[Discussion] Gitcoin's dApp eligibility in the Gitcoin Grants Rounds (GG20)

Hello Gitcoin Citizens - I am interested in getting feedback and surfacing the communities thoughts on having Gitcoin’s dApps participate in the QF Grants Rounds (GG20). Here is the question I am interested in getting feedback on - Is it okay for Gitcoin’s dApps (like Passport, or Grants Stack) to create projects and apply to participate in GG20 as other grantees/projects normally would?

Gitcoin has been given a large amount of matching pool funds to be distributed using the QF mechanism with the intention of funding Ethereum’s Public Goods. To date, Gitcoin has distributed a large amount of this funding to a variety of projects across a number of categories (DeFi, Climate, NFTs, OSS, Community, etc.). Gitcoin facilitates the grants rounds using our credibly neutral QF mechanism and we have been responsible for driving user participation in those rounds and drawing in community donations to support future rounds.

I want to better understand if the community has concerns with Gitcoin participating in these rounds as projects/grantees as well. No special treatment in Grants Stack would be provided to the Gitcoin Projects, but because the funds were earmarked for funding Ethereum’s public goods, it would be great to have Gitcoin’s dApps participate in that funding. Ultimately donors will decide if they want to donate, but allowing access/inclusion in the round would be valuable.

What are your thoughts? Would you donate to a Gitcoin project? Are you okay with Gitcoin’s dApps receiving money from the matching pool?

I believe Gitcoin’s dApps should be allowed to apply and should be treated equally like other projects (CLR.fund, Giveth, etc.). But, we want to make sure that before I apply to the round we have some community sentiment on if a conflict of interest exists here.

Drop thoughts below!


Loves me a spicy take. :hot_pepper:

I’m here for it.

Since I’m in agreement with having Gitcoin’s projects throwing their hats in the ring for funding, I’m going to argue against myself here to share my thoughts so that others can share things I may be missing.

1. Does this go against our eligibility requirements and code of conduct for Gitcoin’s Grants program?

Where? Show me the receipts. The GG20 OSS eligibility doesn’t explicitly state that internal projects can’t run. With the exception of “Funding Caps: Projects with significant external funding may be reconsidered to ensure equitable distribution of resources.” I don’t see anything specifically outlined in our woefully outdated CoC/Knowledge base either. “IINCLUSIVE - Anyone could make a grant and apply to The Gitcoin Building Gitcoin Ecosystem | Side Round to GR10. However, participation policy was ratified by Gitcoin Holdings Inc., the sole contributor to the matching funds.”

2. What if internal Gitcoin projects influence the application process?
If our application process allows for people to approve projects based on collusion then our system is broken, it’s another reason why (IMO) we’re leveraging tools like Checker to improve the process, no? Integrity is key, and every application must be judged on its merit alone, irrespective of its origin. As one wise captain once noted, “The first duty of every officer is to the truth.”

3. Are Gitcoin projects taking funding away from more deserving external projects?
The protocol is neutral, the people are not. What people choose to do with their funds is their own accord. Nothing is being distributed unfairly if donors decide to allocate some of their funding to a Gitcoin-produced product. This is simply done through a different mechanism than asking for an optional donation at check-out within our own product. Isn’t this way more transparent?

4. Could this set a precedent that harms our credibility?
This is a valid concern. If we allow internal projects to apply for funding, we must ensure it doesn’t lead others to perceive Gitcoin as self-serving. How do we mitigate this? Could improved public documentation and more transparent decision-making processes assure the community that all decisions are made with integrity?

5. What impact might this have on the community’s trust?
Fair. If there’s even a hint that Gitcoin favors its own projects, we could erode the trust we’ve built. How can we ensure that our actions bolster community trust rather than diminish it? Doesn’t this tie into our transparency and note #2? (ok I realize I’m arguing against my own arguement at this point).

What else did I miss? We’re leveraging other grant programs to receive funding, why not our own? :black_heart:


The upside from participating in GGs is small and not worth the potential to upset community and/or CT dunk threads. I’d rather see the Gitcoin team put more effort into sourcing grant funding from ecosystems where GS and Passport are deployed. Gitcoin has left millions on the table by not being active participants in partner ecosystems.

For example: The team was unaware of Mission Requests on Optimism and grant programs offered through Arbitrum. I recently helped source a grant for easyretropgf (50K OP) and a second proposal could have passed if it was submitted with more time. (Another 50k OP).

Both of these ecosystems offer large grants (more than GG matching caps and entire matching pools) to fund operations and incentivize user participation. Other L2s are also developing similar programs. Props to @Sov for firing up posts on forums recently.

This work could be handled by the governance team, BD, foundation or outsourced to community members like @jengajojo / DAOplomats, @ZER8 @thedevanshmehta


i love this idea and would fully support it! If there’s any backlash ill be sure to speak against it.

We need a crowdfunding strategy besides a B2B one, and i cant think of anything better than applying under our own credibly neutral funding platform.

Overall its advantageous since apart from the matching funds, the community contributions to gitcoin projects would be an extra addition that wouldn’t have otherwise been given.

I think we should be transparent into how the gitcoin round funds are used and also clear evaluation metrics. What’s most important here is not the money but the signal we send to other projects on how they should act with the funds received


This is really great feedback, and see this as a “yes, and!” - I would love to see us build the muscle to apply to these, and no better place than to start with our own rounds.

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+1 to this and what @deltajuliet said above.

