This passed proposal amends and hopes to improve and standardize the workstream budget proposal process for Gitcoin. This proposal was ratified by CSDO on 03/31/23 using the integrated decision making process, you can find the recording, clarifications and reactions here.
Currently, our 3-month budgeting and planning cadence is putting a lot of stress on our DAO. Some examples:
- A lot of time is spent by Workstream leads planning and preparing for budgeting, leaving less time to execute or evaluate.
- CSDO team members continue to mention the current process is not working for them.
- Budgets arrive +1 month after the start of the season.
- Budgeting has become increasingly emotionally challenging for contributors who feel they need to defend their job security every 3 months. We want to make sure we ensure continuity in funding for our ‘most important things’.
This proposal seeks to amend the workstream budget proposal process for Gitcoin. The purpose of this revision is to add better accountability to workstream results and reduce the time spent on the budgeting process. This work is done in parallel with providing a plurality of funding mechanisms for Gitcoin, specifically outside of the workstream.
Tl;dr: Key elements of this proposal are:
- Moving to a 6 months budget rhythm (keeping the season names as is for now)
- One Snapshot vote, two Tally votes
- 2 budget requests, 3 months apart
- Reduced reserves (2 months, i.e 1/season), only used for remediation of price fluctuations, incl regular reporting
- Focus on top delegate (most active/highest delegated) Stewards
- Updated and unified template including an additional budget view (per initiative) for easy budget evaluation
1. We decouple prior season results from budget
- We no longer refer to previous results. New budget requests should not depend on previous results, as accountability will be built in through milestone data (see below). In the longer term we also hope to add a number of DAO-wide KPIs.
2. We move from a quarterly to a semi-annual (2x per year) cycle
- This means for example that the upcoming budget round will cover S18 & S19
- There is only one Snapshot vote for the entire proposal. However, GTC will be disbursed in two parts, one per season, and will include one month of reserves with each season. Top delegates will normally vote yes on both Tally proposals. Advantages of this tiered disbursement: (1) this reduces the impact of GTC volatility on the treasury (2) this can be used as a backstop in case of serious spending misalignment.
3. We focus more on top delegate Stewards check-in
- The idea is to have less discussion on budgets to fund our mission-critical, most important things and to evolve the wider Steward role into having more input on GCPs and other key strategic items throughout the year.
- In our planning we have one week to organize calls with our top delegates to get feedback and buy-in on our budgets.
4. We will add more detailed line items at the project level (see template)
- Project prioritization (high/medium/low)
- Meaningful milestone data
- Break down projects into highly detailed key Projects and Milestones, for as far as they are known at the time of the request
- Workstreams should report on Milestones progress to CSDO/Steward Council on a monthly basis
5. We will strive to complete the voting process before each season starts
- For our first run of the new process we will still be slightly delayed, but the idea is to have budgets in the multisigs +/- by the start date of the season.
6. We will all be using the same updated budgeting template to make it easier to evaluate and compare
- Addition of underspend/overspend past season
- Focus on Outcomes & Milestones
- Triple budget breakdown:
- Reserves breakdown and Rollover, incl link to reserves reporting
- Template can be found here
7. We will request two months of reserves for the entire budget request, or one month per season.
- Slightly decreasing the budget reserves can lead to more workstream accountability on doing healthy treasury diversification, and bring more transparency on unforeseen costs (through GCPs)
- For the time being workstreams are responsible for managing fluctuations in price by diversifying into stablecoins whenever needed. In the long term we need a strategy for token holdings. For small changes in token price the buffer of 33% should suffice.
- Reserves should only be used to cover price fluctuations, workstreams commit to reporting regularly on use of reserves, and will link this reporting into the next budget request.
- Any revenue generated during the past season should be accounted for, flow back to the DAO or be rolled over into the next season
- In case of larger changes in budget needs (hires, unexpected projects, …) the workstream can request more funds through a GCP.
What stays the same:
- Workstream leaders still need to prepare and get a budget approved
- The approval process remains the consistent (CSDO > Stewards > Snapshot Vote > Tally Ratification)
Example of a budget request timing (S18-19)
|04/14||Objectives & draft review with CSDO (3h call)|
|04/17-21||Check-in with top stewards after sharing draft budgets|
|04/24||Integrated budgets on Forum|
|05/01||Budgets on Snapshot|
|05/08||Budgets on Tally|
|05/15||Budgets in multisig|
Out of scope for this proposal
- A tool to do the reporting
- “Actuals” reporting process
- Project dashboards
- Ongoing operational support (budget facilitation)
- DAO-wide total budget cap
- Redesigning budgets
- Gitcoin DAO - Workstream Accountability Flow Jan 22
- Budget Proposal Process for Gitcoin DAO - v2 Jul 22
Thank you to @shawn16400 for contributing to this proposal and CSDO for valuable input and ratification.