Public Goods Funding - generic category

A reflection about public goods funding.

Currently it is separated by categories (climate, tokens, ENS, hackathons, open civics, infra, tooling, apps, …)

What about public goods funding in general?

Two use cases that come to mind, something that I’ve experienced personally.

Helping a homeless person: improves public safety.

Reporting bugs to BigTech: saves time for billions of people.

Real life example. I was editing some event on Facebook, multiple tabs, editing description, switching to another tab with the dates, my entire description reverted to initial version without any warning, I wasn’t happy about it and it made me think about all the settings / defaults / ethical and non-ethical patterns that can literally save lifetimes per day.

I think there is no downside

Generic category for all the public goods that do not fit into a specific round.


who would fund such a round? if funding can be arranged, a round can be arranged.

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I believe it’s crucial to adopt a broader perspective on the concept of public goods, particularly as education often seems to be sidelined in these discussions despite being at the forefront of societal advancement and in dire need of support.

While it’s true that certain rounds have focused on educational initiatives, they’ve often been confined to specific products or niches. While some communities have found creative ways to participate in these rounds, this approach isn’t universally applicable. Many regions and countries face barriers to entry due to varying levels of technological adoption. For instance, expecting deep engagement with token engineering in areas where the concept of tokens is still unfamiliar is unrealistic. Therefore, it’s essential to undertake ongoing efforts to introduce educational experiences about such technologies gradually, fostering greater engagement and understanding among users. This continuous endeavor requires sustained support.

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This is interesting. Thanks for bringing this up!

Something to keep in mind is around eligibility criteria. Usually the stronger the eligibility criteria for a round, the better. And I would say for this: it would have to be very clear how you (and whoever is running the round) define Public Goods seeing as it would just be an “open” round to all public goods without falling into a category, coming with potentially very broad criteria (which can come with its own nuances and challenges). Also something to consider when looking for funders.

So I would encourage you, if you’d like to see this come to life, to put together a group of interested people (perhaps with some that have experience running a round) and see if it’s a viable option to run a round on Grants Stack!

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  2. Direct donations

Even without matching funds, there is a benefit of being featured on Gitcoin platform, like yellow pages for organisations doing public goods / impact / charitable stuff.

There is benefit for Gitcoin too: expanding beyond Web3.

(speaking of expanding beyond Web3 - checkout with payment card as a vote - create a custodial / non-custodial / account abstractions wallet on the backend - that would be pretty neat onboarding into Web3)

My personal preference is towards definitions being broad and anti-fragile at the same time. Strict definiton = limits options. Broad defintion = more flexibility. I guess you have more experience dealing with frustrated applicants and appeal process (and admin overhead related to it).

For the generic category my suggestion would be:

doing something good that does not bring money

“Fund What Matters”

Public goods. Charity. Non-profit. NGO. Exact definition and legal structure should not matter that much.

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i see promise in having generic categories of public goods funding hypothetically, but i also think there are practical concerns (esp what @MathildaDV points out about eligibilitiy criteria, and i also wonder who would be a sponsor who would fund such a round)

+1 , encourage directing the energy on this post in the constructive direction of trying to figure out a minimum viable experiment!