TIP 50: Contractor role for a DAO Marketing Lead

Vote type:

Token holder DAO Snapshot with a 5-day vote period

DAO-elected representative sponsors:

John Packel, @MrsNuBooty, @Vict0r, @ZeroInFo56, @nico186, @beemeeupnow


  • A lot effort is necessary to both coordinate and execute the work that Marketing Guild sets out to accomplish with its OKRs and budget
  • As Threshold DAO’s needs and requests for marketing support have grown, we have tried various ways of fulfilling this through the guild’s committee members, supplemented by both compensated (temporary) and uncompensated “extra hours” from members
  • This has led us to this request for an ongoing 30-hour/week role to lead these efforts
  • We originally planned to include this role in TIP-49 (Restructure the Marketing Guild Committee) but then agreed with feedback that it was worth breaking out into its own detailed proposal (thanks, Will)


  • 5 days for comment / discussion on this proposal
  • token holder DAO Snapshot with a 5-day vote period

Who Is Involved:

Threshold Marketing Guild, Threshold community and Threshold work token holders

Detailed Summary

Threshold’s Marketing Guild has tried a number of approaches over the last 15 months to execute on marketing activities while also providing oversight over funding provided by the DAO. The current Marketing Guild Committee agrees on the need to separate the oversight and execution roles, making the former more conducive to the bandwidth most members have, while continuing to improve on the latter by prioritizing, commissioning and compensating contributors based on value and impact, rather than fixed monthly compensation. TIP-49 (Restructure the Marketing Guild Committee) addresses the former plus structure for that latter, while this proposal addresses continuity for the latter.

The section “FUNCTION 2: Execution on Guild OKRs” in TIP-49 outlines 3 principles that will drive how we go about getting guild work done in the future:

  1. Prioritize & assign work based on expected impact in driving Threshold’s mission
  2. Source multiple types of contributor to make the MG more productive & resilient
  3. Compensate contributors based on achieving projects’ results

These will require bi-weekly sprint planning plus a retrospective that informs the next sprint plan, soliciting proposals from marketing/communications professionals, developing a process that delivers the best impact/price with the least amount of overhead/administration, developing rubrics to evaluate work output compared to what was commissioned and measure the impact, and larger projects will need retrospectives for improving our process.

Thus we need a highly trusted and capable person to manage this process, as well as to execute on the aspects of the MG’s critical core work streams (detailed below) that are most efficiently delivered “in house” and/or can’t wait for another contributor to be sourced, commissioned and evaluated.

In terms of execution, the scope of this role would cover 4 primary areas, with the primary activities noted below each:

  1. Social media

    • Leading and aligning with stakeholders the strategy for putting our assets to best use
    • Promoting the Threshold brand, its products and campaigns
    • Continuing to engage Threshold in relevant discussions and with influential accounts
    • Partnering with the Keep, NuCypher & thUSD teams on tactics
      • Aligning with Eugene on Wrapped Tour (and subsequent efforts) & posting threads
      • Aligning with Ryan on Threshold Access Control content & promotion
  2. Content creation

    • Aligning with Keep, NuCypher & thUSD teams on content & messaging
    • Drafting the Threshold Time newsletter content twice per month
    • Aligning with NuCypher & Keep marketing on blog needs & commissioning writers
    • Creating shorter videos & commissioning production of longer ones as needed
    • Creating and coordinating content for Community Calls & editing/publishing recordings
    • Supporting Threshold documentation updates
    • Working with token tracking sites to update Threshold/product messaging
    • Supporting Threshold AMAs
  3. Events/campaigns/sponsorships

    • Supporting stakeholder alignment on Threshold event strategy & budget
    • Supporting/coordinating alignment on event messaging & resources
    • Coordinating and aligning event strategy & logistics (booth, hackathons, etc.)
    • Creating & executing campaigns supporting Threshold’s brand, products & initiatives
    • Recommending to MG Committee potential sponsorships
  4. Guild infrastructure

    • Continue to enhance alignment and support other guilds on cross-functional projects
    • Continuing to add and maintain Threshold’s Notion pages for internal & external use
    • Sourcing proposals from marketing/communications professionals for outsourced work
    • Developing and maintaining rubrics for evaluating outsourced work
    • Supporting the MG Committee with its quarterly budget requests
    • Attending monthly MG Committee meeting & brief committee members on decisions
    • Research & recommend community engagement tools (e.g., Sobol)

We recommend that Threshold DAO contract with Ashley (MrsNu) for a 6-month renewable period working 30 hours/week at the $85/hour rate the MG Committee has aligned on and approved for contractor in the past.

