RRC-XX: A Clearer Grants Committee Mandate

Abstract

This proposal aims to define a more transparent structure for the Grants Committee and ultimately for the Ecosystem Growth Fund.

Motivation

Taking into account what could be called an initial GC pilot which we are about to wrap up, the need to define comprehensive strategies and focus areas with grantees is required. There is also the need to communicate clearer GC responsibilities, compensation, and better community involvement in GC activities.

More specifically, this will better help us drive development and usage, cultivating enthusiastic users and talented builders that will help shape the future of the Rarible protocol and chain, fostering a sustainable creator economy.

Rationale

GC needs a set of guiding principles to steer us forward. The first grant sprint helped us define and set up good structures early on but also opened our eyes to areas where we could do things better both internally and externally.

Key Terms

GC: Grants Committee

RFP: Request for Proposal

Specification

The current structure focuses on having two community members and two Foundation member on the committee. One member acts as the grant’s lead responsible for coordination; the other committee members assume evaluator roles, overseeing the grant application evaluation process and supporting grantees, helping them meet and exceed their milestones.

In the initial set-up of the GC, responsibilities were not spelled out, and no real KPI was set to be tracked as a deliverable for the working group. However, after sprint one of the Ecosystem Fund, we are outlining some responsibilities and suggesting some KPIs so the community can easily track the progress of the GC.

GC Responsibilities

  • The Committee will self-determine how they reach consensus on grant applications from the intake form as well as the recommendations from the GC Lead.
  • The GC will operate transparently by communicating progress during governance calls and sharing information and feedback in public forums.
  • Work in iterations (quarterly) - which will allow us to be flexible in funds usage
  • Define minimum and maximum allocation for grantees. This tells what kind of program we’ll be running. i.e small and fast grants, or midsize grants that can span over six months
  • The GC will also publish a report on their process, learnings, and outcomes at the end of each cycle (three months).
  • Creation of RFPs and marketing content to communicate updates and opportunities to the builders.
  • Communicate the information regarding approval/rejection of proposals to the RARI DAO community regularly.
  • Discuss program improvements within the team during scheduled meetings.
  • Each member of the GC will transparently share Conflict of Interest disclosure with the community whenever necessary.
  • Publish the qualified projects for every cycle along with our rationale for supporting them on Forum.
  • Continue iterating on grant process.
  • If something is not clearly outlined here, the GC has decision-making authority over its operations and may decide to make exceptions for proposers at their discretion.

GC KPIs

The GC will use and report on the following KPIs that align with our goals and desired outcomes, focusing on the success and impact of the projects funded each cycle.

MoS

  • Successful review of grantee proposals
  • Report submitted to the community at the end of every grant pilot

Compensation

Of the GC members, two are from the Foundation, and two are from the RARI DAO community. Foundation members either part-time or full-time get compensated from the yearly operations budget. However, the two community members are not compensated.

I am proposing we compensate these two community members in $RARI that gets unlocked at the end of each cycle. More specifically, I suggest 12k $RARI for each member gets locked around the time the operational budget goes live in December then at the start of next year 2025, and going forward, 3k $RARI is unlocked for each member at the end of every cycle (quarterly).

Concerning the present situation where we are already nearing the end of a cycle and with the two community members having already worked for six months, I propose 3k $RARI each for their contributions thus far, and a six-month lockup of 12k $RARI for the remainder of the year. 6k $RARI will get unlocked at the end of the next cycle and if one more cycle is done before the end of the year, the remaining 6k is unlocked. All unused funds will be sent back to the treasury.

There is no separate compensation as multisig signers.

WG Continuation

During the yearly review, we look into how the GC has done and we figure out if any member needs to be replaced (elections) or if more members need to be added. As we grow this grant process, more members will be added to the GC to enable us scale even further.

Next Steps

Gather feedback from the community.

7 Likes

The locking of completion of each quarter will incentive the community grant members to continue to operate and improve this grant program, and make improvements to benefit grantees and the DAO. You have my support on this well thought out proposal.

3 Likes

Thanks for this post @WinVerse and glad to see the awesome work being done by the GC.

  1. I agree with the compensation structure and stated ask for retroactive compensation. Can you please help us understand how many hours of work on average did each of the roles do?

  2. I propose instating term limits for GC positions i.e. each member can be in the GC for maximum 6 months, after which the member must take a pause for 1 year. This helps in preventing entrenchment and foster new ideas, mitigating conflicts of interest, increasing the experience of the whole DAO as well as reinforcing democratic principles.

  3. I would like to ask the GC to think about how it can progressively decentralize from 50% DAO representation to higher representation of the DAO members in the future and add it to this proposal as a roadmap.

3 Likes

I support @jengajojo comments about term limits for GC members to six months going forward for your DAO GC members.

As a roadmap, the decentralization of the GC to increase the GC committee’s representation to more than 50% DAO, this could be obtained with staggered term limits for the two existing GC Foundation members.

Since the pilot has been running six months, you could stagger this by:

Foundation member # 1’s term expires in 3 months and the second Foundation member # 2 term expires in 9 months.

