Token Engineering QF Grants Round: Spring 2024 GG20 Round Retro

Round Details and Process of Setting it up

The Token Engineering QF Grants Round: Spring 2024 round was specifically tied to fostering innovation and supporting projects within the field of token engineering. The setup involved careful planning, including defining criteria, selecting and onboarding token engineers as advisors, and implementing a robust application and review system to ensure transparency and fairness. Key partners and stakeholders were engaged early in the process to align goals and expectations.

Grant Round Objectives

The primary objectives of this grant round were to:

  • Support and accelerate public good projects that align with token engineering principles
  • Encourage new ideas and solutions that will advance the token engineering field
  • Build a stronger community by fostering connections between token engineering innovators and the broader public goods ecosystem.

The grant round was specifically designed to engage and support projects and individuals advancing the field of token engineering, an area encompassing economics, system design with crypto, and the design and analysis of cryptoeconomic systems. The round targeted academics, researchers, educators, and developers focused on:

  • Token engineering research
  • Events, seminars, and papers educating the community about token engineering
  • Software development for token engineering tools
  • Building or enhancing social infrastructure related to token engineering.

Implementation

Setup and Management

This being our 4th grant round, the setup process was streamlined based on previous experiences. We maintained the matching cap at 15% to allow up to 5-6 bigger projects to receive a substantial matching amount, optimizing the distribution of funds to drive meaningful impact. The eligibility criteria were improved with a list of project types perfectly aligned with the identified needs within the token engineering community, as informed by a TEC-sponsored Token Engineering Stakeholder Study.

We also implemented a new communication strategy that involved promptly notifying applicants of their acceptance or rejection, followed by a structured appeal process. This approach ensured clear and timely communication throughout the grant round, maintaining transparency and managing expectations effectively.

Challenges and Solutions

One ongoing challenge has been defining project qualifications clearly—distinguishing between projects that genuinely advance token engineering as a discipline versus those that merely apply token engineering elements, such as launching a token or incorporating a token economy. To address this, we focused on enhancing the review process by involving advisors who are experts in token engineering. The involvement of 9 seasoned advisors enriched the evaluation process. Their insights were crucial in accurately assessing the true impact and relevance of each project to the field of token engineering. Additionally, we recognized the need to provide clearer feedback on application rejections, helping applicants understand exactly why they did not meet the criteria and how they might improve for future submissions.

During this grant round, managing the simultaneous processes of late applications, appeals, and the donation period also proved challenging. The need to address late submissions and appeals while simultaneously driving the donation campaign stretched our resources. To streamline future rounds, we hope to establish a more definitive schedule that separates the closing of applications from the start of the donation period. This will allow dedicated attention to appeals and ensure all applications are considered without compromising our donation campaign efforts. Assigning specific team roles for managing appeals and rejections will further prevent operational overlap, maintaining our focus on effective campaigning and meticulous evaluation.

Unique Features or Approaches

Continuing from a previous round, we employed the Tunable Quadratic Funding (TQF) Matching Boost, a strategic enhancement to the Quadratic Funding allocation process that leverages token engineering expertise. TQF works by analyzing token-based signals of token engineering expertise in the wallets of donors participating in our Token Engineering Grants Round. When such signals are detected, we apply a ‘boost’ to the donations, thereby increasing the funding received by projects that attract support from well-regarded members of the token engineering community. This approach not only incentivizes quality contributions but also ensures that funding is aligned with genuine expertise in the field.

Outcomes and Statistics

Funding and Contributions

  • Total funding: $9,365
  • Number of contributions: 1,619
  • Average contribution: $16.90
  • Unique donors: 554
  • Participating projects: 32
  • Average grant size: $TEC 2,975.88

Participant Feedback

Every round, we gather open and honest feedback from our grantees using an anonymous feedback form. Below are some sample responses from the feedback received:

“It was great and apreciate the trust in grantees, having some accountability methods to ensure the well use of the funds would make me more accountable and thats always a good thing. We are using the funds to keep runing operations and we are constantly delivering milestones but its always nice to keep a layer of accountability.”

