[Discussion] Gitcoin 2023 - Future Essential Intents and Organization

Gitcoin’s next Iteration - Impact & Protocol DAO

This is my view on what the future might look like - I would encourage others to fork and write their version too!

It has been an immense amount of work for us to launch the DAO, and not one, two, but three distinct protocols over the last 18 months. During this time, we have seen change in how we organize, what initiatives we want to fund and plenty of disagreements on how we got here.

Now with the sweet smell of progress I am exploring what success might look like 3-5 years from now. Here is what I hope to see: Gitcoin will be the epicenter of funding in web3, and will continue to be a beacon of regenerative, public goods funding. Globally, grants programs will be easy to start and grow because of the Grants Suite, and those grants programs will be free of fraud, and abuse as there will be a plurality of anti sybil, identity and reputational systems in place to make attacking the grants programs prohibitively expensive. This means, communities everywhere will quickly and easily fund their shared needs with confidence in the outcomes they are committing funding to. We are starting to see novel mechanisms spring up around the protocols even today with hypercerts.xyz, mintkudos.xyz and others.

Over this same time horizon we will see new and novel analysis, interaction, and accountability models spring up built with the very grants data stored at the protocol layer. These new dApps (built by both Gitcoin, and other teams) will offer insights into the effectiveness of funding mechanisms, the validity of team’s ambitions (that receive funding) and we will better measure the true success of the capital that has been allocated.

When thinking about key performance indicators, or measurements of our success, I would expect us to continue to track total GMV (how much capital is flowing through the protocol to community’s shared needs. It would also make sense to track the average cost of forgery on each passport (or some unique humanity score), and to continue to ensure the protocols serve our web3 ecosystem, we should continue to track community engagement and decision making through decentralized means (this may be token voting, QV participation, etc.)

So how might we get there? I have been pondering what the next iteration of Gitcoin – the Protocol DAO – might look like if we are to achieve these ambitions. Will we still need the same workstream structure that are currently shaped like departments? Will we have the same metrics of success: GMV, and number of Grants rounds?

As I have been chatting with leaders in other DAOs, I am starting to form a strong opinion on the future shape that we may benefit from. I am forming this opinion based on beliefs for what our success might look like. Herein, I seek feedback to help shape the future, daylight my blindspots and generally help me improve my thinking.

Constituents we serve versus communities we want to cultivate

There have been some recent conversations within Gitcoin about the need to better define personas and the communities we want to cultivate. It is my belief that as a DAO we should focus on growing two communities - a community of developers who want to build on our protocols, and a community of regen maxis who want to help us fund public goods.

This means, donors who are funding public goods, ecosystems who want to run Grants rounds, project owners who want to apply for Grants rounds are not communities we want to cultivate. They are Gitcoin citizens and we want to serve them with our protocols, documentation, guides and resources. To put a finer point on this. I don’t think we should index on building communities of the constituents we serve. We should be focused on helping them solve their job to be done.

If we can clearly define which communities to cultivate, we can really focus our community efforts into a single workstream that recognizes both, who we want to serve via the protocols, documentation, guides, support channel, etc. and which communities we want to grow with engaging content, hackathons/bounties, token voting opportunities, etc.

This point could likely be its own post and perhaps I will come back to expand this thinking if it’s helpful. But it’s important for me to lay this out as it influences some of the material further down. Let’s talk more about how we might focus our energies to both serve our purpose and engage with each set of constituents.

Where are we: our Essential Intents

We have four Essential Intents today:

  1. Protocol Adoption
    a. Build a widely adopted, modular Grants protocol that creates a flourishing ecosystem of funding mechanisms.
    b. [added later] Build a widely adopted, modular Pluralism Passport protocol that creates a flourishing ecosystem of network effects around Decentralized Society.

  2. Financial Sustainability
    a. Have a comprehensive, diversified strategy for financial stability of the DAO in order to effectively achieve our mission.

