Changes to the Grants Committee Process for S4

Summary

There have been some large changes to the grants and funding process for S4 based on the desire for increased accountability and sustainability. The changes can be summarized as follows (assuming the snapshot for seasonal funding passes):

  1. Projects will be funded 50% of their requested amount at the beginning of S4

    • The remaining 50% will be held by the Grants Committee Multisig, with the intent to release the balance to projects at the midpoint of S4
  2. Project Champions will be contacted by the Grants Committee shortly to identify and record no more than 2 KPIs (key performance indicators aka metrics) to judge the project health.

  3. Project Champions will be responsible for ensuring the KPIs are measured and recorded on their Notion project pages

  4. Project Champions will meet with Grants Committee prior to the midpoint of S4 to report on their metrics and discuss their approach

    • At this time, Grants Committee will make a decision on how much of the remaining project funding will be released to the project
  5. Grants Committee will release the amount of funding decided in the previous step

  6. Guilds will be funded for the entire season, but will have a similar amount of scrutiny placed upon them at the end of S4 for S5 funding

Why Are These Changes Necessary?

The Grants Committee has decided to take these steps to help promote accountability and to aid us in the stewardship of the BanklessDAO treasury. The following issues have been identified (in no particular order of importance):

  • There has been increasing sentiment from BanklessDAO members to increase accountability of BANK emissions from the Treasury (as evidenced in the S4 Spec and the S4 Temp Check).
  • Seasonal Funding for Projects and Guilds have been increasing regularly, and if the trend continues this could quickly become unsustainable.
  • The token price has fallen rapidly from a high of around 0.20 USD to a recent low of 0.03 USD (an 85% drop).
    • Every time we release seasonal treasury funds, our token price could fall unless we have ways to mitigate the increased supply.
  • Our contributors are less satisfied with BanklessDAO than they have been (review community Net Promoter Scores from Nov 2021 vs Apr 2022).
  • The PM Working Group has identified that projects are universally having difficulty in understanding their path forward in terms of sustainability and revenue-generation.

Due to these reasons, Grants Committee has decided to take a more hands-on approach to supporting BanklessDAO projects to help them succeed. Our only tool to do this is in how much and how often we fund projects.

Does the Grants Committee Have this Authority?

The authority of Grants Committee stems from the seasonal specs on Snapshot. The last spec that was passed was the S3 Spec, which states:

“The Grants Committee will be responsible for affirming that projects are properly scoped and staffed before asking for funds from the treasury and provide suggestions to minimize runaway funding and budget bloat.“

The S4 spec has similar wording, and additionally has clauses for increased accountability of projects and guilds.

The Grants Committee interprets this to mean that we have the authority to set the cadence for funding and that we may, if needed, deny funding to projects that are not properly scoped or staffed. See this Discord message for additional context.

What Does this Mean for MY Project?

In simple language, it means your project will have to submit KPIs that prove you are working towards success. The Grants Committee must agree upon your KPIs, and we will use them to review your progress. Overall, the Grants Committee is trying to set our projects and contributors up for success by offering support around project strategy through KPI choice.

It does NOT mean that the Grants Committee will unilaterally and suddenly decide to defund your project. Projects are still championed via consensus, and our priority continues to be to encourage BanklessDAO contributors to contribute. We will not put contributor livelihood at risk without giving projects time to adjust to KPI-based accountability. That said, it’s possible that the Grants Committee will reduce your mid-season funding if the KPIs are ignored.

In practice we may ask you to consult other DAO members to ensure your plan makes sense from many perspectives, or ask you to do the work to validate your assumptions.

Choosing Good KPIs

“Good KPIs” are those which set project teams up for success by measuring desirable outcomes or efforts to reduce uncertainty.

Some tips on choosing KPIs:

  • They should be measurable TODAY - KPIs you are unable to measure will be rejected.
  • They should be understandable from an outside perspective; simpler metrics are usually more effective for early-stage projects.
  • They should be broad enough so as not limit your team’s agility and specific enough to show change over one season.
  • They should show progress on your impact (i.e. how you are pursuing the mission of BanklessDAO) or your self-sovereignty (i.e. how prepared you are to stand on your own).

If you need help choosing KPIs, please reach out to the Grants Committee on Discord in #grants-committee.

What’s Your Opinion?

We’d love to hear your questions, concerns, and feedback so that we can do the best possible job. The Grants Committee serves the members of BanklessDAO, and by sharing your thoughts with us, we can better serve you.

10 Likes

Great work guys - happy to support this initiative for increased accountability from the GC!

Thanks for the thoughtful post. Is it possible for the said KPIs for each project to be stated clearly somewhere and maybe we can have some sort of consensus poll for these KPIs for each project?

Perhaps a few examples of, or a link to some KPIs in this document/proposal for readers here who have not used them so far would be helpful so they know what to expect. The reference to #grants-committee is helpful once one has a project running.

1 Like

We’re working on the process for documenting KPIs now, and they will definitely be clearly documented on the Grants Committee Notion page somewhere. We also recommend projects put their KPIs on on their own notion pages.

What do you mean by consensus poll?

I have been suggesting two types of KPIs

  • impact on our mission - how is this group furthering the BanklessDAO mission?
  • self-sovereignty - how prepared is this group to stand on its own?

Beyond type, you also have to think about perspective. Grants Committee sits outside of your project, and therefore these measures should have some value to outside observers (i.e. GC is indifferent to how many tweets you write, we just want to know how many followers you have). Another aspect of perspective is time - you should be able to show movement on these metrics on a monthly basis.

Finally, you have measurability - it’s best to choose metrics that you can measure NOW, rather than metrics you hope to be able to measure later.

For a specific examples, here are Bankless Academy’s S4 KPIs:

  • # of people who have gone through lessons
  • # of white-label leads

And here are IMN’s:

  • for each node: reach and BANK spend (i.e. BANK/subscriber)
  • # sponsorship leads