are serving the purposes intended, which is a common problem even with well-known charities (I think Hati is STILL rebuilding over 10 years later).

COVID is a pretty easy issue to get involved with, though even that gets politicized. The next issue may not be so simple. Having a resolved, coherent, well-detailed process to address these requests in the future will be important and shouldn’t be overlooked while rushing to support urgent needs. Will the Crypto Relief fund really fail without Index Coop’s involvement while this process is hammered out the way we hammer out everything else?

Reading through the effort going through the KuCoin listing of DPI, for instance, seemed pretty exhaustive. Why not do the same for this? We SHOULD be overthinking this now so we don’t have to later (over something that COULD be more contentious).

5 Likes

Fantastic debate here, with fair arguments on both sides. My 2 cents:

Regarding the value/culture aspects

I really like @BigSky7 comment

And I truly believe that the Coop can become something big enough to make a real difference, with a responsibility to make good.

However, I think it is too early to use resources in anything else than investing the success of the Coop. As @TenaciousTerrier said, we are at the startup stage, and basically any $ spent on something else than growth, products and people could be billions not earned in the future.

Regarding the specific proposal of India covid relief

If the Coop was to contribute to social efforts, I think this kind of urgent situation campaign is not the right kind of contribution a DAO should do. The time to propose, debate, decide and vote, it may be already too late. Also, the urgency of this kind of crisis tend to amplify strong opinions and do not ease the debate…

I would rather think in a long-term program, aligned with the Coop culture and with long term goals and impacts (think education, access to healthcare, access to technology, etc.)

1 Like

Social responsibility and donations came up In @DarkForestCapital post months ago Building the Nest - laying strong foundations - #7 by Kiba (which became guiding principles he posted above) but there hasn’t been much talk of it since so happy to see the engagement here.

It’s safe to assume that no one holding INDEX right now needs it to survive. Donating from our treasury will definitely save lives. Simple math, donate.

Great idea! Lets make a CSR sub-dao.

2 Likes

Voted FOR

Voted to match so as to respect the expressions of individuals whose opinions differ from the majority.

Will respond later with more thoughts and details but would just like to point out our cumulative revenue to date is now ~$500k+

This is another source of funds to use should we not wish to sell equity in order to fund a donation. Thought it was worth pointing out.

I want to leaving some parting thoughts given the high quality discussion that ensured after my original comment.

  1. Thank you to @verto0912 and @HelloShreyas for bringing forward the proposal and getting a earnest and thoughtful conversation started - I know you both want to see the Coop succeed and also help those in dire need so I hope my comment was not perceived as a personal attack on either of you.

  2. @BigSky7 and @DarkForestCapital both left very thoughtful comments that ameliorate many of my concerns. My greatest concern is that the Index Coop is not intentional about (1) which causes the Coop supports, and (2) the amount of the contributions. I agree with @verto0912 that $40k out of the Treasury, even at this stage of development, is not financially material enough to negatively impact the Coop. And while I do believe Crypto Relief is a non-controversial cause, there are many other political and social causes that are very controversial and have the potential to create harmful rifts in the community .

  3. I really like @Kiba’s idea to create a CSR sub-dao tied to Mission Protocol for the Coop with input from the Treasury Committee for a quarterly or annual budget. This would make sure the Coop contributes only to causes in line with the community’s values without being financially reckless.

  4. Disagree and Commit: @verto0912 @HelloShreyas

Given the voting, I think the community is clearly in favor of the Coop making a donation to Crypto Relief.

Given the urgency of the situation, I would support an IIP for up to $100k in one-time funding conditional on the following conditions for all future contributions:

1. The creation of a CSR sub-dao with a Mission Protocol.
2. A predefined budget for contributions to public causes.
3. A process for determining which causes are funded aligned with the Mission Protocol.

4 Likes

Hey all! Kerman, founder of ARCx here. I’ve personally seen the effects this has had on family and friends and would love to figure out a way that DAOs can be organisers of capital to improve the physical world. Even though ARCx is at an early stage we’d love to figure out a way where multiple DAOs can collaborate to actually improve the world and people that live in it.

4 Likes

It looks like there’s some general support for this, with some valid caveats. I think these are good steps for us to follow in the medium term.

To move forward with this specific proposal, I’d like to suggest that we make the donation from the DAO, with 50% of the total amount donated outright and 50% reserved for matching. I have added the poll above to gauge the total amount after which I will put forward a formal IIP.

If anyone is interested in helping out with this please let me know.

3 Likes