[DRAFT] Travel Sponsorship

Authors: @Bobbay


This post describes how ‘Travel Sponsorship” worked with Spruce ID and how to move forward to continue funding Developer_DAO members to attend conferences.

We want to help fund those members who can’t attend due to financial costs, those who can work on behalf of the DAO to secure partnerships and speak for D_D on stage, and underrepresented members of web3.


Attending a conference can be unaffordable for many members. There are a variety of costs when attending a conference; flight, accommodation, conference ticket and misc (food, travel). This can be a limiting factor for many great members of the DAO.

The Travel Sponsorship fund helps reduce costs for members and make it easier for them to attend conferences because an in-person experience is much better for networking with others and getting exposed to web3.

This post is to create a format for the DAO to follow for future conferences.



Partnerships with sponsors right now are one-off cases such as Spruce ID or Protocol Labs.

A few Developer DAO members continually network with protocols to get travel sponsorships, such as Cami and Krinza.

The MBD guild is currently working on sponsorships for the entire DAO, and there is an idea of using a percentage of the money raised from the sponsorships for this travel fund. This needs to be explored further. This is part of a virtuous cycle of gaining good visibility for the DAO and making and strengthening connections with sponsors and partners

Who to sponsor

We aim to focus on three key profiles with this fund.

  1. Underrepresented members who have never been to a conference (Women, PoC and others)
  2. Members who want to get on stage for D_D for the first time
  3. Members sent to work during conferences - speaking on stage, running member/sponsors/partner events, rallying new partnerships and opportunities

The selection process needs work, but it focuses on a few key points.

  1. Actively contributing to the DAO.
  2. Financially restricted
  3. Proof of work in Web3
  4. ENS/eth address (we’ll use this to verify that they are D_D members and to see how much $CODE they earned)

Here are some further requirements that we used for the Spruce ID process - D_D travel sponsorships: Requirements for getting sponsored - Google Docs

We will need to add questions to identify whether they are from an underrepresented group. This wasn’t used for Spruce ID, but now we have changed the aim to focus more on underrepresented groups.

People can’t be sponsored more than once a year to ensure a range of people can attend conferences.

Sponsorship requirements

Liaise with the DevRel guild to ensure that any commitments made to sponsors are followed through. I.E. Spruce ID gets a shoutout on social media, and Protocol Labs will be getting a blog post.


There are ‘two’ storage methods for this fund:

  1. The sponsor directly sends the money to the sponsee’s wallet address (Spruce ID)

The above method is currently more straightforward due to the unneeded signatures from signers and the reduction of transactions.

Those who network with the partner will be responsible for ensuring that the sponsor is aware of the method and that they are comfortable sending the funds when needed. Also, this direct method keeps the DAO out of any complications to avoid any legal issues.

  1. Stored in a multi-sig wallet separate from the DAO’s treasury and can be sent to recipient wallet (ETH Dubai)

The multi-sig wallet will be signed by RyanCoordinator and Kemp, with the treasury itself as the backup signer. Once legalities have been cleared up, this could be an ideal option in the future.

There is no clear choice right now because we aren’t aware of any implications as a DAO of going about this route.

Transferral of funds

This depends on how we have received the money. Whether it is stored in the multi-sig or if it goes directly from sponsor to sponsee.

Spruce ID example:

Spruce ID directly sent the money to our sponsees, which occurred on the Ethereum chain, using the USDC token. In the case of Spruce ID, they were pleased to go down this route, and we had no issues in sending the money to the recipients.

However, suppose we partner with other protocols on chains such as Polygon, Solana or Avalanche. In that case, the sponsee’s responsibility is to ensure they know how they can off-ramp it safely. We will provide resources to help people bridge or off-ramp if it comes from a chain that they are not used to.

DAO multi-sig wallet:

This wallet is on Ethereum, and funds will be transferred over the ethereum blockchain. Kemp and Ryan will have to act as the signatures to confirm these transactions. This method makes it easier for us to keep track of how many people we have sponsored this year compared to the former process.

