[GCP-004] - PASSED - Gitcoin Citizens Round

Co-authors: @shawn16400 @krrisis @umarkhaneth

Vote Passed on Snapshot

Summary

Gitcoin is the world’s largest implementer of quadratic funding. We have run 105 quadratic funding rounds, helped fund over 3,700 projects, and grown ecosystems like Uniswap, Polygon, and ENS. Yet, we aren’t currently using quadratic funding ourselves. With the recent launch of the Allo protocol, Gitcoin should be one of the first ecosystems to use the protocol to fund its shared needs.

This proposal is to pilot a series of quadratic funding rounds for rewarding efforts supporting the Gitcoin Community, specifically by Gitcoin Citizens. Citizens are value-aligned community members who are eager to contribute their time and skills in service of the DAO. Running these rounds will lower the barrier of entry for contributing to the DAO, determine what the community values most, and help test (dogfood) the Allo protocol.

For this we are requesting a total of $95K in GTC from the Gitcoin treasury, more details below.*

Abstract

Through using our protocol and products, we’ll be able to better understand what works and what could be improved from both a funding and technology perspective.

In particular, we’ll be able to test two different approaches to quadratic funding: normal QF and retroQF. Normal QF (the kind we see in Grants Rounds) can fund both completed and planned work, while RetroQF exclusively funds work which has already had an observable impact. Because of this, RetroQF may be better at distributing funds according to the value actually created by a contribution but is not suited to situations where contributors can’t afford to wait for compensation. We will try both methods to gain information about which is better suited to the unique needs of our community.

By running different styles of rounds repeatedly and quickly, we’ll be able to gain valuable insight into how to best fund grantees, improve our products, and empower our community. We will also identify what contributions our community finds valuable so that in subsequent rounds people have more information when choosing what to work on.

It is also our hope, that by running these rounds, we can reward Gitcoin Citizens like Carl who evaluated Grantee Impact, Carlos who created a video guide for donating to Gitcoin on mobile, Jon Ruth who spent countless hours answering questions in discord, and more (these are cherry-picked examples of many voluntary contributions).

Motivation

This proposal is motivated by recent posts from Scott Moore and Kevin Olsen encouraging Gitcoin to build Gitcoin using QF. A huge thank you to them!

There are three main reasons why we should try this.

  1. To gain experience using quadratic funding and the allo protocol to build our own ecosystem, demonstrate effectiveness, and identify areas for improvement.

In particular, many Gitcoin Citizens will experience for the first time what it’s like to create a grant and raise funding. By dogfooding, we will build empathy for our users and increase our ability to help them. For example, if grantees face inconsistency in how much funding they receive each round we will understand this better by experiencing it ourselves.

  1. To experiment with a supplementary budgeting process that has greater accountability and less administrative overhead.

QF creates greater accountability by requiring the support of the community which requires being transparent about what you’re working on.

Further, there have been many recent conversations about how demanding the quarterly budgeting process currently is. One of the flavors of funding we will experiment with is retroactive quadratic funding. This method does not require extensive proposals, only proof that valuable work has been done.

  1. To increase community engagement and participation at all levels of Gitcoin from contribution to governance

QF facilitates inclusion of emerging talents within the Gitcoin community by reducing the barriers to entry. This program enables individuals to receive payment from the DAO without the need to be hired by a workstream. By providing funding quickly, regularly, and with short feedback loops, we expect to see far greater participation from Gitcoin Citizens to support the community itself and in the long run to support the development of Gitcoin itself.

Moreover, QF and especially retro QF can recognize the value of contributions that benefit Gitcoin in ways that aren’t traditionally compensated. This may, for example, include well-considered comments in our governance forum that lead to better governance practices.

Specifications:

We expect to run three quadratic funding rounds on the Grants Stack. After each round we will evaluate the results, survey the community, and complete a post-mortem. This is our current best approximation of timing:

  • The first round will be retroQF and run immediately after the Gitcoin Beta Rounds in Mid May to set the tone for Citizen engagement. We hope this will also encourage increased engagement during the Beta rounds to help make them as successful as possible.
  • The second round will run Mid June and will be a normal quadratic funding round. This will be a great dogfooding round because this is the type of round our partners are used to running. It will also provide us a good basis for comparing the effectiveness of retroQF.
  • The third round will be about a month after the second and the exact format will depend on the results of the first two rounds.

Milestones & Timeline:

Phase Task Date
Phase I Send the Draft to stakeholders March 09th
Validate assumptions with stakeholders March 17th
Draft posted on the forum March 24th
Community feedback session March 24-28
Update and move to snapshot March 29th
Phase II Round Preparation and Set-Up April 1 - May 15
Gitcoin Citizens Round #1 May 16 - 30
Round post mortem June 1
Phase III Gitcoin Citizens Round #2 June 15?
Round post mortem June 30
Gitcoin Citizens Round #3 (during a round) July 15?
Post-project evaluation form (AAR) posted July 30th

Note: the exact and final timing will to be confirmed

Budget

Cost of Matching Pool Funds:

  • $25k per round x 3 rounds = $75k (requested in GTC)*

Staffing:

