[Discussion & Feedback Request] GG18 Round Eligibility

Introduction

GG18 is the next iteration of the Gitcoin Program QF rounds that will run on the new decentralized Grants Stack. The planned dates for this round are August 15th to 29th and there will be 4 Core Rounds each with a distinct matching pool:

  • Climate Solutions
  • Ethereum Infrastructure
  • Web3 Community & Education
  • Web3 Open Source Software

These are the same core rounds as the Gitcoin Program Beta Round with the exception of ZK Tech. The ZK Tech round was determined to be a better fit as a Featured Round going forward based on the topic scope, number of grantees, and donor turnout from the Beta Round.

There will also be a number of externally operated Featured Rounds that run in this same 2-week window; the topics and details of which are still being determined.

The purpose of this post is to outline the general eligibility policy that ALL grants must meet in order to qualify for acceptance into any of the 4 core rounds. In addition to the general eligibility, grants must meet the extra criteria for the round they are applying for. The description of each specific round’s eligibility criteria is listed after the general eligibility policy.

The PGF team is asking DAO contributors, stewards, and community members to carefully read these eligibility requirements and provide feedback or engage in an open discussion where needed. The requirements are subject to change but will be locked in before the application window opens.


What’s Changed Since the Beta Round?

Before the Beta Round, the PGF team created a governance forum post concerning eligibility requirements and asked the community to weigh in. After lots of productive discussions, a follow-up post was created outlining a few changes and finalizing the eligibility criteria for the upcoming round. Please check out those posts if you’re interested in viewing the discussion that occurred and how the eligibility criteria have evolved over time.

Since the Beta Round, the PGF team has deliberated further on eligibility requirements and taken more of the feedback from the previous governance post into account. As a result, the following changes have been made to the Gitcoin Program General Eligibility Policy:

  • Removal of $500k external funding limit - This has been a long-standing policy of the Gitcoin Program, but we are no longer going to apply this rule with a broad stroke over all of the Core Rounds. There will still be a general requirement that projects cannot have raised “significant external funding via venture capital, token launches, or NFT sales”, however, the threshold could vary from round to round, and previous grant money will not be treated the same as these sources of funding.

Although it’s being removed as a general policy requirement, a strict funding limit could remain in a specific round’s eligibility criteria in some form, for example, if the program were to add a Core Round focused on very early-stage projects.


Gitcoin Program General Eligibility Policy

This policy is set and enforced by the PGF workstream of the GitcoinDAO and is ratified by the GitcoinDAO stewards. Projects must meet the following criteria:

  • Verified Github (if applicable) and/or Twitter account
  • A single grantee OR organization cannot apply to one or more core rounds with more than one grant.
  • A single grant can only qualify for matching from one Core Round pool during GG18.
  • Project Update - If you are a returning grantee, you must provide an update on what work has been accomplished since the last grant round your project received funding from.

Additionally, the following are not permitted in Gitcoin-operated rounds:

  • Hateful Content - No racist, sexist, or otherwise hateful speech, no discrimination
  • Deceiving Users - Malicious content that could cause harm or unintended consequences to users
  • Falsification - Any type of hacking to falsify a contribution is prohibited. No encouraging or enabling Sybil attacks or other forms of malicious manipulation of the grants platform or the Gitcoin community
  • Fraud & Impersonation - Claiming to be a brand or person you are not. The Grant owner must be directly affiliated with the project, the funds must go to the project, and be used for the purposes stated in the Grant’s details
  • Quid Pro Quo & Bribery - The Grant may not have any form of quid pro quo that has financial value (a scenario in which a user gets some additional unique benefit/award in return for their donation)
  • Advertising - Using grants to showcase something you are selling like a token sale or NFT drop
  • Well-capitalized projects - Not have significant external funding via venture capital, token launches, or NFT sales
  • Grantees cannot be subject to sanctions, and funding cannot be used in violation of any applicable law, rules, or regulations (for example those addressing sanctions, financing of terrorism, and anti-money-laundering)
  • Grantees can be eliminated from consideration in the round if they are found to be encouraging or enabling Sybil attacks or other forms of malicious manipulation of the grants platform or the Gitcoin community