Ashley is a Threshold “OG” community member (going back to NuCypher), she is a positive and helpful voice everywhere Threshold is being promoted and discussed (Twitter, Discord, Notion, YouTube, emerging Web3 platforms, etc.), and she has proven her value by contributing more to the Marketing Guild’s output over 15 months than anyone else.


I am in full support of this proposal, I believe that Ashley has been fulfilling this role and taking a serious amount of tasks uncompensated, so we need to stabilize this position and compensate for all those hours of hard work and excellent skills and motivation.

Apart from stabilizing Ashley’s role as Marketing Lead, moving the DAO to create several half time or full time positions for our contributors would really improve our results and avoid losing our talented contributors due to the need to move to other work positions.

Congratulations on the proposal, I hope it passes. And thanks @MrsNuBooty for sticking with Threshold DAO for so many months.


I think everyone would agree that Ash is great and has been a long standing evangelist for NuCypher and Threshold.

This seems expensive to me.

For comparison

  • The Front End development for Threshold USD is being done at $78 USD / hr @ 30 hrs per week.
  • The DAO PM role is being done at $500 USD / day

At the end of the initial six month contract, what metrics would the DAO use to evaluate if this contract should be renewed?


She is indeed very hardworking, but if I may be blunt, we need a professional for this role. The candidates currently being offered do not meet the required standards, and it would be difficult to elevate the project with them. I would have to say no.

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Thank you for your reply, Ben. This number serves as a starting point for conversation, at least in my mind, and was selected as it had been used in the past.

I think the issue this proposal is attempting to address is the amount of work beyond the 8 hours a week the guild expected from a member historically, that Ashley has been contributing since Threshold’s inception, without being compensated – I haven’t heard her ask for extra compensation. As a side note, Ash never asks for reimbursement for all expenses she incurs for various tools etc., which in my mind is on her, but to me, speaks to her dedication to this role.

I supported this proposal as a sponsor, but I am more than happy to discuss modifications. I’d also like to point out that there is no request for retroactive compensation. With the restructuring of the Marketing Guild proposal looking like it will pass, significant changes are unfolding.

Ben brought up a valid point that I hadn’t considered in depth – the question of metrics. I would task Ashley with developing a written plan for this 6-month period, similar to OKRs, and have the Guild evaluate based on that framework. The already planned meetings could serve to track progress.


Thank you, @ben, @Driver_Ren and @Vict0r for your feedback and questions - we definitely need more active discussion on the Forum and it’s the right way to get to the best practical outcomes, so I appreciate you articulating what others are likely thinking. A few thoughts in response, including a step back from this specific role request:

  • Threshold doesn’t have “candidates currently being offered”, nor are we offering a “contract”. What we have, not just with the Marketing Guild but across the DAO, is a small group of people doing the essential work to move Threshold forward. (Of course, we’re also extremely fortunate to have the Keep and NuCypher contributor teams - who are not currently compensated by the DAO and without whose ongoing contributions the project wouldn’t exist - as well as thUSD contributors the DAO has commissioned.) Without the core group of contributors who truly take ownership of both what we should be doing and making it happen, there would be no DAO: decentralized token holders, but limited autonomy without the organization.

  • I’ve gotten questions as to whether 30 hours/week is sufficient to accomplish all that’s outlined above (it’s not), as well as marketing professionals stating that it could easily be 2 full-time roles. But not only has the DAO to date not supported hiring full-time roles with benefits and the significant overhead costs associated, we literally don’t have the infrastructure in place yet to do so (another effort that’s taking longer than we’d like, owing to bandwidth constraints). Ashley has been doing the vast majority of the Marketing Guild’s alignment, coordination and execution for more than a year (as well as supporting the other guilds/teams as needed), and Threshold needs the continuity - especially considering how we are ramping up with the work related to the various liquidity proposals.

