A proposal for Boardroom to establish and act in the role of Governance Facilitator for Compound, with the goal of cultivating the most effective governance process for stakeholders to sustain and improve the Compound protocol.
Compound Governor is widely recognized as a pioneering governance framework in the DeFi and crypto space, with its on-chain implementation being a testament to its technical excellence. As crypto governance has matured, it has become clear that “soft governance” activity during the pre-vote stage (such as discussions, feedback requests, and lobbying) is as important as casting the ballot itself.
Across the industry, we see a number of problems arising from what can broadly be categorized as information asymmetry. In some cases it’s a general lack of up-to-date information about governance processes, in others it’s social dynamics that make it difficult for newcomers to know who to speak to about what. For the average, acclimated tokenholder - not to mention the newcomer or novice - it is increasingly difficult to stay abreast of discussions about topics in governance, let alone participate by making a proposal or sharing an insight with the community. Even if a tokenholder chooses to delegate their voting power they are often left in the dark about the actions and decisions their tokens are being used to effectuate. As a result, tokenholders default to apathy in exercising their delegation and voting rights. With more support, such potential contributors could have a beneficial impact on the protocol – not least by widening the pool of participants beyond existing stakeholders.
Large tokenholders and delegates face information and context challenges too, in addition to governance obligations for multiple protocols. This results in serious friction in coordination, with delegates spending significant time on forums, lobbying, and off-forum discussions. Limited access to governance material and support makes it difficult for delegates and community members to propose effective solutions and focus on strategic thinking.
At Boardroom, we’re looking to tackle this problem by providing a cryptonative proxy advisory service that offers communities like Compound a dedicated, neutral source of governance operations support. Boardroom has been actively involved in the Compound ecosystem and has a deep understanding of the protocol’s governance mechanics. Our delegate portal and platform have tracked proposal and delegate activity since the launch of Compound governance. Last year, we piloted a Weekly Governance Recap in the forum highlighting new and active proposals, the most important discussions across forums, linking relevant contextual information such as Twitter threads, and advertising events like the Compound Developer Community Calls. We want to take this service to the next level and partner with Compound to champion best practices on the nontechnical aspects of community governance, which we believe is a worthy next goal for a community that pioneered its technical implementation.
Boardroom’s job as Governance Facilitator will be to manage Compound’s governance operations and help improve its process by staying on top of emerging trends, running experiments that test new initiatives and tooling, and implementing and refining best practices. This could include running all or part of the Compound Improvement Proposal (CIP) process.
We envision the role of a Governance Facilitator as akin to a proxy advisory service in corporate governance, i.e. an independent third party that provides services to:
- Tokenholders to participate in community governance in an educated and informed manner
- Delegates and contributors to ensure best practices are observed for the benefit of Compound.
Below, we outline the case and scope for Boardroom to establish and act in the role of a Governance Facilitator for Compound:
Operational Support for Compound Governance
Boardroom will offer operational support to facilitate Compound’s governance process. As a Compound Governance Facilitator, Boardroom’s core function is to keep delegates and tokenholders informed through high-quality content distribution and communications, as well as ensure procedural clarity and smooth governance operations.
- Establish a bi-weekly ‘Governance Community Call’ that will run in conjunction with the current ‘Developer Community Call’ and focus exclusively on governance and meta-governance topics. As part of this effort, Boardroom will:
- Coordinate the sourcing of guests and topics, develop agendas, and moderate
- Involve community members to create an open forum encouraging community input and new governance and strategic initiatives
- Provide summaries and relevant notes distributed on established channels
- Track and distribute information on service providers, payments, and proposer whitelists, as well as manage service provider and B2D relationships.
- Generate standardized and recurring content supporting governance including:
- Proposal Summaries - A recap of the history, implications of proposed changes, discourse, conflicts of interest, and sentiment for every proposal
- Weekly Summaries - An outline of all votes, proposals, and changes executed
- Events - A catalog of all proposals, calls, and events in an exportable calendar
Stakeholder Relations and Delegate Support
As Governance Facilitator, Boardroom will establish strong relationships with Compound’s key stakeholders, provide support to those navigating the governance process, and seek out new contributors to welcome into the ecosystem. Our goal is to create a feedback loop between the project and community representatives, empowering delegates and other contributors to focus on decision-making and discussion rather than coordination and day-to-day work.
- Develop 1:1 relationships with key stakeholders and delegates to build a strong feedback loop between the project and community representatives
- Establish communication channels for delegates and contributors to keep delegators, developers, and other stakeholders knowledgeable about changes to the protocol
- Provide support to delegates, proposers, and other community stakeholders navigating the governance process or driving initiatives
- Solicit and report on both quantitative and qualitative feedback from delegates to make procedural improvements
- Proactively seek out new governance contributors, including delegates and proposers, to welcome them into the Compound ecosystem
Boardroom will act as a dedicated Proxy Advisor regarding all matters related to governance operations outlined in this proposal. We are uniquely positioned, given our integrations with nearly 300 protocols and DAOs, to continuously audit governance policies and proposals, analyze tokenholder preferences, and relay industry best practices.
