What is Contribution Management?

You’ve heard of project management, product management, and even treasury management - but wtf is contribution management, and why do I need to manage my contributions?

If we consider a contribution in this context as: a unit of labor done by an individual for the sake of furthering the goals of a project or community, then contribution management is the use of tools and techniques to keep track of one’s contributions, making sure they’re recorded, surfaced, and (eventually) given value when necessary.

For those who want to build sustainable DAOs, contribution management is a key ingredient of your operations. Whether contributions happen via proposals, pods, or bounties, keeping track of what’s actually being done can be difficult. Keeping track in a way that isn’t fully top-down, but is still verifiable, is even harder.

What you don’t want in a DAO is one or two people having to run behind contributors to keep track of their work. What you do want is a system where contributors actually self-report what they do, with confirmation/verification from other contributors when necessary.

This results in a well-oiled organization that works in more of an autonomous, bottom-up fashion - with contributors much more involved in each other’s work, progress, and goals, rather than working in silos. If we want to build DAOs that don’t have to rely so strongly on core teams, contribution management is how we get there.

Mr Woofers after using Govrn
Mr Woofers after using Govrn

In addition to helping with coordination, contribution management is also useful for retroactive payments/funding. For many communities, funding may not be available at early stages, thus they may not be able to pay contributors until after a certain milestone or timeframe. In these cases, having easily accessible records of contributions, for all contributors, makes going back and providing payments incredibly easy.

Personal contributions are much more open and flexible. For individuals, contribution management can simply be for your own provenance - keeping note of important achievements or milestones over the years that you may not want to have to scroll through your social media to find, especially if you’re looking for it years later. This could be anything from “my first kickflip” or “my first fred again concert” all the way to “completed my doctorate” or “finally paid off my mortgage“. It’s been interesting to see people use Govrn for the DAOs and communities they’re part of, as well as for their own individual use. Some people even create their own personal DAO for this! Thinking autonomously opens the door to all kinds of fun.

Start managing your contributions today on Govrn!

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