[S15 Proposal - DRAFT] PGF Budget Request

Essential Intents

In S15, PGF has components of our work that focus on all four of the DAO’s Essential Intents - though we primarily emphasize EI1 and EI4. As a reminder, the EIs are:

  • EI1: Protocol Adoption
  • EI2: Financial Sustainability
  • EI3: DAO Organization
  • EI4: Grants Program Success

TL;DR

In S15, PGF will focus on setting up the grants program for a transition into a protocol world.

If successful in S15, the workstream will define – with the rest of the DAO’s involvement – where the grants program is headed, will help the DAO better track partner conversations, and will continue to iterate on ops structures (e.g., horizontal scaling, more self-serve for partners and clear managed service tiers) within our cGrants rounds today.

In the context of the program specifically, PGF will continue to improve the overall round experience, meaningfully engage grantees, funders, and partners, and in turn increase the number of measurable success stories rounds help create.

Beyond grants, PGF will help spin out a public goods coalition (pgDAO) that will act as an investment DAO allowing partners to commit long term to empowering large scale internet-native communities to fund their shared needs and create a sustainable funding source for the grants program.

Based on what we learned from S14, we will be more intentional about what sub-rounds we fundraise for – and what constitutes a “minimum viable round” for side rounds – in GR15. We will decouple the main and side rounds in GR15, a step toward a permissionless protocol and improve our scalability processes, based on some of the challenges (e.g., tagging) in GR14. We will also add a focus area within our grassroots efforts on engaging grantees to drive higher quality grant applications. Finally, we intend to better define the distinction between the program and the protocol heading into a nascent grants 2.0 world.

Our Always-On Goals, which our S15 objectives map to, are as follows:

1. Increase Sustainable Funding for Gitcoin Grantees

  • S15 Objective 1: Grow net new S15 matching funds and partners by 25%
  • S15 Objective 2: Define Service Levels & Model for the Protocol (based on continued learnings from the design partner program)

2. Improve Overall Grantee Quality & Success

  • S15 Objective 3: Leverage grassroots efforts to increase grantee quality & engagement
  • S15 Objective 4: Improve grant eligibility & round timeline processes alongside FDD

3. Scale Grants Program Process & Workflow

  • S15 Objective 5: Define Program & Protocol Structure in a Grants 2.0 World
  • S15 Objective 6: Scale PGF team + contributor processes to reach a healthy homeostasis

Amount

PGF is requesting $664,550 (232k GTC at a spot price of $2.87). This is a decrease of 31% vs. our S14 requested budget of $960,000.

The budget is broken up into three key areas of focus, aimed at creating a sustainable grants program and, eventually, protocol.

  • Grassroots
  • Grants Operations
  • Partnerships

This budget does not include the additional 60 days of reserves. Breakdown of the budget by workstream, plus reserves, is detailed at the bottom of this post.

The GTC total will be determined, based on (a) the current market value at the time this proposal is moved to Tally, and (b) the remaining balance in the PGF Multisig (which will determine how much net new funding we require).

Milestone Report

In our previous budget, we outlined a number of key objectives, many of which were less precise than in our revised format for S15. We have done our best to highlight the wins and losses, but welcome any questions about precise metrics used.

