Gm new fam,
I’ve just finished sitting on a public art funding jury, and it had me thinking there are probably some useful tools to share, namely scoring and feedback for grants.
While the simple mechanism of give funding the the projects you like the most works well, it would also be great and so valuable to give feedback so that anyone can iterate, improve, or rethink their proposal.
Further, scoring can potentially offer transparency: broad categories to score such as impact, feasibility, and merit allow for more clarity around how decisions were made, and as a tool for applicants to assess their own proposals.
They are still really subjective, but could be a really useful way to compare competing projects.
Also, having even loose guidelines can
help granters better discern if a project is aligning with their values.
Not sure if everyone would want to take the time to provide feedback, but what if it was framed as a sort of civic service (rather than duty) - would folks need to be incentivized beyond that?
So, generally, grants share criteria for success ahead of time, and at times have strategic priorities in order to bring equity to marginalized artists. Criteria are usually along the lines of merit, impact, and feasibility - for example - artistic merit (is it good? is it thoughtful? has it already been done 1000 times?) and impact - (who will benefit from this? Does it connect well with the communities it plans to address?). Feasibility refers to their proposed budgets - and projects can fail if their budgets don’t align with the proposed scope, or if they aren’t paying artists sufficiently).
Feedback is private to the applicants (successful or otherwise) and success is public. For best practices the juries are always composed of peers.
The criteria are published ahead of the grant writing, so candidates should know to address the criteria directly.
So, for gitcoin, could suggested criteria do any good for potential funders to help them in their assessments? Does anyone need or want help with assessing before choosing what to fund, or is it all good already?
Again, could it be voluntary to do some assessments? Could there be a mentoring aspect to assessments? Say a pre-grant dry run?
Forgive the maybe basic question - Are the grants ever thematic? EG “this round we’re focusing on infrastructure, or this round we’re jazzed to see environmental impact”?
Some granting foundations do this in the arts funding space.
Just some thoughts. For the most part, funding goes to innovative work.
I agree that in general we can improve our collective decision-making by talking.
For example, EA nonprofits often create EA Forum threads to champion their approach, where people can share their concerns and judgments. This affects grant recommendations.
A cheap way for Gitcoin to experiment with it might be to tweak the application process slightly, so that you first post your project to a Discourse instance and then the Grants listing just links to these threads.