Hi Givethers, maybe this has been discussed a thousand times already, but I did not find anything in the forum.
The more I talk to people internally and externally, the more I wonder: Wouldn’t it be a really good idea if projects received GIVBacks on top of each donation? What I mean by that is: Imagine if for every donation the donor got rewarded with GIV – and the project, too.
I see lots of upsides here:
It would be a breath of fresh air in the philanthropy/nonprofit space:
One of the biggest problems in the nonprofit space is that grantmakers and donors have way too much power: Donors determine what gets done (although they usually have no social impact expertise), and nonprofits have to go along with it (although they are the ones who create all the social impact). Right now, Giveth perpetuates this inequality by giving GIVs only to donors, and thereby letting them determine how the platform works. It would be an incredible sign of empowerment for social impact projects if they were given the same kind of reward (and thereby governance power) on the platform. It would also set Giveth apart from all other donation platforms out there.
Giving GIV to both sides would be much more in the spirit of web3:
Those who contribute and create value on the platform should become co-owners of the platform and participate in the value they create. Yes, that is the donors, but it is also the projects who create profiles and thereby co-create an attractive catalogue of impact funding opportunities. It would be fantastic if we could say to projects: “We value every stekholder. By getting verified and receiving your first donation, you will automatically become a co-owner of the platform.”
It would be so much easier to sell Giveth to activist projects/orgs/networks/funders:
I talked to a grassroots funder last week and she said “I think most of the projects we fund would not accept money from your platform because they would see in it the same extractive logic they want to fight.” I think this is an oversimplified view, but it is a fact that many, especially in the grassroots space, are critical of the plutocratic, top-down nature of conventional philanthropy, and they are skeptical not only of crypto itself but of structures that they feel perpetuate this. If we could say “We are the world’s only genuinely participatory donation platform. - Would you like to be part of it?”, that would ring very differently in their ears.
It creates a small but tangible incentive for projects to come on board:
For example, when I explained Giveth last week to a well-known activist network in the UK, their first question was: “What is the benefit for us? Is this something like Gift Aid in the UK?”. Gift Aid is a scheme where nonprofits receive from the state an extra amount on top of each individual donation (see link). Giveth could do the exact same thing, just in a web3 way, and it would certainly attract projects to try this.
It feels great for donors!
They know that when they donate to a project, someone else gives the project an additional boost. It feels a bit like a permanent match-fund. Most donors find it much more fulfilling to channel an additional $10 to a project than receiving the same $10 into their own pocket.
It would automatically educate projects about DeFi and DAOs:
In the long run, Giveth wants to make projects more familiar with DAOs and microeconomies and wants to help them build their own. But where are projects right now able to get a taste of it? Right now projects on the platform are just passive recipients of donations. For that they can also use the Giving Block. There is nothing they can experiment and play with. Imagine they received a message saying: “Congratulations to your first donation on Giveth. Because we love what you do for the world, we give you a few tokens on top! Claim them here. You are now co-owning Giveth! Use your tokens to vote for proposals or to boost projects that deserve more donations. Or sell the tokens to increase your donation. Or… Or…”
Three potential challenges come to mind that I think can be handled:
“Would this still be ‘the platform for donors’?”
I think so. Yes, projects would have a stronger say, but projects, too, have an overall incentive to build a platform that is as attractive as possible for donors. On a more emotional level, I would even say from experience: Many donors feel that something is not right about the traditional relationship between the powerful donor feeding the poor nonprofit. They WANT more of an qual partnership with grantees/nonprofits. A Giveth co-owned by all sides could offer that: a truly new spirit of cooperation.
“Wouldn’t this cost Giveth more money?”
Not necessarily. I think it would be ok to split the GIVBacks claimable by the donor with the project. The split would not have to be equal. Maybe 60% of the GIVBacks could go to the donor and 40% to the project or so. I think most donors do love the reward, but they are more fascinated by the idea than fixated on a certain amount. See also point 5 above.
“Wouldn’t projects just use GIV to boost themselves, e.g in GIVpower. They have conflict of interest!”
Yes they have. But already now, we do not know who Giveth’s token holders are. Anyone can buy GIV and use them to push a project. We should of course try to prevent the most obvious manipulation methods (like a wallet pushing a projects with the very same recipient wallet). In addition, my experience is that projects are often eager to support and promote other projects that do great work. If projects have more GIV, GIVpower curation might in the end contain much more expertise and wisdom than a purely donor-dominated GIVpower.
I am curious to hear what you think about this suggestion. I am sure there are lots of things I overlook and that would have to be worked out much more precisely. But I really think something like this could be an opportunity for Giveth to stand out amongst other platforms out there – to be genuinely regenerative not only about money flows but also inequality and harmful power structures in funding public goods.