DAO Members Interviewed:
- Alona Schevchenko, Co-Founder
- Bertrand Juglas, Early Contributor
What is Ukraine DAO
Ukraine DAO was formed in anticipation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24, 2022. The DAO was set up 3 days prior to the border crossing. The goal was to raise funds for Ukrainians using web3. In just five days, UkraineDAO raised $7M in crypto donations from 3000+ people on the internet. Using the power of the Ethereum blockchain, web3 tech, and social media platforms, UkraineDAO was able to establish itself, mobilize, and collect and deploy funds rapidly and with maximum transparency.
Initially, UkraineDAO focused on providing financial support to the organizations directly serving the needs of Ukrainians. The DAO has now shifted its focus to fact-checking and countering misinformation. They work closely with the Government of Ukraine and adapt as the need changes.
To date Ukraine DAO has:
- Donated over $7 million to the Ukrainian government and to organizations like Come Back Alive. The donations are publicly verifiable in UkraineDAO.eth - Treasury. The Ukrainian flag NFT auctioned by Ukraine DAO is the tenth most valuable NFT ever sold, showing how non-fungible tokens can solve real-life problems.
- Organized events both online and IRL to support the Ukrainian cause.
- Assisted other disaster relief DAOs - e.g. helping to set up Iran DAO.
- Participated in the Kyiv Tech Summit held in the middle of the war torn city. The tech summit was attended by Vitalik Buterin, Founder of Ethereum.
UkraineDAO demonstrates it is possible for a DAO to get up and running not only in response to, but ahead of, a disaster. It also shows how quickly a DAO can adapt to the changing situation that so many ongoing crises present.
“The beauty of a DAO,” says Alona, “Which is not possible with a traditional charity, is that we adjust to Ukraine and to its needs immediately.”
How Do They DAO
- Internet-native (no office), no official legal status, no bank accounts, no board of directors, or any other trappings of a typical nonprofit organization.
- Completely volunteer-run with only one full-time paid contributor.
- 100% crypto fundraising, using a multisig for fund management and NFTs as a tool for raising capital.
- The DAO is divided into smaller groups known as “pods” to carry out the DAO activities, each with functional leads. Not all pods are active at all times. Currently, the most active pod is Fact-Checking and Media Literacy, owing to the pressing need to amplify Ukrainian voices amid the flood of government propaganda.
- Participatory decision-making (Ukraine DAO Governance).
- Particular attention is paid to the onboarding and assimilation of new members. The majority of members are everyday Ukrainians with limited web3 knowledge. There are over 2,000 members on Discord and close to 20,000 followers on Twitter.
- The tech stack consists of: Telegram and Discord for work and community, Notion for documentation, Twitter and Substack for external communication and community building, and Utopia Labs for treasury management
- Censorship resistance in particular is an advantage they have over their nonprofit counterparts. For example, the Ukrainian nonprofit Come Back Alive was suspended from fundraising on Patreon, while Ukraine DAO was shielded from censorship as a public blockchain-based organization (Patreon on the Removal of Come Back Alive).
For a deeper understanding of Ukraine DAO and how they operate, refer to the full founder interview and a detailed profile of Ukraine’s DAO origin and fundraising.
Interview with Alona, Founder of Ukraine DAO Deep Dive Into Ukraine DAO - A Model for Future Nonprofits