Web3 Open Source Software Round Eligibility

  • The grant must be an open-source project with meaningful Github activity in the prior 3 months that has demonstrated work completed towards the project’s mission
  • Primarily focused on developing on top of or advancing the broader Ethereum and/or Web3 industry

Ethereum Infrastructure Round Eligibility

  • The Grant must be in support of, or directly advancing the Ethereum ecosystem. This includes areas like:
    • Core client devs (e.g., geth / nethermind; prysm / lighthouse)
    • Tooling providers (e.g., hardhat / ethers.js)
    • Those showcasing the power of critical ecosystem ideas (e.g., dark forest with zero-knowledge proofs)
    • Those doing the hard work of educating developers (e.g., Austin (Buidl Guidl) / Nader (DeveloperDAO))
  • The Grant must be open source (if software-related)

Climate Solutions Round Eligibility

  • Projects must be at least 3 months old. Newer projects should establish themselves and submit to the next round.
  • The Grant must be primarily focused on climate solutions (the group may do other work but the grant proposal should be directly related to climate solutions). The proposal should explicitly outline how this project will help reduce GHGs or is an important core infrastructure for web3 climate solutions.
  • Grantees who received funding in previous rounds should report on project progress since GR15 or the Alpha & Beta rounds. We understand that some projects may have less progress given the timing of Alpha & Beta round disbursements. This will ensure accountability to supporters and also help encourage contributors by showing what you’ve been accomplishing.
  • All returning grantees are expected to update their proposal, in addition to project updates the proposal should include lessons learned from previous work and how they will use the additional funding from the upcoming round. The updated proposal should indicate how additional funding will help the project meet its goals, and include a rough timeline for the project overall.
  • There is a general expectation that projects are within the “realm of viability”.
    • Even if a project may be at a very early stage, it still must seem credible to the average person with an understanding of web3 technology and climate solutions.
    • Grantee founders must genuinely intend to build the project, and the project must not broadly be considered an impossibility.

Web3 Community & Education Round Eligibility

  • Projects must be at least 3 months old. Newer projects should establish themselves and submit to the next round.
  • The project must be focused on improving the Web3 ecosystem through building community and/or creating educational content.
  • Examples of projects which may fit are those that are:
    • Growing new communities
    • Providing educational resources
    • Creating content (youtube tutorials, newsletters, blog posts, podcasts, etc)
    • Protecting users by investigating bad actors
    • DAOs focused on socialization
    • Onboarding new users
    • Working on inclusion/diversity/advocacy

*Note: As this is a newer Core Round category, we’d love to have the community continue to weigh in and narrow the scope or suggest more objective criteria.


Conclusion

These eligibility requirements are designed to ensure we capture and provide funding to the highest quality projects in each category. As a reminder, the requirements are not yet set in stone and we are highly encouraging the community to discuss what makes sense and what could be changed. Thanks for reading this far and stay tuned for more updates!

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Hi and thanks for this comprehensive post in preparation for applying to GR18.
One thought I have - must Eth Infra be only for open source software? A lot of early builds need to protect what they’ve invested in to build before releasing it. Since we already have OSS, could ETH Infra be optional open source for software? Or suggest guidelines such as open source if project is in its post BETA release?

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Thanks for the post @koday I am glad to see that the following clarifications are in place

I have come across some groups renaming themselves in order to bypass these criteria. I suggest having some sort of deep background check on newer applicants and using the distance between addresses as a signal to safeguard against such attempts. In many cases, newer applicants have some experience working with some of the larger/well known orgs in the past, the review team can include feedback from these entities to mitigate potential crossovers

As an active builder in the Community & Education space, i suggest we ask the applicants for specific metrics in order to judge if the content being created is actually having an impact. These could be in the form of

  • videos or pictures such as @carlosjmelgar 's web3beach initiative
  • views, subs and open rate for content,
  • specific onboarding outcomes such as user testimonials which converted newbies into local ambassadors, practical problem solvers or became full-time web3 are the best sources of evaluation.