Initiative/Dept Objectives Past Season Value Delivered
Inspiring Spaces: Sustain and grow the Public Library community as a gateway for new contributors
  • Continue regular Public Library sessions and invite salient thinkers on Public Goods and Web3 as our speakers and moderators while inviting new participants interested in Gitcoin’s mission
  • Develop and operationalise an onboarding flow for reliable participants to contribute to the Public Goods Funding workstream or other workstreams around GitcoinDAO.
  • Kickstart initiatives hosted by our Public Library participants beyond Gitcoin to discuss Public Goods
  • We hosted a great mix of salient thinkers, including the President of RadicalXChange and the CEO of Ethelo.
  • During GR14, we specifically hosted topics related to GRs. We have 236 members and consistently engage 20 every week.
  • We created a PGF-specific 90-day onboarding flow which we operationalized with two S14 hires, and will continue iterating going forward.
  • Interviewed 20 potential contributors for the PGF workstream and GitcoinDAO.
  • Developed best-practices for WS-wide meetings, prioritizing updates asynchronously and using synchronous time together to discuss important topics.
  • We experimented with an intimate reading club exploring Ivan Illich’s work, and will continue to experiment with how we can provide grantees non-monetary value through library-offshoots in S15.
  • Continued to explore Gitcoin-sponsored courses.
Accessible dialogue: Host the “Public Goods are Good” Twitter Space consistently
  • Maintain a regular space for people curious about Public Goods and interact with key organizations and people through Twitter Spaces
  • Support GR14 by hosting discussions on cause rounds and showcasing grantees
  • Throughout S14, we held 10 spaces, and each space highlighted past/present grantees or past/present funders, with guests ranging from Solarpunk Girl and Austin Griffith to Filecoin and Coinbase.
  • We had an average of 182 attendees at each Twitter space, with the range being 268 (GR14 Funder Feature) and 142 (GR14 Diversity Equity & Inclusion Panel).
Nurture ideas: Kickstart a publication on Public Goods
  • Grow awareness of Public Goods and inspire action to contribute
  • Create a public good (non-rivalrous, non-excludable open publication) about Public Goods to move beyond synchronous community interactions
  • During S14, we authored a manifesto for the publication
  • Explored working with writers and former editors of major publications, but failed to operationalize the publication in its entirety
Community Cartography: Support and grow the ImpactDAO mapping initiative
  • Complete an initial map of ImpactDAOs in the space to provide a baseline for evaluation and insight generation
  • Explore mental models, narratives, relationships, and culture around ImpactDAOs to help foster the growth of the Public Goods ecosystem through educational material and research
  • An initial map and book was launched by Owocki and Ale during EthAmsterdam at the end of S13.
  • Narratives, relationships, mental models, and the culture surrounding ImpactDAOs have been thoroughly explored during S14.
  • The ImpactDAO Cartography Telegram group remains active with over 570 members and recurring weekly sessions to ideate and track progress on initiatives.
  • The term ‘ImpactDAO’ has been cemented into web3 as a canonical term encapsulating the ability for web3 to produce positive externalities.
Community Lore: Create art for Gitcoin’s lore with collectively-owned IP
  • Grow a collective of lore-builders, creatives, and builders shaping a solarpunk future through the Gitcoin mythos
  • Funded Comic #4 which will be released at an upcoming conference in Q3.
Scale: Grow grants program
  • Increase number of high quality grants that raise >$5K/quarter by 50% (pending market condition) * Increase the number of side rounds by 100%
  • GR14 had 155 grantees who raised over $5K total, compared with 157 in GR13. We actually don’t think we yet have the right metric to track here – “high quality grantees” being synonymous with those who raise $5K/quarter is not quite accurate. Defining better grantee quality metrics is a focus for the grantee engagement work slotted for S15.
  • Side rounds grew by 100% in H1 2022 – 9 in GR12 to 18 in GR14
Sustainability: Set ourselves up to execute grants on a larger scale
  • Minimize the number of hiccups during the round
  • Achieve NPS for participants, partners, and donors of >70
  • Test at least two new constructs for funding grants (e.g., public goods coalition, aqueduct)
  • We didn’t have any major outages or program-related issues during GR13 or GR14, and most friction points were the result of inter-WS coordination, which we hope to address during GR15
  • We shared surveys with grantees and donors, and have conducted retros with partners.
  • Grantees and donors have been slow to respond, and we were able to get rough estimates for an NPS from partners by asking “How satisfied are you?” Based on low partner-response for retros, we will send out a survey for GR15.
