[DISCUSSION]: Community Feedback on Gitcoin’s Essential Intents for 2023/2024


As we navigate the complexities of decentralized governance and product development, we know it’s crucial to have guiding principles to help us make decisions and measure our success. We came together to define these last year and are refining them again as the organization grows.We’ll gather feedback in the community from now until Tuesday, October 10th to refine these intents and ratify within CSDO.

You can read the proposal for our previous Mission & Essential Intents here, read the discussion around the updates here, and learn more about where the team was looking to head back in January 2023 here.

Previous Essential Intents and Their Evolution

Our previous Essential Intents were focused on:

Protocol Adoption:

  • Building a widely adopted, modular Grants protocol.
  • Build a widely adopted, modular Pluralism Passport protocol that creates a flourishing ecosystem of network effects around a Decentralized Society.

Financial Sustainability: Having a comprehensive, diversified strategy for financial stability.

DAO Organization: Creating and promoting clear and engaging rituals and communication channels.

Grants Program Success: Enabling a successful grants protocol launch. We’re pleased to note substantial progress and positive community impact through the Gitcoin Grants Program. For an in-depth review of our milestones, look out for an upcoming post on what we’ve achieved.

We’ve made significant strides in these areas (you can read more in an upcoming post),but our focus needs to evolve as we grow.The new Essential Intents are designed to encompass and align with our current challenges and opportunities. We’ve developed these intents to better align with our broader objectives and the dynamic landscape of decentralized governance and public goods funding.

New Essential Intents

The new Essential Intents are:

  • Network Effects: Maximizing the network effects of our ecosystem to grow product adoption.

    • Evolution: Shifting from a focus on “Protocol Adoption & Grants Program Success” to prioritizing product adoption as the cornerstone for generating network effects and ecosystem growth.
    • Objective: Prioritize the adoption of Gitcoin’s products as the initial step in creating a self-reinforcing cycle of network effects. We aim to achieve a targeted growth rate in product adoption, initiating a powerful cycle of network effects.
    • What that might look like: Community-driven initiatives, partnerships, and collaborations form the core of our strategy. We’re also focusing on cross-workstream collaboration and increased usage of Gitcoin’s products within our organization (‘dog-fooding’). To quantify, we aim for at least 30% of our strategic objectives to benefit multiple Gitcoin products directly.
    • How do we know we’re tracking towards this EI? Product roadmap cross-over, increased reciprocal ROI (two work streams see up-tick in their goal progress vs. one)
  • Community First: Cultivating a community that thrives on providing positive change and meaningful engagement.

    • Evolution: From “Community Engagement” to nurturing a community culture both internally and externally, as well as throughout our various sub-communities
    • Objective: To encourage active participation, effective governance, and widespread adoption of Gitcoin’s initiatives and platforms. We aim to create an environment where community members feel empowered to actively contribute to Gitcoin’s evolution.
    • What that might look like: Gitcoin Grants Program, Community events, educational content, and governance proposals serve as the backbone of our community engagement. Specifically, our quarterly programs act as community Schelling Points, providing regular intervals for collective focus and action.
    • How do we know we’re tracking towards this EI? Community engagement rates, retention rates, governance participation, internal and external community satisfaction
  • Financial Longevity: Ensuring the economic health and vitality of Gitcoin.

    • Evolution: From “Financial Sustainability” to ensuring long-term financial health so that we can continue to build in public and fund what matters through any market or storm
    • Objective: Ensure financial vitality and longevity
    • What that might look like: Efficient budget allocation, ROI-driven investments, and transparent financial reporting.
    • How do we know we’re tracking towards this EI? ROI on investments, financial sustainability ratios, and treasury growth. Strategic investments in a bull market, high ROI investments in a bear market.

How They Work Together

Our Essential Intents are not isolated pillars; they are more like instruments in an orchestra, each contributing to the overall melody that is Gitcoin’s future.

