Taking care of Doodlebank finances

tl;dr
Proposal for defining financial monitoring operations of Doodlebank treasury to ensure stable growth and returns on project investments.

Overview
The Doodlebank represents the community’s investment in the future of Doodles. To ensure our activities can sustainably lead to our end goal of making Doodles a globally recognized brand, the inflows and outflows of ETH should be tracked and analyzed to understand what actions are working and what can be done better on our resource allocation.

This would consist of periodically putting together and analyzing financial statements; a snapshot of point-in-time balances, a summary of ETH inflows/outflows from Doodlebank, and a list of ongoing and planned projects with their planned/actual spend.

Why
Documenting and analyzing the balances and sources/uses of ETH will help us keep Doodlebank safe. We will be able to budget our initiatives to ensure we do not overspend at one time. We will also be able to keep track of ETH earmarked for a particular use (e.g. the ETH already earmarked for the temporary contract for animation) so we do not end up overextending our resources.

Keeping good financial visibility will remind us that the latest ETH balance in Doodlebank is not all spendable at once, and it takes time to replenish. We need to make it last, and we need to make it count.

What this looks like
Below are some ideas to kick-off this discussion;

  1. Periodic (monthly) snapshot of ETH balance
  2. Inflows and sources of ETH … secondary sales (volume/price), partnerships, etc.
  3. Outflows and uses of ETH … project expenses
  4. Key metrics: # of holder wallets, # of secondary sales
  5. List of active initiatives and upcoming initiatives, including expected timing and cost

This may look like a lot, but wallet transaction data should enable us to gather most inputs. For the planned project costs, we can extract from governance proposals as well as from final proposals in Doodle forums.

An example financial statement for the FWB DAO prepared by Llama is here. This is fairly comprehensive and it is for a DAO token so not exactly what we would need, especially to start out.

Discussion/help needed
I would like to ask for your inputs/feedback on this thread;

  • Are there any additional items to cover other than the above to get started? Requesting input especially from our accountant/finance Doodlers with experience managing financials for DAOs (my own experience is limited to a regular company, finance/accounting dept)
  • Data source: What is the best way to obtain the transaction data to put this together? I am looking at BigQuery, but open to any ideas on sources or APIs: Ethereum on BigQuery
  • Have any Doodlers seen any best practices in other projects? This may be further down the line, but should we reach out to other DAOs for best practices? (Llama, etc)

Out of Scope

  • The scope of this proposal is for Doodlebank only, and is separate from the financial management and reporting required for Doodles LLC.
  • Excluding tax considerations for now, but please share any opinions if we should consider otherwise.

Timeline
Short term: Finalize proposal for structure by November 30, 2021.

Budget
TBD … this will vary depending on the level of detail of the reports, data availability, and scope of operations. As most of the data would come from the ETH ledger, at this point I believe we can manage reporting at budget Stacks level, if any.

8 Likes

support! good idea to keep things organized and easy to view

2 Likes

Financial accounting done right is a great boost to transparency and improves trust! Brilliant proposal!!

Hi All,

Thanks for your comments! I appreciate it.
Would like to add one update and one ask to the community;

1. Sample sales/royalties tracker
I have been trying my hand with Dune Analytics and put together a sample Doodles sales and royalties tracker. This will resolve the discussion item around data source. Still doing some checks on accuracy, but please let me know your thoughts.
Shout-out to Ruth for the Doodles dashboard which the tracker is forked from!

2. Feedback from other communities
Do we have any Cats or Apes that can share their experiences in other communities on how the treasury is managed? Would be very helpful to have specific examples and learnings.

1 Like

Some transparency could be great — let’s keep it as lean as possible and let’s not hamper the execution of the HQ team with too many burdens.

In favor, but let’s be extremely smart about this.

1 Like

Agreed. I don’t think it has to be complicated but a simple overview maintaining transparency and accountability could go a long way.

You had me at Dune analytics. Thanks for setting it up!

Agree with the rest on keeping it lean and simple.

As a start, since there already is a proposal for using the treasury for test animation and world building, how about a simple project budget template and spend tracking google doc that allows team members to enter relevant information for transparency and accountability.

For example: Quote/estimated rates by vendor, cost tracking.

Thanks for your input, Ayhth.
A project budget template is definitely needed, albeit Google docs is only free for personal use :sob:. Let me find an alternative, but in the meantime;

  • Topic name
  • Requestor
  • Timing
  • Snapshot # (include once approved as evidence)
  • Budget amount
  • Actual amount
  • Status (Planned, Approved, Executing, Completed)

This should cover it, but do add on if anything else.

2 Likes

great start! perhaps some basic payor (who disbursed) and payee (who received) details. Not so sure about fully doxxing all the payees particularly their own personal wallets but that’s a risk for them if using on-chain payments anyway.

Good point. For the actuals movement we can leverage Dune Analytics. The balance tracker that I have in the Doodles Tracker is pulling all inflows/outflows from the community treasury, so the query can be forked to show the to/from addresses.

Quote/invoice/receipt documents should also be submitted and saved as evidence of amounts used.

1 Like

I support this, there must be more transparency.