Creating the Contributor Fund

Creating the Contributor Fund

Last week marked an end of an era with our community’s Coordinape circle concluding after 60 successful epochs together. Every end should be the start of something new — so it’s time to start having fun again with a new experiment.

First, let’s have a look at the status quo of getting funded.

Getting Funded at PoolTogether

Currently, contributors have the ability to apply for funding in two major ways:

  1. Grants
  2. Budget Requests (PTBRs)

Grants usually have an achievable goal and end date. The Grants program at PoolTogether is stewarded by the Grants Team. The team has a fixed budget as well as a full mandate over how this budget is distributed in terms of grants. A grants program leaves the door open for anyone to realize ideas that help to grow PoolTogether.

PoolTogether Budget Requests are meant to fund teams and entities. They usually require the requesting party to already have built trust from within the community. However, anyone can create a PTBR. To bring it onchain one needs to hold or have delegations amounting to 10,000 POOL. The process is loosely stewarded by the Council (PoolTogether’s team of teams), but happens fully decentralized onchain.

Both options offer entryways into the PoolTogether community but are also limited in the way they are able to reward more diverse contributions.

Futureproofing Open Contribution

Under the narrative of PoolTogether as a hyperstructure that runs for generations to come, we should start to re-imagine how we collaborate on extending the protocol’s lifespan and help others to get excited about that, too. Let’s work together on creating a sustainable system that makes people excited to contribute to PoolTogether!

What follows is the immediate question:

How do we fund these things?

The PoolTogether protocol is designed to take no fees and make no revenue. This is a good thing.

But what if we had a contributor fund that was completely separate from the protocol treasury? This way, the community could clearly differentiate between protocol and culture. It could be the seed for something new - a treasury meant to be filled only to reward PoolTogether’s contributors.

Now we have an empty treasury. What can we do with it? :thinking:

In theory, anyone can help to add capital to this new contributor fund. This can be achieved in many ways:

  • Creating Zora mints that earn protocol fees
  • Writing Mirror articles that capture mint fees
  • Creating prize vaults that redirect a portion of the yield
  • Delegating to the fund so it can accumulate POOL
  • Directly sponsoring the treasury, by sending tokens to the fund

The design space is huge. It’s open and constantly growing with new protocols that allow anyone to derive value by using them. There are lots of creative ways to contribute towards growing the fund. For scale: The 3-part Hyperstructure NFT series generated >0.25 ETH with about 600 mints (still counting).

Once this fund fills up, we can think about how to distribute it back to the people who create immediate value for PoolTogether.

If we manage to accumulate a contributor fund worth distributing, the question that follows is how do we distribute it back to those who are providing value.

The experiment begins :test_tube:

This is not a question of if we want to pursue this experiment - but one of adoption. The contributor fund is live on 0x7Be92A3ff9E0c9a2FA2144C1a34E9f65b821978a (Ethereum - Optimism - Base). The impact and success of this experiment depend on how creative we get in terms of co-creation.

What if it fails? In case we aren’t able to come up with a thorough plan for distributing the funds this treasury accumulates, all collected funds will be sent to the PoolTogether treasury.

Chapter 1: Ways of Funding

There are two ways of funding that seem most compelling, each having its unique pros and cons:

  1. Proactive Funding aka Mandated Funding Rounds
  2. Retroactive Rewards

1) Mandated Funding Rounds

One option is mandated funding rounds. You can see these in action in communities such as Nouns or ENS.

How does it work: During mandated funding rounds builders are encouraged to propose ideas that abide by a specific ask from the community. For example, the community may host a “Prize Hook” round where builders are expected to propose ideas to build prize hooks for PoolTogether V5.


  • Grants rounds allow setting a direct focus by theming and categorizing each round to the protocol’s current needs.
  • Capital could provided up front, per stream, or milestone-based
  • Allows to promote a current opportunity


  • Doesn’t support providing continuous value

2) Retroactive Rewards

Optimism has revolutionized the approach of retroactive rewards. Every 6-12 months eligible projects or community members could be nominated to receive retroactive funding.

How does it work: Anyone holding x can propose their own project or someone else’s to be considered for a retroactive reward. To be eligible for these rounds, recipients must have performed work prior to the start date of the proposal.