  3. DAO Organization
    a. Create and promote clear and engaging rituals, communication channels, and messaging that build emergent shared context among GitcoinDAO’s contributors, stewards, and supporters.

  4. Grants Program Success
    a. Enable a successful grants protocol launch by dogfooding it internally and supporting ecosystems in adopting it.
    b. Continue to support the Ethereum ecosystem and public goods in web3 and beyond through Gitcoin-led rounds.

These Essential Intents were written at a time when we did not have strong conviction that the Project Protocol (Grants Hub) should be a different protocol from the Grants Protocol (Round Manager). These were also written at a time when the “Grants Program” was everything we did Grants related - there was no delineation between a Grants Program and a Grants Services offering. These were written prior to us having any stables in our treasury, and prior to us having any real ideas on where protocol fees fit into what we are doing. GTC Utility was something we knew we wanted to focus on, but not ahead of nailing a few of our core competencies first (we are starting to nail them down now).

As for the protocol adoption Essential Intents, we are on track to make significant progress on these over the next 6 months with formal launches happening after EthDenver for the Grants protocol. Passport now has well over 100k Eth addresses signed up, and we continue to build integrations with teams who appreciate the stamps we are tracking. Developing a flourishing ecosystem is coming next with investments in DevRel and community development, like the Open Data Community.

Financial Sustainability is making progress, though it may not be quite as evident to most folks. I have strong conviction (thank you Scott for being the thought partner here) that the protocol should launch with a small fee model (2% of total proceeds flowing through the protocol) to support the DAO and our funding of public goods. GTC Utility details were shared in another post recently that folks can check out as well. Overall, we have stables in the treasury now and we have a protocol with a fee structure inbound.

DAO Organization is progressing, but at a snail pace given the entrenched nature of how people work. It is incredibly difficult to dramatically change how people work without also slowing down the velocity in which they work (initially). As a result, we have slowed the efforts to make big changes until “post Protocol Launch,” but I want to outline my thoughts for what this may look like below.

Grants Program Success is also on track. There are large strides being made by PGF to run multiple shadow rounds, test the protocols and to onboard grantees and round operators to the protocol. They are chomping at the bit to have a production ready protocol they can turn team members, and public goods funders on to. There are also other communities excited to run their own rounds.

So if these are on track (which I believe they are), when might the right time be to do a refresh? And if we were to refresh them, how might we do so in a way that encourages the outcomes we care about? I am going to venture a guess that the DAO wide outcome that we care about is that we (Gitcoin) can serve our purpose in perpetuity. The Essential Intents should define how we set ourselves up for that outcome.

Gitcoin’s next Essential Intents

Our next Essential Intents should continue to build on the success & focus we have had over the last 6mos, but also continue to narrow our focus on “the most important things.” More narrow because we are in a bear market, and more narrow as we are smarter on how best to fulfill our purpose into perpetuity. Here is high level thinking:

We should continue to focus on the growth and adoption of three distinct protocols: Grants Protocol, Project Protocol, Passport (names all TBD).

We should double down on our community efforts to grow and nurture the two communities we care about.

We should ensure the DAO continues to fund public goods (assuming it wants to), and we should have a small but nimble team focused on defining Gitcoin’s “shared needs” and ensuring they are funded (ie, how do we spend our $10MM matching pool funds).

We should accelerate other communities’ adoption of the protocols, and we should continue to build our excellence in understanding funding mechanisms that drive outcomes communities care about. This may happen for a small engagement fee (in addition to the protocol fee), but the fee is to promote self-reliance, not to line our coffers (ie, if there is a fee, a community may decide to run a round themselves instead of asking us to run the round for them).

Finally, we should ensure we have deep community involvement in how we build the protocols, how we allocate our matching pool funds, how we allocate the treasury (ie, Schelling point in or out?), and we should do more to work in public. Thinner workstreams, more bounties / project-based scopes of work and tighter feedback loops should be the norm IMO.