These Essential Intents are interconnected, each feeding into the other to create a virtuous cycle that drives the value and utility of the Gitcoin ecosystem. For example, a strong network effect can lead to a more engaged community, which in turn can contribute to the financial sustainability of the ecosystem. This interconnectedness amplifies the network effects, making each intent more potent when pursued harmoniously.

Network Effects amplify the Community First by creating a community that is large and deeply engaged throughout our programs, protocols, and products.

Community First, in turn, contributes to Financial Longevity by fostering a community willing to invest time, resources, and capital into Gitcoin.

Financial Longevity then feeds back into Network Effects by providing the financial stability required for sustainable growth and innovation.

What does this mean for our goal setting? Both as a DAO and within the workstreams?

Short-Term: Stabilized Operations

Our EIs aim to improve DAO operations with high-ROI investments and roadmap alignment, setting Gitcoin as a model for DAO sustainability and excellence.

Long-Term: Decentralized and Lucrative

Our EIs serve as the foundation to decentralize Gitcoin across governance, protocol advancement, token holder representation, and computation where applicable. We aim to create lucrative financial, social, emotional, and technological opportunities.

Request to the Community

We are seeking community comment on the draft purpose and each essential intent by October, 10th 2023 (1 week from today). In parallel, we will present the draft language to the Steward Council to seek their advice.

Our Essential Intents serve as the agnostic North Star metrics that our goals will ladder into. They are designed to enable clarification in this state of ambiguity and move us toward decisive action. We’re excited to hear your thoughts and collaborate on shaping Gitcoin’s future.


is there a memeable/easy to remember way to track progress towards S19/S20 goals?

in the past gitcoin had a meme 13-5-5 which (i think) stood for 13 QF rounds, 5 direct grants rounds, and 5 self serve QF rounds. is there a 13-5-5 style meme (quantifiable, easy to remember) for S19/20?


Just my 2c as someone in periphery of the DAO.

I think “network effects” is good, but would more clear if it referenced specific products (Passport, Allo, Grants Stack. Am I missing sth?) so folks reading intents could have some idea where they can actually contribute.

Seconding Kevin’s meme idea, I would find it helpful if someone good with words could compress three intents into concise elevator pitch, preferably using simple words. Imagine I am asking “Ok so how does Gitcoin plan to achieve its goals in 2024?” and you reply with some snappy catch-phrase built around those intents.

Apart from that I don’t have much to say, overall direction sounds reasonable and I like the level of detail intents touch, especially “How do we know we’re tracking EI” part.


Thanks, @DistributedDoge!

Your insights align well with some of the discussions we’ve had within the CSDO team.

@owocki was referencing our Goals completed in March 2023, which are currently being re-worked for our path ahead.

These will be aligned with our Essential Intents (this post), serving as our guiding principles. For those interested in the foundational work that has gone into shaping these Essential Intents, you can review the community input here. (Massive thank you to all those involved).

While we’re excited about setting DAO wide goals, what truly energizes me is the incredible leadership behind each product and what they’re brainstorming rn. They’re driving their respective workstreams in alignment with these EIs, and its a collective effort.

Some of the work has already been posted - see the Grants Stack Roadmap, the path to Allo V2 or the recent update from @CoachJonathan on Governance and stay tuned for more.

If you’re as excited as we are about Gitcoin’s future, consider joining us further! Your voice and governance participation would be a valuable addition to our community’s decision-making process. This isn’t an elevator pitch, or a catch-phrase. This is work that our team is deeply committed to, and we want the community to have all the info available to them to vote.

