Contributor process

Overview about the importance of a contributor process for disbursement

Contributors help with the execution of the most promising ideas that can generate impact for the ecosystem. One of the most important parts of disbursing treasury assets is deciding which contributors are the most suitable to help with execution efforts. Attracting, selecting and retaining high quality contributors can drastically help with speeding up the evolution and improvement of an ecosystem over the long term.

Addressing ecosystem priorities and creating impact is achievable when the right initiatives get executed and improved over time. An ecosystem will need to decide which potential contributors are most suitable for executing the most promising ideas. Many funding processes will choose to adopt some form of contribution verification process to ensure that progress is being made by the funded contributors working on these ideas. The outcomes generated by any contribution efforts can help with creating more data and insights about what’s working and what isn’t, and could also help with improving how contributors work together. These learnings can then be fed back into the ongoing disbursement process to improve how future funds get allocated. Ecosystems that are effective at attracting and retaining high quality contributors should be able to execute and evolve their ecosystems at a faster rate than competing ecosystems.

Process steps

  • Submitting contributor information - People that are interested in being compensated by a disbursement process to help with execution efforts will want to share their relevant professional and background information to showcase why they would be suitable candidates for the ecosystem to consider.

  • Selecting contributors - The process for an ecosystem looking to select contributors would start with considering the educational and professional background of those who would like to contribute along with any information around their recent contributions or involvement in the ecosystem with any other relevant experience. Voters would then need to compare these contributors against the priorities and ideas currently preferred by the ecosystem and determine which of these contributors would be a good fit for helping to address the priorities and execute promising ideas. Selected contributors would be compensated for their contribution efforts in executing ideas.

  • Execution of ideas - The next phase is to start executing any ideas and collaborating with relevant contributors and communities that might benefit from those executed ideas. Contributors will need to determine who has any control or influence over different parts of the execution efforts and where any checks and balances might be needed. More complex ideas may often require competent leadership that can handle the nuances of planning and coordinating a more complex project.

  • Improving contribution process - The selected contributors will need to reflect and improve how they approach the execution of ideas on an ongoing basis. This can include reflecting on what the current best practices are, how to best communicate and coordinate with each other, how low level priorities and goals are set and how to mitigate potential future issues amongst numerous other considerations. Contributors will need to strike a balance between focussing on getting work done with updating their operating approach and following best practices.

  • Measuring outcomes - The contribution history, performance and impact that a contributor makes can generate insightful data that helps to inform an ecosystem on which contributors helped to generate the most impact. Measuring these types of outcomes can help with future decision making on which contributors should be selected again.

Desirable outcomes

  • Inclusive - High quality contributors could come from any background and geographic location. The process for submitting contributor information can benefit from inviting submissions from a full diversity of different people with different skill sets so that the voters are able to select from a range of potential candidates. Ensuring that the opportunities are available to a wider amount of potential contributors will help with increasing the chances that the contributors that get selected are both skilled and also more representative of the diversity that exists in the community.

  • Attract & retain quality contributors - The contributor process wants to offer the right incentives to meaningfully attract and retain high quality contributors to the ecosystem. Retaining high quality contributors can have a compounding impact on an ecosystem's growth as their knowledge and skill sets make them more performant and useful to the ecosystem over time. Getting the incentives, culture and working environment right for contributors can make the difference between where contributors allocate their contribution efforts.

  • Well maintained contributor information - The contributor process can help with encouraging contributors to keep their personal and professional information up to date along with any of their contributions they make. Making the ecosystem aware of the information available about each potential contributor can help with improving the communities decision making ability to select the best contributors to help execute promising ideas.

  • Tracked contribution outcomes - Voters benefit from seeing the contribution outcomes made by the contributors that have been previously selected and compensated to help with execution. The contribution process will need to consider how it identifies poor performers and how it retains and rewards high performing contributors.


  • Unavailable skill sets - A contributor process needs to consider the risks around not having the right skill sets available to execute ideas as intended. How different skill sets are incentivised to participate in the ecosystem could influence the amount of contributors there are for each skill set. A balance will need to be struck on selecting the amount of contributors for each of the skills that are needed to execute impactful initiatives.

  • Inaccurate skill levels - Contributors have an incentive to exaggerate their own skill level and ability to increase the chances that they get selected and compensated. The contributor process will need to think about how any claims submitted by contributors can be automatically verified or whether other forms of incentives are needed to manually moderate the contributors submitted information.

  • Biased & missing information - Contributors have an incentive to exaggerate their competencies or the impact they have generated to secure future funding from the treasury. The process for selecting contributors will benefit from making it clear who added the information and which pieces of information are factual and have been verified.

  • Replacing poor contributors - How contributors are incentivised and the terms of engagement that get adopted will influence how easy it is for the ecosystem to remove poor contributors over time. If an ecosystem elected people in perpetuity to receive compensation for their contribution efforts there would be the problem where a vote would be needed to remove that contributor. This is one reason why term based contribution periods could be beneficial however if these term lengths are too short this reduces the contributors financial stability. The approach for incentivising contributors will need to balance the need to attract high quality contributors with sufficient income stability against ensuring the ecosystem has an easy and effective ability to remove and replace existing contributors who aren’t performing.

  • Team synergies - The contributor process can influence how teams are formed and selected which can influence the synergy between the contributors in each team and between different teams. The contributor process will want to consider how these teams can form and how leadership emerges so that a collaborative environment can be supported. Another risk exists around how long contributors are working on certain ideas or being replaced by other contributors. An environment that keeps changing the contributors who are involved in the execution efforts risks those teams being less performant due to a need to rebuild team rapport and working structures each time the team dynamic gets changed. Treasury disbursement will need to factor in how it can retain high quality contributors and also minimise the disruption of highly performant teams.

  • Need for flexibility to change execution - New information and knowledge as well as changing priorities and ideas could occur at any time during the execution of any initiative. In fast changing environments such as Web3 ecosystems the contributors who are executing ideas will need to be responsive to the changing environment and needs of an ecosystem to better align their efforts with creating impactful outcomes. The contributor process will need to consider how it supports this need for flexibility in where contributors are allocating their time to generate impact.

  • Measuring performance & impact complexity - Each contributor can have a very different set of skills and value that they bring to an ecosystem. A contributor process will want to find ways to capture these different ways of impact generation so that impactful contributors can be recognised and rewarded.

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