  • For the above reasons, as well as the fact that our experience with the Marketing Guild has shown that even offering $85/hour for various projects has attracted too few contributors, I’d argue that this rate is not expensive at all. Our Project Manager role is $66.67/hour, and there is no way we’d be able to hire someone else with Luna’s skills and background at that rate, especially as self-employment taxes reduce all these rates dramatically. I bet that were we pricing the thUSD dev role today it would be higher than $78/hour, as that is also a bargain for us (and far lower than the $137/hour the smart contract dev work started at). Also worth noting is that the DAO has seen people step back from active roles owing to liability concerns, and a number of contributors have taken on personal expenses to limit their liability through incorporation.

  • Regarding metrics to evaluate role performance, while we didn’t require this of any of our 3 previous roles (I believe because the needs were so obvious and the people willing to take them on so fitting, as I argue is demonstrably true here) it’s a good idea for us to move in this direction for all compensation from the DAO (and I see the Marketing Guild Committee and TIP-49 as leading the way in this regard). Metrics need to be ones that set up the role for success, so I would say in this case the marketing lead should be accountable for Marketing Guild OKR delivery. So the tasks above that are “leading”, “promoting”, “coordinating”, “aligning”, etc. are those where the role has most direct impact and accountability, while it would play a secondary role for those described as “supporting”, “recommending”, “sourcing”, and “attending”.

Looking forward to others joining this conversation as we work toward viable approaches for Threshold’s evolving needs, both in terms of marketing and more generally.


Thank you, @JohnPackel, for taking the time and expending the effort to draft and publish this proposal (as well as TIP-49)

After spending a year+ as an elected member of the Marketing Guild Committee, I would like to offer my perspective and thoughts on this proposal.

Over the past 14 months, the DAO has spent ~$200,000 in compensation for the marketing guild, for an estimated 2560 hours¹ - a rate of ~$78
Beyond that, the MG has spent an additional ~$30k over the course of these 14 months to compensate those members of the committee who were working substantially in excess of the average 8 hours/week expectation the DAO set for committee members at the time.

This proposal is for a 6-month period, and could easily be renegotiated upon completion, should either party feel that the compensation was not suitable for the level and quantity of work completed, or results achieved.

I strongly support this proposal.

Ashley has worked tirelessly, relentlessly, and passionately throughout all of this, and I believe she is capable of handling the responsibilities and expectations laid out in this proposal, as well as any others that may present themselves over the duration of the contract.

If the work was paid out at the same rate that the DAO laid out for the committees at their inception, we are talking about a difference of $4953.6 over the course of the 6-month contract. (Not to mention the historic inflation much of the world has been enduring the past 2 years - a quick calculation shows that the rate of $85 is more or less at parity with the original rate of $78.12)

I believe that Ashley will provide substantial value to the DAO and I have no doubt that her results will be more than satisfactory, so I have no qualms with the rate of $85 that is being requested, especially given the countless hours she has selflessly spent working for free.

It is important to take a cautious approach and to be prudent with our treasury, but sometimes I cannot help but wonder what we may have missed out on as a DAO with the time we have spent squabbling over pennies when work could have been underway all this time.

¹ If you want clarification on this estimation I would be glad to provide it.


Thank you John et al for the initiative to create a more functional structure for the DAO.

I think that this is an important step forward in consolidating core contributors, coordinating DAO efforts, and clarifying the KPIs of the DAOs marketing manager role. I also think that Ashley is the perfect candidate for this position, for her expertise, track record, and commitment to Threshold.

The six-month period allows the DAO to review the efficacy of this structure and propose improvements, during which time I hope there is ample constructive input from the community.

I think this is a step in the right direction, and am in support of this proposal.


Thanks @JohnPackel for putting this forward.

Also thanks to everyone contributing to the conversation. I think @ZeroInFo56 break down of the numbers really helped my understanding if the proposals cost was in the ballpark of being reasonable.

