Posted on Oct 29, 2021
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I'm building a decentralized autonomous non-profit for k-12 education and I want your help!

 Let me explain:

I came across this video which is the first in a series of videos explaining how a couple of influencers (one of which has a long and well documented history of sexual assault) set out to "Save the Kids", disgusting I know.

In reality this was a scam masquerading as a charitable cause; they even stole their name and logo from a genuine charity Save the Children. Obviously things are juuuust different enough to avoid a lawsuit but still close enough for people to believe they are somehow related. Spoiler: They weren't.

This got me pretty heated. See I've been talking about using blockchain for non-profit sustainability and social good for almost four years now. So to see these guys come along and scam a bunch of people, some of whom were kids, to the tune of $10M+ made me sick. On top of that they were using the technology I work with everyday, and spouting my usual lines about sustainable non-profit innovation. So, yeah it got under my skin pretty fast.

So like any rational person, I decided I would build Save the Kids for real. No ICO or big exchanges, any amateur can write and issue an ERC-20 token it doesn't take a rocket scientist to go on GitHub and change a few things around. No this is the real deal, I'm part of the company that created the first smart contract definition language (SCDL) and it's time to put that experience to use and to do more than just talk about non-profit innovation.

It's time to build a new kind of non-profit, one for the modern age.

What's it's purpose?

To fill the gap in k-12 funding in the United States. Different States and counties use different funding models so things vary wildly across the nation. But one thing is certain, some schools just can't get the funding their students desperately need. And donors usually have no control over where their money goes in a traditional non-profit let alone how that organization is run. My goal is to use this DAO as a launching point to help schools interact with their communities to raise funding for field trips, unique learning experiences and basic supplies if needed, so long as the schools administrator has approved the funding. Our schools shouldn't have to decide which sports team to cut just to make ends meet, and I believe if most communities were aware of the problem they would be eager to help.

How do we do that?

Well crowdfunding is a nightmare for schools due to restrictive regulations on information sharing and privacy which is a genuine concern and should be respected. But if every crowdfunding effort is forced to go through a schools administrator for approval and through a single well organized dashboard it suddenly becomes much easier on both teachers and administrators. And, by allowing the community to have a say in not just which projects get funded but also how the non-profit is run we should see greater donor retention and engagement meaning more funding for our youth to do awesome things.

How does it work?

The contract is being written in Lexon the open-source SCDL created by Henning Diedrich and maintained by Lexon Digital. It's human readable code that can be deployed directly to the Ethereum Mainnet.

(Full Disclosure I'm the COO of Lexon Digital, however, while I may have access to non-public tools and resources for language and contract development this NOT a Lexon Digital project. This is a weekend hustle I've been doing on my own.)

Why is Lexon important for this?

Not everyone interacting with this is going to be a hacker, in fact I hope most are not. Add onto that many people are afraid of scams in the blockchain space and the value of Lexon becomes clear. Lexon enables people who don't code to trust the code.

Is it a Legal Organization?

Yes, this organization will be a full legal entity in the United States with a board of directors voted on by donors to maintain the contract. The code will act as it's charter and mission statement which will be filed in the state of Wyoming since they officially recognize DAO LLC's now.

To be honest I'm still looking for tax advice around this issue but my current understanding is that Filing this as an L3c DAO or DAO L3c? will be enough to get the IRS to grant us public charity status. Keep in mind the DAO LLC law is fairly new and people aren't used to working with it yet so expect a bumpy ride. 

Worst Case we file for a C-corp to hold the contract in a more traditional non-profit structure and adapt the contract as laws change.

What's an L3c?

It's basically an LLC with minimal to no income except for what it brings in expressly for charitable purposes. Perfect for what we're doing here.

What makes it sustainable?

Great question, I'm working on writing a market system into the contract to track total assets in the foundations endowment on a 2 year rolling basis. It's been pretty tricky to nail down so far but I'm confident we will be able keep 2 years donations in the Endowment at all times once the project hits critical mass. If you remember in 2008 public school funding was drastically cut and it took almost a decade for public funding to come back up to pre-recession levels. Having an Endowment ready on day one enables us to match the previous 2 years donations even if no one can afford to donate due to a severe economic downturn which means we will be there when we are most needed, ironically something most non-profits can't say.

Where most non-profits aim to keep costs below 10% of their annual income I'm of the belief that we can get that below 1% in year one and hopefully .01% shortly there after.

Most non-profits feel they are at a disadvantage when it comes to talent acquisition, there is nothing set in stone here yet but I've been toying with the concept of introducing the gig economy to the social sector allowing highly skilled individuals to work at multiple non-profits at once while earning a competitive annual wage as contract maintainers.

What's it called?

I don't have a name picked out yet, but it's mascot is called Danny the Dino because I wish Decentralized Autonomous Non-profit Organization (DANO) had an i in it but alas it does not.

Who do you need?

  • Animators and Graphic Artists
  • Marketers
  • Lawyers (Secretary)
  • Accountants (Treasurer)
  • Smart Contract Authors
  • Web Developers
  • Educators and School Administrators
  • Project Managers and Discord Moderators
  • Donors and Grant Writers
  • Partnership and Business Development Specialists
Don't see your skill set listed here? Reach out anyway. Join us and we will try to find a place for you.

Don't have time to be that involved. No worries even if you can only join us to give your input as a potential donor or user every few weeks I would still love to hear from you and would appreciate your support in cheering us on as we build this thing, it's going to be a beast.

There's a lot wrong with this world of ours, and frankly we can't fix all of it. But we would be crazy to do nothing, so let's do something together!