CDIP Explainer

What is a CDIP ?

CDIP stands for Community Development Initiative Proposal. The CDIP is the scoping and framing tool for for anyone interested in contributing to the MakerDAO community initiatives or resources. CDIPs are used to propose new initiatives or expand the scope of existing initiatives and resources. A proposal should combine the contributor’s ideas, skills, and abilities with our shared goal of improving the resources available to the MakerDAO community.

After starting a CDIP, the owner is responsible for sharing it with the community for feedback. There is a dedicated Guide that is assigned to help a CDIP Owner through the approval process. Once approved, work can be started on the new or expanded initiative.

What are the benefits of a CDIP?

The CDIP provides a standard contributing template for Maker’s community. The format provides a few benefits: collect and organize relevant information in a standardized format to make ideas easier to understand, add an efficient and transparent evaluation layer to contribution proposals, simplify the ability to archive ideas and search details about them later, and ultimately serve as a tool to streamline how we review and approve work as a community. CDIPs scale the ability to execute the ideas of the community.

How is a CDIP started?

Use this CDIP template doc to start the process. To submit a CDIP, simply make a copy of the template, fill out the first page (step 1), and post a link to the doc in our group #Community Development. A Guide will reach out to help the CDIP owner through the next steps.

How does a CDIP work?

Below is a visual representation of our current process. Contributor steps are highlighted in green, approving group steps are highlighted in purple, and overlapping steps are highlighted in orange. A community member who acts as a Guide assists new CDIP owners in refining and bringing their CDIP towards completion by coordinating on the orange steps.


How does a CDIP Owner ask for resources?

Each CDIP includes a section on costs and resources. As part of the approval process, the owner of the CDIP presents the idea along with the required resources. Resources can include, but not limited to:

  • People support (developer, designer, editor, writer, videographer, etc)

  • Foundation resources support (brand assets, official product screenshots, etc)

Once the CDIP is approved, these resources are granted. As a general rule of thumb, CDIPs cover costs under 5k DAI. The specific details vary case by case.

For general resources, if what’s needed is not in the contributing section of the community development portal, come onto the #community-development channel on our chat and ask.

What happens if a CDIP needs more resources than originally proposed?

The assigned Guide will relay the information to the team and work with the CDIP owner to coordinate a meeting, outline the required resources, and present them to the approving group. This meeting determines if additional resources can be approved to continue the project or if it can’t proceed due to the increased resource requirement.

What happens if a CDIP can’t be completed?

If a contributor has an idea but lacks the personal ability to pursue it, it’s still valuable to get the first stages of the idea documented and discoverable in case someone else wants to pick it up. Step 1 of the template is designed as the lightweight process to accomplish that.

To close the loop: add the word “inactive” to the CDIP title, leave a comment at the top, contact other contributors if they were involved, and contact the Guide to let them know of the inactive status.

How does someone contribute to an open CDIP?

A CDIP starts as a google doc template and is refined with a Guide. Once a CDIP is approved or archived, it is converted to a public Github issue on the Community Development projects board. To contribute to an open CDIP, visit the Community GitHub project board, choose a CDIP, add comments or reach out to the owner. Alternatively, post a link to the CDIP and request to contribute in the community development chat.

For help finding a CDIP to contribute to, ask in the #community-development channel and our team will help.

What are the main roles involved in a CDIP?

  • CDIP Owner: Creator of the CDIP and the driver of the project. Sets all contributor roles, goals, timelines, and expectations. Can lead meetings or communications.

  • Contributing Team: Contributes responsibilities or expertise to the owner, or lead.

  • Advisor: Supportive role that can help scope, follow up, brainstorm, test, and keep Community Development abreast of communications and project updates.

  • Approving Group: Evaluator(s) reviewing and approving CDIPs. Details below.

What is the “Approving group” and who are its members?

The approving group exists to review CDIPs and to either approve or reject them. The group meets weekly to evaluate CDIPs. CDIPs are assessed by a number of considerations: level of community benefit, feasibility, return on investment, conflicts with other projects, and implications on operational overhead. We welcome feedback on how to improve this process.

The approving group is a mix of Maker Foundation employees and seasoned contributors of the community.

Do’s and Don'ts


  • Actively look for and be open to feedback.

  • Check existing or past CDIPs to avoid duplicative work.

  • For broader feedback, share the CDIP in public channels and with individuals that might be able to help. Remember to adjust the google doc permissions to ‘comment only’ for external contributors.

  • If a CDIP requires work before it is approved, like a design or some light dev work, communicate this to the CDIP Guide or approving group members.

  • Expect 1-3 hours of time to frame and flesh out the idea before paid, approved work begins.

  • Create a contingency plan for cases that would increase the required resources, and add them to the CDIP.

  • Bring your friends and colleagues to help. Use the various resources found in the contributing section of the community development portal.


  • Expect payment for unapproved work. Wait for approval before starting work on the CDIP. Assume a CDIP is necessary.

  • Use the CDIP process for smaller work proposals, especially ones that can fall under an existing CDIP.

  • Submit more than two CDIPs at a time.

  • Duplicate CDIPs that already exist.

Sample Submissions