Educational initiatives which focus on how something works, or how to use an app, generally have a low quality output in terms of onboarding new users, since only those users who are already interested in the tech tend to dive deeper into these topics. Initiatives which focus on meta-narratives and mingle larger local or national contexts into the scope of crypto education tend to produce high-quality sticky users.

The other three rounds are very specific, however Web3 Community & Education combines two topics into a single category which results in a lower resolution signal for either category. For future rounds, I suggest separating the two into distinct rounds.

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Thanks for this, excited for GG18!

I must say that each season, I struggle to fully understand the naming and criteria of these rounds.

I’d love to know a bit more about the thought process behind these rounds - sort of like how VC’s have investment theses.

I know these are rounds we’ve done in the past, but as our program evolves I’d love to better understand how we are thinking about how these rounds - and the names we give them - will help us achieve our goals for Gitcoin, our products, and the wider ecosystem.

I’d also love to better understand what data we’re looking at when making these calls.

Community, for example, seems quite broad - we all have communities, in fact, the word has been somewhat abused in the space. So what do we really mean by this? In that same vein, education is also something many orgs embed into their practices without it being their main goal/objective. It’s just a must for the space. Education is often just a byproduct of whatever the organization is actually trying to achieve. And orgs solely focused on education are often less successful at onboarding because newcomers dont necessarily set out wanting to learn web3, but they discover it through an organization that speaks to their passions. My concern is that some of these names feel like catchalls but actually end up not resonating with groups doing some incredible work to move the space forward, onboard users, and create vibrant communities. Would this be the home for art, music, culture related groups? If Schelling Point were to apply, would this be its home?

Furthermore, these criteria feel very unspecific, leaving much room for subjective interpretation, which opens us up to scrutiny from rejected projects. Maybe we’re intentionally vague, but then perhaps we need some kind of disclaimer (do we have this?)

Additionally, the broadness of the categories makes it confusing for grantees to know where to put their applications (as @PaigeDAO points out), and also make filtering challenging for donors looking for projects in a specific area. It means they might ignore a category that actually has projects they might be interested in.

And lastly, curious how we are thinking about the matching partners we want to attract and how we position these rounds/set the criteria.

I’d love to know more about how the PGF team is thinking about this and what insights/benchmarks are guiding our decisions.

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Looking forward to support GG18 through the Meta Pool DAO and help projects from emerging markets.

We are committed to help individuals, organizations and other DAOs that are taking part of GG18.

Sometimes gas fees are what is stopping individuals from contributing or participating. We want our liquid staking platform to be a source of support for anyone that is struggling with payment of gas fees.

This is our first attempt to onboard more projects from Latin America, Africa and N/S East Asia as well, we will be sharing more information on this :smiley:

Excited for what is coming ahead!

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@jengajojo Can you please message me with some of those groups you mentioned, will take a closer look. Thanks for flagging.

This is a great suggestion. Other rounds are easier to evaluate using onchain metrics. We should make an effort to compile data from educational efforts to quantify their impact. I also agree with the “how to’s”, we should be looking for educational use cases that have real impact.

Web3 community and education are very closely related in my pov. Splitting them up might also make them smaller and require they me removed from core round status.

@PaigeDAO - This is a great point you bring up, thanks. If it’s not Open Source is it still apublic good, and we also have to ask if it will ever become open source in the future. Not sure what the answer is here but it’s worth discussing more.

Thanks for feedback here @alexalombardo . Seems the only name you would consider changing is Web3 Community and Education. This terminology is pretty standard in the industry grants . I’m curious to hear your suggestions for new names and reasoning for them. I can’t think of many alternatives but would be cool to explore something that encompasses the goals of increasing adoption, which requires educating new users on the tech and principles of blockchain.

Optimism recently used “End User Experience and Adoption” and eligibility criteria is pretty straight forward (maybe vague?) “Work that provided impact to end users in the Optimism Collective, or helped bring new end users into the Collective”.