I’ve worked alongside Ashley in the MG as well as arms length pre-Threshold, when NuCypher was cranking away at proxy re-encryption. I can attest to her dedication and frequently refer to her as “NuCypher’s historian” as she’s been around for some time.

She shows up, works hard, takes feedback with grace, and keeps a positive attitude despite this industry being quite…shall we say “wavy”. I can also attest to the extra hours and costs that she has absorbed personally without compensation. I think 6 months is the right amount of time moving forward to get a pulse on whether or not the community at large is satisfied with her performance. Personally I plan on supporting Ashley in several ways to lessen some work streams noted above (events in particular). I look forward to supporting this proposal.


I feel that this is the right direction and support iteratively working towards the best possible outcomes.

As has been mentioned, after 6 months we should be able to identify any changes that may be needed and continue in a good direction.

Cost reductions from TIP 49 help make this palatable in my opinion and fills a long-time need.

Ashley is definitely dedicated and has a good amount of context which is important for this role.


Can you elaborate on this?


Compensation for DAO contributors is a difficult conversation to have, it feels uncomfortable to do so.

Most of these are subjective or difficult to measure if they where successful or effective. They strike me as actions to take to rather than the outcomes we need the role to achieve. Some more objective measures of success might be:

  • Produce monthly newsletter, grow signups by __ and maintain an open rate above __.
  • Produce __ Twitter threads and grow followers by __ % and engagement metrics by __ %.
  • Source and distribute __ blog posts that achieve __ views and promote via Reddit / Twitter / FB / LinkedIn
  • Rank on page __ of Google for “btc bridge”, “threshold encryption” etc

As you mention there are lots of things that a marketing lead could easily fill 30 hours+ a week doing, having the right objective metrics helps ensure that work is correctly prioritised.


One will note that 9 of the responsibilities include alignment, and that’s because we have 3 entities trying to work more smoothly and effectively together (DAO, Keep and NuCypher). And that is quite clear: we’re either aligned and working toward the same end or not.

But yes, some of these are subjective and the more objective measures we have, the better able we’ll be to prioritize and evaluate. And prioritizing is key, given changing demands and the need to generate results (not just activity).

We will work on this and post an update early this week for everyone to consider. Thanks again.


Promoting individuals from within has proved difficult in many of the non profits and institutional organizations I have worked for. In my experience individuals (employees) who excel at their paid positions end up taking on the “slack” - that is ever present in any large working group - for free.

The reality in our organization is that Ashley has already been filling this role for over a year, while only being paid for 8 hours of her time. She has been executing the functions and workloads described in the proposal, she has spend at least 60 hours a week in all of our servers twitter accounts and forums, she has been meeting deadlines, and frankly, showing up when no-one else is willing.

I agree the description of the “job” seems daunting, and clearly requires a “professional” when considering the task of seeking and filling a position. But our DAO has not been able to establish work loads and compensations these roles - let alone make any attempt at finding professionals to fill them. At the moment there is an imbalance in the Marketing Guild.

I feel very strongly in support of this proposal, and Ashley’s ability to meet the tasks described within it.
I think that setting forth a 6 month period allows her to demonstrate her abilities, as well as allowing the DAO to demonstrate (financially) its commitment to filling the position and achieving the tasks in the long run. Sustainability is achieved by setting reasonable, ongoing working conditions, compensated commensurately. Burn out is achieved when not.

This is a sizable amount of money and serious consideration should be paid to its use. After a period of 6 months if the DAO wishes to “open up” this position, it will be very easy to do so. Any contributors, outside professionals, or people specifically recommended to apply, may do so. This happens all the time at Universities and is a regular part on ongoing contract/non-contract employment.


I would like to rephrase my viewpoint, and actually, I think there are significant issues with this compensation method. I believe the hourly rate could be slightly higher, but at least 70% of the compensation for DAO members should come from stock options (for example, with an exercise price set at the current $0.03) and with a lock-up period of at least one year.

