Green Nonprofits are Moving to Web3
Food and climate movements are using Web3 and DAOs for decentralization and transparency
Drawn by the web3 ethos of decentralization and open systems green nonprofits are moving to web3 using DAOs and governance tokens to decentralize power and build transparency. Below is a peek into two such DAOs
Big Green DAO
Kimbal Musk, the brother of Elon Musk launched Big Green DAO in November 2021 as an experiment to decentralize philanthropy and to bring transparency in the grant making process.
The big idea is to engage the grassroot leaders, grantees and the donors in the grant making process. The DAO has been seeded with an initial donation of USD 1 million. The grant making process will involve DAO committee members (6 appointed members from grassroot nonprofits) and DAO community comprising of DAO grantees (nonprofits that have received funds from the DAO) and donors (currently limited to the ones who have donated over USD 100K).
So far the DAO has raised over USD 6 million from 1700 donors, out of which 10 individuals donated over 100K and thus get to participate in the next funding round and are entitled to a governance token. In the Q1 grant making, the DAO committee of 6 allocated USD 300K in funds to 10 grantees, which now makes each of these grantees a token holder and they get to participate in the next funding round. The Q2 grant process will have a budget of between 600,000 and $900,000 to give away and will have 26 voters (6 appointed committee members + 10 donors + 10 grantees) to vote.
The DAO is currently operating as an experiment under the US registered Big Green Nonprofit that has been operational since 2011. The DAO has not yet setup its own treasury for safety purposes.
After 4 months of running the DAO experiment and post the initial democratic grant making process, Kimbal shared an update on Twitter spaces and invited members from the DAO committee to share their experience. A great conversation and a must listen for folks interested in this space.
All for Climate DAO
All for Climate DAO’s vision is to build the Greenpeace of the 21st century. They want to build a decentralized climate movement that has its own crypto assets and anyone with an idea can apply for funding. Initially the team behind All for Climate DAO provided shared services to over 150 climate collectives but with web3 they hope to organize in a radically new way.
All for Climate DAO is in the exploratory stage of figuring out the best way forward as a DAO. They intend to issue their governance tokens on the Polygon blockchain as it’s eco friendly. They intend to use Snapshot a popular decentralized voting system for decision-making, Discord for community building. Also they’re excited to use a feature called Praise being developed by Token Engineering an open source community focused on token innovation as a way to incentivize participation.
Currently All for Climate DAO is acting as a bridge between climate movements and web3, bringing climate movements into their fold through web3’s Gitcoin grants.
A lot of climate movements already have this decentralized way of organizing. So they are actually in the web3 space without knowing and are re-inventing systems in a very similar way. They share a lot of values on how to organize in a bottom up, non-hierarchical way. It's just that they don't know of each other - Leen Schelfhout, All for Climate DAO
It’s fascinating that Frederic Laloux’s book, Reinventing Organizations is kind of a Bible for both Extinction Rebellion and DAOs - Xavier Damman, All for Climate DAO
In the long term they have a vision to be the 21st century Greenpeace, enabling and funding climate actions in a democratic and transparent fashion. Issuing and granting governance tokens to the contributors is step 1 of the process.
Greenpeace is centralized and opaque. Where you basically have people referring to be hired. And then internally you kind of pitch your idea for an action, and then you get some committee that get to decide where's the budget supposed to go. And none of that is very transparent. And then the middle management and other bottlenecks and inefficiencies in terms of budgeting, right? We want to crack open all of those 20th century centralized institutions, turn them into open source, open communities where anyone can participate and that's incredibly exciting - Xavier Damman, All for Climate DAO
Both the Big Green DAO and All for Climate DAO are moved by the desire to create better systems that has at its core a participatory and transparent way of making decisions. They want to tear down walls and redistribute power.
Web3 provides the tools to do so through DAOs, governance tokens and participatory decision making tools.
I love how Big Green DAO is giving grant making powers to the real actors - the donors (who are invested in the cause) and grassroot orgs. who deeply understand the issue. I’ve been involved in the grant making process across several nonprofits and I know the process has a lot of inefficiencies. The system being proposed by Big Green DAO is definitely a game changer.
It’ll be interesting to watch All for Climate DAO’s journey into web3. They are at the very beginning and my conversation with the two founders gave me a peek into their thinking of how they intend to build the Greenpeace of tomorrow.
One thing that’s common between the two DAOs besides the motivation is that they are taking slow and steady steps into the web3 DAO world, learning and designing as they go along.
Kimbal Musk update on BIG Green DAO
As always if you have any questions or ideas reach out to me on Twitter or leave a comment on my Substack.