Big fan of projects working to create adoption through art, music, culture. I agree that many people don’t want to enter the space and be bombed with cryptography, decentralization, and consensus right away. Merging the tech with personal interests and growing into these topics is the a great way to create meaningful adoption. I think Schelling Point is a perfect fit for this category.

@claudioac So excited to have you and the Meta Pool DAO onboard! Thanks for your interest in supporting emerging economies.

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Thank you @carlosjmelgar for picking up on all these good points made by our great community.

I’d like to confine my comments to my question about OSS & Eth Infra (though am intrigued by the Community & Education discussion thread, too!).

My additional thoughts are these:

We have a compelling example of how an open source tech project can be easily privatized by acquisition from a savvy player (OpenAI). So a tech build project getting its genesis funding as an open source project does not guarantee it will remain that way.

In fact, I am prone to see it this way: That if the core/ genesis build team of a project, esp software or Eth Infra, are given the means to build a (temporary) moat around their work, they will be more incentivized later, at the post Beta stage, to flip it open source.

Why?

Because when devs, creators, builders are given the means to profit from their hard work and efforts at the beginning, we are more likely to HAVE the means to turn the project open source once it passes a certain stage.

It’s the basic tenet of ‘put the oxygen mask on yourself first.’

Since I am wont to imagine IRL equivalents to exemplify scenarios, here is one for this instance. What if you are planting a vegetable garden. You have your small plot of land and you till the soil, you nurture it, you fertilize it and then lovingly, you and your family plant the wonderful vegetables you know will help nourish yourselves and your kids. However, for some odd reason, this little plot of garden has been mandated to be ‘open source’. Even though it’s your hard work, your money, your inspiration, your creativity that has gone into developing it. As such, right at harvest time, a swarm of laggard extractors come along and pick off all the good vegetables, the ripe tomatoes, the fresh cucumbers, the wonderful squash and spring onions. :tomato: :cucumber: :onion: :bell_pepper: :potato: :carrot: :eggplant: And leave you with nothing but the seeds.

What do you tell your kids at the dinner table then?
Sorry, kids. Because it’s an ‘open source’ garden, we get to do all the work but aren’t allowed to enjoy the harvest?

IMO (humble) I believe we need to re-think this. I also believe, as mentioned above, that Open AI is a good illustration of what ‘open source’ can become. I feel we need to remember that humans require compensation, remuneration, and incentivization. Otherwise, in certain cases, we are vulnerable to the highest bidder.

MEME that I am certain you are all more than familiar with. (The tiny brick at the bottom - in case you are wondering - is the Gitcoin Grantee from Eth Infra who is not allowed to build a moat around their work at least up until post BETA).

3 Likes

GM and thanks for communicating eligibility requirements so clearly!

I’m hoping to get some additional clarity for the various networked communities that had individual, sovereign nodes within their communities rejected or approved in the Beta round, depending on the community

We believe this was as a result of application of this rule:

Since the logos of the different groups are similar, without more information, we understand how it could have been perceived that a single project was applying multiple times. That said, this is a new form of organization, and each local project decides autonomously whether to affiliate itself with the larger meme, which makes it easier for them to attract interest and therefore multiply their impact.

That said, Eth communities are known to be separate but loosely affiliated groups with separate finances, and the same is true for both Green Pill Chapters and ReFi Local nodes. In the Beta round, Eth communities were permitted to participate in main rounds, whereas Green Pill Chapters and ReFi DAO Local Nodes were not.

Here you can see the list of addresses that participated in the ReFi DAO local nodes round, most of which are multisigs, controlled by leadership teams in the location of the corresponding local node. You’ll notice that each multisig has different signers
0xd4AC6c14B4C96F7e66049210F56cb07468028d4e
0x526C9C964440EBc308Ac95f3Df68feB5673A4714
0x728b09639453F3047E36D063C64C91b3871aFD92
0xD0352D08AA93C9bc9C79d2B3a53846DCd7c9cb92
0xbeB6eC09cA65397684c8AFA9683e5Ce8ee9021F3
0xc2F578304931B42D6Ac9adb6523450C7eB36B03E
0x8aa890c35C41cC8FbfE76a5f73bC00a1B7366829
0x9bc53dE4FB5f3a15F731294c8461b9403eB7f70a
0x037Eb04AD9DDFf984F44Ce5941D14b8Ea3781459
0xC117d2f70BE4A766e7F3e055547E7C5403D447BC
0x3fB0D1e89693b8709de60d835452a4712d1c9B04
0xFA9b7D81a8fCeBE6e0cE2938963DB2cCd3cD178f
0x4707a2eed70e95184b74e24f396433640bcd7d54
0xF2D56514164C24D732a66B50d4068335ce86Cf7d

