[GCP 017] Gitcoin Citizens Retroactive Funding Round

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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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!

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My response:

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

Yes agreed. Think this is an interesting use case for Hypercerts. Would love to explore this further - DM me!

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Appreciate the work and partnership you’ve put into this proposal @krrisis

I’ll be voting yes on this in good faith that you will continue to work closely with product and support both the impact of the program and experimentation on the strategic variables to help further build out Gitcoin’s expertise beyond running QF rounds. To me, this is one of the most important secondary goals of this program beyond funding community engagement.

I would love to see themed categories that incorporate Allo and Passport. I think the Citizen’s round could be an AWESOME avenue for dev rel and I’d love to see an experiment beyond more marketing/community oriented projects (which I still love obviously).

One thing that I did notice is that it’s costing $80/hr to mostly do admin tasks listed on the timesheet. Given your efforts to align with our product strategy, your work to maintain a dialogue of feedback on our product and your efforts to engage with community this may be warranted. That said, in honesty, this is a bit of a black box for me. I absolutely do not want to devalue your hard work! What I think will help bolster the ask would be to document and share your plans for community engagement and the experiments you’re planning to run with product’s buy-in. You could share this upfront and charge your time back or you could promise to share these once the proposal has passed (just spitballing here)

Given we’re currently building out a training program for round operators and the fact that i’m your friend and I care about you, I’m not sure how this rate will hold up over time unless you continue to level up strategically. Making yourself an indispensable strategic consultant for programming like this at the org will be important for your own longevity and the longevity of the program.

That said, I’ve been loving your progress on this and I am bullish to see how this initiative progresses as I think it’s an important program and playground for us atm.

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Thanks so much for the vote of confidence Laura!

With the potential increase in available hours for impact and community engagement the goal is definitely to be more closely engaged with the core team and aligned with the product strategy.

Just in case you didn’t see this, there is some more detail in this doc on what this represents, but the goal is really to develop this further with the team. In that sense this document is already outdated. The call with you and Meg was very inspiring here, totally onboard now with the mix between impact & showcasing our platform capabilities - the signal boosting will be a great opportunity here. Just coming off another call with Meg and hope this is a first of many - goal is really to build these next rounds alongside you, and think through what makes most sense for us to do next.

Very curious to hear more on this and talk this through. We’re definitely very open to more themes & categories!

My vote is Yes: Fund the Citizens Rounds for 153K GTC

In my opinion this is a very important initiative not only for rewarding and incentivizing community support for Gitcoin but also for the health of the DAO. As in the case of a DAO more engagement means more decentralization.

NOT everyone can be a Gitcoin core contributor BUT everyone can be a Gitcoin Citizen (and it also means the possibility of be compensated for your effort).
And in my opinion, this is something we were missing for some time. And this is really great.
For me Gitcoin has been always the place where everyone is welcome in the Web3, a place to experiment and learn. And this initiative is very aligned with this.

On the other hand, a Gitcoin Citizens round also signals what is important for the community.

Finally, running a Round takes a lot of work/hours. And this is something I have been aware after doing the training from Green Pill. And so, I find the budget asked is fair.

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I will be voting in favor of this.

Some thoughts on this specific proposal:

  1. Glad to see us doubling down on RPGF.
  2. The overhead on this specific proposal is high relative to the amount going to the Citizens. We should target no more than 10% overhead. IMO we should solve this either by allocating more to citizens or by becoming more efficient in how the rounds are run.
  3. We know from this post that there are at least four components to designing a voting strategy:
  • Impact Vector: Identifying the specfic type of impact you want to amplify over time.
  • Distribution Curve: Determining how flat or skewed the eventual distribution of tokens to projects should be.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Establishing parameters to determine which projects qualify.
  • Award Function: Creating a formula or rubric to equate impact with profit.

It’d be great to have Gitcoin governance more involved in deciding these things.

Some strategic thoughts on RPGF + Gitcoin Citizens in the future:

