Giving Tree : a DAO for small, local random acts of kindness

NAME

Giving Tree

*OK, tbh I don’t have a name yet. I’m using Giving Tree because it helps with my analogy here, but I’m open to names like:
HumanKind Project, Takes All Kinds, Human Kind DAO, That Kind DAO, Crypto Collective, Kind Kids on the Block, etc.

DESCRIPTION

A DAO which raises money to perform small, random acts of kindness. Think of it like a crowdfunding flash mob of kindness bent on spreading sunshine.

MANIFESTO/ VISION

Our mission is to do kind things for others in our community. With just a few dollars each, collectively, we believe small change can make a big difference in the world.

PROBLEM

The world lacks kindness.

Many people want to do kind things, but they generally fall into two camps:

People with money, but lack time.

People with time, but lack money.

SOLUTION

Giving Tree is a tool/platform that makes it easy and fun to fund small, random acts of kindness collectively.

It let’s people with money (and not much time) fund projects and feel good about spreading kindness, while letting people with time (and not much money), propose and carry out kind acts on behalf of the whole group.

PRODUCT / HOW IT WORKS (one model)

There are various ways to do this, and I’m open to suggestions, but one model is to create a tool that allows people to form their own kindness DAOs with their own network (e.g. 30-100 members).

In a nutshell (extending this tree analogy), Giving Tree exists as a tool that allows people to set up their own network/DAO – let’s call them Giving Branches. Each branch can name their own DAO and set up their own rules.

Their branch (ie DAO) can be a school classroom, an online choir group, a hockey team, a corporate agency, a blockchain project, or even a group of retired dads interested in beekeeping. Really any group. Each branch could also use their platform to help promote and market themselves (but that’s getting ahead of ourselves there).

Here’s an example walk through, with a network of friends in Vancouver who decide to create their own branch called Kind DAO

Step 1: Members form and join Kind DAO

  • Each member contributes an equal amount of funds to the group pool (e.g. $100 USD, .01 ETH, 1 $FWB, etc.).

  • E.g. Alice joins Kind DAO buy locking $100 USD.

  • In total, there are 100 members, with a total fund of $10,000 USD.

Step 2: Members submit proposals/ideas for ways to spend the funds (let’s call these Acts)

  • In each proposal, the member includes: description of act, funds required, and other details.

  • E.g. Alice requests $100 to leave 10 $10 gift cards in library books around the community.

  • (You may want to cap funds at initial membership fee, so that members couldn’t request more $ than they locked in, and scam the system).

  • Acts can be anything – from buying strangers dinner, donating to a local charity, gifting your local crosswalk attendee, or buying accessories for a public flash mob - but the goal would be to spend funds on people outside of Kind DAO

Step 3: Members vote on proposals

  • Each month (or set amount of time) members review proposals and collectively vote which project to fund that month.
  • E.g. In August, Alice receives majority of votes to carry out her Library act.

Step 4: Act is carried out

  • E.g. Alice buys gift cards, and carries out the act. She documents the act with photos and/or video and shares with members and social media.

Step 5: Funds are transferred

  • Members can vote to approve that the act was carried out as described.
  • E.g. If approved, Alice receives $100 … about $1 from each member.

Step 6: Awesome!

  • Members can see how their $1 was spent
  • Members give virtual high fives.

From my experience, with a group of about 100 people: 90% are happy to just give money and sit on the sidelines, while 10% are more actively engaged to propose and carry out acts.

OTHER MODELS:

This platform could also allow for users to create their own rules. For example, maybe instead users can carry out acts immediately and spontaneously, and get redeemed later (through a consensus). Let’s imagine I witness someone do a kind gesture (like help a stranger move groceries), and I want to gift that person on behalf of my Kind DAO. I could give that person a gift/money, and later get redeemed by my network.

VALIDATION

I started a similar project (not as a DAO) nine years ago called Dollar Collective. At our maximum, we reached 100 members (most of whom I knew personally). But as our popularity grew, with coverage in the local news and being featured in the book
Happy Money, I started to receive money from strangers. Which is great, but they had no way of trusting me, or our collective. And organizing a voting process was tricky. Plus, while dealing with small amounts of money, we were losing out with each transaction due to fees, particularly for non-Canadian residents sending money.

Blockchain and DAOs change all this:

  1. More transparency and trust on how funds are used
  2. Easier governance and voting
  3. Lower transaction fees.

Here are some examples of things we did as the Dollar Collective:

  • Supporting community art projects, like a physical Giving Tree!
  • Paying for strangers parking tickets
  • Scavenger hunt with real $
  • Leaving $ in library books and on public transit
  • Buying strangers gifts
  • Buying socks for the homeless
  • Planting a community tree
  • Supporting low-income families to go to summer camps
  • Supporting local charities like the Foodbank and music academies
  • Supporting other charities like Kiva

DIFFERENTIATION

From Kickstarter to GoFundMe, there are hundreds of crowdfunding and lending projects online (including blockchain projects, like Giveth. But we are different in many ways:

How do we differ from a charity?

  1. Members know exactly how their $ is spent
  2. Members have a choice and autonomy over how their $ is spent
  3. Members are giving directly to the cause (e.g. with a larger charity group, only a small fraction goes towards actual cause).
  4. Members can actually see how their money is spent (when other members share documentation of the act).

How do we differ from most crowdfunding projects, like Kickstarter?

  1. It’s social. Instead of one person funding a project, you’re doing it with your network.
  2. It’s smaller scale and quicker. It wouldn’t make sense to spend a few hours to create a campaign asking for $10, then wait weeks or months to get funded.
  3. It’s creative and interactive. You can propose ideas, and you can offer suggestions or ways to improve ideas. You can also offer help and collaborate.
  4. There’s trust and transparency. People can’t just run off with your money.

Advantage of networks:

  • It’s more fun to give in groups
  • Even with just $1, you can feel you’ve made a difference when you collectively fund a project
  • Everyone has different amounts of time and money on their hands. With a group, you can maximize potential.
  • It can be passive - members can give without actively being involved.
  • With networks, you can discover and share information more easily

TEAM

So far it’s just me. Dan Hawkins. The guy who started and runs Dollar Collective.

I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. I work as an art director and writer. I also do UX research.

I have experience with Javascript and Ruby On Rails. I developed a similar crowdfunding project called SmallChange that operates kind of like a Tinder x Kickstarter mashup, where you can find and fund projects around you with just $1 by swiping left or right. But I’ve never built anything on the blockchain. So I would need help! Plus, this is just a seed of an idea, I’d love to collaborate with others and create something together.

You can reach me at dangrayhawkins@gmail.com

ASK

I’d love 9696 DAI and help.

With funds, I can pay people to help realize this project. Specifically, getting help with the design and development.

In terms of sustainability and creating value for initial funders (like Meta Cartel), there are different revenue models we could explore. For example, you could charge a small %fee on transactions that would go towards Giving Tree. This way, you could set up a treasury to help grow and maintain the platform (e.g. pay developers to build Dapp, etc.)

Woof. That was a long post. Thanks for reading this!

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

1 Like

I should note that I’m new to the DAO space, and I’m here to learn and listen.
I’m also very excited because the structure of DAOs - they support what I’ve been trying to build over the last 9 years with the Dollar Collective.