Currently, it is advised to follow the Spruce ID route and let the sponsors directly send the money to sponsees.

Token choice

There is no preference to which token is used, but it is easier to use stable coins such as USDC, DAI, or USDT. If a protocol would like to donate in their token, that is fine.

Ensure both the sponsor and recipient are aware of the token and chain used to avoid any mishaps.


  • Increased representation at conferences
  • It provides an opportunity to those who would typically be unable to afford it themselves.
  • More partnerships can be cemented in-person


These are some issues we noticed during the Spruce ID process.

  • The questionnaire did not help identify underrepresented individuals. We need to ask questions about their background.
  • Who decides who gets the sponsorships? Do we need a team of individuals who can select the recipients?
  • We need to raise more awareness. Only seven people applied for DEV Connect sponsorship.

Discord and Twitter announcements were not enough. Maybe leave it open for two weeks instead of one week.

What is next?

The travel sponsorship has worked, and we have been able to send three members to DEV Connect. We need to focus on creating a more organized and structured system for the next iteration.

This means exploring some of the following.

  • Using a percentage of funds from DAO sponsorships to fund travel funds.
  • Improve the current system in selecting recipients
  • Who should decide who receives the sponsorship
  • Creating a more inclusive questionnaire
  • Raising more awareness of the sponsorships
  • Maintaining a public and transparent process

Any help would be grateful. Let us know what you think in the travel sponsorship channel in discord :slight_smile:


I am hereby apologizing for letting my social contract tradition infused brain agitate on the unfairness of improvised resource distributions. But I am who I am, and who I am is inescapable. So you will have to yet again tolerate another “shitty, hostile [and] belligerent tantrum [that] makes no sense”.

In order of importance, there are two sides to this. I am fully oblivious as to how these moneys reach the DAO, so I will not comment on that. All I know is that it constitutes work.

I want here to focus on the second part and to stress here that once it does, the moneys are common property whereby every member is a stakeholder as to how they are distributed. There’s the ideal case where the only interaction required is humans talking to bots in a fully transparent environment. But we don’t have that kind of capacity just yet nor does it look like we will anytime soon.

In the context of this present topic, I feel these/my self-evident truths need spelling out:

  • We are a group of I(s) trying to coordinate towards an institutional WE
  • Criteria should be transparent and binary
  • Secondary evaluation and differentiation between applicants should steer clear of personal value judgements insofar as that is possible

We should avoid the habit of commission formation. Randomly drawing from among the eligible applicants is more preferable than “I like that guy” or other biases. Fair contribution evaluations in a DAO is likely to escape the individual and can only be evaluated looking backwards and from the top. The autonomous, all-seeing top is missing.

And while there is a group of contributors that has put in hours and are (or should be) recognized and compensated for it, we ought to remember that those people are not bosses, gods, or elected representatives but facilitators. They are members, not the tasks they are executing. And they are executing those tasks because they want and choose to do so. Do them a favor and don’t kiss their asses; they might start to believe they are irreplaceable; and that’s a bleak place to be.

What’s needed:

  • a transparent process that embodies the most basic shared concept of fairness

Proposed Solution

Eligibility Criteria:

  • member of DAO ( yes / no )
  • has contributed ( yes / no )

Prioritization Criteria:

  • never attended a web3 conference ( yes / no )
  • on the same continent ( yes / no )

Differentiation criteria:

  • randomness
  • coordinape GIVE amount
  • Set up a coordinape circle for all eligible applicants. Self-selection. Results → Great starting point for some very serious discussions.

There should also be a totally separate traveling budget for the core or specific organizing teams that carry banners, engage with the external partners and whatnot. But that’s a totally different discussion and should have nothing to do with sponsor scholarships.

^ just exercising the duties of the office of member 3090 (appointed by Zeus himself)