  • $20K covering 3 part time contributors working over a period of 20 weeks, requested in GTC.*
Name PI PII PIII
Umar 10% FTE (4 weeks) 10% FTE (8 weeks) 10% FTE (8 weeks)
Shawn 10% FTE (4 weeks) 10% FTE (8 weeks) 10% FTE (8 weeks)
Kris 10% FTE (4 weeks) 10% FTE (8 weeks) 10% FTE (8 weeks)

*Note: After each round we will evaluate the results to determine how we want to adjust for the next round. Hours of contributors are also based on our best guesses and will be validated as we cycle forward. Contributors will keep track of their actual hours, which can be shared with CSDO and Stewards on request. The fact that this is a new experiment may mean that after two rounds we send funding back to the DAO if we decide not to run a third round or request additional funding to expand the round.

Funding Eligibility

The range of contributions that could be funded this way is purposefully broad and up to the community to define in the long term. However, for the initial rounds we encourage a high focus on community engagement-focused work contributing directly to Gitcoin’s ‘most important things’ and our Purpose and Essential Intents.. Without our community there is no reason for Gitcoin to exist, we are in service of our users, so we want to reward the people who support our grantees and donors through straightforward educational content, data analysis, and support-oriented initiatives.

More detailed criteria will be communicated before the start of the actual round(s).

Retroactive Funding.

Retroactive funding reduces risk and barriers to entry. It takes the guesswork out of deciding what will be valuable to fund because the impact is observable. Anyone can simply work on what they want to work on and they will be funded if the community finds it valuable. For this reason, it is important for contributors to be public about what they’re working on and for us to run frequent rounds with quick feedback loops.

For the first round we imagine a high focus on grassroots projects run by individuals, our Gitcoin Citizens. Contributions which have already been compensated (for example through a WS) will not be eligible.

Starting with retroactive funding showcases to the community how we believe Gitcoin can fund Gitcoin. Below you can find some examples of contributions that the core team would submit (or would invite the creators to submit) and we imagine to be funded this way:

After the first round, we hope to see more proactive initiatives and will experiment together with our community on what is the ideal process to make this as effective as possible.

Benefits

This novel mechanism is designed to fund additional Gitcoin community efforts and development of our protocol itself, but we see the following additional benefits:

  • Creates ways for the community way to engage and potentially be compensated
  • Encourages new community members to begin getting involved in Gitcoin
  • Provides a flexible contributor pool that is independent of fixed “hired” contributors
  • Enables dogfooding and rapid iteration for Grants Stack and Passport (including runbook updates)
  • Incentivizes Citizens to provide high quality work and to publicly share it
  • Lowers the barrier of entry and provide better scalability
  • Increases individual autonomy
  • Can be used to make a big splash / highlight / announce the efficacy self-serve model

Drawbacks - & considerations

This pilot could encounter a number of issues or have unintended consequences. Some considerations may include:

  • The community could reward non-strategic or lower value work.
  • The process could compensate at greater than market rates for popular deliverables.
  • Contributors could start to expect that all activities will be monetarily rewarded and try to game the system - over time this could actually decrease spontaneity and undermine the positive intent of volunteer activity
  • Not running a round alongside the Beta Round could result in lower participation than if we were part of the main event

As part of the pilot work, here is a list of are things we intend to learn through this process:

  • Does the community and the DAO assign different values to deliverables?
  • How much DAO capacity does it take to support these rounds?
  • What impact could a public comment / review have on the efficacy of quadratic voting?
  • Do we have a need for the verification of deliverables (sponsors)?
  • Do we need a post-vote dispute resolution process?
  • How do we authenticate grantees & addresses (fraudulent proposals of real work)?
  • Can we have an open nomination / always on funding?
  • Validate how much time is required to prep for, run, and follow up the round
  • Can PGF support off-cycle self-service rounds - how successful will off cadence rounds be?

Success measures:

  • A GCP proposal has been made to the community and has been voted upon
  • Three funding rounds have been executed & lessons learned have been captured
  • Assets have been created to facilitate the rounds
  • A project close out has been written with recommendations on if/how to proceed

Appendix: Gitcoin Citizens Rounds – Supplementary Info

Vote

Yes: Pilot the Gitcoin quadratic funding rounds and allocate $95K in GTC for three rounds and staffing

No: Do not fund this work and do not move forward

Abstain: I am missing context or this proposal needs more refinement.

23 Likes

Great idea. This can be a great way to convert users/ fans to passionate promoters of Gitcoin. Many community members are believers in the values and actively try to spread them, this would supercharge those efforts and create more involvement in the ecosystem.

Thanks for the shoutout!

10 Likes

Very comprehensive post :saluting_face: I vote YES

I’ve worked on all three sides of the QF equation: funding the matching pool directly, working with partners to fund the match pool, and most recently been a grantee myself. @umarkhaneth makes a great point about how different each of those roles is and how helpful it is to learn through participation.

Should be noted I’m biased because I was mentioned as a potential recipient of retroPGF, but even if I wasn’t included I’d still give this a big yes. I’ve been hoping Gitcoin would experiment with ways of compensating effective creatives.