These core areas are not Essential Intents on their own. They are guiding thoughts for us as a DAO to discuss, and then define true Essential Intents in the near future.

Organization for the next era

This leads me to ponder, how might we make significant progress on these strategic areas? Are we organized in a way to be successful - should we make changes?

Here is my strawman for how we might narrow our focus to only the most critical of areas for the next 12 mos of this bear market.

Protocol focused workstreams (two in total: Grants stack, Passport) which include: Product Management, Eng, Design/Research, Product Marketing Management. The goal is to ensure they are building and shepherding the protocol’s growth in a way that the community agrees with and supports. Quarterly roadmap reviews can be done and commitments from the workstreams to accomplish XX functionality can be precursors to budgets being approved.

Gitcoin’s Grants program/workstream: a small team focused on running Gitcoin’s (token voted) categorical Grants Round. This team is exclusively focused on grants rounds for the Gitcoin DAO in the areas our community wants to spend funds. We believe consistency in funding is important for projects to flourish (ie, they need to know funds will be available in the future), finding ways to integrate the community’s sentiment regarding what to fund will be paramount.

Gitcoin Growth workstream: focuses on serving both our community & other communities’ growth - helping onboard and grow grants programs on the protocols. This team may have a small fee for running these services, but its focus is on protocol adoption and growth, not revenue. It likely needs to include marketing, round operators, BD/sales, and even some form of partner management. This workstream can start small (new or existing members) and grow as protocol adoption grows and we have more capital to allocate. Ideally external communities and teams find value in growing adoption of the protocol as well (as their shared needs will receive additional funding).

Community focused workstream: We can double down on the two communities we want to cultivate, and build out resources for the constituents we want to serve with functions like DevRel, Support, DAO/Community engagement, etc. Our community focused workstream would likely be heavily aligned with the protocol workstreams and the growth workstream to ensure there is connective tissue to the community from our workstreams.

Governance focused workstream where DAO wide frameworks can be developed and true Protocol related decision making can happen (ie, deployment and feedback mechanisms can be defined and implemented) – this may also include Ops too. Gitcoin will soon have three protocols and we have not yet built opportunities for the community to offer improvement proposals, roadmap advice, implementation decisions, etc. Ideally this group expands on the great work of our Steward reform to focus on how to ensure we are serving the community and not just our internal needs.

To be explicit (and this should not be treated as “the plan!” this is merely my opinion), this means FDD is spun out and funded by communities that want to enhance their Sybil defense (Gitcoin would likely be one of those “customers”). MMM is spread among different workstreams (protocols, community, PGF) and then also the DAO can decide on special projects to hire out for like our brand redesign, our website refreshes, etc. DAO Ops is mostly turned into the Governance focused workstream as the support team would be moved to Community. PGF is broken into two workstreams to really focus on running the DAO’s grants rounds quarterly (small and mighty team), and growing protocol adoption. GPC is broken into two workstreams with more community involvement in roadmapping and improvement proposals.

Budgeting… oh budgeting

It’s clear there is a lot of strife on the quarterly budgeting cycle today. Workstream leads are outlining what they want to accomplish for a season and Stewards continually have sticker shock on the cost to accomplish the outcomes defined. I am of the opinion we need to do budgeting more frequently with a smaller cost of getting it wrong, or a budget proposal being voted down. As noted in other areas, there is very rarely dissection in our voting and it’s likely because we are not being ambitious enough in the proposals we seek, but also we are not offering options where people feel they can say no.

With seven workstreams, each equipped with the cross functional skill set to be successful, we will have more granular control over what outcomes are proposed and also what scope we can take on. A goal I would have with budgeting revisions is that it is more fluid to enable community bounties and projects to be evaluated with equal weighting as a workstreams budget. Other DAOs do this frequently (Nouns, Synthetix, etc.) and I think we are at the right time to move away from the heavy, quarterly bounded voting schema to a more fluid, outcome based approach.

