Contributor Pay Raises

Giveth Proposal: Contributor Pay Raises


Currently, we don’t have a clear system or policy about contributor pay raises. In HR, we get asked about pay raises frequently and there’s no comprehensive or clear answer yet. Our idea is to bring this topic to the forum to create a DAO-sourced solution through the advice process and general debate. We also need to acknowledge we are in a bear market and money is tight. While we want to be fair and reward hard work, we need to be sustainable and maintain our runway.

This proposal aims to create a weighted system for Giveth contributor pay raises in order to acknowledge dedication, incentivize productivity, and encourage long term retention. By creating a clear path for pay raises, we hope to attract and retain talented individuals who contribute to the growth and success of Giveth.

  1. Integration: Establish eligibility. Only a contributor with a passed role proposal is eligible for pay raise. This requirement ensures contributors are meeting standards, followed the advice process, and are contributing in meaningful ways to Giveth that has been approved by the DAO.
    Rational: Requiring a passed role proposal provides a mechanism for the DAO to set clear requirements for who is eligible. This allows the working group to ensure consensus and transparency, while monitoring their accounting.

  2. Integration: Set an annual date on the anniversary of contributors passing their trial period for pay raises to begin. Scores from their most recent quarterly peer reviews will be used to determine the pay raise percentage.
    Rationale: Again, a standardized timeline will create more consistency and framework for contributors to receive pay raises, and not rely on a contributor to advocate a pay raise for themselves or set arbitrary dates.

  3. Integration: Establish a budget in the accounting circles of each working group for contributor pay raises. If the working group doesn’t have the money, and cannot afford to increase, then open a conversation on how to increase revenue for that working group.
    Rationale: It is important to ensure that Giveth can afford to increase contributor pay without compromising other aspects of our operation. By establishing a budget and regularly reviewing it, we can ensure that pay raises are sustainable and in line with the Giveth’s financial goals.

  4. Integration: Implement “Salary Bands.” Salary bands are a range of salaries for a particular contributor position. They typically have a minimum and maximum salary amount that is based on factors such as the job responsibilities, experience and qualifications required, and market rates for similar positions.To maintain salary privacy, we will not publish the salary bands. Whether a contributor is below, average, or above the salary band will be taken into consideration and given a weighted score.
    For example: If a contributor is below the average salary band they have a higher chance/score of being considered for a pay raise. If a contributor is earning the average of the salary band they moderate possibility of a pay raise. If a contributor is earning the higher end of the salary, there’s less of a possibility for a pay raise.
    Rationale: To ensure that pay is fair and consistent across different roles and levels of seniority. Salary bands can provide a framework for contributors to understand their earning potential and help to guide discussions around pay raises during performance reviews.

  5. Integration: Establish a required amount of peer reviews and buddy review to get an accurate performance score. Each contributor will need 5 or more peer reviews and 1 buddy review score to create a performance review score. HR will confirm with each contributor who submitted a peer review, as safeguard against any “gaming” or “fraud.”
    Rationale: An accurate and standardized sample size of peer reviews are needed to create a standardized methodology based on equity.

  6. Integration: Integrate a quantitative system relying on 5 or more peer reviews, 1 buddy review score, and salary band consideration. For now our peer reviews ask contributors to score other contributors using a “star system.” This proposal suggests converting the star system to a numerical system. For example rating the contributors performance from a scale “0 to 10” for five questions.
    Rationale: Performance reviews allow us to evaluate the quality of a contributor’s work and recognize their achievements. By tying pay raises to performance, we incentivize contributors to do their best work and continuously improve.

  • Salary bands will have a 50% weight when considering a pay raise of the total score.
  • The average of 5 or more peer reviews scores will be weighted as 30% of the total score.
  • 1 Buddy review score will be weighted as 20% of the total score.
  1. Integration: Calculate a pay raise score weighted on the combination of the three score categories; the average of 5 or more peer reviews, 1 buddy score, and salary band consideration. There will be a scaled increase. For example (*These scores and percentage raise increase are examples and can debated in the forum):
    Rationale: Different contributors have different levels of expertise and experience, and their contributions may vary in terms of impact and complexity. By creating a pay raise scale, we can ensure that contributors are compensated fairly for their efforts, as reported by peers.
  • Contributors with scores between 0.0-5.0: no raise
  • Contributors with scores between 5.1-7.0: 2% raise
  • Contributors with scores between 7.1-8.0: 5% raise
  • Contributors with scores between 8.1-9.0: 8% raise
  • Contributors with scores between 9.1-10.0: 10% raise


The proposed pay raises will be implemented at the end of Q2. The new pay raise scale will be created in collaboration with contributors and reviewed on a regular basis. Contributors are not eligible for retroactive pay raises. Pay raises are not determined based on a contributor’s citizenship or country of residence.

Contributors can also opt-out of receiving pay raises.


By increasing the pay of contributors of Giveth and implementing a transparent pay scale and performance review system, we hope to attract and retain talented individuals who can contribute to Giveth’s success. We believe this proposal is in the best interests of moving Giveth forward and acknowledging the hard work of its contributors. We encourage all members to have a lively discussion below.

  • Yes, I support this proposal. Let’s move forward to a DAO vote.
  • No, I have objections and I’ll discuss below.

0 voters

Read this. Its extremely interesting way about it. Maybe the first round (or 3) do it as a ‘trial’ before locking it in?

