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Gitcoin Grants 2024 Strategy & Updates

Gitcoin Grants is a community-driven quarterly funding initiative that aims to propel high-impact digital public goods projects forward by allocating capital in the Ethereum community. Grants = Growth.

As we embark on the journey of Gitcoin Grants for the remainder of 2024, we’re excited to share our comprehensive strategy designed to support impactful projects, and strengthen our community. This year’s approach builds upon the valuable insights gained from previous rounds, ensuring that we continue to evolve and improve and serve the community’s best interests.

Our strategy for Gitcoin Grants across the remainder of 2024 centers on three core pillars:

  • Inclusivity: Broaden participation by reaching diverse communities and supporting various projects across different sectors
  • Transparency: Clear communication and open processes to maintain trust and engagement
  • Sustainability: Ensuring long-term growth and impact through strategic funding and resource allocation

Thank you to Sov, Umar, and Sejal for their thought partnership in baking out this strategy for 2024 and beyond.

Overall Strategy

OSS Program

Since its inception, Gitcoin Grants has been committed to furthering the ethos of OSS/Digital Public Goods while fostering project growth and sustainability through novel funding mechanisms. GG supports both early-stage and more mature builders across the wider Ethereum ecosystem and is run by Gitcoin core contributors. These rounds run twice annually.

With Gitcoin Grants 20, we refocused on our core mission of supporting open-source software and digital public goods and started on a journey to redefine how we continually fund and sustain the digital infrastructure that underpins our modern world.

You have our commitment that we will work tirelessly to continue to create a more resilient, inclusive, and thriving future.

Community Rounds

GG20 was the first iteration of a new Community Round structure: we created a dedicated pool of funds (up to $125K quarterly) available to support “matching on matching” pools and highlighting them alongside the Program rounds. Communities with any amount raised for matching and meeting the round criteria could apply for up to $25K in funding from Gitcoin to go toward their matching pool. The Community Council (a Gitcoin DAO-elected external council) reviews applications and votes on which communities to fund and accept into the round. Read the GG20 Community Round Retrospective 2 for learnings and new ways forward.
ICYMI, the external Community Council’s term was extended until the end of this year, continuing their engagement with us, which allows us to iterate and improve the governance structures around the Community Rounds as we continue to move forward.

The Community Council governs the Community Rounds that are accepted into a GG round, distributing decision-making to the edges and away from a centralized mechanism within Gitcoin.

We will offer an updated support for Community Rounds, ensuring that we still uphold the standards that are important to Gitcoin, yet remaining inclusive to those wishing to participate in GG rounds. We will accept 8-10 Community Rounds (this depends on the type of round we’re running and the resources we have available) in each GG round moving forward, with the top 5 of those still receiving extra matching funds from Gitcoin.

The eligibility criteria for GG21 Community Rounds will be posted to the forum June 17.

Ecosystem Rounds

[PILOT]: Ecosystem Rounds are a new category of Gitcoin Grants designed to engage large players in the web3 space. These rounds will focus on partnering with established ecosystems and protocols to leverage Gitcoin's platform, reach, and community for targeted funding initiatives. For the pilot in GG21, we will invite partners to run as we test this new category and work to further enhance this offering.

As Gitcoin continues to evolve and grow its impact, we recognize the need to expand our reach and create sustainable funding models for public goods.

Key Dates for 2024

To help you plan and participate effectively, here are the important dates for the rest of the year. Note that due to time constraints, we will only run three GG rounds in 2024:

  • GG20: April 23 - May 7th [COMPLETED]
    • OSS Program (4 rounds) $1M Matching Pool
    • 5+ Community Rounds
  • GG21: August 7 - 21 (No OSS round)
    • Ecosystem ‘Spotlight’ Rounds (PILOT)
      • Ecosystem Rounds will now have the opportunity to share the stage alongside the community rounds.
    • 10 Community Rounds
    • $125k allocated towards matching for top 5 Community Rounds
  • GG22: End of October (exact dates announced in the coming weeks)
    • OSS Program (4 rounds) $1M Matching Pool
    • 8 Community Rounds
      • During OSS rounds, our internal resources will likely be more constrained and due to this, we will only be able to support 8. (Subject to change).
    • $125k allocated towards matching for top 5 Community Rounds

We will resume 4 rounds p/year in 2025.

One key difference to note is that our OSS Program will only run again in GG22, sticking to the twice annual cadence that was first announced and outlined in this post. Because the Gitcoin Grants matching pool are funds that were entrusted to us by the community (separate from our treasury), it’s important that we run a program that is sustainable for the long term, which will create a runway for our builders well into the future beyond the next few years. To fund what matters to us, we realize we have to take steps to ensure financial sustainability, but still serve our community and builders in a foundational way. Additionally, as Gitcoin grows its presence and product stack to the wider Web3 Ecosystem we want to allow these groups to be able to run during GG.

Learnings from Past Rounds

Reflecting on past rounds, we’ve gleaned several critical learnings that have shaped our 2024 strategy:

  1. Enhanced Matching Algorithms: We’ve improved our Quadratic Funding algorithms to better match contributions with projects, ensuring a more equitable distribution of funds. This has been done through the use of COCM and Passport’s Model Based Detection: a two-pronged sybil resistance strategy 1 that we rolled out in GG20, which proved to be incredibly successful.
  2. Community Feedback: Incorporating feedback from participants has been invaluable. We’ve streamlined the application process and introduced more robust support systems to assist grantees. GG20 saw an 80% grantee satisfaction rate, the highest we’ve seen in at least the past year. This was measured through a GG20 grantee survey conducted, where we received more than 70 detailed responses.
  3. Operations: We saw the need for improving our operations for an enhanced user experience, and in GG20 we introduced Checker and ‘Team Tiger’ which helped expedite grantee applications reviews.
    By integrating these learnings, we aim to create a more effective and rewarding experience for everyone involved.

New Updates

We plan to release dates of GG rounds further in advance than we have historically. This will allow Community Rounds and grantees to prepare for the rounds ahead of time adequately, and will enable us to better plan internally. Within the following weeks, we will release a 12-18 month roadmap for GG that will flow over into rough dates for next year. From 2025 onwards, we will return to 4 rounds per year.

Builder engagement in between GG rounds is top of mind for the Gitcoin team, and we are proactively working on how to set up stronger 1) support systems 2) education funnels 3) active community spaces 4) builder care that fosters innovation and collaboration not only during a GG round but also during the periods outside of the rounds. No one knows what developers need more than developers.

We are exploring ways to introduce new funding mechanisms into the grants program. This could include ways to adapt our QF mechanism even more, such as introducing MACI, continuing signal boosting 3, easyRPGF, and more. More about how this might unfold is coming soon.

Stay tuned for more updates and get ready to contribute to the future of open-source innovation with Gitcoin Grants 2024!

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