There has already been great work by others outlining a thesis for how we might budget, but I fear it tries to “delay the pain” by spreading out the budgeting process over a longer duration of time, instead of tackling the core issues up front (the scopes are too large, there is little accountability because the scope is so large, etc.). I am reminded of how painful software deployment used to be - the solution has been to introduce continuous delivery/deployment… not further the waterfall method of only shipping annually.

Summing it up

I believe that realigning the DAO to be focused on Protocol growth, whilst not losing our soul of Public Goods funding will be imperative for our (close to?) final form. When someone asks “What is Gitcoin?” It should be clear - (assuming the DAO agrees) We are an impact & protocol DAO that funds public goods and enables others to fund their shared needs too.

These changes will give each workstream the ability to own its success and the community the ability to hold workstreams accountable to outcomes they define as they will be smaller and without as many dependencies. If stewards are unhappy with the cost of accomplishing something, they can ask for a reduction in cost to achieve that outcome. If that is not feasible (ie, the people working on accomplishing that outcome cannot reduce cost beyond their proposal), the community can decide to fork that effort and try to do it themselves in a different workstream/proposal.

Thanks for reading the wall of text, and let’s see if we can break this down to affect some of these changes over the next 6mos.


This is a great overview. One question I have going through is, what are the core reasons we feel like we need to reframe essential intents? Maybe providing a clearer ordering is necessary, but after walking through them on my end I feel like they map pretty well to the DAO’s current needs, even in the context of the priorities you’ve outlined here.

In general +1 on aligning on protocol growth though, this feels correct and maps to the subtraction mindset that I’ve been thinking a lot about after watching Aya’s talk at Devcon.

Also strong agreement on fixing budgeting overall, but if the total number of requests increases (and the need to cross-reference between requests with a given budget in mind for a quarter / year) won’t the amount of time spent on budgeting potentially increase as well?

A few other points that seem unclear and might make more sense after a deeper dive:

  • How did we arrive at the workstreams we did here? In general I’ve come around to the concept of thin workstreams overall but why this split in particular (e.g. one could imagine community + governance naturally fitting together and in fact that was the original format when the DAO was launched)

  • What would the timeline be for spinning out different groups and how does that process get negotiated?

  • What functionally changes in each workstream with respect to the tasks they focus on – I feel like a lot of the concerns right now stem from the impression workstreams are aimed at the wrong things / too many things internally.


Thanks for posting this @kyle - I appreciate the thinking here and want to comment on a few points and raise some questions.

Community engagement

My recent post on what MMM has learned re: community engagement details the “need to better define personas and the communities we want to cultivate” and other needs as they relate to clarifying and expanding our community engagement efforts.

It was my personal opinion that the two groups you outlined here i.e., “a community of developers who want to build on our protocols, and a community of regen maxis who want to help us fund public goods” are the communities we want to actively put resources towards.

However, how the second camp (“regen maxis who want to help us fund public goods”) is distinguished and engaged with is very ambiguous.

After conducting community research late S15 & early s16, we’re currently unsure how large this group actually is. Moreover, it was first hypothesized that donors would fall into this camp but recent research done by @umarkhaneth has made us think twice about that initial assumption. Dare I share an unpopular hypothesis: the majority of donors mostly fall into the camp of “friends of grantees” and “airdrop farmers”. If this is the case, how might it impact our community growth strategy? Might we invest more or less into category creation (i.e., green-pilling ppl)

I’m with you in your thinking that the majority of grantees are beneficiaries of our program vs. community members - some grantees care about (and will work towards) Gitcoin’s success but most are understandably focused on building their own projects.

All that to say, MUCH more thinking and strategy building needs to be done on the community front and I’m curious what the DAO’s appetite to fund said needs are (especially in a bear market). I think if we built a DAO strategy that clearly outlines how community engagement intends to serve our essential intents, we could make a strong case for it, but, as outlined in my post linked above, I do feel there is some foundational work needed to be done to even get to a place where we might start to do productive imagining together.

