[GCP 017] Gitcoin Citizens Retroactive Funding Round

Summary

We’re requesting $153k in GTC to continue a series of retroactive quadratic funding rounds to reward 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 Gitcoin’s mission. Running these rounds lowers the barrier of entry for contributing to the DAO, determines what the community values most, and helps test (dogfood) all of our products, driving innovation. This budget will fund two more Citizens Rounds including operations, and a supplement for community engagement.

Abstract

Over the past two seasons we have run a 95K GTC-funded experiment, incentivizing community support for Gitcoin and its ecosystem. Round #1 stands as Gitcoin’s most successful crowdfunding versus matching round to date. With round #2 we doubled down on PGN as our network of choice, and invited our community to not only apply for retroactive funding but also submit planned work, as part of our initial GCP.

We’ve been blown away by the community’s enthusiasm and deeply impressed by the value they’ve created. Value by our community, for our community, without any top-down guidance. Further details can be found in this case study by Grants Stack, our reporting on round 1 and in our overall learnings report covering these initial two rounds. The Citizens Rounds have also served as a development testbed for Gitcoin between Program Rounds, and for us this is just the beginning. We’re eager to continue supporting our Citizens, helping them to better support the ecosystem while rallying the ecosystem itself to support our Citizens even more through these rounds.

For this reason we are requesting funding for two more rounds, aiming to further grow awareness and momentum for this initiative. Our goal is to establish the Citizens Rounds as a cornerstone of the DAO’s way of working and a key driver of Gitcoin’s essential intents.

Motivation

We view the Citizens Rounds as a model for our DAO, fostering a bottom-up, skills-driven owner’s mentality, bringing us back to the essence of what being a DAO is about. We’ll continue to check in with our community on missing pieces to achieve our goals, with a high focus on impact through retroactive funding.

The mission of the Citizens Rounds is deeply aligned with Gitcoin’s updated essential intents:

  1. Network Effects: Each additional Gitcoin Citizen joining the network increases the value for all the other Citizens who now each have an additional potential collaborator and funder. This then increases the value of the round for the whole Gitcoin ecosystem. We’ve also seen other ecosystems starting their own retroPGF rounds for community contributions (Arbitrum Citizens, Ethereum contributors, Starknet, and of course Optimism), creating a positive flywheel that attracts more and more builders.
  2. Community First: With our rounds we are telling our ambassadors that we see them, we appreciate them, and we want to reward them. Through funding and coaching we are empowering community members to actively contribute to Gitcoin’s evolution.
  3. Financial Longevity: Our rounds yield significant returns on investments, with a low budget of $50-75K/quarter for all Citizens versus a total budget of +$3MM for full-time DAO contributors over the same period (details in our learnings report).

Specifications

Budget

We are requesting a budget of 153K in GTC in funding for two rounds, including operations. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 50K Round #3: 40K matching pool + 10K GTC signal boosting
  • 70K Round #4: 60K matching pool + 10K GTC signal boosting
  • 32K Staffing: 16K round operations + 16K community engagement
  • 1K Reserves: expenses, eg. subscriptions, gas, transactions slippage

Further details on signal boosting and community engagement are provided below. Note that without community engagement (which goes beyond operations), the overhead cost is 12%. Our aim is to reduce this further in the future by offsetting round operator costs through round participation.

Changes Since Previous GCP

We have learned so much during our first two rounds, you can find a full overview of this in our learnings report.

Some of the key changes::

  • Our next rounds will be fully retroactive, allowing us to focus on results, impact and a streamlined review process.
  • We’re introducing a signal boosting mechanism, allocating an additional 10K/round for projects deemed impactful by our inner community. Key stakeholders will be airdropped the funding to divide this amount among projects of their choice, helping Citizens focus and inspiring stakeholders to communicate on future tasks more regularly.
  • We’ll continue to update and revise our eligibility criteria, focusing on defining Citizens’ work and individual efforts.
  • We want to gradually increase the awareness for this initiative. The ultimate goal is to make the Citizens Rounds into a perpetual, higher cadence, recurring initiative. We’re requesting a higher budget for the main round operator, to reflect the reality of round 1 & 2, and a recommended supplement for increased community engagement (see below).
  • The proposed extra community engagement layer aims to heighten our focus on impact.

Impact & Community Engagement

Next to the budget for round operations (16K), which is similar to the one of the past rounds, we propose funding for related community engagement work, managed by the driving round operator. The (maximum) estimated cost is 100hrs/quarter or 8K for two rounds, totaling 16K.*

*Note: This is a maximum amount, which will be documented in detail similarly to the timesheets for round 1-2. As a Citizen the round operator will also raise funds for this part: whatever is community funded is not paid from the treasury.