  • We’ve made considerable progress in launching a public goods coalition in the form of pgDAO, and this will remain an ongoing priority for S15.
Decentralization: Continue to decentralize grants program
  • Move grants ops completely out of Gitcoin Holdings & into the DAO
  • Increase role of stewards/community in grants strategy & decision-making; define governance surface area
  • Grant ops has been successfully moved out of holdings and into the PGF workstream!
  • We’ve continued to welcome and encourage steward and community feedback on grants strategy and decision-making via the governance forum post and following discussions (i.e., Annika’s post about GR14 Round Structure & Grants Eligibility Update has 1.7k views and 64 comments).
Ecosystem Funders: Test Grants 2.0 assumptions
  • Run a new Ethereum Infrastructure round in GR14 and solicit funds from ecosystem builders
  • Run 15-20 Ecosystem Rounds in GR14
  • Assess which ecosystem funders are equipped & motivated to self-run rounds
  • Share survey / interview results from post-GR13 partner discovery work
  • We successfully ran a new Ethereum Infrastructure round in GR14, deploying $500K in matching funds in this round alone
  • We successfully ran 14 ecosystem rounds and 3 cause rounds.
  • As a result of running so many rounds, we were able to get good data points on funders & their motivation/ability in self-running rounds
  • We shared survey and interview results from GR13 internally
Scale: Grow the size of matching rounds executed by the DAO
  • Increase the number of net new partners we work with by 20%
  • Increase the average size of side rounds (with emphasis on cause rounds) by 50%
  • Continue to level up new full time and part time contributors towards the above
  • During GR14, of the 28 total partners, 16 were new partners - meaning that new partners increased by 57%
  • Overall - cause round totals increased by 28% vs. goal of 50%, and ecosystem rounds increased by 52%
  • In GR13 - we had:
    • $1.2M main round
    • $489K Ecosystem round total
    • $700K Ukraine round
    • $465K Climate round
    • $40K Longevity round
    • ($1.2M cause round total)
    • $3.169M total funding
  • In GR14 - we had:
    • $1M main round
    • $742K Ecosystem round total
    • $530K Climate round
    • $500K ETHInfra round
    • $350K Advocacy round
    • $150K DEI round
    • ($1.53M cause round total)
    • $3.417M total funding
  • This is especially meaningful considering GR14 happened in a bear market - with wildly different funder sentiment than GR13 (more headwind), yet we were able to make substantial gains.
  • We also added much-needed capacity to the team in the two strong fundraisers with strong Web3 ecosystem context.
Sustainability: Tighten processes to scout and execute partnerships (Growth Ops / Partnerships)
  • Refresh partnerships process to handle a larger load of potential partnerships while ensuring that we seek out the most aligned partners to work together by growing the partnerships team’s capacity
  • Continue to build out new documentation to ensure members of the team have full context on each other’s responsibilities and current objectives (e.g. robust relationship tracking)
  • Formalize our evaluation process to support partnerships across the DAO with support from Stewards via the mutual grants committee
  • Hubspot is live, allowing us to both define a process for handling a larger load of partners and increase our team’s overall capacity.
  • Hubspot and its previous iteration on Notion have resulted in accessible “sources of truth” that enable all contributors to share context and view each other’s responsibilities.
  • Mutual Grants Committee is live and active, with several grants in the pipeline and one recently completed with Radicle. We have a robust v0 framework which is now being used to evaluate ongoing potential mutual grants.
Measure impact: Help set the stage for new cause rounds that augment our mission (Growth Ops / Partnerships)
  • Fundraise for the Ethereum infrastructure round to bring Gitcoin back to its roots
  • Focus on bringing in new values aligned web2 partners like Fifty Years and double down with other existing values aligned partners like Protocol Labs
  • Ran a very successful Eth Infra round - funding core projects in the space with funds from high-signal partners.
  • During GR14 we brought in 28 partners, 16 of which are new values-aligned partners.
LARP together: Experiment with fundraising efforts around art, open-source partnerships, and collectively-owned IP
  • Kickstart a new team focused on experimenting with different methodologies to raise funds for Public Goods
  • Raise at least 20 ETH through 1-3 net new NFT sales
  • Ultimately, this initiative did not fully come to fruition. While working on the project, market conditions shifted such that we couldn’t fully resource the project as we had hoped to - due to comic production involving fiat-heavy costs. This led to contributor churn and the project didn’t end up actualizing its initial goals.
  • We will be sunsetting this initiative, and going forward we will operationalize better treasury management practices