In summary, I’m looking to open the discussion and create some clarity and opportunity for support of the amazing work that is being done in both the Green Pill chapters and ReFi Local Nodes all around the world.

Are there adjustments that need to be made? Additional information included in the applications? What can we share with all of these communities that will help them get approved?

Many thanks!

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Thanks for writing this up @koday !

I wanted to raise some concerns regarding selection/deletion of core round categories. The beta round had a snapshot vote to choose core rounds, but it seems like no such process was followed for the upcoming one? Was the decision to remove zk made ad hoc by team members or was there some due process that was followed ? On a related note, @Joel_m analysis shows that DeSci is worthy of its own round given the high participation rates, so what would the process be to have it as a core round?

Re: the discussion by @jengajojo , @alexalombardo & @carlosjmelgar to revisit the nomenclature for web3 community & education, i know that there is some interest from Vitalik and others in a decentralized journalism round. This name might actually make the metrics for evaluation more clear: even if you are running a Schelling Point like community event or beach clean up, attendees need to produce * some * digital content from it like a tweetstorm or mirror article, on the basis of which on-chain accountability is maintained & evaluation can be performed

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I think these eligibility criterias are appropriate.

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I attest to what DarylEdwards is saying. ReFi Cape Town is fully sovereign in terms of administering our finances and strategy. We decide autonomously what we do regarding vision and mission.

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Thanks for the post @koday. Is there recommendation on which network to choose when setting up the project on builder .gitcoin .co? I see there are four options including OP and PGN.

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You can use any of the chains to create the project, but will need to choose the correct chain when applying to the round. This depends what chain the round is deployed on.

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Great! So we should know by tomorrow when GR 18 applications are opened on what chain to apply, correct?

Hello there! just a big +1 to Daryl comments… I’m one of the co-founders in ReFi Costa Rica, we are fully autonomous, we managed our fund from the past Gitcoin campaign as a team, independent from the ReFi DAO team and other nodes. We are a community, we support each other as much as we can, but each node has a different context, focus, decision making structure and finances. We are doing a fantastic and much needed work on the ground, sharing ideas about ReFi, web3, onboarding new users, supporting emerging projects, educating… it was a bummer that we were not allowed to join the Web3 Community & Education Round last time. We are open to explain better this context in the next round, or provide other proof as required!

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Hi guys!
We are excited to participate GG18.
Happy to see Web3 community & education in the category!!

Hi, not sure where to post this, but there are problems with Twitter & GitHub verifications via the Gitcoin Builder website.

I had problems with both verifications over the past couple of days. About 30 min ago I tried to verify my project’s Twitter and GitHub again, but still no luck. I did notice that something was changed in Twitter verification since yesterday, but it still does not work.

How can I get in touch with devs to share the steps and error messages?

It’s an important issue, because without a verified GitHub projects cannot apply to GG18…

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Hi @TempeTechie – thank you for posting! I’m so sorry that you’re experiencing issues applying to the round. There is a change on Twitter’s (I mean X!) end associated with their rebranding that we are updating now. We are also actively working on a fix for Github – it is our top development priority at the moment, and I’ll respond here when it’s fixed.

For any product issues in the future, you should contact our support team by opening the Intercom chat widget on any page of Grants Stack!

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Thanks Meg, I found the issue on Gitcoin’s GitHub (/gitcoinco/grants-stack/issues/2100), I’ll follow the progress there.

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Hey @TempeTechie , the github issue is now fixed! Please feel free to reach out via Intercom with any other issues!

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