How to join a DAO

Your essential guide to starting the DAO journey
Sep 14, 20216 min read

Dear Bankless Nation,

DAOs are an emerging sector in the crypto economy.

We mentioned last week how we believe DAOs are an essential tool that will change the way humanity coordinates capital and resources.

But what exactly is a DAO?

I like the way Cooper Turley put it:

DAOs are internet communities with a shared bank account and ownership.

DAOs align around a core mission and use shared resources to achieve that mission. They are a new frontier for work and capital coordination.

So you now might be wondering:

How do I join a DAO?

William answers that question today.


How to join a DAO

Graphic by Logan Craig

DAO stands for “decentralized autonomous organization.” You can think of a DAO like a decentralized, internet-native co-op that is organized around a common goal and jointly owned by its members.

Notably, the rapidly blooming DAO ecosystem has played a significant role in coordinating the recent rise of DeFi and NFTs. Yet with so much innovation taking place across Web3 right now, many DAOs are in need of all the talent they can get.

This tactic will show you how to become a productive DAO contributor by diving into the future of work.

  • Goal: Learn how to join a DAO and make the most of it
  • Skill: Varies depending on your personal goals
  • Effort: At least an hour of research to start
  • ROI: Personal growth + making a difference + work opportunities

🤝 What is a DAO?

Image via ethereum.org

“DAOs are internet communities with a shared cap table and bank account.”

- Cooper Turley

Ethereum offers immutable and programmable infrastructure that can underpin new kinds of institutions. The most popular of these institutions so far have been DAOs.

DAOs are user-owned decentralized communities organized around a common mission. Through smart contracts, these socio-technical communities enforce rules and manage their activities transparently on-chain.

A DAO can be small and informal or large and enterprising and anything in between. In any case, DAOs have socio-economic and socio-political elements and are becoming an increasingly effective way to internationally coordinate labor and resources with other like-minded people.

Image via pet3rpan

Because DAOs eschew traditional organizational hierarchies, DAO members step up themselves and collaborate to build, govern, and set new goals.

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together ⁠— that’s the DAO way!

❓ Why join a DAO

Image via Cooper Turley & Carlos Gomes

Ethereum’s DAO scene is blooming in all directions right now, so it’s fair to say there’s something for everyone in the ecosystem.

Maybe you’re interested in using some of your free time during the week to create cool Web3 stuff with like-minded builders. Toward this end, many DAOs are fantastic sources of personal stimulation, since they foster collab efforts 24/7 and let you readily intermingle with other really talented people.

Or maybe you love to work remotely and you’re looking to leave or supplement your job with crypto work. Consider a DAO! These young internet communities need all kinds of specialists and they have the bank, i.e. pooled and earned crypto, to pay up for your services.

All that said, there’s definitely opportunity abounding all over here, and the hardest part when starting out is figuring out which DAO(s) you want to focus your attention on!

🤔 Identify your goals

Image via Bankless DAO & Gitcoin

Many DAOs are in need of extra help with things like business development, community building, governance, operations, marketing, and beyond.

There’s also are many different types of DAOs, including NFT DAOs, Grants DAOs, and Service DAOs. Identifying how you want to help and where you want to help is the key to beginning your DAO journey.

For example, do you love all things fashion and are starting down the Web3 rabbit hole? Then you might consider checking out MetaFactory, a “digi-physical cultural factory” DAO specializing in Web3 merch.

Or are you a front-end designer who wants to go full-time in DeFi? More than a few DEX communities would likely be interested in your services!

As such, figuring out your personal goals and how you can pitch in are major factors that will color which DAOs you approach and how you approach them.

🏗️ Starting with a DAO

Image via Aragon

Every DAO has its own way of doing things. Once you’ve picked out a DAO (or two or three) you want to start diving deeper with, it’s important to familiarize yourself with that community’s flow.

To do this, find the places where your target DAO is most active and be sure to start learning, tracking along with current happenings, and participating wherever you can.

For example, Discord chat servers are usually the go-to communications hub for DAOs, and will usually be organized into multiple working groups. I’m a writer and that’s what I like to do, so if I was looking to join a new DAO I’d first check Discord and see if that community has a designated writers channel that I can hop in and chip in through going forward (Like writing? Join the Bankless DAO Writer’s Guild!).

Additionally, DAO Discords always have “Rules” and “FAQ” sections that are fantastic starting points for familiarizing yourself with that particular community’s way of doing things.

Be respectful and productive generally in your DAO dealings, and you’ll do just fine.

❗ In DAO Landscape, Cooper Turley recommends to DAO novices:

🔧 Tools of the Trade

Image via Snapshot

Here are some popular tools and applications that you might come across throughout your DAO journey:

  • 📲  Collab.Landa token-based community management system
  • 👛  Coordinapean allocation system for distributing funds to contributors
  • 💬  Discoursean open-source forum platform
  • ✍️  GitBooka documentation platform
  • 📷 Snapshota decentralized voting system
  • 🔢  SourceCredan open-source resource for tracking community contributions
  • ⛓️ Tallya cross-protocol governance dashboard

💫 Your DAO cue has arrived

Image via Getty Images

Ethereum’s DAO ecosystem is teeming with a range of opportunities right now, and it needs talented adventurers like ourselves to help continue fostering these internet-native, mission-driven communities into new cultural forces to be reckoned with.

If you’re totally new to this space and want to get your feet wet, I do personally think Bankless DAO is a fantastic starting point. The community is bustling, well organized, filled with great people, and building new tools for DAOs in general.

Come stop by the Discord sometime and help us make a difference! 😄

Action steps

Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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