S15 Objectives

In order to streamline our work, we have consolidated our initiatives and cut low performing areas to arrive at 6 key objectives for Season 15.

Outcome Description Essential Intent Connection Steering Metrics Likely Projects/Initiatives
“What impact will we see?” “How does this align with our most important work?” “How will we know if we’re making progress?” “What will the work likely look like?”
Objective 1: Grow Net New S15 Matching Funds and Matching Partners by 25% Aligns with:
  • EI1: Protocol Adoption
  • EI4: Grants Program Success
  • Matching funds distributed exceed $4M (vs. $3.2M in GR14)
    • 100% of those funds are raised this round (i.e., not pulled from any existing multisig balance)
    • 75% of those funds are paid by round start
  • Total round partners are scaled up to 35 (vs. 28 in GR14)
    • At least 15 total ecosystem rounds
  • Reach out to more GR15 partners than ever before
  • Improve cross-selling across partners
  • Enable better tracking in Hubspot
  • Improved payment process
  • Launch novel funding experiments (e.g. pgDAO)
Objective 2: Define Service Levels & Model for the Protocol (based on continued learnings from the design partner program) Aligns with:
  • EI1: Protocol Adoption
  • EI2: Financial Sustainability
  • Ratified model of flow of funds both for endorsed / program-led rounds and broader rounds by protocol users
  • Partial ordering of types of projects that fit into scope for the program vs. those that are likely to be self-service
  • Working across PGF & with GPC / partners to outline initial service offerings
  • Continuing to advocate for and bring in new, large-scale deals that help push forward the protocol vision (e.g. the Optimism partnership)
Objective 3: Leverage Grassroots Efforts to Increase Grantee Quality & Engagement Aligns with
  • EI1: Protocol Adoption
  • EI3: DAO Organization
  • EI4: Grants Program Success
  • Stand up a sub-squad in Grassroots to define our grantee engagement priorities
  • Hold 10 discovery interviews with successful grantees about how we might better engage grantees in subsequent seasons
  • Identify and define specific, measurable objectives to assess grantee quality in subsequent seasons
  • Create an implementation plan for the specific objectives in order to collect data & measure impact starting in S16
  • Build onboarding playbook Notion doc for grantees to get involved with Gitcoin and the larger ecosystem interested in public goods
  • Sustain the library while refactoring it to kickstart grantee engagement
  • Continue to highlight grantees and funders in weekly Twitter spaces
  • Kickstart a sustained effort to engage grantees for overall grant program success
  • Experiment with providing non-monetary support to grantees through relationship building and knowledge-sharing opportunities
Objective 4: Improve Grant Eligibility & Round Timeline Processes Aligns with:
  • EI1: Protocol Adoption
  • EI4: Grants Program Success
  • Returning partners’ assessment of whether the process improved or not
  • Grants Ops hours spent dedicated to eligibility reviews decrease
  • Confirm and announce rounds by Aug 8
  • More grant applications in before the round begins vs. during round
  • Execute on the playbooks we’ve written out in a more structured / planned way
  • Decouple main and side rounds
  • Advise FDD on their reviewer training
  • Hire Eligibility Analyst with an eye to PGF owning Grant Eligibility & Policy as of S16
Objective 5: Define Program & Protocol Structure in a Grants 2.0 World Aligns with:
  • EI1: Protocol Adoption
  • EI4: Grants Program Success
  • Forum post outlining protocol vs. program vs. services
  • Defined mapping of ecosystem legitimacy within program scope
  • Alignment across teams
  • Setting a bi-weekly cadence with GPC to iterate on and ratify the proposed model
  • Writing & socializing across the DAO
Objective 6: Scale PGF team + Contributor Processes to Reach a Healthy Homeostasis Aligns with:
  • EI3: DAO Organization
  • EI4: Grants Program Success
  • Increased efficiency of work across sub-streams
  • At least half of PGF contributors experience a thorough performance review
  • 100% of contributors have their roles + responsibilities documented and accessible to other contributors
  • Creating and solidifying workflows + runbooks across Grant Ops, Partnerships, and Grassroots (e.g. via Hubspot)
  • Designing a performance evaluation process established beyond peer reviews
  • Leveling up current contributors to reach their fullest potential
  • Iterating best-practices for cross-functional work

Budget Breakdown

The objectives above can be mapped to three main departments or “squads”. For simplicity, we have marked the objectives [O1…O6] to these groups, since they are the key functional units of the workstream.