Organization for the next era

I made a diagram to make more sense of your proposal:

There’s a lot to say on this as it relates to marketing functions. I want to preface the following by calling out that I’m aware that these proposed changes directly impact my work at the DAO–I did my best to assess this proposal with my “steward hat” on vs. my “MMM lead hat”.

My first question is: What do you hope to achieve with a re-org?
What does “narrow[ing] our focus to only the most critical of areas” hope to achieve?
Is it about cost-cutting?
Clarifying our strategic focus?
Enabling more seamless cross-functional support for our products?
Creating a better/easier budgeting process?

What I gathered from your post so far was:

Lmk if I missed anything that answers the above questions.

Personally, I like the overall direction of thin workstreams but, similar to @ceresstation, I’m left wondering if the proposed structure is the right approach.
Moreover, I have some hesitations around completely decentralizing a marketing function for a few reasons:

Composable scopes of work and freelance work @ MMM

The way MMM works is VERY different from the other workstreams. We are holocratic in nature, meaning our roles are modular/composable and even a bit fluid. Any given person on our team can hold multiple roles at any given time.

For instance, our content manager, Mathilda, is also managing the Gitcoin Alpha Round campaign–and therefore operating as an internal account manager to PGF atm. She is also our knowledgebase writer and content editor.
@garysheng has shifted his focus to passport marketing but also heavily consults as a content and social media strategist to the content team.
@alexalombardo is working on the brand evolution and is leading several brand-centred projects such as the website refresh.
We also have many part-time people working on very specific pieces of the overall marketing puzzle. For more of an insight to how it all works visit Who’s Who @ MMM

While not perfect, this composable approach has allowed us to be flexible in terms of the DAO’s needs as they continue to evolve (and quickly!). It has also allowed us to engage and build context with many p/t freelancers (which is a difficult feat as onboarding and building context takes a lot of time and guidance atm).

In order to do this, MMM has built out our WS’s knowledgebase so that it’s easily navigated by new contributors. I feel that a lot of work needs to be done make the DAO’s information more accessible before we can truly be permeable and permissionless.

Brand, Design & Creative

In your proposal, I feel there is a bit of context missing on this aspect of our work. We’ve been working to develop a brand strategy that will propel us into the future and maintain our position as a relevant player in web3. “Gitcoin’s Brand” is continuously cited as one of our major strengths–not directly investing in brand by staffing a least one overseer (even if only p/t) feels risky to me.

For added context, our brand strategy should directly ladder up to organizational objectives (and continue to recalibrate based on market position) on an on-going basis as it is both impacted by and impacts product & program-related work-- given that, it does feel like a core function of the DAO vs. a composable one. Moreover, brand creative (i.e., our visual identity and everything that we design for an external-facing audience) directly ladders into brand strategy. As does content creation.

All that said, @birdsoar is working on developing design guardrails so that community creators (i.e., bounty hunters) can better align to the overall strategy and visual identity but we’re far from there.

And these guardrails and someone to oversee and vet official creations is needed. The quality and consistency of our designs have 10x’d since hiring skilled in-house designers vs. relying on bounties. Others may disagree but I feel that having a small core creative function is really important to maintain our brand legitimacy in the space.

So, if we did staff some ppl for creative functions, where would that role live in this proposed structure? It has been suggested that these functions (brand, design & content) could live under Grants Ops, BD or even Community–in order to make an assessment of those suggestions, I would love to explore the purpose of a re-org in order to make the case. If the ultimate goal is to keep WS small and lean, then I would be against the approach of nesting these functions within a specific workstream. Rather, I would suggest a slimmed-down version of MMM–or, rather, a potential spin up of a lean “Design & Creative” WS

Meaningfully Onboarding & Retaining Creatives

In my experience helping build the team @ MMM, it’s been incredibly difficult to source, retain and build a roster of talented creatives. We now have a team of skilled designers and writers who are willing to be paid in crypto, have built immense amounts of context and we can count on to get work done with incredibly quick turnaround times.

