The Endowment’s goal is to ensure the long-term viability of ENS by ensuring it can meet its ongoing financial obligations even in the face of a lower ETH price and/or reduced registration/renewal revenue
The idea of an ENS Endowment first appeared in the governance forum in March 2022, with a post by Nick.eth.
The goal is to set aside a substantial amount of the DAO’s treasury and incoming revenue from registration fees to build an endowment that will sustain ENS development indefinitely.
To achieve this goal, the DAO will need to diversify and invest its treasury and future registration fees to create a sustainable funding source. Doing so will allow the DAO to continue to operate and fund the ongoing development of ENS, irrespective of market conditions.
What is a (typical) endowment?
Endowments are typically used by non-profit organizations like hospitals, museums, and universities to create long-term funding sources for projects.
Most endowments are created through donations from individuals, foundations, or companies with the intention of providing a reliable source of income for the organization for future operations.
Endowment assets are usually diversified across a number of investments, with a goal of growing over time.
To preserve an endowment’s value and ensure its ability to support the organization for generations to come, only a portion of an endowment's income is typically used for the organization's operations each year, with the rest reinvested in the endowment.
In this way, an endowment provides a stable and sustainable source of funding for a non-profit organization, allowing it to carry out its mission and achieve its goals, even in uncertain economic times.
EP 2.2.4: ENS Endowment Request for Proposal (RFP)
In September 2022, MetaGovernance Working Group stewards put out an RFP for an endowment fund manager.
The Social Proposal was put to a vote in EP 2.2.4. The DAO voted ‘For’ the proposal.
As a result of the vote, the RFP will became active, and the RFP manager — in this case the Meta-Governance Working Group (WG) stewards — were empowered to choose a winner from any submissions made without a further DAO vote.
EP 2.2.5 Selection of an ENS endowment fund manager
In November 2022, after receiving eight proposals, the Meta-Governance WG stewards selected three finalists.
Using ranked-choice voting, the Meta-Governance WG stewards put forward a Social Proposal, EP 2.2.5, to select the endowment fund manager from the finalists.
The winner of this vote was Karpatkey.
The Endowment was initiated on March 7, 2023. The DAO voted in favor of funding the first tranche of the Endowment with an initial amount of 16,000 ETH.
Following the execution of this proposal, funds were transferred from the DAO wallet to the Endowment.
The endowment wallet is controlled by the DAO and managed by Karpatkey. The endowment safe wallet can be viewed here.
There are several relevant threads in the governance forum regarding the endowment which are linked below:
- [Social] Endowment: Initial Conditions & Required Steps
- Endowment initiation
- Endowment Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- [EP3.4] [Executable] Fund the Endowment (first tranche)