Decentralizing the Gitcoin Grants Program

Great question @shawn16400. The hope is that over time we have core rounds graduate to sustained featured rounds run by community members. I’m not sure I was clear enough about how featured rounds are in themselves independent rounds. That was an important call out. Ideally featured rounds are independently run by communities interested in running rounds during our cadence for the reasons listed above.

The analogy I’ve used for a few people is Burning Man. No Burning Man camp graduates from Burning Man, they just build more of an infrastructure of their own within the festival and if anything the festival celebrates each camps independence. Featured rounds are the equivalent of camps in this context. They don’t need to graduate from running featured rounds but they can expand their efforts during the Gitcoin Grants Festival Rounds.


I love this analogy and was struggling with one when I wrote my prior post. It makes perfect sense to help participants graduate from Core to the self managed Featured Rounds. I am thinking the next step, where we, the DAO enable pathways for the independent camps at Burning Man to sprout their own “Burning Man Brazil”, “Burning Man Singapore” or “Burning Man End-World-Poverty”.

Using the hub and spoke model - with Gitcoin at the center is great, we build that ecosystem for a killer Burning Man with a bunch of independent camps. But do we think about how we (the remaining DAO) exist to use our Burning Man experience to enable the building of new and antifragile ecosystem(s) enabled by the Grants Stack?

Might be too early for this kind of thinking :slight_smile:


Amazing. No notes.

Having watched this concept evolve for a while, I’m so impressed with how clean the framing and articulation of the plan is here. That Authors list is a dream team.

So psyched to see this move into action


Thanks for asking the qs that you asked as they are very important for people like me who want to build local rounds and possibly a national round via Gitcoin. Since my first month in Gitcoin DAO I asked myself how would a Gitcoin Romania round would look like and I have to say I’m more excited than ever about this now that the protocol is being created and tested before our very eyes.

The web3 dreamer in me was and is curious how can Gitcoins ethos/tech/values can be exported and implemented worldwide and adapted to those cultures as well.

Personally I don’t think it’s 2 early and @bobjiang is a great example with the work he’s doing via Gitcoin Chinese ecosystem. Kudos to Bob :robot: as he inspired me last year to think and try to create a Gitcoin Romanian ecosystem and test out different funding narratives inside of it.


I think this is awesome. Previously, Bob had to collect the QF from the main round and disributed it to Chinese projects. Now, Bob or you, can turn the earnings from one round into the matching pool for another!


Ideally we get there where we have people using Allo protocol and customize it through building different tools they want to run “clustered” rounds at different times. This might be rounds that use different funding mechanisms that are built on the protocol and cluster rounds together. There are so many ways this can evolve but first and foremost let’s build the initial infrastructure to make sure this works.


Appreciate the note Kevin. The PGF team is a strong one. Feel very lucky to work with them all on our overall grants direction.


This leaves me with remarkable clarity and understanding of the difference between Program ‘Core Rounds’ and Program ‘Featured Rounds.’ So, thank you!

It also makes sense to engineer a sustainable business model for Gitcoin/ Allo Protocol and charge for Featured rounds. Because, in fact, those participants will be benefitting from strong services delivered by a well-oiled machine. :robot:


Thank you so much @J9leger for laying this all out so eloquently and clearly! Super helpful for the entire community and a great summary of what we’ve been discussing, debating, and planning over the past few months. It’s all coming together!

A few scattered thoughts -

I agree with this approach of governance in deciding the themes, structure, criteria, etc. The one part that we will need to further figure out is the funding aspect.

Currently, most rounds we run are specifically fundraised for by the partnerships team. We do have the matching pool multisig treasury, which has grown and decreased over the years, and we do pull from that when need be. BUT I do think the majority of funding for our core rounds will need to be brought in externally, otherwise, the multisig will drain instantly.

I do think what you were alluding to is that the PGF team will fundraise for core rounds the community decides on (say OSS, Infra, Climate) and then perhaps we can set aside some amount from the multisig that the DAO gets to vote to allocate as a “bonus” to the externally raised funds.

I think it will be really hard to allow the community to choose how to allocate ALL matching funds, simply because the matching pool donors typically want to support a specific cause. It’s much easier to raise funds for climate or OSS from orgs that really care about that specific topic. It’s much harder to fundraise for a “general pool” that others will decide what it goes to. And someone who wanted to donate to climate will not be happy if we have to say “sorry but the community decided to fund X instead”

So all that said, I think we should find a balance between setting aside a subset of funds that the DAO gets to allocate, while also empowering the partnerships team to pull in as much capital as possible by working with donors that care deeply about specific topics.