This would allow for a vote for the vacant seat, with a candidate from the DAO in the next 3 months (giving a GC mix of 75% DAO/25% Foundation members). This will provide the newly elected GC DAO member to get up to speed with the guidance of existing GC members, including the Foundation member.

Then, six months later (with an expiring term of 9 months) another proposal vote is held for the second vacant seat (formally held by the 2nd Foundation member) with a candidate from the DAO, to get you to full decentralization.

2 Likes

Thank you for your input @jengajojo

First off, I can’t speak for the Lead; I can only touch on the time Jaf and I are looking to put going forward. It will be 4-5 hours weekly which could go up to 10 hours /week during proposal screening period.

This is a very important discussion. From my experience and based on what I have seen top DAOs practicing, term limits don’t work well. In fact, DAOs push back on the idea. Shuffling four contributors every year ---- which could go to six, eight contributors as we expand ---- is not sustainable for the DAO at least at this time.

However, if the majority of the DAO wants this, two years could be a good starting point with the term period declining from there as the DAO matures. There will still be the option to offboard members and an option to bring in new members as we scale.

I will talk about some of my learnings on this topic during our next proposal review call.

For this, I am in support. @Jaf even suggested I include it before posting to Forum. I know he has some interesting ideas on this. Coffee also left a good suggestion on it as well; I will add some comments there.

4 Likes

Thanks for this suggestion @coffee-crusher

I really have little to say at this time regarding this topic. Putting things to perspective though, our Lead is currently being paid by the Foundation as the Ecosystem Grants Lead.

Not sure how we move forward from that point. Will love to hear from the Foundation and will bring this up during the proposal review call as well.

3 Likes

Thanks, @WinVerse, for this initiative! I’m chiming in on the point about shifting the Grants committee more towards the community.

The initial thought behind having the committee be 50/50 between the delegate and the Foundation was to ensure we work together and always reach a consensus. The EGF was entrusted to the Foundation to manage, and as such, the Foundation disburses the payments, conducts KYC, and enters into contracts. Hence, it is important that the Foundation holds half the seats on the committee and the multisig. As consensus is achieved by 3 out of 4, the Foundation cannot overrule the delegates and vice versa.

4 Likes

Thanks for the proposal. I fully support the idea to formulate a clearer mandate, that responsibilities are spelled out and KPIs are set to be tracked.

Do I understand correctly, that the community members of the council should be rewarded with 3k RARI quarterly? Considering the hours you suggested, this seems reasonable.

Regarding the shuffling of members, I understand both sides. If somebody does a good job in the council (and I guess it takes time to familiarize with the process as well), I would not prevent them from taking the role again. However, there should be some diversification from time to time. Maybe we require that half of the council changes after 6 months or something like that.

4 Likes

Hey! Head of Grants at Gitcoin here!

Thank you for your thoughtful proposal on defining a clearer mandate for the Grants Committee (GC) and the Ecosystem Growth Fund. Seeing your commitment to improving the grant process with a more transparent and effective structure is great.

After reviewing your proposal, I have a few suggestions that could help further refine the GC’s approach:

  1. Responsibilities and KPIs: The outlined responsibilities and KPIs provide a solid foundation for the GC’s operations. Consider adding a few more quantitative metrics to track the impact of funded projects, such as the number of users acquired, transactions processed, or other relevant ecosystem growth indicators.
  2. Decentralization: The suggestion to progressively decentralize the GC by increasing DAO representation is good. I recommend setting targets and timelines for this transition.
  3. Term Limits: Consider implementing a staggered term limit structure that allows for some overlap between incoming and outgoing members to ensure knowledge transfer and stability.

If it could be helpful, we are here to assist you in refining your proposal or implementing the Grants Committee’s mandate. Our expertise and support can significantly contribute to the success of these initiatives.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if there are any areas where we can help. We look forward to seeing the Grants Committee’s positive impact on the RARI ecosystem.

5 Likes

Thank you all for your participation and great feedback on this topic. Today’s proposal review call was insightful in understanding the rationale behind the 50% participation of the Foundation in the GC.

I agree that time limits can set a clearer path for a more progressive decentralization and timely onboarding of new members.

@WinVerse and I will review your feedback, including the input received during the delegates’ call, and we will provide an updated proposal to move one step closer to the voting stage.

4 Likes

Thanks for the update @Jaf

Based on the call from today, I think it is necessary to know what is the optimal way forward. Should the DAO spin up its own grants program or should there be more seats added to the existing grants program for DAO contributors? I don’t know if this thread is the best place to solve this, maybe we can start a separate discussion post for this?

Looking forward to your feedback

2 Likes

Now that is more clear why the Foundation currently needs half the seats in the GC, I’m all in for a gradual shift towards a DAO-led grants program.

Here’s a possible game plan. Of course we will discuss it further, but IMO it brings time to fine tune processes and expectations before the DAO takes over.

  • Season 1: Foundation holds 2 seats

  • Season 2: Foundation drops to 1 seat

  • Season 3: DAO-led grants program kicks off

(Seasons duration and start & end dates TBD)

Anyways, we can keep this conversation going here for now. @WinVerse and I will work on adding this to the proposal as a part of the overall strategy. A smooth transition will keep things steady while paving the way for a DAO-led grants program.

