How to Attract Mission-Driven DAO Members [DAO Contributor Series]

Member: Gary, known as Soldier online

DAO: Cult, a venture DAO investing in decentralized projects

DAOs are mission-driven by nature. But some do better at attracting passionate contributors than others.

How do you attract the right members to your organization and inspire them to become active participants?

Soldier’s story gives us a roadmap.

Soldier is an electrical engineer by day and a key contributor to Cult DAO at night and on the weekends. Cult is a venture DAO investing in decentralized projects. Their mission is clear and powerful: to build a decentralized future. It’s a mission that Soldier bought into immediately.

As a long-time activist, Soldier has been frustrated by powerful organizations for years. His friends’ Twitter accounts were canceled. Why? “I don’t know,” he said. “They didn’t break the guidelines. But as it is a centralized organization, it can pick and choose.”

Soldier sees the financial system as just as ill-considered as big tech companies. “Currencies are inflating to incredible heights.”

All of this is why Soldier got into Bitcoin. It’s why he took part in The Million Mask March, the annual protest associated with the hacktivist group Anonymous.

It’s also what drew him to Cult’s manifesto.

Speak to the Activist Builders

Cult DAO’s manifesto is a 12-page document that lives front-and-center on the org’s website. It’s stylized with ragged edges to match the DAO’s horror film-esque brand. The mission of the DAO can be summarized by this passage on page 4:

“You have an economic system that cannot function without maximum employment, whilst you have a technological age that is automating jobs faster than we can produce bullshit service industry jobs to replace them. We have social media spreading the truth, and lies, quicker than the media can run their own narratives, society is escaping the leaders of the old world, the beginning of the end is here, the borderless society is coming and with it, the death of sovereign nations. Bitcoin was the beginning, CULT is here to usher in the end.”

Cult DAO’s mission spoke to Soldier, as well as their detailed plan for token economics. He was interested but only dabbled at first.

However, the more Soldier participated, the more he felt like he could make a difference.

Connect Members

Cult is structured in a way that allows like-minded people to work together to bring about change. The main channel for participation is the DAO’s Discord channel. Soldier started out by creating a Twitter handle dedicated to Cult’s mission, but the engagement was low. Everything changed when he became active in the Discord.

“There were a whole host of guys I didn't even know from Twitter who were putting in so much time and energy for Cult, and they were all volunteers, as was I,” he remembers. “I started getting into Discord and I immediately took to it.”

Be Transparent

Choosing the right member platform is important, but so is how you use it.

As a venture DAO, Cult was deploying its members’ funds on inherently risky bets. The DAO leaders prioritize transparency and welcome tough questions.

Soldier became active in the investing decisions. If they were going to spend his money, he wanted a say in where it would go. “I was just amazed at how stuff was getting done by all people who didn't even have a connection with each other.”

Let Builders Build

But Soldier’s contributions didn’t stop with questions. Cult welcomes members who want to build features and tools for the DAO.

“The community felt they needed somewhere they could see their investment information compacted in one place,” he said.

Soldier and another member named Tyson decided to build the dashboard. “Nobody had asked us to do that.”

They just saw a need and filled it.

Soon after starting, the duo put up a proposal to fund the project. The DAO granted it, but Soldier and Tyson took none of the money for themselves. The funds went to the data scientist they hired and what’s left is set aside to fund enhancements.

Soldier also helped create Community Charity, a crypto wallet that people could fund to support causes they cared about. And he routinely has voice calls with other protocols to build relationships and look for ways to support each other.

It’s Not About The Money

DAOs offer the promise of fair compensation to all members. But your best contributors don’t do it for the money. Soldier sure doesn’t.

“We do it voluntarily,” he tells me about members of the DAO. “And we are quite protective of the treasury.”

The question is, why?

“I suppose if there's any reward at all for people like me who go the extra mile for projects like Cult, even though we don't benefit financially, it's probably just the respect and the thanks for the community,” he said.

“The acknowledgment that you're working hard, trying to make it a better place for everyone.”