Context:

Kris, as driving round operator, has been a dedicated ‘meta Citizen,’ bridging gaps between Citizens, product teams, and support. In the last two seasons, he has contributed around 180-250 hours to support Gitcoin without remuneration. He has been logging tickets, reviewing strategic documents and reading up and engaging on the forum and in discord, wherever and whenever relevant. This work, while not always directly measurable, enhances the efficiency and impact of Citizens.

We believe it is crucial for the success of the Citizens rounds to continue going this extra mile but would request for this crucial work to be funded as of now.

Goals:

  1. Increase impact by directly supporting an ‘insider’ to educate and bridge between key stakeholders and Citizens.
  2. Showcase transition: Demonstrate how a high-impact Citizen can shift from a retainer fee to full community funding.

Scope of Work

  • Citizens Education & Branding
  • Setting Community & Communication Guidelines
  • Office Hours & Advisory Calls
  • Discord & Telegram Management
  • Social Media Presence & Management
  • Crowdsourcing Open Tasks
  • Stakeholder Engagement

More detail here on round operations and the scope of work for community management.

Benefits

  • The Citizens Rounds can serve as a model for the DAO, emphasizing a bottom-up, owner’s mentality and encouraging the community to identify missing elements to achieve our goals, prioritizing impact through retroactive funding.
  • This initiative is deeply aligned with Gitcoin’s updated essential intents, focusing on maximizing network effects, fostering permissionless community contributions, with a minimal budget, and a maximum return on investment.
  • This round allows us to continue dogfooding our tooling, gives devs and product a place to test new features outside of program rounds, and provides a case study for others.

Drawbacks:

  • The community could reward non-strategic or lower value work.
  • The process could compensate at greater than market rates for popular deliverables.

Success measures:

  • Two more funding rounds have been executed & lessons learned have been captured
  • Key stakeholders continue to see the Citizens as creating value in line with our essential intents
  • A project close out has been written with recommendations on if/how to proceed

Vote

  • Yes: Fund the Citizens Rounds for 153K GTC
  • No: Do not fund the Citizen Rounds
  • Abstain: I am missing context or am impacted by this proposal

In closing

We believe this initiative will be a win for Gitcoin at a low relative cost, as we have not seen any strong negative side effects with our pilot.

However, we will continue to optimize for higher impact through updated eligibility criteria, the signal boosting experiment, and the added community engagement.

Thank you for reading, we look forward to your thoughts and future votes!

Kris, Umar & Carlos

24 Likes

Thanks for all the work you and @umarkhaneth have put into this. We have many community members regularly going out of their way to create impact in our ecosystem. Thrilled to see our citizens be recognized and rewarded for the impact they create.

Signal boosting is a great idea because it ensures contributors have viz on the impact and enables them to make an impact assessment with funding. This should result in deeper appreciation between citizens and contributors.

I’ve seen all the effort and passion you’ve out into this. I would love to see number go up in future proposals.

This could be an opportunity to introduce impact certs into the round. They’re still early, so this could be a way to allocate the signal boosting amounts.

Overall very excited to see the next rounds and feeling fortunate to play a more active role in acknowledging and rewarding our Citizens.

6 Likes

Thanks for drafting this up! The Gitcoin citizen round is indeed serving as an exemplar for other communities and so it should definitely continue in some form

I love the idea of 10k GTC for signal boosting - it ties in well with efforts by TEC to have tunable QF, where votes from certain wallets are given more matching than votes from others. Gitcoin citizen round is the perfect petri dish to try such experiments which can be taken to core rounds if successful

I do wonder whether the 10k GTC signal boost fund can be used to increase decentralization in GitcoinDAO - for eg by delegating it as voting power to the citizen or awarding it with the expectation that it should be held for at least a year & used for identity staking or voting.

If we go the path of not actually awarding the GTC to the citizen but instead delegating it to them via the DAO wallet, we could actually increase the amount to more than 10k GTC (since it isn’t actually being transferred) . This could also serve as a good model for other DAOs like Arbitrum for shaking up relative power of delegates

8 Likes

Fantastic rundown and explanation. Gitcoin citizens are crucial in expanding the public goods funding into other chains and channels. Thank you for the opportunity to support those working in this direction for the good of all.

4 Likes

Thanks for posting this @umarkhaneth @krrisis @carlosjmelgar ! I’m noodling on our RPGF strategy this week and would love to jam with you all on how the citizen’s round can fit in or help advance that.

One immediate question I have is on the compensation for round operators. I know two of the operators have full-time, salaried contributor positions. Does this proposal aim to compensate them as well, or just the round operator who is not salaried? I know the workload of these rounds can be high and want to compensate everyone fairly, though am also conscious that multiple streams of comp can make accountability more difficult.

