A constitution, like an orchard of apples, requires diligent cultivation to yield fruit. Just as the crop cannot take root in the soil without water, a constitution cannot be adopted without the consideration and acceptance of its community.
In this section, we make a set of practical recommendations on how to draft DAO constitutions in order to maximize their use in governance. In particular, we recommend that constitutions be digital, amendable, short, expository, and early.
Digital. The constitution should be accessible at a URI, stored in an accessible digital format such as a .md or .txt file, and make use of hyperlinks to other relevant resources
Amendable. There is an accessible, transparent process for amending or changing the constitution. Often, but not always, this means having a section dedicated to amendment procedures
Short. The constitution should be short and focused. Do not overspecify definitions, rules, and processes. As a rule of thumb, imagine a document that more than 50% of your community would actually read. That might be three tweets, or it might be a page. It is not a 30-page legal document
Expository. Each goal, value, or right should come with enough context and exposition, often through an example, so that any member of the community can grasp the concept
Early. Constitutions should be written and promulgated at the beginning of an organization or community’s creation
These recommendations are based on a series of interviews with the drafters of DAO constitutions, including those from DAOhaus, the Ethereum Name Service (ENS), and the Token Engineering Commons (TEC), and on the empirical practices analyzed in Part II. Along with these recommendations, we provide a template along with a forkable code repository to help DAOs draft and maintain such constitutions.
For further resources, we suggest Richard Bartlett’s Handbook of Handbooks for Decentralized Organizing.