This document is a suggested process for developing and advancing Gitcoin Community dynamics, governance flows and everything that comes with it. It is a living document intended to be owned, modified, and enforced by stewards as well as the overall community.
The post is intended to anchor and kickstart discussion around the different roles, flows and pathways so that we may ensure the effective and smooth operation of everything we do in this community. We’ll move this over to get ratified after five days of (hopefully) great additions and discussions.
*Please note that if you have support questions, our Discord here is the place to ask, comments not related to the proposal in this thread will be removed.
There are three main roles in Gitcoin governance: stewards, delegates, and contributors.
Becoming a steward: Getting involved in a steward is easy, anyone who wants to be considered simply has to state their intent here and express why they think they’d be a good fit to build and govern for the public good. Any community member may pledge their intent to be a steward, but fellow community members will delegate voting power according to their own views.
Delegating your voting power: Anyone that wants to delegate GTC to a steward can visit the dashboard here and choose from the current list of interested parties. Delegation goes a long way in ensuring everyone’s views and thoughts are well represented. Delegations can be changed at any time.
Contributing to a workstream: Workstreams that have been successfully ratified, as defined below, will constantly be looking for new contributors, and over time just like in any DAO members who do well will be rewarded and given more stake in the future they’re helping to build.
In addition to the general rules of engagement for forum participation listed here, we want to define an even clearer definition of the values and conduct expected of stewards, delegates and moderators, given the important role they have in the Gitcoin ecosystem.
Gitcoin’s core mission is to build and fund digital public goods, which naturally involves playing all kinds of positive-sum, multiplayer games. Doing that effectively requires us all to internalize and act upon shared values and common knowledge. We hope that the code below can act not just as a template for acting in the Gitcoin ecosystem, but eventually the broader Ethereum ecosystem as well.
Code of Conduct
Gitcoin is a community for open source development and supportive collaboration. It welcomes all opinions and perspectives, encouraging meaningful discussions as we build new cooperative models to further public goods together. Above all, our goal is to ensure that public goods get the support and attention they need.
The Code of Conduct is here to help guide the community on how we should work towards this goal while treating each other with respect and as peers.
Gitcoin as a community is only as strong as it is because of highly engaged contributors, delegates, and stewards alike. We must continue to foster a culture of collaboration and support. We value the participation of every member of the community and want all participants to have a meaningful and fulfilling experience. Accordingly, all members are expected to show respect and courtesy to others throughout their engagement in Gitcoin community activity.
What to Do (values to instill)
Respectfulness & Kindness
- We are an inclusive community
- We respect difference in opinions
- The community is not JUST Gitcoin, but anyone who wants to participate
Discuss topics, not each other
Sometimes things can get heated but we disagree on topics not people
Discussions should be additive not reductive
Build together and be transparent
Everything is open source anyway so building compassionate tech requires openness and honesty, not gatekeeping
This means accepting differences and acknowledging flaws
Work together, but don’t force or coerce others into anything
Redundancy is natural and should be respected vs vilified
Things don’t generally work long term on goodwill alone, active participation is required; as such, accountability is key in manifesting the DAO’s mission, if you agree to run a workstream or push forward a proposal you must be willing to be held accountable
Timeliness in delivering work, contributions, and goals set out is essential. Be considerate that you’re always working as part of a community
- As a primary principle of web3, contributing work should be done in public as much as possible and communication should be forthcoming
- An openness towards and willingness to work with others in achieving DAO mission goals is critical in establishing an environment of collaboration and co-creation
What not to Do (things to avoid)
0 tolerance for hate speech
0 tolerance for personal attacks or threats
0 tolerance for sharing illegal or explicit material
If you see something do something
- Everyone taking part in the Gitcoin community—stewards, delegates, moderators, contributors—is required to abide by the Code of Conduct. If you’d like to raise something you feel goes against the code, speak to a mod. All communication will be treated as confidential.
The code of conduct will be enforced by stewards who have chosen to take on moderator duties. If you would like to become a moderator, please reach out to myself, Scott, or Yalor on Discord.
See something missing? Suggest it below!
Note: All meaningful governance discussion should take place on this forum to ensure the community has full transparency
The Gitcoin governance process is the act of proposing, discussing, and deciding initiatives for GitcoinDAO to take on around the mission of sustaining digital public goods. As currently scoped, workstreams provide a place for discussion and collaboration, leading to proposals which are then voted on by the community.
Proposals can vary broadly, they can be qualitative / procedural (e.g. “Should Gitcoin Grants allow VC backed projects?”) and have no funding requests attached, or make an explicit request for funding (e.g. “We would like to create a workstream focused on building a decentralized architecture for Gitcoin Grants”).
Workstreams are the atomic units of how stewards coordinate. A workstream is a group of people actively working on tasks that align with Gitcoin’s mission to sustain digital public goods. As such, ratifying workstreams sets boundaries on what is and isn’t in scope for Gitcoin DAO governance.
Anyone may start a workstream and gather momentum around it by posting on the forum. Until a formal proposal for a budget is made, this workstream is considered “informal.” A workstream can be as broad or narrow as its initiators like, but any workstream proposals must satisfy the following criteria or risk being removed by mods:
- Have a clear objective the workstream is aiming to achieve that aligns with Gitcoin’s mission.
- Name a directly responsible steward willing to take ownership for the objective and be accountable for meeting it.
- Be distinguished from or explicitly state its improvements on existing workstreams.
- Propose a clear budget and timeline for an initial target outcome of its activities.