Solely relying on bounties (as we have in the past) has been a massive challenge for us (one that we seem to have now overcome with a few creatives on a seasonal retainer). I would hate to see us face old challenges that have already been solved for with the current model.

There’s probably more to say here but I will leave it with a tl;dr:

  • Community engagement has proven to be a complex undertaking. I feel we need to resource some foundational pieces (e.g., shared definitions, aligning on outcomes we’re collectively driving to with community and beyond, etc.) before we elaborate on who and how we nurture.

  • I’m unclear about what we want to achieve with a re-org and am willing to explore this possibility

  • If we go through the re-org as proposed, there are some major marketing functions (mostly creative functions that currently serve the entire DAO) that I feel will suffer under this structure.

  • MMM has a history of experimenting with composable scopes of work, project-based funding and bounties that I think our learnings should be considered when making this decision


I would echo the sentiments above, and offer that we stay in the ideation space long enough to identify any root issues we’re hoping to solve. In general I’m open to change, and find it’s best applied when a process can clearly state desired outcomes (beyond the functional).

Before we create a roadmap for a reorg, what are we hoping to accomplish?

How do we want to feel on the other side of any coordination shift?

What are the parts of our core dao that are meeting or exceeding expectations of their function? How is that measured, and who is keeping the track of the data points? (Thinking beyond seasonal intents and OKRs, and taking a wider view of long term impact.)


Just catching up here. Extremely useful posts IMO.

A couple of quick thoughts:

I had suggested in the context of budgeting that perhaps a shared competitive (Porters 5 forces) landscape would be useful. On the one hand it is yet more work → on the other hand I’ve seen it work to ground some of these sorts of weighty conversations w/ an outside / in perspective. Along the same lines we could have a forecast of a couple of scenarios assuming something like the 2% fee mentioned by Kyle. I hope we don’t loose the value of forecasting which is something I think was great to surface from the recent budgeting post by @safder

Secondly - I think we will see in the analysis (obviously cd be totally wrong) that commentators like TomasZ Tunguz have done that our addressable market is relatively small - we may need to continue to have an effort to green pill as Laura mentions as well. TAM analysis

Again - just 2 quick thoughts. Forecasting might help us make sense out of things and build shared context and secondly, shilling web3 itself may be important for us to hit ambitious goals as well as being an end in itself. I’m not informed enough yet to have a strong opinion on the substance of Kyle’s post including the reorg idea - I personally really like the systems thinking and ambition however I’m also wrestling w/ the pain vs gain trade off…


Add TrustaLabs returning sybil scores on wallets. https://www.trustalabs.ai/trustscan

They were the top prize winner in the first Open Data Community hackathon and subsequently got funding and returned to sponsor the current ODC hackathon!

To me, a protocol DAO isn’t just a DAO with a protocol. We have multiple protocols and each has to independently find ways to create positive outcomes via collaboration with the others. At this time, it is easy because our essential intents have guided funding. How about when more funding from the ecosystem comes from outside the dao?

I think we clearly match the definition David Erlichman puts forward in Impact Networks. I’d love to see a mechanism design built into each of the independent protocols which governs, bootstraps network effect, and funds maintenance balancing the labor and capital inputs via the market.

This entire section is great. Well written and well thought out.

I think we should be careful here. I agree that we should have these fees from the start, but the question is which side (or both) do you take them from?

I’d put these into the protocol. Donors have no means for forking and a small percentage here wouldn’t hurt a Program manager. The Unicef and Fantom rounds both saw individual donors almost double the matching pool provided. The value prop that not only do you save vs the admin overhead of traditional options, but you also increase funds given to your community is huge. We should take a percentage of this.

Additionally, perhaps there is an extra percentage that is optional in the UI. This could be for donors to decide individually or for program managers to make mandatory.