My two sats, use Grant Stack and be part of the quarterly rounds but make it a dedicated “gitcoin funding gitcoin” independent round funded by partners and some matching funds from the mothership.

One other consideration: There have are eligibility requirements in the OSS rounds which would limit projects that have raised larger amounts of money. Many community members feel that grantees should “graduate” from the main rounds. Personally I love the idea of this round and I think absolutely Gitcoin dApps and all other ETH community infrastructure should be part of the festivities. Just a question of design.


Thanks for starting this convo and getting feedback from the community!

My 2 cents:

I am +1000ing what @M0nkeyFl0wer said above. I think the use case for this would be more suitable for a round outside of GG OSS rounds and it be its own independent round. I think there are creative ways one could spin this up.

I think this way it would be more valuable to us and to the community. I think we do need to weigh up the risks it would pose if our dApps would be apart of the OSS rounds for GG20 – esp RE: eligibility criteria and how it might not land well with some in the community. A standalone round makes more sense to me!

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I am down to tease this out a bit more… How might we decide how much matching pool funds to allocate? Whats a credibly neutral way to do that? and then, would Passport, or Grants Stack be a project along side other projects like in the citizen’s round?

I am worried / leary of the conflict of interest on Gitcoin proposing matching pool funds for something that only benefits Gitcoin.


Hmm that is a tricky problem indeed and hadn’t thought of the conflict of interest piece. Do we feel is less of a conflict of interest if we apply in a GG round though? Does it differ bc we are competing for competition in a full round vs. a round solely focused on Gitcoin products?

I’m kind of in two minds about it, really. I’m not sure how I’d vote. This kinda captures it:

If we did allow Gitcoin’s dApps to apply for GG funding in the future, I think Devansh’s callout here is really on point.

I think I would like something more like this – we had this on cGrants but I’m not sure how it did in the past?


Great points by all here.

And after reading through all the comments, to the long and the short of it, I’m for this initiative.
I also think it would be more competitive to have Gitcoin dapps compete in the same pool as the other projects. Siloing them off into their own grant round seems perhaps less competitive?

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My biggest concern here is #5 maybe #2. We don’t want reduced sentiment surrounding the DAO and we certainly don’t want collusion. With that in mind, those closest to Gitcoin Core and the projects coming from there are likely to vote yay for these projects, so we may experience some echo chamber.

On the other hand, maybe that’s good motivation for further relationship-building or high-quality proposals. Pros and cons for sure.

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Additionally, I think this may allow for some more “building in public” - what if most features/concepts had to be funded via Gitcoin’s own mechanisms? What is Gitcoin’s strategic priorities used quadratic voting to be passed somehow?

There’s always concern that people without enough information, or even competitors, skew the results. But the concept of “building in public” could be so much more than it is now.

In the spirit of governance, let’s vote! I took through all the input over the last week, and made a poll.

Vote for one, or all. We have 348 views of this post as of 25 Apr 2024 (not too hot, not too cold) and let’s not make discussions become inaction.

Thanks @kyle, @carlosjmelgar, @M0nkeyFl0wer for your input on some of the ways we could create an innovative way to enable growth of Gitcoin within our own community. I’d love to continue to tease out this convo. (and thanks to all that weighed in!)

Did I miss anything? Where could we collab with other orgs on this better? What’s the 5th poll question?

  • Focus on external grant funding
  • Apply to our own rounds (where applicable)
  • Create an independent ‘Gitcoin Funding Gitcoin’ round
  • Add a donation option when checking out from any Gitcoin round
0 voters

Thanks for adding this vote. I felt like I should drop some further thoughts on this that have been on my mind since this proposal went live but never wrote down.

I worry that if we allow our dApps into our own OSS rounds, we open ourselves up for a possible COI, as @kyle did point out would also be the case if we run an independent round (good point). Also not sure if those in our community are aware of the treasury being a separate fund to our matching pool. It just muddies the waters a bit imho and adds transparency complexities and nuances.

The other thing that was on my mind when I first read this proposal was that if we put our dapps in with the other projects that we fund through our matching pool it creates a competition with those community members and builders. What happens in the case where Passport, say, gets the highest match? Would that create a bad sentiment within our community?

I’m down to experiment and build in public for sure – would be good if we can iterate a little more on this. I would recommend that we focus on other funding streams and we should for sure think about adding a donation option to our checkout flow. We used to have that in cGrants where people could donate to the matching pool (I’d love to see this return too). So maybe two options in checkout: 1) donate to Gitcoin’s products & 2) donate to the matching pool.


Has Gitcoin applied to this? Seems like an easy win considering:

  • Gitcoin is at the forefront of capital allocation
  • relationship with ThankArb/ Thrivecoin team.
  • Network of trained GS program managers
  • Helps Gitcoin reach GMV goals

This could easily fund one or two rounds in GG21. Def worth YOLO’ing into over the weekend. Apply here


Yes I’m actually working with multiple teams to apply to this.

While not applying directly we will have programs we are supporting that we are helping with applications.

Good callout my man definitely a great opportunity.


Totally agreed with this perspective, thanks for voicing @MathildaDV ! I’m down to experiment with optional donations at checkout – I think @owocki is doing some research on this.


This is great! I think it should be a ln option for every round running on grant stack. People want to give back to Gitcoin to support the mission and the people involved!


I would argue what benefits Gitcoin benefits the space overall as long as it’s open source and interoperable.

How that ties into business models in a competitive environment is more complex of course.

In terms of the other questions maybe that should be up to a community council to discuss and propose?