In our last article, we discussed Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) and
how they’re changing virtual collaboration. Put simply, DAOs are online organization that
have no central authority. Instead, their members collectively govern themselves. The
rules of a DAO are embedded in its code, which cannot be tampered with unless the
organization votes to do so. Thus, no one — and everyone — is in charge.
In the future, an increasing number of organizations — businesses, non-profits,
investment funds, and more — may be created and managed as DAOs. Their inherent
transparency and built-in safeguards against internal corruption make them especially
attractive in a world that has become increasingly centralized as technology has
Right now though, the technology behind DAOs is complex and difficult to manage, as
there are certain sacrifices that must be made to enable total decentralization. And
unfortunately, they can be attacked from the outside. In 2016, one of the first wellknown DAOs (appropriately called “The DAO” ) was compromised when hackers
exploited multiple security vulnerabilities and stole $50 million worth of funds. Another
well-known DAO, a crowdfunding platform called DAO Maker, was the victim of a wallet
exploit last year that cost them $7 million.
That’s why we created Associate.
Associate is a centralized platform that enables the creation and decentralized
governance of online associations. They are managed in the same way as DAOs, but
are not subject to the complexities and security risks that come with total
decentralization. Our role is not to be involved in any association, but simply to provide
a platform for organization and governance.
In this article, we’ll walk you through, step-by-step, how to create your own association
in less than 5 minutes, step by step.
With Associate, you can create your own association in less than 5 minutes. Here’s how.
Create Your Account
Click the “Sign Up” button on the home page or on the main menu in the top right hand
corner of the screen to create an an account with your email address and password.
After you sign up, we’ll send you an email with a link to verify your account, at which
point you can complete your profile with more information like your display name and
Create Your Association
Once your profile is complete, Associate will prompt you to start creating your first association.
First, add a name for the association and provide a brief description. This will information will be
public for other users, including non-members, to see.
Set Your Objectives
Next, Associate will prompt you to describe the objectives of your association.
Each association is organized around a specific set of objectives which collectively describe its purpose.
Clear objectives and a well-defined roadmap will engage the members of the association and increase its support.
Aside from the objectives themselves, you can include information like:
• Expenses: List the kinds of expenses that will be necessary for your association. Later,
you’ll create an expenses list that clearly details how any funds will be allocated to pay
for expenses such as assets, licenses, and hiring contractors. Of course, the specifics of
this step will depend on the type of association you create.
• Public/Private Status: Public associations are open for anyone to join, while Private
associations can only be joined by select users. If your group is private, describe what
the requirements are for joining.
Set a Monthly Fee and Voting Threshold
Some associations are free to join, but others charge monthly fees (also known as
member dues) to fund the association and pay for any expenses. Once defined, fees are
collected automatically every month.
Again, this will depend on the type of association and its objectives. For example, an
association created for the purpose of collective investments would require contribution
from its members, and these would be collected in the form of monthly fees. An
association based on self-improvement and personal goal-setting, however, would likely
not involve any funding and thus be free to join.
To ensure consistent governance, set a voting threshold — the minimum number of votes
a motion must receive to pass. Associate’s software executes voting decisions
automatically once a decision is reached
A motion to make changes within the association (for example, to revise its rules, or to
change how funds are allocated) can be proposed and voted on at any time. Associate’s
software executes voting decisions automatically once a decision is reached.
Choose some topics to make your group easy to find, so that people who are interested
in these topics can find your association. The image below shows an example of the
kinds of topics that might be relevant to yours.
Plans and Pricing
Finally, you’ll be brought to a payment screen where you can choose and pay for a
monthly plan. Associate offers three monthly plans:
Starter Plan (Free): The Starter plan offers the basic features and services you need
to start your IA without delay. Features include a Public URL, and the ability to add
members, funds, and services.
• Standard Plan ($5/month): The Standard plan has everything you need to organize
a thriving association, and includes a Public URL, the ability to add members, funds,
and services, and the ability to perform bi-monthly bank transfers.
• Premium Plan ($15/month): The Premium plan has even more features and
increased flexibility. Along with all the features described above, your IA can perform
unlimited bank transfers and have a premium icon. With the this plan, your IA will
even be eligible to receive grants from Associate.
Once you choose a plan, your association will be officially established, and will be visible
to other users. In other words, the foundation is set — it’s time to start building.