“Team did a fantastic job promoting and holding spaces, and having follow ups. I deeply appreciate the platform to share my ideas. Keep up the great work there.”

“Of course I could have stood to earned more toward my mission, but I was really happy with the direct donation as well as the size of the match I received.”

Impact Assessment

Overall Payouts

Grant Name Total Funding ($TEC)
1 Commons Stack 10,229.50
2 The cadCAD Foundation 7,634.60
3 Trusted Seed: A value-driven community advancing Regen Economies 7,391.80
4 Bonding Curve Research Group (BCRG) 7,201.90
5 Super DCA: Innovating Decentralized Finance with Time-Weighted Average Market Making 6,697.20
6 Crypto Commons Association 5,951.50
7 Kairos Research 5,085.50
8 Streaming Quadratic Funding 4,319.60
9 Network of Trust 3,120.80
10 Gobying 3,069.20
11 DeFinomics Labs 3,006.20
12 Lived experience-based Weighted Voting Mechanism Design 3,003.00
13 Token Engineering Dialogues 2,787.50
14 Metrics Garden Labs 2,744.10
15 Change Code 2,575.80
16 $REGEN Tokenomics DAO 2,550.10
17 Breadchain Cooperative 2,237.40
18 Pairwise: Simplifying Choices, Amplifying Voices 2,070.50
19 CATTS, Composite Attestations 1,846.50
20 1Hive Gardens 1,839.20
21 EVMcrispr 1,647.50
22 Moos Modular Money Framework 1,353.60
23 Armitage 1,133.30
24 Turtleshell 984.1
25 Casually Looped 892.5
26 ProtocolGuard:AI-Driven Exploring Potential Malicious Strategies in PAMMs & SAMMs 889.8
27 Index Wallets 804.9
28 $EARTH - OSS 598.6
29 Tokenization for Inflation-Alleviation 560
30 SymVal 440.8
31 NERD DAO: Decentralized Science and Web3 Innovation 348.2
32 HonorCode 212.9

TEGR3 vs TEGR4 - Project & Funding Growth

TEGR3 TEGR4 Difference % Change
Total Projects 20 32 12 60%
Recurring Projects 8 9 1 12.50%
New Projects 11 23 12 109.09%
Unique Donors 530 554 24 4.53%
Total Crowdfunded $5,108.14 $9,363.07 $4,254.93 83.30%
Total Contributions 1,672 1,579 -93 -5.56%
Average Contribution $9.63 $16.9 $7.27 75.49%
  1. Total Projects: The total number of projects increased significantly by 60%, indicating a broader reach and more opportunities for funding in TEGR4 compared to TEGR3.
  2. Recurring Projects: There was a moderate increase of 12.5% in recurring projects, suggesting that most of the projects in TEGR4 were new initiatives.
  3. New Projects: The number of new projects more than doubled, highlighting a substantial influx of fresh ideas and proposals.
  4. Unique Donors: The unique donor count saw a slight rise of 4.53%, indicating a stable and slightly growing donor base.
  5. Total Crowdfunded: There was a significant increase (83.3%) in the total amount crowdfunded. Showing a higher level of financial support and engagement from the community in TEGR3.
  6. Average Contribution: The average contribution amount rose sharply by 75.5%, supporting the observation that individual contributions became significantly larger in TEGR4.

The comparison between TEGR3 and TEGR4 shows a clear positive trend in terms of project submissions, new projects, and total funds raised. Despite a slight decrease in the number of contributions, the substantial increase in the average contribution and total crowdfunded amount reflects enhanced donor generosity and engagement. This overall growth suggests successful outreach and possibly improved strategies in attracting larger contributions per donor.