Matching Funders / Program Managers
This group is more likely to have incentive and capability to fork. Making fees to them as either optional for rewards like discoverability in the UI during the quarterly “festival”, inclusion in meta-QF (jet engine QF), is a fair trade.

I’m very concerned that once we begin taking revenue, we will set our goals in ways that slowly eliminate our efforts for the public goods parts of our ecosystem. The best way to stop this from potentially being a problem is to design public, transparent, and ratified processes for Gitcoin to hold investment in workstreams which find a way to produce revenue. This would clearly set the line that GitcoinDAO treasury is ONLY funding public goods in our ecosystem.

However, if the experts in a workstream are the only viable option for providing services which are needed AND they are able to demonstrate the ability to collect revenue and forecast a profitable future, then Gitcoin should invest in that business with favorable conditions.

We do have a session on updating the essential intents next week. I’d like to get to those results before entertaining a re-org of any type.

I’d think of this as the services spin out from PGF. Whereas the Grants Program Workstream would be the governance and operations of the Gitcoin Program, this workstream would start with free support services for non-gitcoin programs and add on sales tiers. We would need to subsidize this workstream to start, but hopefully it is self-suffient soon. (We are working on revenue modeling at FDD and will see potential soon.)

I love this. It could likely be an allocator to independent community efforts with a salary lead for each group. DevRel, Open Data, Regen Maxis. This group is all about engagement!

There is a huge opportunity for services to generate out of this workstream as well. They should work closely with the growth workstream. In discussions with people in decision maker roles for setting up grants programs for large ecosystems, I have found that they DO NOT separate the idea of a grants program from governance. For many, this IS the problem.

I don’t see FDD ever spinning out, rather “birthing” a subDAO that then spins out. There is likely room for some expertise from FDD to participate directly with the Passport WS. However, there are multiple issues where FDD would still need to coordinate across workstreams.

  • How does Identity play into grant scoring?
  • How does community scoring play into grant scoring?
  • Compound algorithms - Donors in the round which have majority donations to grants flagged as preferred by burner wallets?

This is a poorly constructed visual made by yours truly.

Image 2023-01-10 at 4.31.08 PM

The idea is that service revenue might go into a molochDAO with all of our contributors rather than the FDD Primary Multisig. Then, all revenue generated before spinning out could be considered a SAFE/SAFT type investment. This paragraph is conjecture, but worth considering.

Then we must think, what needs do we have and what is left?

If we don’t continue to build the open source tools to defend rounds, then companies with closed source solutions will have the advantage until someone is willing to fund the building of open source software to do the trick.

ODC builds open source projects.

  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Analysis Legos
  • Data Extraction Infrastructure

FDD maintains data infra & data products.

  • Open Source Scoring Applications
  • Ad Hoc Round Analysis
  • BI Tool Maintenance
  • Prioritization and Specifications for Fraud Defense Analysis & Builds from ODC/DevRel

FDD Service Spin Out

  • Freemium Model Product
  • Consulting Services

I could see a goal being to have a self-sustaining business and bring down the FDD budget to $0 by 2024. Another option would be to include the FDD work in the Growth WS.

Something like this:

There is a thought I’ve had that we don’t really have any labor protections and the larger workstreams do in a way facilitate some level of member protection.

Either way, I’d really like to see the new essential intents before restructuring the org!

Additionally, I’d like to see Passport, Project Protocol, and the Program Protocol each be their own workstream.

My last point on this topic is that we plan for these spin outs and org changes together. Unless a workstream is not performing, they should be given reasonable advance notice of changes in structure and pay along with a clear timeline of changes/requirements.

The one thing I will definitely advocate for in a budget process redesign is tighter cycles. It’s like cleaning your room. If you wait too long to do it, then it will be a pain. Plus, its a known evolutionary advantage to shorten information gathering (nervous system) & resource distribution (circulatory system).