  1. Gitcoin workstreams total $700k/mo ( $2.1m/quarter)… Doing a $50k citizens round/quarter feels like a paltry amount compared to the amount done via workstreams. We should double down on Citizen rounds then we should double down again . Then double down again.
    • Over time I hope to see an upward spiral emerge where Gitcion invests more into its outter community, and the outward community invests more into gitcoin, and the cycle repeats.
    • The opposite of the above upward spiral is a downward spiral where Gitcoin does not invest in its outer community, so the only peopple who are left are bad/net negative, and the cycle repeats. We should avoid this at all costs.
    • A community that I think is doing it right is Optimism. They have created a talent magnet and great brand for themselves with their continual RPGF rounds.
  2. When GitcoinDAO launched in May 2021, it had a treasury of 50m. I’d love to see at least 10% of this treasury given out to citizens or other people who are not in workstreams via RPGF + Gitcoin Citizens Rounds. I may submit a proposal to earmark these funds in this way in the near future.
    • What would it look like if the primary way Gitcoin was funded was with Retroactive Funding + with Citizens rounds? (as opposed to the current GovernorBravo setup, which is dominated by workstreams and insiders). This is admittedly a provocative question. But our decentralization is progressive - I do not believe that making this transition is a good idea at this time, but I do believe that in the next 3-7 years using Gitcoin to fund Gitcoin should be a goal. I believe that this should be done not by lowering the compensation of insiders, but by elevating outsiders to the level of insiders (both in context level, accountability level, and funding levels).
  3. I’d like to see multiple different citizens rounds happening. We should diversify round operators away from Kris/Umar and to a competing marketplace of diff Citizen Round Operators. Within this competing marketplace, some things Id like to see:
    • We should be building a strong expertise in running Grants programs. One of the memes coming out of 2024 planning I’ve seen is that Grants = Growth. How can the Gitcoin ecosystem use the Citizens rounds to experiment with ways to use Grants for Growth? How can we create more expertise in how to use Grants + document that in a way that bleeds into how Round Operators coming from @sejalrekhan’s round manager training program run rounds in our ecosystem. How can we build a knowledgebase of best practices? A roadmap for what experiments our customers want to see? How can we learn in public?
    • As Gitcoin evolves from QF to many mechanisms, I’d love to see citizens rounds run with a badgeholder type experiment like optimism does. Or with Conviction Voting. Or with SeaGrants. We should be experimenting with different ways to Fund What Matters at Gitcoin.
    • Over time, the citizens rounds should form a spectrum of (1) tried and true mechansims and (2) experimental mechanisms. From cradle to unicorn. For each different type of designing an impact voting strategy as @carlcervone lays out in this piece? Would it be possible to eventually traverse the entire design space using a pluralism of designs for Citizen rounds?
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I’ll also be voting yes on this and echo many of @Viriya 's comments. I think that aligning with product and program teams to continue to iterate on the format and impact of the citizen’s round will be a key part of sustainability and success – and look forward to doing so with you!

Wanted to add a bit of color to @owocki 's point on % spend compared to workstreams. The vast majority of Citizen’s funding goes to marketing and community efforts, which are a fraction of the total workstream cost ($[448k][S19 Proposal Amended] MMM S19 Budget Request) vs 2.1m). I think that broadening the citizen’s program beyond purely marketing/community efforts will also be key to scaling it!

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I also see lots of data and fraud defense projects (not just marketing/community) in the results for round 2!

I agree that enabling the community to contribute deeper value beyond data, marketing, community, and education will be key to scaling up citizens rounds.

I know its possible because we see other ecosystems (like Optimism) successfullly enabling many ecosystem developers to build in & around their software ecosystems.

Once Grants Stack + Allo v2 are integrated and opened up to more community contributions, and if/when more work is put into developer relations… I hope to see a lot more engineering/product grants in the citizens rounds.

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I appreciate this initiative and will either vote “yes” or “abstain” depending on the eligibility criteria (I was a participant in the first Gitcoin citizen’s round).

On that note – I’d love to see these rounds have a clearer set of eligibility criteria (eg, nominations) and potentially some means of helping voters differentiate among the various forms of impact.

I think this is what @owocki is getting at here:

I’d like to see multiple different citizens rounds happening. We should diversify round operators away from Kris/Umar and to a competing marketplace of diff Citizen Round Operators.

Rounds could be run on specific axes like:

  • Technical vs community-focused contributions
  • Rising stars (newer citizens) vs hall of famers (OG citizens)
  • Insiders vs outsiders

Or in domains like data / sybil defense, governance, public goods meme generation, etc.

There could also be an interesting dynamic where if you “win” the round then you have to organize the next one (or maybe you can delegate it to someone else in your round).

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I love this! Creating tight feedback loops between operators and participants feels like a great way to accelerate our learnings and create lots of education (and empathy.)

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Thank you so so much for all these additional comments, super inspiring and a lot of food for thought.

Calling out this quote:

To me this is a great summary of what we hope to achieve with the Citizens Rounds. We are just getting started (still in the cradle), so we will definitely not be able to incorporate all the great ideas and experiments into our next round, but we are listening & absorbing, and hope to gradually evolve these, with all of you.

When it comes to defining the voting strategy there’s a lot we can learn and already implement by spending more time with key stakeholders (thx for all the inspiration above :pray: - @ccerv1 we’d also love to hop on a call with you on this!). We’ll combine this with a lot of deep dives with the product team to put our own products to the test and showcase all its possibilities.

Also taking note of the extra comment on overhead cost, some feedback on this here. Reading the ambitions as outlined above I think it makes sense to keep these in for now, as this goes beyond just running a regular round and will be spent on deep dialogue with the many stakeholders. I suggest we re-evaluate in between round #3 & #4 if these hours are being wisely spent, and will of course keep track of these.

With this we have enough Steward comments, so the next step would be to bring this to a vote.

Thank you for all the feedback, keep it coming!

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This proposal is now live on Snapshot. You can vote by clicking this link here: Snapshot

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i am trying to vote on this, and i am getting an error. another person in discord has the same issue, and i had this message when i tried to vote on the previous snapshot also. not sure where would be the best place to ask about this. i mentioned it in telegram, but no response so far. here’s the error:

“Your voting power could not be calculated. This is often due to a misconfigured strategy or an unresponsive RPC node involved in the strategy. If the problem persists, consider contacting the space admin or our support team on Discord”

i have no idea what i could try to resolve this. hoping maybe someone has seen it before, and knows what the possible causes may be.

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I recommend opening a ticket with Snapshot in their Discord server. This worked for me last time I had this issue.

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