I will also just state for the record that I believe jet engine QF (I prefer “meta rounds/QF”) is a HUGE value add to running QF programs in tandem. It creates network effects, allows communities to grow together, and prevents grants that may be in multiple rounds from getting their support diluted.

I think this feature will be super important for the Gitcoin Core Program, it could be an added benefit or upsell to featured program rounds, and will be a great tool for other communities using the protocol in a permissionless way.

I know you specifically called out “in the near term” and that this will likely come about eventually, but I personally believe it should be prioritized sooner rather than later. I think we’ll see what the community thinks when the program launches :slight_smile:

Anyway, extremely well-written post, I’m in full agreement and excited to get this ball rolling!


but wouldn’t one of the hopes be that they (at last some) can eventually operate independently and not be dependent on the Gitcoin festival? isn’t that why we’re building the Grants Stack and the Allo Protocol?

We are currently discussing a grant round for dMRV and I recently did a little write up around this, would love to share. Would also love to know y’alls thoughts and what next steps you think would be.

Fantastic writeup, thanks @J9leger and all other contributors!

I just want to echo the other comments that this piece does a great job highlighting the difference between Program Core and Program Featured rounds and will be super valuable to refer back to as we get closer to April and beyond. Can’t wait to see the adoption and growth that this sets into motion!


Yes absolutely! Ideally, the Gitcoin program and everything it encompasses will only be a fraction (and shrinking) of the total platform adoption and activity. This write-up is narrowly focused on discussing the future of the Gitcoin Program and how we can decentralize it, but is not about the broader adoption and decentralization of the Gitcoin Protocol (aka Allo/Grants Stack).

In my view, most external grant programs will prefer to run with their own schedule, cadence, and structure, and not be tied to Gitcoin’s Program. Some may start as featured rounds and then go off to do their own thing, some may start independently but decide to try out a featured program round, and many will never even consider or want to run a featured round.

IMO certain external communities that have large overlaps with the Gitcoin community, core round themes, and overall mission, may find it valuable to run alongside the program (we saw the positive impact of these network effects on cGrants). However this will be the minority, and the work on growing the program should not impact general protocol adoption, self serve users are a priority.


Hi Joe,

Bob had to collect the QF from the main round and disributed it to Chinese projects. Now, Bob or you, can turn the earnings from one round into the matching pool for another!

What do you mean here?
I am thinking about how to expand the Gitcoin impact in Asia Pacific, and we will have some tests in 2023.


When you are able to run a round on the protocol yourself, you can put the funds from the main round earnings into a multisig to use as future matching funds for Asia rounds!

Another cool idea would be to connect with @paigexu522 and @JR-OKX to discuss support for an Asia round. They have tons of connections and are invested in Gitcoin’s success as well. Your community driven brand could operate rounds as a program manager with them and/or others as the matching pool funders.

You might even campaign for your new Asia round to run alongside the Gitcoin Core Program as a “Featured” round… or potentially be a core round!

Check out this post to learn about how the core and featured rounds will be chosen for the beta rounds running in April! Shaping the new Gitcoin Grants Program With Community Engagement


Thank you Joe, I will read the post and talk to Paige (I know her).


Outstanding Information This really puts a lot of things on the table!

Good morning and I was hoping for some direction. We were part of the ReFi DAO Corhort 2 circle last year which was designed to end as your last round opening approached.

We understand why decisions were made to limit to previous participants but for those of us in the circle excluded it felt a little like we were dressed for the ball and then had to watch from the outside on twitter as the dance took place.

Nothing was adjusted in the ReFi DAO circle to recognise the implications for those excluded as not only do you offer exposure for potential grant funding but also provide much needed exposure to a wider community.

The Green Initiative DAO we see as filling an important space that is missing and we are a Founders of Regen projects led DAO.

Would like to get a better understanding of what is envisaged in April if that is ok. What I read sounds amazing in terms building an eco system to allow others to build or stack on your foundations.


thanks for all info, sorry My english not awesome. I using translator. I think Gitcoin Grants will be hug DAO next years. I am happy.


my english is poor ,but i love what you are doing .just go ahead,and make the great job.