And meme the EIs as much as you’d like! Would love to see some of the big ideas out in the ecosystem for all parts of our work. Stay tuned for our DAO wide goals. :pray:


Here’s my attempt with words – should be easy to remember because of everyon’es favourite news bulletin with @CoachJonathan & @0xZakk :slight_smile:

  • Pioneering governance
  • Unifying communities
  • Leading innovation
  • Shaping tomorrow
  • Empowering change

And with numbers… to match the Seasonal Initiatives :slight_smile:

  • 19 G&Ts please (Governance and transparency)
  • 20 by TLC (Tech-loving collaboration) – here’s the album link :wink:
  • 2-1-finity … and beyond!
1 Like

I’ll throw my hat in the ring to lead these efforts. I was drawn into the Gitcoin ecosystem because of the community vibes. We’ve lost lots of community facing contributors and shifted focus to purely product marketing causing confusion and a lack of interest from OGs. Many funding partners have also expressed interest in doing collabs with us, allowing to migrate communities to and fro. These types of collabs can also help us tap into their grants treasuries for the always on sources of funding.


Sweet, thanks @carlosjmelgar - I’ve seen some of your other comments on posts related to this as well (like @CoachJonathan’s Governance Roadmap) - and let’s jam on putting the ideas into action and what that could look like within the next few seasons so we can share w/ the community.

I have a tracking board in progress that could be shared publicly + I can walk you through and document some of your ideas. :slight_smile:


As part of Steward council who’ve been with Gitcoin for about a year, and fortunately seen the transformation the past few months from being developer-focused to very product-driven. Here are my two cents:

This is great- I remember Linea x Gitcoin passport collaboration brings in a lot of users and presents a great representation of how network effects can be like. Successes like this can be multiplied by actively reaching out to more layer 1&2s especially during testnets. And similar quantifiable metrics could be set with other workstreams as well: how to increase the volume/user adoptions/views on Twitter while sticking to the core principles of Gitcoin.

I think as a “community” we need to first define what is THE community for us. It seems to me the definition of Gitcoin community has been very effy the past few months. Some people still hold on to the fact that we are the biggest developer community in Ethereum, which is true, and as we work with ecosystem projects, personally I don’t think this is an identity we should forgo. The other more encompassing way of calling ourselves is public goods supporters, which includes more than just developers and points to the core of our product offerings. I don’t see conflicts of these two identities and think for the “Network Effects” and “Financial Longevity” to be addressed, we need to have both.

As @carlosjmelgar mentioned, we seem to have lost some of the community-facing contributors and be overly product focused. This is probably because we were letting go the “developer-focused” identity, which is a strong glue of holding a lot of web3 audience together. Understand our audience expands much greater than mere web3, thanks to the initiatives like UNICEF, but we have to be honest with ourselves majority of our audience is still in web3, and builder-centered identity would also work well with our product offerings. That said, extremely thankful for the Schelling Point team starts to be more decentralized, and welcome more SP events happening across the globe @CoachJonathan @azeem @alexalombardo this is the kind of “community” effort we need to see now, while figuring out how we can make the “community” more close-knitted and effective.

I am glad we are brave enough to discuss this topic openly. The experience this year tells us we might need to make difficult decisions if this is not addressed. Financial sustainability and longevity is an issue that most for-good organizations are facing, and we are in a fortunate position to have capabilities to address it, pending a few basic to-dos.

  • to avoid mishaps and more transparency across workstreams on budget and funding, I propose we should consider setting up a separate workstream/small team on finance/token management. It can be existing leadership people but new framework and tasks, or new people/talents. It’s a very important step to take to ensure more efficient and effective financial management in a DAO setup. I hope we can set a stellar example for other DAOs to be more financially sustainable with this small taskforce.
  • to integrate with first goal “network effects”, some sort of ROI calculation with quantifiable metrics could be installed to evaluate budget and investment effectiveness. Not to scrutinize people on the work, but to keep ourselves accountable on both the inputs and outputs of certain decision making.
  • more frequent and open update of our financial situation and tokenomics. I am sure most of the community, including myself, has a lot to catch up with our current financial situation. This increased transparency can lead to more open-mindness when it comes to decision making as a community.

Happy to chat more. Free feel to reach out if you want to discuss anything privately. Overall, I do think these are very sharp and effective pillars of intents, and I can’t wait to see how these three pillars can guide us to another year of positive impacts and progress!