There are a few threads around talking about the DAO funding model and profitability which bring to mind thoughts of ICOs, VCs, etc… But there’s another avenue I haven’t seen discussion about: subscription-based membership. Think along the lines of the EFF or the ACLU. These organizations keep a large membership base through recurring membership dues, dues which afford minimal benefits (monthly newsletters, laptop stickers, participation in member surveys). I’m wondering if there’s a place in the DAO ecosystem for something similar?
Playing it out in my head, it may look something like a Moloch DAO, where there’s a board that has been voted in and has leveraged voting rights. In addition to this, there could be a public-tier subscription membership, where any member of the community could pay a minor fee and be granted commensurate privileges–this membership level would provide a frictionless on-ramp to onboarding an invested community. The dues would bolster the DAO’s funds, the membership would be temporary (say 0.05 Eth for a 1-month membership), and the fee would be lost to the member (i.e. a donation, not a stake).
In return, this membership class could represent a larger community of parties with less financial capacity, who still align with the DAO’s purposes (funding, social justice, political action, or whatever else it may be). The membership may not have direct voting power in the traditional DAO sense, but the board would be incentivized to vote in their members’ interests in order to ensure the continued recurring funding from the membership.
[Alternatively, the public membership could have a weighted vote, carrying a % of the entire voting power (say membership has a 10% stake, the board has a 90% stake). I haven’t fleshed this out fully–there might be a way for a monied party to game the system by buying up a lot of memberships.]
Technically, this could be implemented with a NFT representing a membership card. When dues are paid, the card is issued with an expiration date based on the amount paid (0.05 Eth = 1 month, 0.6 Eth = 1 year). Subsequent payments of dues would bump the expiration date further back (you wouldn’t collect multiple cards), and if the membership expired, renewing would give you a fresh start.
This idea is half-baked right now. I’m hoping that someone else here can help me iron our the details a bit more. Maybe this already exists, in which case I’d be happy if someone can give me an example of this in practice.