On Finder's Fees

TL;DR - Are we comfortable with Finder’s Fees for people bringing in high quality proposals?


Soon, an Explorer Grants recipient will go on-chain with a proposal. This is incredibly exciting and exactly what we built Explorer Grants for - to bring more valuable proposals by builders to the DAO.

Before it goes on-chain and we discuss the logistics of that proposal, I want to discuss a more philosophical point around Nouns and Explorer Grants, and separate that conversation from the prop itself, so as not to overshadow it.


Finder’s Fees seem to be a bit polarizing in Nouns and crypto, but they are a widely popular in various industries because they align incentives - people only get paid when they deliver the value. Recruiters get paid a percentage of a recruit’s salary, marketers get paid when they bring in leads or sales, and finance people get paid a percent of what their works bring to the firm. In our case, people would get paid for bringing and passing a high quality proposal.


There is a precedent for Finder’s Fees within Nouns - the DAO (almost) unanimously passed a prop with a 7% reward in July of last year Prop 113 - paying someone ~7 ETH for bringing the proposal to the DAO. 113 lead to the “This is Nouns” video which was clearly a net positive for the DAO and lead to our first Droposal.

The downstream effect of one person’s effort to bring in a proposal was incredibly positive, and likely worth more than the fee.

In the case of Explorer Grants, people might say - aren’t you already getting paid a salary from your prop? Yes, but:

  • Partially performance-based pay is standard in many industries
  • Our salary for our pilot was much lower than most Nounish teams, and knowing that the DAO is supportive of Finder’s Fees would help us keep that up-front salary low
  • Finder’s Fees will help us reinvest in our project and the ecosystem, not just pay ourselves

I think the potential for Finder’s Fees is huge across the DAO, not just for Explorer Grants:

  • Higher focus on performance for pods like Explorer Grants, DCS, NSFW, etc…
  • Financial incentive for Nouners to Nouns-pill their friends and have them contribute to the DAO
  • New roles can emerge because there is precedent for rewards: bringing in big brands, recruiting artists, creating DAO partnerships
  • One could see a world where front-ends even take a smaller fee for bringing in new sales or proposals, reducing the cost of their up-front proposals

Performance-based pay would allow Nouns DAO to save money by paying mostly when value is delivered, not when it is promised.



  • Does this align incentives? Wouldn’t this just incentivize someone to ask for more money so they get a bigger fee?
      1. If the DAO passes a big proposal, is that wrong? Isn’t that what the DAO wants?
      1. We could go the route of flat rewards - 5 ETH no matter what. (Although if someone could get Nike to put Nouns on a jersey - that would surely be worth more than 5 ETH?)
  • Won’t this just accelerate treasury spending?
    • Maybe, but if the treasury is going to valuable proposals - isn’t that the whole point?
  • Wouldn’t the Explorer Grants participants have contributed to Nouns anyways?
    • I don’t think so - they would have if they could.
    • You could make the same case of any affiliate marketing program or recruiting service!

Things to consider:

  • If we want to establish this as a social norm, we should find a friendlier term than “Finder’s Fee”
  • What should the percentage of the reward be? 5% of total ask?

Any thoughts?