1 Like

Thanks for putting this together @hanners717! Great to see a process forming here.

I think this is a good start, but I have some concerns, including:

  • Peer scoring is limited by visibility

For example, people in comms often have no idea what other people in comms are doing and to what extent. I review 90% of all our comms content so have a pretty good idea of contributor performance here, but that’s not the case for every contributor. I don’t have a lot of confidence that these scores will be really accurate.

  • Buddy scoring is limited by visibility, and some buddies are chosen kind of arbitrarily

20% is a lot of power in the hands of one person, and in some cases - like when a contributor rarely meets with their buddy, or when their buddy was chosen not based on skills but because of some other personal relationship - the buddy may not necessarily have a good perspective on a contributor’s work, growth or productivity.

  • Contributors on the high end of the salary band have the odds stacked against them getting a raise, and it’s not fair

If a contributor’s salary is based on “job responsibilities, experience and qualifications required, and market rates for similar positions”, it’s not really fair to say that someone with more responsibility, more experience, more qualifications, and w/ a higher market rate should be 50% less likely to get a pay raise. “I’m sorry, you have too many responsibilities to be eligible for a pay raise.” How does that help our long term retention?

  • Taking pay raises our of WG budgets is going to be really tough - and perhaps unfair - if we move to WGs around products

I think we are more than likely going to move to WGs around specific products, and people will join teams I think based on their bandwidth, skills, and the needs of the product. Some products will bring more revenue in than others (even if we assume they are all equally valuable to Giveth overall), and the scope of work for a product will define the WG’s lifecycle - and it is likely that lifecycles will be less than 1 year! This would make the proposed process of budget analysis really messy.

  • We need to consider overall DAO spending

Do we give pay raises to contirbutors x and y, and then 3 months later need to start layoffs because of limited funds? I’m worried about our DAO funds overall and I also think that - unless we get more grants and investment soon - creating a standard process for more frequent raises and implementing it now might hurt the overall health of our DAO economy.

1 Like

To address your comments @karmaticacid

  1. Peer scoring is limited visibility - I imagine most of the peer reviews, or we could make this a requirement, will come from contributors who work together in the same working group and working on similar projects. So those contributors would have the most visibility to each other’s work and output.

To your comment - “People in comms often have no idea what other people in comms are doing and to what extent.” I’m not in comms, so maybe I don’t see your point, but comms has weekly meetings and Zendesk boards, that sounds like there is visibility to me. Do you have any ideas or solutions on how to increase visibility amongst working groups?

  1. Buddy scoring is limited by visibility, and some buddies are chosen kind of arbitrarily - Through the hiring process, the buddy is involved in the job description writing, interview process, candidate selection, and onboarding. Over time, roles and responsibilities transform. To address this, we actively encourage people to change their buddies if they don’t work closely with their buddies or feel like they can have more professional development with a different buddy. To address your comment about percentage and limited visibility - what’s a percentage that sits better with you? And what’s some ways to improve visibility?

  2. Contributors on the high end of the salary band have the odds stacked against them getting a raise, and it’s not fair - Fair is a subjective word - and that’s why we’re are trying to establish a system, to make pay raises more “fair.” Some contributors were able to negotiate a higher wage because of bull market conditions or labor market salaries from their country of citizenship, while other contributors had salary negotiations during the bear market. Is that fair to all contributors?

To break down numbers for an example: Contributor A, B, and C all got stellar peer review scores. Contributor A is on the low end of the salary band, Contributor B is in the mid range of the salary band, and Contributor C is on the high end of the salary. Contributor A earns $3,000/mo with a 10% raise would make an extra $300/mo. Contributor B earns $4000/mo with a 7.5% raise would make an extra $300/mo. Contributor C earns $5000 with a 5% raise would make an extra $250/mo. These numbers seem comparable.

Salary bands are designed to help combat wage inflation and be mindful of the budget. When contributors at the high end of salary bands start getting double digit pay raises, our budget could be in more trouble and exacerbate wage gaps among contributors.

  1. Taking pay raises our of WG budgets is going to be really tough - and perhaps unfair - if we move to WGs around products & We need to consider overall DAO spending - Here’s a wild idea Contributors advocating for a pay raise go through the system as outlined in my forum post. At the end of this process the HR working group gives the contributor a percentage and $ amount of a raise, then they contributor can have a forum proposal for a pay raise, much like a role proposal, then the DAO votes. If we want more confidentiality - the HR team can bundle pay raise requests monthly by working group, post a forum proposal, then the DAO can vote.

I think you might have written this comment before the gov call yesterday, because the results of that discussion from my understanding were:

  • The DAO is not in a position financially to create expectations around yearly pay raises. We should aim underpromised & overdeliver, so the process proposed here doesn’t work.
  • Pay raises should be dependent on market conditions, and our ability to add more reveneue to Giveth

So the question about % pay raise based on the scoring proposed doesn’t work. We need to consider the DAO funds overall, and then create a process for allowing people to open the discussion.

@karmaticacid Nope, I wrote this response after the gov call. From my impression, the pay raise proposal is still up for revision to adapt to market conditions, like maybe offering smaller percentages of pay raises during the bear. I think there’s also further opportunity to bring this topic up in the subdaofication process and accounting budget. Finally, it may look like we need to revisit the revenue stream conversation if this is one reason given for not going forward with pay raises.