I’ll bet that one year from today it is obvious that we are an impact DAO with 3 protocol subDAOs, multiple service subDAOs, and a few workstreams :grin:


Sorana and I (FDD) are working on a forecasting model which will allow us to play with some variables to predict quarterly revenue scenarios based on GMV. Adjustable variables include:

  • Matching Funds
  • Donor Funds (As a % of matching funds)
  • Growth % of Matching Funds (Allowing for non-linear growth forecasting)
  • Protocol Fee % for Donors
  • Fee % for matching funds
  • Service fees as a % of matching funds

The model should be complete in a week. Then we will have a comprehensive post the following week examining:

  • Low growth vs high growth revenue potential
  • Growth & revenue scenarios based on GR1 - GR15 trend lines
  • Growth & revenue scenarios with or without donor fees, matching fees, & service fees

Important and well-articulated post. I plan to read it several times, but here’s one quick thought regarding protocol fees:

This reminds of a Vitalik provocation about legitimizing “price gouging” (in the context of staking pools) so as to prevent any one provider from getting too much market share.

As adoption of a protocol grows, if the market leader raises their fee, then it creates incentives for other DAOs to offer similar services on the protocol and compete for market share. Ideally, the DAO gets a smaller slice of a much larger pie.

A few years from now, I would much rather see $10 billion in public goods funding on the protocol, with Gitcoin at 15% market share and a 2% fee … vs … $100 million funding on the protocol with Gitcoin at 90% market share and a 15% fee.


Thanks for taking the time to write up this post @kyle ! Also, thanks to everyone that has provided feedback on the post :raised_hands:

As a GPC contributor, I see the benefit of splitting the workstream into the “Grants Stack” & “Passport” workstreams. Overall, I’m supportive of this shift. However, as the person who is being asked to handle operations for both of these workstreams, I am slightly (selfishly) concerned about the growing pains this shift may produce and the increased costs it could create. If I understand correctly, we will eventually be adding an engineering leader, two full time marketing positions and depending on my ability to manage operations for two workstreams simultaneously, possibly another operations person. Whether or not this is actually an OVERALL increase in spend for the DAO, depends on what happens with the other workstreams.

Kyle mentions:

Thinner workstreams, more bounties / project-based scopes of work and tighter feedback loops should be the norm IMO.

I agree w/ this sentiment but believe it is MUCH easier said than done, based off my experience trying, and failing, to make this happen at Moonshot Collective multiple times. I also believe this approach (bounties / project-based scopes of work) is only well suited for specific types of work. I agree w/ @Viriya that the DAO’s most valuable asset is the Gitcoin brand and that we need a core group dedicated to the work of brand strategy rather than the bounty/project based approach.

I think there are many other areas where a core dedicated group is essential for success. Any of these groups could benefit from bounties/project based work and we should continually be exploring how to build and grow the success of that approach, but I think we need to realize it’s likely going to be a long & slow journey. I think we have a lot to learn here from MMM with all the work they’ve done to implement the project/bounty based work approach.

If our future state is one where we have more small/lean workstreams, I think we should discuss how to reimagine workstream operations. I see two different operational systems for workstreams: one for lean teams with full time/core contributors and one for project/bounty based work (trusted contributors). If there were a more unified (centralized?) approach to operations for most workstreams, we could reduce the need for each to have their own dedicated operational resources and instead share operational resources more efficiently throughout the workstreams. This could mean we’d have a small workstream focused specifically on operations for all other workstreams.

The main difference between this approach and what DAO Ops is currently doing is, the new approach would focus more on the micro details of workstream operations, whereas my impression of DAO ops is they focus more on the macro details of DAO wide operations. The other difference would be that policies wouldn’t be suggestions they would be accepted approaches workstreams would follow & could change, via a vote or some other mechanism, if they didn’t fit the workstreams needs for some reason. My opinion is that in a majority of cases, workstreams creating different policies and procedures is a waste of resources/time. We are often reinventing the wheel w/ no major benefit in doing so.

I have limited context here and am likely missing a lot, so am looking forward to others exposing my blind spots in proposing this approach.