Category Description Amount GTC Amount USD
Grassroots O4
  • Two full-time contributors
    • Lead (QZ)
    • Twitter Spaces Lead (Lani)
  • Three part-time contributors
    • Twitter Spaces Ops (Vermeer)
    • Library Ops (Linh)
    • Library Ops (Madison)
    • ImpactDAOs (Ale)
  • Other expenses
    • Library Slush Fund
TBD $96,800
Grants Ops O2, O5
  • Five full-time contributors
    • WS Lead (Annika)
    • Grants Ops Lead (Janine)
    • Ecosystem Rounds Lead (Connor)
    • Cause Rounds Lead (Ben W)
    • Account Manager (Sage)
  • Budget for two full-time hires
    • Marketing Ops Manager
    • Grant Eligibility
  • One part-time contributor
    • Design Ops (Madison)
TBD $301,500
Partnerships O1, O3
  • Four full-time contributors
    • WS Lead (Scott)
    • Partnerships Lead (Vishnu)
    • Partnerships co-Lead (Azeem)
    • Fundraiser (Drew)
  • One part-time contributor
    • Partnerships ops (Eli)
  • Budget for one part-time hire
    • Fundraising Account Manager
TBD $220,000
PGF Operations O6
  • One full-time contributor
    • Talent Lead (Maxwell)
  • Travel slush fund
TBD $46,250
Total S15 Request $664,550
` + 60 days’ reserves $443,033
` - Existing Multisig balance TBD at time of posting
Amount Requested from Treasury TBD at time of posting
6 Likes


Visualization of the budget draft above. I intend to post these under each budget and keep them updated as proposals incorporate feedback and changes. Please reach out if you have any questions or input.

5 Likes

I reviewed this budget and also had a call with the PGF workstream this morning to clarify any questions I had.

I am supportive of this proposal. I was happy to see the milestones that were achieved the past season and that there was a sizeable decrease in the budget requested this season.

My main concern was around work duplicated in other workstreams. For example, it seemed Grant Eligibility FT hire has some potential overlapping work with FDD. I would like to see workstreams make sure we are not paying salaries for duplicated work in a season. I also gave feedback that given the current market environment I have seen many teams I work with cut back on hiring for new roles unless absolutely critical. I would like to see all workstreams, not just PGF, evaluate if the new role is a nice to have vs an absolutely critical hire so we can ensure long-term DAO sustainability.

7 Likes

Thanks Linda, appreciate your time and review. To address your concerns around the Grant Eligibility FT hire and overlap with FDD. Currently there is a discussion around GrantOps taking over grant review starting from GR16.

As it stands currently, grant reviews are an extremely time intensive process for GrantOps with our current GrantOps team reviewing all side round grants with our round partners. There are a lot of upcoming changes with Grants 2.0 on the horizon, Passport, the work in moonshot around Identity staking and FDD’s work with Data Empowerment that will all have an effect on Gitcoin Grants and how eligibility works. There is a lot of operational effort that we need to put in to rethink the manual process for grant review and overall grant policy in a protocol world.

Given the operational and coordination lift behind this, importance of our grantee population as a whole for the success of our program, and future grants protocol to achieve long term success, we consider this an important additional role that is being discussed closely with other workstreams, like FDD and we hope will help sustainable scalability of grants 2.0.

Thank you for the work that went into this - and the work you are all putting into helping Gitcoin lead the public goods space. That s14 succeeded despite the bear market is a great validation for PGF and Gitcoin.

Of all of the budget proposals this is the one that as an outsider I found most difficult to get my arms around. I think this is largely due to the sheer scope of efforts and where I am in my learning curve.

Additionally, I believe there are cases in which we are still listing as objectives tasks that one might be able to logically group as tasks within overall objectives. Also, even though it was a big achievement to go from 13 objectives to 6, that still may be too many.