All TEGR - Impact Tool Adoption by Category

Total Projects OSO % OSO Karma % Karma
Tooling 21 11 52.4% 15 71.4%
Research 23 8 34.8% 17 73.9%
Social Infrastructure 2 0 0% 2 100%
Education 8 5 62.5% 4 50%
Other 4 1 25% 0 0%
Total 58 25 43.1% 39 67.2%

a. Overall Adoption Rate

  1. 43.1% of all projects are on OSO
  2. 67.2% of all projects are on Karma (most have not created milestones)

b. Category-Specific Adoption

  1. Tooling and Research projects have a relatively high adoption rate for both tools, with Karma being more popular. Though every grantee from TEGR4 has a Karma account, perhaps account generation is automatic in Gitcoin rounds now
  2. Social Infrastructure projects have a 100% adoption rate for Karma but none for OSO
  3. Education projects show a higher preference for OSO compared to Karma
  4. Other projects have low adoptions rate for both tools

Lessons Learned and Improvements

Key Learnings

This grant round has been a journey of discovery and improvement. We were honored to be selected as one of Gitcoin’s sponsored community rounds, which significantly amplified our reach. The support from Gitcoin not only helped us attract a wider array of projects but also expanded our circle of grantees beyond the familiar faces from previous rounds. These new ideas and perspectives have been refreshing for our community.

One critical insight from this round was the absolute necessity of crystal-clear criteria. We realized that to truly achieve our objectives, we must sharpen our ability to distinguish between projects that are simply using token engineering and those that are pushing the boundaries of the field. This clarity is crucial for steering our efforts towards projects that promise genuine advancement in token engineering.

Another major takeaway involved the importance of supporting impactful initiatives. The round reaffirmed our commitment to not just funding projects but also measuring their long-term impact. This means developing robust metrics to assess both the potential and the realized impact of projects, ensuring that our investments continue to bear fruit long after the funding has been disbursed.

Areas for Improvement

We discovered that many of our grantees were not maximizing opportunities to promote their projects. In future rounds, we need to provide more support for grantee marketing and engagement. Whether through resources, training, or incentives, we must empower our grantees to champion their projects effectively, to better boost their visibility and impact.

Additionally, in future grant rounds, we plan to introduce detailed metrics and evaluation tools specifically designed to assess the direct impact of our funding on the supported projects. This initiative will allow us to track how our contributions aid in advancing each project’s goals and development within the field of token engineering. By refining our evaluation framework, we aim to ensure that our funding not only supports worthy projects but also maximizes their potential for success and growth.

One logistical improvement from this round we would suggest is having earlier clarification of grant round dates. Knowing these dates in advance would significantly enhance our planning and coordination. This advance notice is crucial for ensuring that all aspects of the grant round—from application deadlines to project evaluation and donation campaigns—are better organized and clearly communicated.

As we reflect on these lessons, we are inspired to refine our processes and approaches for future rounds. Each grant round is an opportunity to learn, adapt, and enhance the transformative potential of our funding. The insights gained from this round will undoubtedly influence our strategies moving forward, making each successive round more impactful than the last.

Closing Thoughts

Reflecting on this grant round, several key learnings stand out as crucial for our growth and future planning. The importance of setting clearer criteria and an evaluation matrix cannot be overstated—it is essential for guiding both applicants and reviewers, ensuring that projects align with the true spirit of token engineering. This round has reinforced the necessity of planning ahead and meticulous time management, especially when aligning with Gitcoin’s timeline and balancing multiple processes such as appeals, late applications, and active donation campaigns.

Constant and clear communication has been an essential component in running our round. Maintaining open channels with grantees, our community, and partners like Gitcoin has helped keep the process transparent and inclusive, fostering a trusting and engaged community environment.

Looking ahead, we are excited to continue refining these processes. Each round brings new opportunities to enhance our approach, deepen our impact, and expand our community’s engagement with token engineering. We encourage everyone—projects/grantees, donors, and partners—to share their feedback on this round. Your insights are invaluable as they help us improve and innovate for future rounds.

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