Why Impact DAO Book

Who is the book for, why we wrote it, and how to read it?

Web3 is more than the mainstream narrative portrays it to be.

It’s not about building a better portfolio but building a better world. This is why the founders of the web3 world are called “builders,” and this is the goal that motivates them.

Nonetheless, mainstream perception is shaped by mainstream media. This book is, therefore, our attempt to share a different story that remains largely untold and unheard, even though it is already beginning to shape the future.

The origins of this book can be traced to the founding of Ukraine DAO, an organization that seemingly appeared out of nowhere and raised $7 million from 3000 people on the internet thanks to the power of cryptocurrency. The initiative was entirely volunteer-run and made use of almost every web3 tool available to raise funds for Ukrainians suffering the effects of the Russian invasion.

The speed at which the DAO was formed and the effectiveness of its execution demonstrated a new, practical way of achieving ambitious goals for the benefit of a large number of people. Individuals combining in cyberspace and around a shared purpose to solve societal-level problems.

We were curious to dig deeper into this new model of doing good. We saw the potential of web3-enabled collectives like Ukraine DAO replacing the traditional nonprofit structure to become a norm for solving problems of every order of magnitude.

So, my friend, this book is for you.

You don’t need to be a crypto expert, a crypto advocate, or even crypto-curious.

This book is worth reading if any of the following apply.

  • You think crypto is a scam and nothing more. Dive into this book to learn how talented folks are building amazing coordination systems and having a far-reaching, positive impact in the world.
  • You have heard of crypto but do not know about the broader web3 landscape. Why is it that young people are engaged, and dreamers are inspired, and technologists, humanists, climate activists, and futurists are feeling the buzz? What makes it so attractive for them to build in it? Read on to find out.
  • You are interested in what doing good will look like in the future. Learn why nonprofits are not the answer to solving large-scale societal problems and how ImpactDAOs will replace them. The new model provides a brand new efficient way of doing good.
  • You’d like to know how DAOs are upending the traditional company. What does the future of work look like? How can you prepare yourself for it? It’s all covered here.

Why we wrote it

Our goal with this book is to provide a reliable snapshot of the current state of Impact DAOs. There are a lot of misconceptions floating around, commonly held and re-iterated in prominent conversations within the web3 community. Unfortunately, this has led to a somewhat blurred narrative forming around the DAO concept. We wanted to set out the facts on Impact DAOs, sourced directly from the DAO builders themselves.

To gather the knowledge for the book, we interviewed 30 of these builders. Conversations were held on a 1:1 basis for at least 60 minutes, aiming to receive insights from the Founder and the Contributor’s perspective. We were particularly interested to understand the Contributors’ view, as we believe the Contributor Economy will play a prominent role in humanity’s future.

The selection process that led to choosing 12 final DAOs to include in our study took one month. We prioritized experienced DAOs who had acquired learnings that others could benefit from.

The final list of 12 Impact DAOs spanned three categories - Enabler DAOs (enabling ImpactDAOs through funding or training), Social Impact DAOs (helping the vulnerable), and Climate DAOs (helping the environment). The final group includes some of the foremost examples of “crypto doing good” in the world today.

In addition to conducting intensive research on our target group, we formed an ImpactDAO of our own (ImpactDAO Media) to acquire hands-on DAO-building experience. As of the time of writing, this DAO is five months old, and we have learned many first-hand lessons about establishing and growing a DAO. Additionally, living the “DAO life” also helped us ask pertinent questions to our interviewees about this process, from seeding to scaling and the challenges therein.

How to read it

The book is a living document. There are currently seven chapters.

  1. What is a DAO? A Crash Course: Details a clear definition on DAOs, how they differ from traditional organizations and the DAO landscape.
  2. What is an Impact DAO: Defining Impact DAOs, advantages over nonprofits and why Impact DAOs are the future
  3. Impact DAO Case Studies: Deep dive into 12 Impact DAOs part of our study. We showcase who they are, their impact and how they operate as a DAO.
  4. Learnings & Analysis: Twenty three top learnings, insights and emerging patterns from our research.
  5. Impact DAOs and the Future: We portray the future on how Impact DAOs are defining the future of work and organizing for good.
  6. Giving Thanks: The Impact DAOs book is produced by a global team of collaborators on the internet. This section lists the contributors and the various production teams engaged in the bookmaking.
  7. DAO and Web3 Glossary: Breakdown of key terms and concepts in DAOs and web3.

I hope you enjoy this book and are as inspired and excited to build the future as we are.

The Team Impact DAO Media