Fundraising Operators December '22 Update

The gist:

The D_D Fundraising office is like the surfer who has been paddling around, has found the wave, caught the wave, has just stood up, and is about to enjoy an epic and fulfilling ride.

  • We spent two months doing discovery and building fundraising infrastructure.
    • We have reshaped a big chunk of D_D’s Airtable base with CRMs for grant funders, founders, and D_D projects
    • We created an evergreen Fundraising Guide wiki in Notion and have made regular updates to resources as we learn more about D_D members’ needs
  • We are just beginning to build an engaged D_D fundraising community, which appears to bringing more member engagement to D_D overall:
    • We’re in the second month of forming relationships with web3 funders (35 and counting),
    • We’re in the second week of grassroots community building with D_D founders who want to fundraise (20 and counting),
    • We’re in the first week of helping D_D members submit grant applications, and
    • We’re in the final week of our workshop series which is providing evergreen, public goods fundraising resources for the D_D community (dozens of live participants, hundreds of views on YT).

Where do we go from here? Will we be able to ride this ever-growing wave into D_D Season 2? Or do we need to jump off of the surfboard, be grateful for what has been accomplished, and wonder what could have happened if we’d kept riding?

For our parts, @wikist and I would be happy to continue building this operation and serving D_D members in Season 2. We recognize with the utmost respect that the decision is up to the DAO.

What’s propelling this wave:

  • A network of 35-and-counting web3 grants programs where we have a warm relationship. We continue to meet new funders each week.
    • We’ve started pitching some contacts on the idea of making a large grant to the D_D Fundraising team which we can then sub-grant to D_D members and manage the disbursements and reporting (and keep a portion of the grant to cover our costs). Our first proposal for this went out last week to the Graph. There are several more grant programs we could pitch to. Given the upcoming holidays and then D_D’s January break, these potential subgrant partnerships will not begin before February.
    • Eden has approached us about partnering to create a sustainable business model where their platform helps match D_D founders with grants. We are in early discussions about how to make this work best for D_D and its members.
  • Many funders and networks are eager to make grants to D_D members. We realized in November that the supply of funding, mentorship, and other in-kind support being offered to us for D_D members was greater than the number of D_D members who have been in contact with us about their fundraising efforts.
    • So we shifted in late November from top-down communications and a “if you build it they will come” mentality to a grassroots outreach strategy.
    • In less than two weeks we’ve gone from being in contact with four D_D founders to over 20. Our DM’s are overflowing with active chats with founder teams all over the world. Our office hours have gone from 0 or 1 visitors to over 5.
  • D_D’s members, partners, and acolytes are consuming the fundraising workshop series content and reaching out to us. The frameworks we have provided for the master grant application, compelling project narrative, sustainable business model, and project budget are being applied, and we’re getting very positive feedback.
    • We expect D_D founders to submit at least 10 grant applications this month, and for this number to accelerate as more founders find the workshops and get in touch with us.
  • Gitcoin wants to create an alpha round on their new Grants platform exclusive for D_D members
  • Several D_D initiative leads have reached out about partnering with D_D Fundraising:
    • The Writer’s Guild
    • D_D Academy
    • D_D Agency
    • Web3 Startup School (D_D accelerator)
    • We’ve already worked closely with Eden, P3RKS, and Web3 Virtual Event Starter Kit
  • Leaders of web3 founder networks in India and Sub-Saharan Africa have reached out to discuss forming a pipeline where their founders formally join D_D and learn fundraising while becoming a part of the D_D community. We also have opportunities to partner with Solana dev networks in Turkey and Vietnam. Many funders are interested in supporting founders in the developing world, and this growing community would make it more likely for D_D to receive funding from web3 grant programs.
  • We have been offered access to web3 VC networks for D_D founders as well, but have not yet figured out how to support this type of fundraising in D_D.

You guys have been killing it recently. Well done. I believe there is a lot of pent-up value in what you’re doing, just waiting to be released with some juicy coordination (which seems to be happening)

Thanks for sharing this.

One thing I think would be super helpful to see would be some ideas/plans to make the role more sustainable (i.e. pay for itself). We’ve spoken on this already ofc, but to get it going would be good to know your thoughts on the following in a more public forum:

  • Taking a % off the top of grant funding, you help D_D members secure
  • Taking over the responsibility of allocating larger funding pools for granters and taking a % of the top of that manage the grant for them (Grants giving as a service :tm: )

I would also love to get thoughts from folks who might be impacted by such approaches (i.e. how members would feel about giving up some grant funding for the support)


Thanks @kempsterrrr and yes, we can expand on these ideas as the conversations progress with founders and funders and we learn more about the viability.

Wikist and I would prefer to remain salaried so that we can focus on delivering as much value to the DAO as possible, rather than work on a commission basis under either of these two models or other potential models. This could mean greater upside for D_D as the fundraising operation continues to grow with time. Personally I don’t like working for commission because it makes me focus too much on money, leads to unhealthy work-life balance, and forces decisions about how to optimize my time which could benefit some D_D members at the expense of others. Would prefer to continue building for the whole DAO community.


Totally. I wasn’t thinking about it as a commission but rather just how can we make this sustainable for the DAO, i.e. some funds coming into the DAO for funds going out :slight_smile: Commissions model for this kind of work I think would create perverse incentives and lead to the wrong outcome.


Nice, we see this the same way.