To nit pick - objective 3 is listed as “leverage grassroots efforts to… increase grantee quality & engagement.” The objective here is “increase grantee quality & engagement” and the excellent work of grassroots would be considered a means to that end IMO. We put a tactic into the statement of an objective - unless I’m off base here. What do you think?

Continuing on that thread - and here comes an actual question :slight_smile: - am I right that we currently lack metrics that are agreed upon that measure “grantee quality” and “grantee engagement”? Could we set for example an imperfect metric such as “host at least X grantees in weekly Twitter spaces”? What about success metrics for past cohorts? Do we have such metrics and would it be useful to look at how many grow and prosper over time? I wonder if it will be a powerlaw like distribution, what do we expect?

Regarding engaging grantees - just wondering if grantees also receive GTC? If so they could be welcomed as owners, taught how to delegate, presented w stewards and report cards, and otherwise walked through Gitcoin governance 101. Just an idea re: engagement.

Overall objective 3 - because it does not have metrics associated w/ it - sounds a bit like a list of well-meaning efforts.

Objective 4 - while there are some metrics mentioned, the base lines are not provided which would help to set expectations and build confidence we are going to exceed these targets. For example, “more grant applications in before the round begins vs. during round” begs the question - what % of grants are received during or before the round NOW and by how much do we plan to shift applications from during to before?

I share @linda question about FDD vs. the new hire of an Eligibility Analyst and see your response. Nonetheless, I was still wondering whether the FDD crowd funding efforts (humble brag I got my NFT!) of grant reviews be impacted by this new hire and by PGF taking on this additional role?

Is Objective 4 mostly about improving the grant applicant experience, or mostly about controlling our costs, or both? At the risk of over stepping, this feels to me like the classic 2nd objective you see in a groups objectives. Objective #1 is often about top line as it is in our case. Objective #2 then is often about increasing throughput while controlling costs. Classic metrics here then are process metrics (for example reduce grantee wait time by X%) & also something like a NPS. Do we have the ability to measure or infer metrics from the customer or grant applicants perspective? If so, capturing 1-2 key ones here might be useful either now or in the future?

Regarding NPS like measures, when we list “returning partner’s assessment of whether the process improved or not” - do we mean we will survey or interview at least X% of returning partners and report on our findings within the DAO and for the next funding cycle?

Objective 5: here I was a little lost. What is meant by “defined mapping of ecosystem legitimacy within program scope”? Is this a mapping of the landscape?

Objective 6: seems clear. The lack of fully defined roles & responsibilities & the ongoing work on runbook development and usage does raise the question of whether additional hiring is appropriate right now, especially given the external environment. I think overall we are advocating for three hires?

  1. partner account manager
  2. marketing ops
  3. grant analyst

The grant analyst work raises for me the question - again - of potential FDD overlap regarding crowdsourcing efforts.

Perhaps you might want to argue for why hires 1 & 2 are urgent and cannot be delayed while more work is ongoing to define roles and responsibilities and so forth?

Leaving the “best” or at least most quantitative for last - Objective 1 seems nailed down from my perspective. It is after all a quantifiable and strategic objective. Again, do you need the hire to hit these objectives? Also, do we have a sense yet of the funnel, “sales cycle time” and so forth for round partners? To get those additional 7 round partners (35 vs. 28), do we need to be in discussions w/ approximately 3x that number 60 days before the round? I know we just adopted Hubspot so I’m guessing we don’t yet know much about our funnel ratios?

Regarding objective 2 - it seemed to be another aspect of prepare for Grants 2.0 - which is also essentially what object 5 is. Is one more outward facing (I think objective 2) and one more inward facing (i.e. objective 5)? Or am I missing the gist of it?

As I mentioned, thanks to the scope of your activities and my location along a long learning curve about Gitcoin, this proposal was the most challenging for me to understand and hence to provide some feedback to. Nonetheless, I hope the above provides some questions that are worth responding to and some ideas on how to tighten up the objectives & metrics for understanding and possibly for increased focus. I look forward to your responses including any pointers I can follow for additional understanding about the work streams themselves.

Many thanks!