From Gitcoin Driven to Community Driven

Without a CEO, our collective vision is something we must all sensemake to find. Setting our purpose and essential intents of the DAO gave us a great 100 year purpose and 1-2 year boundaries for what work should be funded. GPC now has a clear vision & strategy encompassing the components of the protocol, platform, and user interface. However, Gitcoin does not have a holistic product vision & strategy to guide the entirety of the DAO through the transition to the grants protocol.

Expanding upon the ideas presented in Gitcoin’s New Flywheel, this article dives into the definitions, current strategy, and future strategy. It asks questions on how we might fix these gaps in strategy and sense-making. It finishes by discussing the potential of a holistic vision & strategy with an offer to conduct a community sense-making workshop.

These are Gitcoin’s 4 Quadrants of Success.

It has been difficult to communicate the difference between the Grants Protocol & the Grants Program in the past. Now, we must also grapple with the Grants Protocol being made from multiple modular components instead of a single protocol. And if that wasn’t complicated enough, it is likely we will see grants programs being run by the community in addition to the ones run by Gitcoin!

To begin, let’s break down the components at the highest level.

The launch of the protocol will force us to re-evaluate our most important work as a DAO. We will need to identify which things we will continue to fund, and which will shift to private goods, where the burden of providing should be isolated to the community which benefits.

To do this, we can examine each of our quadrants to evaluate which needs must be supported by the DAO.

Protocol vs Program

The unopinionated technical components data storage, smart contracts, and computation infrastructure used to manage a grants program.

Any grants program where Gitcoin drives the end to end operations of the round including finding funding partners, marketing & executing the round.

Gitcoin Grants Program Definitions

A set of grants and participation guidelines which persists under ownership of a wallet, multisig, or DAO.

A time-bound capital allocation event.

A web 3 protocol using Gitcoin to grow their ecosystem.

A shared motive inspiring funding for progress.

Round Operations
The end to end facilitation of a grants round.

Fraud Defense
Techniques, tools, services, and policies used by round operators to ensure credible neutrality & legitimacy of round outcomes.

Gitcoin Grants Protocol Definitions

Protocol Definitions

Program Registry
The list(s) of all the grant programs and associated data excluding location data stored onchain.

Project Registry
The list(s) of all the projects and associated data excluding location data stored onchain.

Passport Registry
The list(s) of all the users and associated data excluding location data stored onchain.

Platform (User Interface / User Persona)

Round Manager / Round Operator
Where round operators set up and implement their programs & rounds.

Grant Hub / Grantee
Where project owners list their project and apply for inclusion to programs & rounds.

Grant Explorer / Voter
Where voters explore projects to fund.

Gitcoin Passport / Voter
Where users verify reputation credentials.

Passport Reader / Round Operator
Where round owners set user eligibility filtering.


Modules include apps and dapps which plug into the grants protocol components to allow round operators higher resolution control of their end to end results. These tools might allow them to reduce manual review cost, adjudicate disputes, or support different funding mechanisms. Modules allow communities higher fidelity options for expressing collective intelligence. Round owners choose their own funding stack, users choose their communities.

Quadrant 1 - Gitcoin Built

Current Vision & Strategy

GPC owns the product strategy for building out the protocol. It is well thought out and achievable.

Other Stakeholders

DAOops Support
Inbound requests for support.

Helping technical users.

Data & tools to improve fraud defense.

Data & tools to help round execution.

Data & tools to track growth metrics.

Future Vision & Strategy

  • What should gitcoin build once the protocol is working properly?
  • Tradeoff: Focus on protocol improvement or module development
  • How much of DevRel does GPC need to own?

Quadrant 2 - Gitcoin Programs

The Gitcoin Programs include any rounds operated by Gitcoin on the Gitcoin Grants platform.

Current Vision & Strategy

This currently maps best to the Public Goods Funding workstream’s vision & strategy. For Gitcoin led programs, they are responsible for finding matching partners and running end to end operations.

Other stakeholders

Marketing the rounds

Providing fraud defense services

DAOops Support
Providing user support

Product builders needing feedback.

Future Vision & Strategy Questions

  • Should Gitcoin run rounds at all?
  • If yes, which ones?
  • Should operations services be paid for by the program requesting them?
  • Which is more important TVAC of Gitcoin led rounds or learnings from controlled experiments which can be shared to the broader community?
  • What can Gitcoin do that no one else can?
  • What strategic advantages does Gitcoin benefit from dogfooding the protocol?
  • Should the opinionated technical components be considered part of the program? (Including platform & user interface)

Quadrant 3 - Community Programs

Current Vision & Strategy

This is currently undefined.

Future Vision & Strategy Questions

  • Should the DAO pay for the services provided to communities?
  • Should the DAO charge for the services provided to communities?
  • Should any community be allowed to use the Gitcoin platform?
  • How do we facilitate learning between communities?
  • Does PGF own this?
  • How does FDD or MMM offer services? Through PGF? Why centralize it?

Quadrant 4 - Community Built

Current Vision & Strategy

This is currently undefined.

Future Vision & Strategy

  • How will we build a DevRel led culture?
  • How much should the DevRel budget be?
  • What priority level is DevRel? Is it reflected in budgets?

A Holistic Vision

The total number of grants programs and the total value of capital allocated using the grants protocol has been increasing at an accelerating rate for 4 straight seasons.

Future Vision & Strategy Questions

  • How does the DAO collect fees for services? Who holds it? How is it used?
  • Should service entities spin out in a way Gitcoin can hold investment stake in them?
  • Which quadrant would we focus on if we could only do one? Only 2?

A Holistic Strategy

My goal is to figure this out with you. We know that we must shift our focus from the upper quadrants to the lower quadrants. To do this, we will facilitate a SWOT analysis which can be used to assist leadership across Gitcoin in making strategic decisions. Date/Time = TBD

One more story to jumpstart your thinking before the strategy session.