- Establish and maintain clear order of operations for communications, governance, and voting cycles
- Work with the Compound community to identify unaddressed needs in governance and help facilitate internal fixes through RFPs, initiatives, grants, or other means
- Analyze and anticipate voting patterns and results across contributor and community proposals using our robust database and Governance API to identify potential risk.
- Integrate with Compound governance community to propose and roadmap best governance practices
- Produce unbiased research reports, when applicable, to give tokenholders and delegates context around proposals
We propose a one-year engagement.
- Weekly Governance Recap reports
- Bi-weekly Governance Community Calls
- Monthly forum posts reflecting on the development of this role
- Specialized research reports as needed.
- Dedicated Telegram or Discord channel for communication between Compound community members and Boardroom as Governance Facilitator (~12 hour response time maximum given time zone differences).
Survey and Annual Reports
Should this proposal pass, the first thing Boardroom will do as Governance Facilitator will be to distribute a survey to the community assessing the state of Compound governance, tokenholder and delegate satisfaction, and other key metrics. The results of this survey will provide a baseline both for us to gauge progress as it relates to building a stronger community governance culture and process as well as for an Annual Report on Compound governance authored by Boardroom.
We are requesting funding for $200,000 denominated in COMP at 30d VWAP via a vote-activated Sablier stream to run for 1 year, after which the program should be reviewed and renewed by the community. This covers all research, communications, operations, aggregation, content distribution, and writing activity by the Boardroom team.
Boardroom is a DAO governance platform offering proxy advisory services, delegate tooling, and governance data to protocol contributors and stakeholders, helping them make faster, smarter, and more informed decisions.
Request for Feedback
While we are eager for feedback from the Compound community on all aspects of this proposal, there are three areas in particular that we want to highlight:
Do the types of content described above in the “Operational Support for Compound Governance” section of this proposal capture the totality of what would be helpful for Compound community members to stay up-to-date on governance matters?
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Does the community have ideas for KPIs for Boardroom’s role as Governance Facilitator? What are some quantitative or qualitative measures of our performance that you think we should use?
Payment method and structure
What is the community’s reaction to using a one-year Sablier stream to fund this proposal?
How did you arrive at the payment amount for the one-year stream?
We arrived at a figure of $200,000 as payment for one year of Boardroom’s services as Governance Facilitator by pulling comparables for full-time salaries of similar positions at other protocols and DAOs. For example:
- The MakerDAO ‘Facilitator Pay Matrix’ indicates an experienced, full-time contributor would earn ~$189,000 per year in a similar position.
- The ENS Metagovernance Working Group steward is allocated $144k USDC + 3,000 ENS for two quarters
- The Radicle Foundation allocates ~CHF567,130 to the governance committee (size still TBD)
- The Uniswap Foundation allocates 5% of $60M over three years to Governance Stewardship and is currently hiring a full-time Governance Lead
Moreover, the proposed $200,000 figure is inclusive of Boardroom’s team of governance operators, engineers, and designers. As this would be a relatively small expenditure in the context of other Compound treasury proposals, we believe that the value delivered to Compound’s community governance operations will far outweigh the cost.
Why not apply to the Compound Grants Program?
It is our view that Grants programs are best suited to fund short-term, discrete initiatives. This proposal, on the other hand, describes a long-term, strategic service-provider relationship.
We believe that a one-year service provider relationship will allow Boardroom time to effectively build recurring content distribution processes and stakeholder relationships as well as evaluate and improve the mechanics of Compound’s community governance.
Why should Compound host a ‘Community Governance Call’ when we already have the ‘Developer Community Call’?
The Compound Developer Community Call is an important forum for community members to connect with current and potential service providers and other contributors to Compound. However, we believe there is a need to establish a separate forum devoted solely to governance matters and the type of meta-governance work that Boardroom is hoping to help the Compound community with. Such distinct governance calls have been successfully implemented by other protocols, such as Optimism.
While the Developer Community Call focuses on updating the community on, for example, the status of projects and protocol improvement proposals, the Community Governance Call will focus on all other matters pertinent to Compound’s growth as a project, including strategic forward-thinking about the protocol, delegate and stakeholder relations, and the state of governance itself.
Why hire an external Governance Facilitator?
Other protocols have hired or are in the process of hiring some form of “Governance Lead” or “DAO Lead.” With some variation, these roles focus on improving community governance by doing the day-to-day work that it entails. At Boardroom, we believe this is a welcome trend. However, given the importance of this work, we feel that a neutral, independent third party is best equipped to carry it out.
A neutral, independent third party with knowledge and experience in decentralized governance can synthesize lessons from other community-governed protocols and provide valuable insight into important topics such as leadership or key contributor succession, compensation, and other policies that impact Compound community governance. Ultimately Boardroom has this mandate because it is trusted by governance participants across multiple protocols to create and manage governance tooling without bias toward outcomes. By offering unbiased analysis, data, and recommendations, Boardroom can help ensure that the Compound governance is on a sustainable path and is creating long-term value for its stakeholders.