1 Like

I like the suggested strategy of the gradual decrease of Foundation seats that the team is considering. I would be interested to learn more about the length of the season durations, and how this project evolves.

Abstract

This proposal aims to define a more transparent structure for the Grants Committee and ultimately for the Ecosystem Growth Fund.

Motivation

Taking into account what could be called an initial GC pilot which we are about to wrap up, the need to define comprehensive strategies and focus areas with grantees is required. There is also the need to communicate clearer GC responsibilities, compensation, and better community involvement in GC activities.

More specifically, this will better help us drive development and usage, cultivating enthusiastic users and talented builders that will help shape the future of the Rarible protocol and chain, fostering a sustainable creator economy.

Rationale

GC needs a set of guiding principles to steer us forward. The first grant sprint helped us define and set up good structures early on but also opened our eyes to areas where we could do things better both internally and externally.

Key Terms

GC: Grants Committee

RFP: Request for Proposal

Specification

The current structure focuses on having two community members and two Foundation member on the committee. One member acts as the grant’s lead responsible for coordination; the other committee members assume evaluator roles, overseeing the grant application evaluation process and supporting grantees, helping them meet and exceed their milestones.

In the initial set-up of the GC, responsibilities were not spelled out, and no real KPI was set to be tracked as a deliverable for the working group. However, after sprint one of the Ecosystem Fund, we are outlining some responsibilities and suggesting some KPIs so the community can easily track the progress of the GC.

GC Responsibilities

  • The Committee will self-determine how they reach consensus on grant applications from the intake form as well as the recommendations from the GC Lead.
  • The GC will operate transparently by communicating progress during governance calls and sharing information and feedback in public forums.
  • Work in iterations (quarterly) - which will allow us to be flexible in funds usage
  • Define minimum and maximum allocation for grantees. This tells what kind of program we’ll be running. i.e small and fast grants, or midsize grants that can span over six months
  • The GC will also publish a report on their process, learnings, and outcomes at the end of each cycle (three months).
  • Creation of RFPs and marketing content to communicate updates and opportunities to the builders.
  • Communicate the information regarding approval/rejection of proposals to the RARI DAO community regularly.
  • Discuss program improvements within the team during scheduled meetings.
  • Each member of the GC will transparently share Conflict of Interest disclosure with the community whenever necessary.
  • Publish the qualified projects for every cycle along with our rationale for supporting them on Forum.
  • Continue iterating on grant process.
  • If something is not clearly outlined here, the GC has decision-making authority over its operations and may decide to make exceptions for proposers at their discretion.

GC KPIs

  • Number of Applications Received: Total number of grant applications received. This should include both accepted and rejected applications and a brief note explaining the decision.
  • Grant Distribution Timeline: Measure the time taken to review, approve, and distribute grants, ensuring a timely turnaround time of no longer than 10 days from application to resolution
  • Grant Amount Disbursed: Monitor the total value of grants distributed to successful applicants including distribution across projects, and budget utilization rate.
  • User Metrics: Measure the increase in the number of users or active participants in the protocol as a result of funded projects.

MoS

  • Successful review of grantee proposals
  • Report submitted to the community at the end of every grant pilot

Timeline

Starting July ‘24:

GC member Period Number of seats
Foundation 12 months 2
Foundation 18 months 1
DAO-led Grants Program kicks off:
GC member Period Number of seats
Pilot 1.5 months 2
Pilot 3 months 1

This structure implements a staggered term limit for the pilot GC members — Jaf and WinVerse — after the start of the DAO-led grants program which gradually offboards them completely in three months. At the end of the last sprint for each year, elections will be held to offboard and/or bring in new members. Doing otherwise would mean conducting several elections every year which increases organizational complexity.

Budget

Of the GC members, two are from the Foundation, and two are from the RARI DAO community. Foundation members either part-time or full-time get compensated from the yearly operations budget. However, the two community members are not compensated.

I am proposing we compensate these two community members in $RARI that gets unlocked at the end of each cycle. More specifically, I suggest 12k $RARI for each member gets locked around the time the operational budget goes live in December then at the start of next year 2025, and going forward, 3k $RARI is unlocked for each member at the end of every cycle (quarterly).

Concerning the current situation where we are already nearing the end of a cycle and with the two community members (@Jaf and @WinVerse) having already worked for six months, I propose 3k $RARI each for their contributions thus far, and a six-month lockup of 12k $RARI for the remainder of the year. 6k $RARI will get unlocked at the end of the next cycle and if one more cycle is done before the end of the year, the remaining 6k is unlocked. All unused funds will be sent back to the treasury.

There is no separate compensation as multisig signers.

2 Likes

Just to add, I have had experiences with DAOs where they offboarded council members due to term limits, and I have seen how this came back to hurt them as incoming members didn’t have their level of expertise.

I would suggest we give ongoing members the option to still raise their hands for re-election at the end of their term limits if they are interested rather than offboarding them.

2 Likes