Workstreams may have five potential states:
|Informal Workstream||Informal workstream|
|Proposal Stage||Workstream has made formal proposal to governance for budget.|
|Active Workstream||Workstream budget and target has been ratified by governance.|
|Renewed||Workstream has been renewed or is receiving continuous funding.|
|Archived||Workstream is concluded, defunded, deprecated, no longer active.|
To move into a subsequent level of formality, a workstream must satisfy a set of criteria defined below.
|Workstream Stage||Information Needed to Proceed|
|Workstream Initial Proposal||To be posted on the forum when the workstream initial proposal is made.|
|Team||Who is proposing this project? What are their qualifications?|
|Mandate||What is the mandate of this Workstream? What will it try to accomplish? Does it have an initial goal?|
|Workstream Funding Proposal||To be posted on forum & linked in Snapshot proposal when a funding proposal is made.|
|Initial Target||What is the first project this workstream aims to deliver? How does this project enhance Gitcoin’s goals or align with its values?|
|Budget||What budget is required for the workstream to succeed at this goal?|
|Timeline||What is the plan and timeline for delivering on this work?|
|Directly Responsible Steward||Individiual who is managing the project and directly responsible for its success or failure.|
|Formalized Team||Who else is working on this project and what are their responsibilities?|
|Active Workstream||To be posted on the forum as a responsibility of funded workstreams.|
|Make a weekly report on forum||What has been accomplished this week?|
|Renewal||To be posted on the forum before renewed funding request is made.|
|Success/Fail||Did the initial target get successfully delivered? Did it meet expectations?|
|Renewal Targets||What will the workstream be taking on next?|
|New budget requirements||Are there any changes to the budget for funding this new tranche of work?|
|Team Updates||Are any team members changing? Is there a new DRS?|
|Archival||To be answered by workstream or governance when considering archiving a workstream.|
|Performance on Mandate||Has the workstream accomplished or failed to achieve its mandate?|
|Necessity of Workstream||Is there more ongoing work to be done under this specific mandate?|
|Eligible Leadership||Are there people willing and capable of taking on the leadership role?|
Examples of workstreams
Public Goods Funding: Helping rally the community to fund public goods, setting criteria for matching rounds, and finding ways to get Gitcoin involved in funding new digital public goods.
Sybil Defenders: Analyzing Gitcoin data and brainstorming long-term identity and mechanism design solutions for Sybil-Resistance.
Progressive Decentralization: Finding ways to modularize and simplify Gitcoin’s architecture for the community to use in perpetuity.
Public Goods Prototyping: Finding ways to use Gitcoin’s new architecture to build novel solutions to ecosystem problems.
Workstreams are not funded by default. Each workstream must apply for funding and is free to define its own structure for paying contributors and leads.
Workstreams requesting a budget for a project by default are assumed to be requesting a budget from the DAO treasury, denominated in GTC. However, this path for funding is not the only one available to a workstream or projects therein, and does not preclude workstreams or projects initiated by workstreams from maintaining a Gitcoin Grant or leveraging other coordination tools.
It is recommended that workstreams pursue funding from the DAO treasury, and that projects find ways to interact with workstreams directly, treating other funding sources as supplemental, reactive funding from the community.
The following section applies to both the creation of workstreams, or any other general proposal therein that the community believes requires formal ratification (e.g. the anti-sybil workstream ratifying Gitcoin Grants round results with the broader community).
Once a proposal is ready to be formalized, its members should make a proposal in the Proposal Discussion section of the forum.
Any forum proposal must:
- receive input from at least 5 stewards
- be live for at least 5 days
- follow the template & considerations above for forming a workstream
- follow this template for a general proposal
Otherwise, it will not be considered a valid proposal and will be removed should an attempt to create a Snapshot vote be made.
Once a proposal has met the above criteria, a formal Snapshot vote can take place.
Off-chain voting or “soft voting” will take place on Snapshot, a simple voting interface that allows users to signal sentiment. Votes on Snapshot are weighted by the number of GTC delegated to the address used to vote.
On-chain voting or “hard voting” will be an additional final step to move GTC from the DAO or other key changes to DAO structure. Gitcoin will be using Tally to upload on-chain proposals.
In both cases voting power is directly proportional to the amount of GTC a user holds and the quorum requirements are the same - a minimum of 2.5mm GTC must participate in the vote unless the community ratifies otherwise.
IMPORTANT: Snapshot will be used for final decision making on any proposal that does not require moving funds from the treasury.
From time to time, votes might narrowly miss hitting quorum. To facilitate better governance and avoid making participants repeat votes unnecessarily, a soft quorum rule is instituted. Soft quorum only applies to Snapshot voting given that we cannot execute on-chain votes if quorum isn’t met.
We define soft quorum as follows: If a proposal would have passed in any scenario where the number of outstanding votes required to hit quorum were distributed to other options, stewards must act as though the proposal hit quorum. This is true no matter how many options were available in the poll in question.
Suppose a proposal gets 1.5m votes in favor of Option A and 500k votes in favor of Option B. We add an additional 500k “shadow” votes to Option B to hit quorum (2.5m) and find that the vote is still strongly in favor of Option A. Soft quorum is hit and the proposal moves forward.
From time to time there may be conflicting proposals, to avoid issues, the 5 day window above can also serve as time for anyone to list their preferred alternative option on the forum. Each proposal on an associate topic will have a [TOPIC] block placed in its title.
After that time, a vote will be put forward including all options available to move forward with. This will ensure that everyone has the ability to surface their preferences while keeping decision timelines reasonably short,
Remember, this is a living document and is only meant to act as a starting point for governance. Please comment now, as any updates once this is ratified will need to go through a Snapshot vote following the process described.