As you may have noticed, the Grantcoin Foundation hasn’t announced any news over the past several weeks, and we have fallen behind on processing new applications for Grantcoin Basic Income. I’m writing this message to update you on what’s been happening behind the scenes, and how things will be changing for Grantcoin in 2017.
First of all, please be assured that Grantcoin is alive and well. Since the quarterly distribution of Grantcoin on October 1,
- Several hundred new people have signed up for Grantcoin Basic Income.
- We have raised several hundred dollars in new donations. Thank you to our new donors!
- We have been working with the founder of Ekata.social, whose development team is building an automated verification system for Grantcoin signups. We expect to release the new signup/verification system for beta testing in early December.
Secondly, please understand that until now, Grantcoin has been a volunteer-based project with no paid staff. This has led to the problem of volunteer burnout, which is typical for small new nonprofits.
It takes a lot of work to manage the Grantcoin project and keep it going and growing. During much of this year, I have worked 50+ hours per week for this project, for no pay. I am not wealthy. I have been living off a small amount of savings and part-time contract work. Other volunteers have been putting in some time as well, but much less, because they have full-time jobs or businesses.
Some people who signed up for Grantcoin expressed anger, or even accused Grantcoin of being a scam, when their applications weren’t processed quickly or when the distribution of wallets was delayed. I want to remind everyone that the Grantcoin Foundation is (A) giving away something for nothing, and has no obligation to do it quickly or even to do it at all; (B) doing the best we can to keep up with the workload, with the limited human and financial resources we have available.
After working an 80-hour week to finish the October distribution of Grantcoin, I became burned out. I decided to take a few weeks off from volunteering — except for ongoing discussions with developers — to focus on other responsibilities of life and carefully consider my financial situation and career goals.
I have informed the Board of Directors of the Grantcoin Foundation that I expect to be paid for my work for Grantcoin, starting in January 2017. The Board has agreed, in principle. It will be a part-time job, because a lot of the work is going to be automated with the technology being built by Ekata; and also because a part-time Executive Director is all the paid labor that our organization can afford. The only questions that remain are how many hours I will work, what the pay rate will be, and whether the Foundation will receive enough donations and investment to be able to support it and keep the project sustainable.
I have told the Board that I’m willing to work for a very low pay rate — much lower than the fair market value of my work — at least for the first 6 months of 2017, so that the Grantcoin community will have a reasonable amount of time to decide whether to fund the project sustainably for the longer term, or not.
The purpose of this message is not to ask for money, but just to let you know what’s been going on, and the important developments and decisions being made. Both technologically and organizationally, we’re trying to put Grantcoin on a firmer footing for the future. There will be plenty of fundraising appeals from the Grantcoin Foundation as time goes on — just like any legitimate nonprofit organization that has to pay its bills to accomplish its charitable mission. We will also publish a full annual financial report at the end of the year, with information about how much money we have raised and spent, and in what ways, during 2016.
Expect another update in early December. Meanwhile, I’ll try to get caught up on processing hundreds of new applications for Grantcoin Basic Income, as time allows. Thank you for your patience as we go through these growing pains, and thank you for your support for the cause — a new currency that can help to create a more fair distribution of wealth in the world.