9 Likes

Thank you for the suggestion. I really like the retroQF approach since this allows recognising and rewarding actual work as opposed to empty promises. In addition to the contributors and their contributions highlighted in this post, I’d like to suggest including those who are not stewards but are actively participating in governance on forums.

Farming these rounds is a legitimate concern as you have pointed out, a potential solution is vested tokens. These could be used both for gating and rewards. On a long term, the DAO should be more specific on the eligibility criteria.

How about testing the first round without a matching pool and tuning the eligibility criteria based on experience in the consequent rounds?

Perhaps the coordination comp can be part of these rounds themselves?

4 Likes

Seeing this post come together has been amazing, and the final result is excellent. No notes.

I’m fully supportive and vote yes to funding this initiative.

8 Likes

Hi @jengajojo thanks very much for your input on this proposal. We think it does fill a gap in our overall funding mechanism, and helps us dogfood our own products. Thank you for your input.

To clarify, are you suggesting that the first round be unfunded? Meaning, we run the round, but with funding limited to funds pledged from voters casting their vote? If that is the case, we could do that, but the rewards granted to the recipients might come in relatively low, and the part of the power of QF is amplifying the matching pool with voter participation. Although it would be a curious experiment to see what happens with voter turn out and if there were no matching funds.

To the second part irt tuning of the eligibility criteria based on learnings, yes that is the idea, that each subsequent round would build on what we learn from the previous round.

We did discuss this idea, but landed on this approach. Part of the challenge of costing this project is that our estimates are drawn on limited data - these are SWAG estimates and we could not get them closer with analogous or expert methods. We will know better if the FTE estimate is significantly off after the first round, and if it is so, we may put the executional work into later rounds to true up the work. But, post this pilot work, using the round to fund, or pre-fund the work is definitely possible.

7 Likes

I don’t know if my vote counts, but I say HELL YES!! Absolutely amazing proposal and very well written.

6 Likes

All input counts, so thank you! Vote will go up on snapshot soon, and then you will be able to officially vote, if you are a GTC tokenholder :slight_smile:

5 Likes

Thanks for putting this together. There are infinite ways we could set up a round to test different ways of involving the community more and increasing voter participation. What you landed on here sounds worth trying! I am supportive.

5 Likes

This proposal is really really inspiring. Congratulations everyone :robot: I think that this effort is capturing the exact ethos of Gitcoin and will encourage a lot of PG warriors to buidl more :robot: :pray:

4 Likes

I’m 100% FOR this. Can’t wait to make the vote official :slight_smile:

3 Likes

To my count, we have four steward comments on this post ( @kevin.olsen, @DisruptionJoe, @ZER8 and @Viriya) . I am not including myself or @krrisis given we are co-authors of the proposal. To move to snapshot, this proposal needs the support of one more steward before it can move forward. If it does not receive an additional comment, it will not move to snapshot.

note to self… I wonder if we should build-in an expiry period…

4 Likes

I love the thought and initiative that went into all of this. I am supportive and can’t wait to vote yes on this. Thank you guys!

8 Likes

Big +1 to Nate’s reply.

Thank you to all who worked through this. Excited to see what’s to come!!

6 Likes

Stewards & GTC token holders. This proposal has met the minimum threshold and has been moved to snapshot for a vote. The vote will close on Apr 6, 2023, 5:00 PM EST.

please cast your vote and let your voice be heard.
https://snapshot.org/#/gitcoindao.eth/proposal/0x8accce753fd16dd013c0c4792b6931e1c29b77ba00d70e1e5f93e7ad4ba32418

5 Likes

For the record - a belated thank you to the drafters who were incredibly inspired in driving this forward and patient in gathering feedback. I’ll be voting yes.

5 Likes

Thank you to everyone who spoke with us or left comments on our doc about the ideas and details of this proposal before it went live. Your energy, engagement, and support has been incredibly motivating.

Special thank you to those who have been active in this thread @carlosjmelgar @Colton @jengajojo @kevin.olsen @ UnchainedPicaso @DisruptionJoe @ZER8 @Viriya @nategosselin @ale.k @epowell101 !!

This proposal was built through a community effort and it exists in order to enable further community efforts. If we pass on snapshot and run these rounds then the success of these rounds will also be based in how much community gathers to participate. There’s an open invitation to anyone who wants to make these rounds a success to help gather nominees for retroactive quadratic funding in our first round. Just comment below why you’re grateful for someone and think they deserve RetroQF.

Nominee Name:
Link to Contribution:
Date of Contribution:
Brief Description:
How this benefited Gitcoin:

7 Likes

I would like to think that this money is really going to create a better future.

3 Likes

Hey Umar - Thanks again for posting this. I am excited to see us give this a shot.

I am supportive of the initiate and I wonder if there can be an option to support one round, two rounds, or three?

I would love to kick this off with a commitment for two rounds to start, and then expand to a third if we find it’s successful? Is that possible?

4 Likes

This sounds like a solid 'worth a try. ’
Esp. for the retroactive QF.
Everyone mentioned above in blue highlighted for retroactive QF funding has my vote, a big YESSS! :robot: :green_heart:

2 Likes