All projects and contributions can be eligible for retroactive funding including software, implementation work, art, community, media, writing, marketing, etc.

Example: @Leighton nominates @Oops for creating >150 POAPs for the PoolTogether community. @david nominates @Lonser for bringing the DAI vault to fruition.


  • Adds emphasis to providing value first
  • Impact = Profit principle
  • Provides an opportunity to celebrate past work
  • Fosters a greater sense of community through nominations


  • Potentially more overhead than other methods
  • Doesn’t guarantee any reward even if work was done

Get involved

  • How would you like to contribute to PoolTogether in the future?
  • What approach excites you more?
  • Do you have an even better idea?

This post is just a first in a series and I hope it can already transport the idea. There is still work to do and lots of space to get involved. A question I’d like to figure out in a future post is: How do we “steward(or govern)” this thing: POOL token voting, Poolers NFTs, something different?

I invite you to join the conversation under this post and help to lay the groundwork for the future of community collaboration at PoolTogether.



All the fees from .pool names will now go to this wallet.
Could you please transfer all the fee we earned since the start? It should be all the ETH you have on the wallet oeth: 0x6ce6986ff28bfed84a911682cdb127becb9fc88a



Great idea!
Funds have been sent now!

thx tjark for taking the initiative on this! :pray: it’s definitely needed, even more so now than when the original post was first created. the grants team recently announced they’ll be dissolving after this quarter (as will the growth team), so that currently leaves only budget requests going forward. as already mentioned, this is not ideal for rewarding diverse contributions, which is why this contributor fund is the perfect opportunity.

regardless of what approach is adopted for the contributor fund, i think it’s important to adapt strategies as we go, and do regular assessments of what’s working and what isn’t. easier said than done, of course (often times it’s tougher to decide when experimenting). but important to keep in mind, especially when it comes to ensuring long-term sustainability of the fund.

i think voting shares (like proposed by DAOhaus) as opposed to POOL token governance would be most beneficial for the contributor fund. it encourages active participation and can be designed to provide more equal representation, enabling more robust and inclusive governance.

curious to hear what others would like to see for the contributor fund, and looking forward to the rest of the series of posts as well :slight_smile:

After catching up on much what’s is here and links in the discord thread, I have some thoughts and I’ll use Nopey’s 3-layers: Adoption (protocol level, code), Advocacy (content level, zora/mirror/swag), Trust (people level, culture).

Adoption Level, I completely agree with nopey, we should avoid any kind of required fee to the safe. However, I think this is a fantastic opportunity to place a target for someone to develop a prize hook where a depositor could elect to contribute a portion of their prize to the Safe. I also think this is the place to flesh out a number of targets that could be viable for paying out of the Safe. Bot development until we have a robust bot environment, other prize hooks, vault creation if the community cannot build a vault, Farcaster Frame for deposit or delegation, a delegation app.

Advocacy Level, this is where we as a community have struggled imo. We have a lot of passionate people and a lot of Discord emoji-based culture, but we haven’t been able to bridge that into other avenues. Through leveraging Zora/Mirror/Pool Store/etc. we need to start bringing our PT culture onchain. Zora mints are an easy hurdle to jump and kickstart this, similar to what Based Management has going on, or looking at the current Degen movement. We need to bring Pooly with a message in an image format (a quick image below). A flappy bird NFT (Oops idea he mentioned to me last EthDenver), bringing back Pooldlers or an NFT that changes with deposits, delegations, etc. We need to encourage bringing our community culture onchain.

Trust Level, we excel at trust. We have a community that cares and that’s known in the cryptospheres. We need ways to message this to normies and new wallets. I think this is things we’re already doing, twitterspaces, podcast, our community being on other community calls and positioning PT. But all of these are active engagements, we need ways to show this in a passive way. I’m not sure what this looks like yet, but my intuition points towards partnerships. If someone is using a Rainbow wallet and they’re new to onchain life, having a PT modal in their app or a call out like they have to “Buy Ethereum” would be amazing. If we have a fiat onramp straight to deposit, having that everywhere. These are messages, images, partnerships contributors could work on and the community can reward.

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I think this is outstandingly thoughful and very well written. I personally think proactive funding would be optimal, as some projects / teams are liable to need such funding in order to complete the task at hand. However, that is just my first thought, and I could be swayed to think differently.