7 Likes

That’s a great question. I opted to support this round as a volunteer and doing my part outside of fulltime commitments/ hours.

2 Likes

I love this initiative, since we are covering the unmet needs of low voting and underrepresented communities. As long as we continue with Gitcoin Citizens, we are going to have more delegates and also more voices to achieve a better consensus and dilute centralized decisions.

“Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.” Aristotle

1 Like

Hey Meg!

Yes, would love to chat more! In my dream scenario Citizens would also create pull requests for things that the core team cannot prioritize but seem useful according to the community.
And extra budget is always great ofc.

The proposal only compensates the non-salaried round operator, you can find more detail on this in the document linked here:

Hope this helps & let’s chat soon!

2 Likes

Thanks for the support Devansh!

And this is an interesting one! Two things come to mind:

  1. We really want to reward the Citizens with the full budget and not limit on how they use it. However we do hope they will hodl this and use it to participate in governance, that is one of the reasons we are donating GTC. At the same time governance at Gitcoin is evolving, so let’s see what comes out of this.

  2. Our goal is to keep things simple & straightforward, at least for these upcoming 2 rounds. So the idea of asking for more funds that we then not give but just delegate adds complexity which I would prefer to not do at this point in time, and first focus on increasing awareness & impact of Citizens’ work. Also knowing that the DAO has not set up anything similar so far (the DAOs holdings are not delegated, individual token holders just delegate how they want to), I don’t think the core team will want to prioritize this. That said, I do think Citizens automatically have a higher chance of getting GTC delegated by key tokenholders if they do great work + get rewarded with extra signal boosting GTC.

All that said, very much taking note of these ideas for future rounds, exciting times for Citizens!

1 Like

Would love that too! I’ll look for a time and send an invite

1 Like

This is a super interesting idea – to put it differently: we could elect who GTC from a shared pool (e.g treasury) is delegated to for voting. I think this could be a great idea but I agree with @krrisis a separate conversation from the Citizens Round which aims to financially compensate people for work completed.

I wonder how it might tie in to @CoachJonathan & @deltajuliet’s governance plans tho

1 Like

Thank you @krrisis for this detailed proposal, it’s great to see the transparency and accountability for the past rounds and activities for the next Gitcoin Citizens Round.

I’m excited to see how this round further expands Public Goods impact in web3 ecosystems.

And oh, I vote ‘Yes’

1 Like

Many value-adds being in the prior Citizens Round, thank you!

It’s a great motivation to continue kicking tires to see where I can get great ROIs like connecting Hats Protocol with Gitcoin Passport.

It’s lovely self-promotion while also engendering a sense of cohort.

I hope you keep this tradition.

2 Likes

Sincerely appreciate the hard work @krrisis @umarkhaneth @carlosjmelgar you have put in!

These transparent disclosures are a signal of integrity and do not go unnoticed:

I’m intrigued, and looking forward to seeing how Signal Boosting plays out:

I’m absolutely in favor of passing this proposal, and this is yet another reason for support (not that we need more reasons, but certainly worth highlighting that such efforts are not always directly measurable):

Keep up the great work team and let the Non-Zero Sum Games continue :fire::rocket:

2 Likes

Thank you guys for the work :muscle: Gitcoin community is one of the strongest with warm community feeling! I appreciate it more and more :green_heart:

It’s not easy to run rounds and evaluate them aiming to improve every time :fist:

1 Like

Thanks to this team for enabling more external contributors to participate in the DAO.

I personally think this is really an important goal here. If you all are interested, we can work on a delegation strategy which sends tokens to a Franchiser contract, and this contract can match the donation signal with delegated voting weight for non DAO employees. I know @carlosjmelgar has been thinking of ways to enchance community participation in governance and this can be a clear way to reward governance power without actually paying in governance power.

1 Like

I’m glad to see this proposal up on the forum - it is one of my favourite initiatives that Gitcoin runs.