I know many people may argue that the market changes rapidly, but this is cryptocurrency, and the only potential profit for token holders comes from price appreciation. I believe this approach is more in line with the interests of investors

A “professional” shouldn’t be a noun in this case. It is an adjective, and it perfectly describes Ashley.


I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to all those who invested their time and effort in drafting and sponsoring this proposal, as well as to the community members who have shown their support for it and raised insightful questions.

I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the past two years of my contribution to this decentralized work, which has been both enriching and educational. It is an unparalleled experience where there is no conventional boss or leader, but rather a community of diverse voices and ideas. I appreciate all the individuals who are contributing in any way possible to the DAO, regardless of their level of experience or background.

I am confident that my diverse skill set will continue to strengthen our community’s participation, facilitate better alignment of all Threshold contributor groups, and help our products and community continue to grow and thrive.

One of the primary challenges faced by the Marketing Guild Committee has been the difficulty in moving initiatives forward, as voluntary ownership has proven to be ineffective. What has worked is the ability to collaboratively make budget-related decisions in a thoughtful manner. Consistent participation has been lacking, but I’m hopeful that the new structure we aligned on and the DAO ratified in TIP-49 will accommodate members’ varying bandwidth constraints and prove far more efficient.

As we’ve all seen in major challenges like the confusion that users, journalists and investors express over the incomplete Threshold/Keep/NuCypher branding, the effort it took to update exchanges and token listing sites with tBTC v2 name and logo and we now need to undertake to update 3-year old info that only mentions Keep, the tremendous work it takes to grow our Crypto Twitter presence with the right messaging - now expanded to include alignment with
partners like Wormhole and the others to follow - the DAO needs a fully committed and able marketing lead with the time and passion to continue driving these multiple workstreams and more.

Understanding and agreeing with the need for clear deliverables and metrics with which to both prioritize this role and measure my effectiveness, John and I have outlined a 6-month plan for the role here. It’s meant to be a living document, and we look forward to ongoing discussion with the Keep, NuCypher and thUSD teams, as well as Marketing Guild Committee, on the priorities.

Note that I intend to be accountable for these deliverables; at the same time, many of them require significant collaboration with those teams, as well as the other guilds. If this role is approved, I remain one of multiple people doing the work and helping achieve consensus on strategy, priorities and work flow.

Looking forward to moving TIP-50 to Snapshot in the next day or two so we all have clarity on this portion of the execution restructure that TIP-49’s ratification called for and these important workstreams can continue.


Not trying to take anything away Ashley’s hard work in the community but in my opinion if Threshold wants to step up it’s marketing there should be some outsourcing involved. The project would probably be able to achieve a more effective campaign by paying a professional organization that has a broader skill set. My 2¢…
I do not support this proposal.

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Thanks for your feedback, @XKOYOPA. We have outsourced a number of services (explainer videos, contributor team interviews, blog writing, translations, etc.) as well as experimenting with Web3 platforms like 101.xyz, Layer3, Galxe and others. We definitely would like to do more outsourcing, and the 6-month plan Ashley shared above includes recommendations for outsourcing expertise for things like search engine optimization and other marketing services.

I have several marketing firms I’ve worked with who have deep Web3 experience, and we are inviting them to make proposals for services we could outsource to them.

Sourcing, managing and evaluating outsourced firms requires a significant investment of time (all the more reason we need this role because Marketing Guild Committee bandwidth has been an impediment), but to be clear: the goal of this role is to have the contractor focus on the highest impact activities that Ashley is best qualified to execute, while outsourcing anywhere we can secure better expertise or it’s more efficient.

If you (or anyone) has recommendations for the type of services you think we most need (i.e., we’re not covering now or could be done better) and/or people/firms you’d like to recommend, please share them. As with the content of the priorities and deliverables, the more community involvement and feedback we get the better, both in terms of being as effective as possible, as well as getting beneficial input on things those of us executing may miss.


This passed Snapshot with 438M tokens supporting (and none opposed): Snapshot

Congratulations, DAO, on the smart decision with TIP-49 and much-needed investment in TIP-50. As @MrsNuBooty noted above, the 6-month plan for the role is a living document, so we look forward to everyone’s input on priorities and evaluating results. :muscle:

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