Executive Summary Nouns DAO and Gitcoin entered a creative partnership to support public goods in December 2021. Nouns DAO was the biggest matching partner in Gitcoin’s twelfth quarterly Grants Round (GR12), with a 169 ETH contribution passed via gov proposal on December 4th, 2021. Nouns & Gitcoin also created and distributed 5 Nounbots, a limited edition collection of hybrid NFTs Background Nouns is an open source NFT project and protocol for generative art. For each day of its existence,…
Nouns is an open source NFT project and protocol for generative art. For each day of its existence, a “Noun” (a 32×32 pixel character) is generated, auctioned for 24 hours, and released under public domain.
Ownership of a Noun bestows membership to Nouns DAO, the community that creates, workshops, and votes on future project proposals in pursuit of experimental software and culture built atop the Nouns protocol.
Gitcoin is known for community-led public goods funding, raising money from matching pool sponsors & pairing it with community donations via Quadratic Funding. Leading web3 projects like Uniswap, Dark Forest, and Bankless have leveraged Gitcoin Grants to validate early ideas and have gone on to create billions of dollars in market value.
Gitcoin has run a grants round every quarter since early 2019, which have gradually scaled over time. Over $45 million in total funding has been raised and distributed in that time. It has become one of the largest quarterly funding events in web3 and now supports over a thousand projects to the tune of $5 million with non-dilutive grants funding.
Nouns and Gitcoin share a deep appreciation and history of supporting open-source software & those who build it. This created a natural fit for a collaboration that came to fruition in December of 2021.
Going into Grants Round 12, Nouns and Gitcoin discussed & ratified a 169 ETH donation from Nouns to Gitcoin Grants’ matching pools. For Nouns, this was a way to signal alignment to overlapping communities of Ethereum, open source, and crypto builders.
Noun 12, a DAO member and key champion for the partnership wrote the following in a public entreaty to his community:
For Gitcoin, this partnership was a way to model a new kind of collaboration, one with a highly-visible project stewarded by an enthusiastic community that may be able to be served by Gitcoin in the future.
Nouns & Gitcoin worked with the artists behind the Gitcoin Moonshot Bot NFTs to create a series of five “Nounbots” (Moonshot Bot / Noun hybrids). One was auctioned over the course of the round with approximately $28,000 in proceeds going to the Gitcoin Grants multisig, and the remaining four were gifted to grantees selected by the Nouns & Gitcoin communities from each GR12 category (Climate, Advocacy, Longevity, and Ethereum).
The partnership between Gitcoin and Nouns was playful yet symbolically meaningful, and set the stage for future collaborations between the two organizations. Nouns received both tangible and intangible benefits at scale in supporting Gitcoin Grants rounds.
From an audience engagement standpoint, approximately 500k impressions were driven by Gitcoin to Nouns on their social media across 17 posts with an engagement rate average of 2.5% across these posts. This included 1626 likes, 568 URL clicks, and 7852 media views. Two of the top tweets were the 169 ETH funding announcement for GR12 and the subsequent Nounbot announcement.
Intangible benefits for Nouns included signaling values-alignment with web3 builders & showing that the Nouns community is willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to funding public goods.
Nouns was also able to spread their message to the large Gitcoin builder community that Nouns is the kind of community they should consider joining.
The NFT crossover event was successful in portraying Nouns in a highly brand-aligned manner, perpetuating strong memes of having fun while doing good, and creating symbolically important art that could inspire future collaborations for Gitcoin, Nouns and other leading web3 organizations around funding public goods.
This Nouns x Gitcoin collaboration led to quantifiable, large-scale positive impact with promising leads for future exploration. With this partnership, Nouns DAO sent strong market signals about their care for building positive-sum worlds via their investment of significant time & money into these efforts alongside Gitcoin.
Blue chip NFT projects like Nouns are working to encourage other DAOs to support physical world public goods in addition to digital public goods, and build this into organizational DNA, processes, and playbooks.
If your organization is looking for creative ways to support the builder community & contribute to public goods via creative partnerships, we’d love to hear from you. Send us a message at email@example.com.