Before I land on any opinions, I have a few questions that I’d like to have addressed:

Costs (of course)

  • Right now I’m seeing that operational costs make up almost 25% of the entire ask
  • I’m curious to hear from @sejalrekhan and/or @M0nkeyFl0wer about their experience either running rounds or working with others running rounds (particularly of this size) and what kind of lift that requires
  • I’d also like to hear from someone like @meglister about a fee switch, since that would be an added cost and would mean that a fund of about $150k would see almost 35% go toward running the round. I remember lots of talks about “anyone can run a QF round” and as true as that might still be, it seems much less likely if it takes so much work.
  • I’m also look at the $36k request and thinking that is about 3 months of FT work for myself. I don’t know what it takes to run a round but 1-1/2 months of FT work seems like a lot of time to have people apply, promote the round, and then do the calcs (again I don’t know what it takes to run a round, would love to hear multiple perspectives on this)
  • Costs staying the same, I would like to see the matching pool amount increase so that operational costs take less of a % of $ that could go toward Citizens

Strategy

  • I know that there is a lot of discussion internally about the grants vertical and how Gitcoin wants to continue to position itself within the world of Web3 grants
  • I would like to see some of those thoughts articulated to see 1) how the Citizen round fits in and 2) how we might want to see the Citizen round run moving forward (ex: What features do we want to dogfood beyond a QF round? Should we continue with QF? What about QV? What about direct? What about experimenting with conviction voting? etc.)
  • I believe @meglister is driving this in partnership with @Sov and @Viriya with feedback from others at CSDO

EIs

One last Q was around Essential Intent #3 of Financial Sustainability. I didn’t see anything in the learnings about ROI and how that was calculated/measured. If someone can point that out to me that would be great appreciated :pray:

6 Likes

What if the Citizen Rounds are run by Gitcoin Citizens? 100% of the match goes to the citizens, and you could apply the 10% service fee as any other community operated round.

In this scenario, 10% would be 15k GTC; if executed, this could be used as baseline to measure ROI and sustainability of the program

Hey Jonathan, thanks so much for your questions! Here are some initial thoughts, but very curious to hear other tagged people chime in.

Costs:

So I think it’s important to specify here that our total operational costs of only running the round itself is 8K/round, meaning 16K in total, or a total of something closer to 12% overhead.
We hope to lower this even more in future rounds.

This is not counting community engagement, a new request, which we separated out under that header in the proposal. The reason for this ‘supplement’ is because the Citizens Round differs considerably from a standard round: with this additional budget we’d love to continue to connect Citizens, product teams, and support on a level that other rounds cannot or do not require. You can read more about this above:

Initially we had two separate lines for these budgets but then decided this is an inextricable part of the whole proposal. We believe that what makes the Citizens Rounds special is that we go the extra mile with this audience, they are pretty ‘pampered’, and this is by design, as we’ve been learning so much from them. Plus, they are our ambassadors, they represent us, so we want to keep them close.

At the same time it’s important to be deeply aligned with the Gitcoin team and be able to take the time to brainstorm on experimentation, give thorough product feedback etc. We find ourselves in a unique position but this does require some extra time.

I hope the linked document on the hours for community engagement & operations (here) can bring some more clarity, as it goes into what the scope of work is and will be here. For the two previous rounds, you can also check the timesheets that give you a better view onto what goes into running this specific round, although this is not the full picture, a lot more time was spent on this in reality.

There is also the difference between an FTE (with stability and benefits) and a part time role spread out over a period of +6 months, so not sure if the comparison is entirely possible.

Also highlighting that this is a maximum amount, which will be documented in timesheets, and as a Citizen the round operator will also raise funds for this part. This counts for both operations as well as community engagement.

This is a great point, and we definitely looked into this, it’s why we already increased the matching pool amount considerably (going from $20K to $50K round-over-round, and $70K after this). We could increase the round amounts even more, but we think we’re still in a phase of building more awareness and momentum for this initiative. So our recommendation is to not grow too much too fast, and not weigh on the Gitcoin treasury more before we can fine tune our program and get to a higher impact for Gitcoin itself.

Strategy:

We just had a great chat on this with Meg and Laura. We definitely need to find a balance between impact and experimentation and we’d love to continue this discussion, with product & marketing on dogfooding, and with you on how we can inform Citizens more effectively to support on Gitcoin’s various essential intents.

In our proposal we outlined to work on signal boosting through ‘airdrops’ to key stakeholders, but if we can find other or additional ways to signal boost using QV, we’d love to explore this together. So our proposal would be to request the full budget as is, but to not pin ourselves down on how exactly we do the signal boosting just yet.

EIs:

It is difficult for now to measure this in-depth, especially because this is a bottom-up initiative, but by just browsing through the various projects of round 1 and 2, the enormous impact to us seems undeniable, with a total spent budget of less than $50K.

We requested input by the core team on a few occasions on what they would like to see built, but this was very limited for now, due to time constraints on both sides. Through the additional hours (as described under community engagement) we could actually have more time and space to make this happen. We’re also very excited by projects like @mmurthy’s experimentation with impact reporting, in itself a (future) Citizens Round project.

Hope this helps & happy to discuss more!

3 Likes

My response:

Yes, Fund the Citizens Rounds for 153K GTC :sparkles: