Gitcoin Grants: Proposed Updates

Great to see how Gitcoin is evolving, and keeping the culture of innovation for Public Goods funding.

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IMO, I don’t think this new proposal is a bad idea. It would work out in terms of impact tracking and giving grantees enough time to utilize the funds and generate impact for their community.
However, just like many here, I am worried about the effect it will have on smaller communities who participate in the Web3 community and education rounds. As @lanzdingz mentioned, these communities may not be able to raise the $25k proposed amount.
@Sov I suggest we amend this proposal while keeping the same points and budget.

Amendment:

  • Appointed badge holders will be split into groups in charge of picking x amount of small communities, mid-sized communities, and large communities that will be matched.
  • These badge holders will come up with elements that make up their “avatar community”
  • The “matching on matching pool” fund will be split in to these 3 tiers of small, mid, and large communities.
  • Based on the tiers’ budget, the badge holders will know how many projects/communities’ matching pool will be matched.

I believe with this slight amendment arises a compromise where most are still included, the Ethereum ecosystem is still enhanced, and @owocki /GC Community’s vision of GG’s continuous growth will still be on track. In actually, doing it like this will grow the matching pools and vicariously assist more grantees. Also, this is a way for communities to bring economical value to the GitCoin table instead of only extracting it. :man_shrugging:t5:

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Thanks @Decentralizedceo all good callouts and things we can consider as we take in feedback on this proposal!

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sharing some feedback from zachxbt (who is somewhat of a legend in the white hat hacker community in eth) with his permission…

As someone who relied on community and education rounds due to a decrease in donations during the bear market it’s unfortunate to see the proposal to reduce focus there and instead prioritize OSS.

how should i respond to him?

my early thots: i challenge the gitcoin citizens/community to run great community and education and/or security rounds in the future (and to leverage matching on matching to do it)…

now that anyone can run these rounds… there is an opportunity for others to pick up the slack. the changing round structure should support the decentralization of running these rounds (not the wind down of them).

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I do agree that(at least in my perception) the OSS round has been getting less attention in the past few GGs as other types of rounds have been getting traction and it’s great to see the matching pool 4x to $1M. This + the fact that the rounds will twice/year is a great strategic decision! Kudos!

Unfortunately while I understand why Gitcoin decided to shut down the Web3 Community and Education round I believe that the decision to only match communities with $25k in matching pools is not optimal. My worry is that this is just gonna create an “echo chamber” of aligned and already funded organizations that will run rounds and get matching for this. They will possibly be of higher quality because having 25k to run a round would imply a certain level of prosperity and organization for the matchee, but what about the smol guys? :smiley:

How about some compromise here? Maybe having something like $100k to match $25k rounds and the other 25k to match smaller rounds based on a more strict curation/review.

This is great news! Personally I would love to apply as a badgeholder and curate rounds(already have some XP here), but would still like to push the idea above, to allow smaller rounds to get matched without having 25k. Maybe the matchings we offered to run rounds on Arbitrum can help as an example

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I would be happy to help out in any role that benefits content creators!

I do have some reservations on the sustainability of this approach long term for web3 community and education, simply because we run into the classic problem of collective action where concentrated minority interests are overrepresented while diffuse majority interests get trumped.

Niche well organized communities would have the drive to fundraise for a round & get matching on matching funds, while there would be no one to do that for as large a category as “all web3 content creators”

This is an interesting approach that partly solves the issue raised above. I still wonder how large communities overcome the collective action issue and appoint individuals in charge of fundraising for the round to unlock the matching on matching

I am of the opinion we should keep web3 community so he can fundraise from his well-wishers and gitcoin keeps mindshare in this space, while potentially lowering the matching in the round to an amount Gitcoin is comfortable with.

To overcome the issue of scammy projects in the round, it can also be kept invite only or heavy screening with an application process requiring projects to show proof of regular content creation & engagement.

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Plus 1 to this. I’m guessing that the decision to eliminate the web3 round came from the fact that value inflow and curation are difficult to tackle for this round, but this is an assumption. It would help if Gitcoin told us stewards why this decision was made and what the issues there were…then we could find a solution together.

Nailed it!

I honestly don’t know, my first reaction would be to tell him to create his own web3 anti fraud community round, but I don’t know if he has the resources to do it.

This raises a question, how would someone like ZackXBT apply to those rounds? If all the rounds have their own eligibility then someone like zack might be able to apply in all of them? (if the round owners decide it ofc) .This would not be ideal also imo.

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I hear a lot of understandable concern about $25k being a high bar for fundraising for many communities. I want to highlight that it’s possible to do the following:

  1. Apply to Citizens Innovate for funding to run a round
  2. Apply for Matching on Matching Funds
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Great point. The thing is that in my scenario it would be up to the badge holders, whom are part of GC Community, to determine that. I think the point is to delegate some of these tedious round running aspects to the community while shining a light on OSS so GC’s initial goal of growing the Ethereum ecosystem is still in tact. This will allow the GC team to focus on the overall post metrics and adjust as needed. Then fine tuning the GG program for better results, round to round. I can only imagine the bandwidth it takes to do what they do. It maybe time for the willing community to assist.

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Just wanted to acknowledge all of the awesome feedback and ideas that have come in over the weekend – thank you all and keep them coming!

The Grants Lab team is digesting and will likely propose some revisions in the next day or so… if you’re interested to weigh in as we craft those please reach out!

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What is the % of the fund allocation to these projects? Eth community definitely knows so much more about crypto that even without Sybil spawns it is able to skew QF to their advantage, leaving the classical Open Source with less money. I worry that it may by significantly less.

My experience with convincing Open Source projects to participate is that it is hard, because there is a lot of FUD around crypto. Even Python Software Foundation could not find experts to dispel or confirm (mis)conceptions. Therefore even for popular Open Source project, I assume the amount of people able to operate with crypto, and from them the amount of people willing to donate, and from them the amount of people who can go through the Gitcoin donation process is drastically lower.

It would be nice of course, to calculate crypto literacy for projects. The amount of Gitcoin contributions / subscribers. Maybe also balanced by amount donated. To get metric that reflects project’s economic value (users + users’ financial well-being) .

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Hey @abitrolly thanks for the feedback! Almost every project in the Open Source Software round is a crypto-based project, so you can rest assured that all funds here are going to crypto-oriented orgs. You can see all projects that participated in the last round here: https://reportcards.gitcoin.co/424/0xd4cc0dd193c7dc1d665ae244ce12d7fab337a008 . While we’d love to onboard popular Web3 OSS projects in the future, our focus is squarely on Web3 for now!

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I agree w/ @ZER8 on this. Having some portion of the $125K set aside for rounds that don’t make the $25K threshold could help create on-ramps for new round operators to gain experience. I say this even as someone who’s org (the TEC) has, and will likely continue to, run $25K+ rounds. Something like three $10K and four $5K matching pools would probably a bit more work, but in addition to helping to grow the field of round operators, it might also help generate more diversity in the rounds. The Web3 Community and Education round held a lot of that diversity previously and it would be sad to see that go.

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I really like how these changes make it more straightforward what Gitcoin does, allowing the DAO to focus on its core priority and setting up Gitcoin for scaling faster and further!

I also quite like this novel approach to funding community rounds - if it works as a flywheel I believe it could generate even more funding for niche community categories than in the previous approach. There are obviously risks. Perhaps we could predefine some metrics to track for relative success of this new approach and re-evaluate after the first two rounds have been run under the new approach?

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thanks @garm ! great feedback, and we are working on an updated proposal that includes metrics – coming today! would love your feedback on those.

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Cant agree more 10k and 5k rounds will do more justice to the smaller web3 communities especially in Africa, Yes giving more priority to OSS makes lots of sense. Question what comes first the product or community i believe community and education are vital for mass adoption of any web3 tooling that comes from OSS lets reduce the 25k cap and be considerate of emerging or smaller communities

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Hi all – the Grants Lab team met yesterday to discuss the feedback and recommend some adjustments to the proposal! Again, wanted to thank everyone for the fantastic engagement and discussion here and in 1x1s, DMs, etc.

OSS Round
The feedback has been nearly unanimously positive on the 2x yearly, $1M format. I think we have a strong vote of confidence to proceed with this!

Web3 Community & Education
We’ve received a few categories of feedback on this, in order of volume:

  • The majority of feedback was from donors or grants managers who were supportive of the new format. There’s been a lot of acknowledgement that the scope of the round has expanded very widely, which makes it more difficult to fundraise for (where do your matching funds go?) and donate to or support. From the internal Gitcoin team’s perspective, we feel that raising the average quality of grantees is best solved through decentralization. Given our desire for credible neutrality, we’re ill-positioned to make controversial decisions on eligibility. Additionally I believe that external communities hold far greater subject matter expertise in the sub-areas of community & education (eg - journalism, desci, AI, climate) that are applying for funding.
  • The second category of feedback was from previous grantees who are excited to run their own rounds. I’m really excited to see this enthusiasm and we’re already preparing to support them! Many of these individuals noted that the fundraising bar might prevent them from participating – we’ve had some great dialogue on that in the forum.
  • The third category of feedback came from a small but vocal group of grantees who are disappointed to see the current format evolve and potentially lose a source of funding for their organizations. We recognize that this is a possibility and appreciate that change is hard – though we very much hope to see former grantees eligible and participating in the new format! We commit to measuring former grantee funding and involvement in this new structure. We hope to see 50% of former grantees who apply receive funding equivalent to their previous participation in Web3 Community.

Moving forward

  • We’ll proceed to a snapshot vote with the recommended OSS changes
  • We’ll revise the proposal to remove any quotas on the funds provided to matching pool – so that any funds raised are eligible for matching.
  • We will limit the number of community rounds for GG20 at 5 to make sure that we can properly support them in this new format, but anticipate raising this in future rounds.
  • If the proposal passes, we commit to giving the council more and more authority over time – including the ability to create new matching pools (like a web3 journalism round) in areas they feel are underserved.
  • We’ll leave this post open for another 2 days (though 2/15) and then proceed to a snapshot vote
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First of all, my congratulations for the great growth of the project and the new implementations, I hope Climate Change continues to have the great support it deserves, I want a tree badge :deciduous_tree:

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Apologies for the delay, everyone. The vote is now live on Snapshot and will be live for the following 7 days. You can cast your vote here: Snapshot

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Thanks for the updates Meg! I have changed my mind to vote FOR these changes, mostly for the following reasons;

  1. Fits with gitcoins endgame of ossifying the protocol and exiting to community. Narrowing from various categories to a single one and then eventually zero gitcoin hosted rounds is the logical path forward, the only disagreements can be on the right timing (which no one can know for sure in advance)
  1. I would push back on this as an oversimplification. The issue isn’t only funding (which is honestly quite low relative to most projects budget) but the loss of a public space where diverse projects in the ecosystem come together on one stage and share learnings with one another + mobilize their own community to support them. I often tell people the metric to optimize for in gitcoin rounds is not funding received but growth in twitter followers :rofl: I’m curious to see whether community rounds will fill up the vacuum left by gitcoin in this regard

  2. Incentivizes projects in the web3 community and education space to develop open source software. I would love for there to be support to projects that were in web3 community and education earlier but successfully used those funds to build a product with an active repo and are now eligible for the OSS round

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