Retro for The Cult DAO Round - Quadratic Avengers Cohort, GG19

Objectives & Summary

In some ways, DAO development is a practice in dissolving the conditioned divisions between individual and community we often begin with. For the sake of language and brevity, though, at one level the objective with this initial Cult DAO Round was to demonstrate to individual DAO members how they can begin to sustainably capture the value they create, thereby providing a template for future community applications, networking and promotions, and an existing support base. Read more here for background on GG18 and GG19’s motivation.

In terms of the Cult community, we are consistently stepping outside of the the hall of mirrors I and many others take us to be trapped inside. My greatest thanks to Kevin Owocki for initiating communication and thereby adding the initial inspiration and momentum in connecting the community to QF and the broader regen movement. Every perpetual motion public goods funding machine needs an initial infusion of energy.

Kieran & Sejal, selected by Kevin, helped set up and manage this current GG19 Round from Gitcoin’s side. My thanks to them for their incredible support this Round, and to Ben West for answering so many questions leading up to GG18 this past August as well. In terms of formal roles, Artorias & myself were Round Managers from Cult’s side, with Kieran & Sejal managing from Gitcoin’s.

We could not have done this without the immense, tireless support from Cult governance members. They know who they are. :green_heart:

The $6,500 matching pool was raised as follows:

  • $5,000 donation
  • $1,500 of MetaCulture’s raise from GG18’s Web3 Community & Education Round

The second QF Round associated with Cult DAO, this Round introduced many Cult members to the staggeringly beautiful diversity of projects within the Gitcoin sphere.

For this round, like MetaCulture’s GG18 Round, I also hoped to

1. Boost the DAO’s signal to noise ratio on X in terms of people having no idea what the protocol and community are for, and shifting what seems to be the perception (and has been a self-fulling prophecy) that there are not incentives for active participation in Cult’s growth.

Regarding the first: Many more people and potential QF participants now know that Cult is an impact DAO.

Regarding growing outside of our status as somewhere between Ethereum-pariah and early impact DAO, my hunch is that the Spaces we held with LunarDAO, DarkFi, Auryn M. & Kevin Owocki probably did more in terms of this than raw promotions/shilling quantity. We have connections and respect which form the essential nodes of the Schelling point we are building round by round.

2. Modeling how the following players can develop their own QF applications and rounds.

a. Cult DAO contributors seeking either retroactive funding or a grant based on promised work
b. Builders on zkEVM Modulus
c. Cult DAO investees (recipients of Cult’s 13Eth grants)


Continue amplifying the knowledge that there are incentives to contributing to the DAO, realizing that behavior and culture shift in a community takes time. The same people who have supported Cult since launch continued to help. For others who are potential contributors, including Preselected Guardians and folks who are value aligned in principle, I see these Rounds as points in a growth curve over time which has begun relatively slowly, each step being a foundation for building the next. For Cult community members, this need not be surprising, since for example the early Gitcoin rounds themselves began more slowly and then accelerated in funding capacity. And this is the nature of network effects and culture shift anyway.

Where a single Round or set of actions does not suffice to reach and/or incentivize those who are in principle value aligned, my hypothesis is that the DAO’s built up internal QF capacity, social interop with other communities, and culture-shift integral over time will form a more powerful and dynamic attractor for new contributors.

Cult DAO therefore has the opportunity to scale the following dimensions of this phase of our growth curve:

(a) Cult in relation to QF: Knowledge of how to QF (and how to educate others) and the incentives of doing so. This we have made massive progress on during GG18 and GG19 (and hopefully this will never cease to be a need).

(b) Cult in relation to itself: The DAO’s on-chain governance and treasury management infrastructure. This aspect is crucial because it addresses what folks see who look behind the memetic filter of the Cult mask. I cannot thank enough Unicornio and Travis W. from Bootleggers & RaidGuild for the immense support they have given here.

Is governance a mix of vulnerable manually operated web2 mechanisms or are we internally shifting towards an increasingly on-chain DAO build which programmatically disincentives attempts at manipulation and capture while also freeing up creative time by automating onboarding, DAO education, and in general extending the emphasis on automation at the core of the DAO’s tokenomics?

  • In general, organized support is needed in coordinating groups in the Cult community which have overlapping incentives for these Cult DAO Rounds.

This will help in terms of (a) and (b) above, and therefore scale the positive feedback dynamics between individual DAO members and the community, and the broader web3 ecosystemic function of the protocol as a public goods hyperstructure.

In turn, I hypothesize that this will increase voter turnout as it automatically incentives individuals and communities outside the core DAO to share any given QF round with their networks, thereby also building a flywheel of continually introducing new builders and grantees to Modulus and the DAO.

This is the first of many Cult DAO Rounds. As the community widens and deepens in terms of experience and culture, I plan on facilitating Cult rounds (including treasury-funded rounds) on not just Gitcoin but also CLRFund, Public Goods Network, Giveth, and wherever Cult DAO has the greatest leverage in supporting value aligned public goods and revolutionary initiatives.

If you want to go quick, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Round Stats

Participating Projects: 5
Average contribution: $14.91
Matching Funds Available: 6500.0 DAI
Est. Donations Made: $2,072.80

Report Card

Other Learnings

We attempted to shift the Cult dynamic on X to simply promoting #Gitcoin in tandem with $Cult in order to cross-fertilize between the Cult community, other communities and vibes, and folks simply searching for #Gitcoin.

  1. Fewer than 10 people did this consistently, a tiny signal relative to our shill volume.

Inference: It is hard to change the habits of folks who have engaged with Twitter mechanistically/out of habit in the same way for months if not years…But not impossible. Habit formation in this context will take repetition and continued exposure to the incentives of QF and growing legitimacy.

For next time: Ensure selection of individuals prior to the Round to share goals like this widely over DM with folks they’re already personally connected to, and then follow up during the Round to see what’s working and what isn’t. Grow the proportion during the Round, normalizing the practice and increasing Cult’s potential in helping #Gitcoin consistently trend on X.


Hey hey, just wanted to let you know that Arbitrum DAO is matching the matching pools for the rounds that choose to run on Arbitrum One.

More details here: The Arbitrum Matching Fest for running rounds on Arbitrum One 💙 - Incentive Framework (Round 2) - Arbitrum

feel free to reach out to me on twitter/tg: zer8_future

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Curious on how long this offer will last?

We have some plans to run a round on Arb during Q2 of 2024 and are about to start the raise for the MP after the first of the year. Would be great :+1: to have extra support but no worries if not.