Safe Grants Program (SGP)

SEP # (Number to be assigned by forum admin)

  • Title: Safe Grants Program (SGP)
  • Author: netrunner.eth
  • Created: 2022-09-19

Abstract

The mission of the Safe Grants Program is to provide valuable resources to help grow the Safe ecosystem and $SAFE token utility.

Proposal

The purpose of this Safe Ecosystem Proposal (SEP) is to gather support within the community to pass a vote to allow the formation of a Safe Grants Program (SGP). The mission of the Safe Grants Program is to provide valuable resources to help grow the Safe brand, ecosystem and $SAFE token utility. The program can start small, and if successful, it could grow to fund decentralized protocol development, hackathons, new UX tools, marketing efforts, documentation, tooling, etc.

As a grants program is a subjective process that cannot be easily automated, the proposal calls for a small committee of at LEAST 5 members (comprised of an odd number to break any ties) to review proposals and deliver an efficient, predictable process to applicants.

Motivation

The mission of the SGP is to provide valuable resources to help grow the Safe brand and ecosystem. Through public discourse and inbound applications, the community will get first-hand exposure to identify and respond to the most pressing needs of the ecosystem, as well as the ability to support innovative projects expanding the capabilities of the Safe ecosystem.

By rewarding talent early with developer incentives, bounties, and infrastructure support, the SGP acts as a catalyst for growth and helps to make Safe the provider of choice for storing assets.

Priorities

Initially, the SGP aims to start narrow in scope, funding peripheral ecosystem initiatives, such as targeted bounties, hackathons, dashboards, simple UX tools, sponsorships, and other low-stakes means of building out the Safe ecosystem. Over time, if the program proves effective, the grant allocations can grow in scope to include, for example, improved frontends, better UX interfaces, and eventually protocol development.

For context Gitcoin CLR Round 7 distributed $725k ($450k in matched) across 857 projects, so a little goes a long way. This kind of ecosystem grant program may help expand the $SAFE tokens utility.

Committee Members

While the goals and priorities of the grant program will be thoroughly discussed and reviewed by the community through public discourse, the decision to start SGP by operating as a small committee is to ensure that the application and decision process will be efficient and predictable, so applicants have clear objectives and timely decisions.

Starting with a minimum 5 members enables the committee to efficiently fund projects with tight feedback loops and rapid iterations. The purpose of this committee would be to test the hypothesis that the Safe Grants Program can successfully provide value for the $SAFE ecosystem.

Note: Committee members selection (and any stipend) should be tabled as a separate discussion if this Safe Ecosystem Proposal gains sufficient interest.

Budget:

The budget proposed for the SGP is:

  • $100K of $SAFE or $USDC per Month;
  • For a total of 6 months.

The assumption is that $600k worth of $SAFE seems appropriate, relative to the expected size of the treasury that $SAFE token holders will be entrusted with.

Prior to the end of the 6 Month proposed SGP, a new SGP renewal proposal should be tabled by this community using data collected from the SGP to assess the program and inform its next phase.

Grant Allocation Committee:

  • At LEAST a minimum of 5 committee members;
  • Each committee has a term of 6 months after which the program needs to be renewed by the SafeDAO governance; and
  • Committee functions as a 4 of 5 multi-sig.
  • Committee comprised of at least 1 Safe core team member who can assess technical grants.
  • A small stipend for committee members for taking time to review grant applications and approve transactions.

Technical Implementation

  • If the vote passes the SafeDAO core team shall create the required Multi-sig safe; and
  • A new SEP shall be raised by the community to call for SGP Committee member selection and stipend amount.
  • A new section on Discourse for grant applications and transparent review.

Rationale

  • Provides incentive to grow the Safe ecosystem;
  • Improves utility for the $SAFE token;
  • Increases demand for the $SAFE token;
  • As more people own the $SAFE token, it will encourage further interactions with the Safe protocol; and
  • I believe it is good for our community.

Copyright

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.

20 Likes

Good Proposal !!! :+1:
This could be helpful.

5 Likes

Appreciate the effort to push this proposal live!

I’d love for a grants program to exist, but one thing before we start allocating resources for Safe DAO is to decide on how the entirety of the DAO should be managing its resources (what are its goals/north star, what are the metrics/KPIs we should be using as a feedback loop, what are the various strategies to get there?, how do we establish a feedback loop of accountability? etc.) In most DAOs, the community has failed to identify and address these areas before deploying resources via grants/initiatives, and as a result failed to achieve impact.

From the 1kx side we will be publishing an operating model for Safe DAO’s resource allocation soon for public feedback in the next week or so.

For the timebeing, I’d love to connect and chat over telegram if you’re open to it.

21 Likes

Agree with this perspective. It seems premature to consider allocating capital to anything given we do not yet have clarity on the DAO’s overall goals, nor do we have a sense of the financial health of the organization given the token has not yet been airdropped and priced in liquid markets.

That being said, this is something I’d like to see eventually. Specifically, I’d also like to explore the success and failures of other DAOs grant programs to understand how we can attract the best talent to the grants program and most efficiently allocate funds.

12 Likes

We currently have a similar grants program running with Cow Protocol for the last 3 months and have have seen interesting and useful proposals funded to grow and improve the ecosystem. For anyone unfamiliar with CowSwap, it is a protocol also spun out of Gnosis.

I expect that if the community supports the establishment of a Safe Grants Program, it will likely take some time prior to going live, as there would be a second SIP/SEP to call for grant committee members (as per the proposal). By which time most of the issues raised by in this forum should have been ironed out.

6 Likes

Is there somewhere we can read on the process / structure of the Cowswap grants program and any public info on what grants where given out under what reasoning?

5 Likes

Visit the Cow DAO Grants Program here.

8 Likes

This is an amazing proposal, I’m a regualr recipient of grants from The Graph, and can tell you that the Grant Program in this case has been instrumental for the growth of the ecosystem.
My experience is around Community Building and every time we onboard new people we constantly see a positive ripple effect that makes the community grow bigger and stronger.

And I also believe that we can start with two ‘waves’ per year, every 6-months, and see how the SAFE Grant Program unfolds. Then, we can also evaluate to have more waves per year.

6 Likes

First, we can create a section within this Public Forum for new grants where everyone, not only DAO members, can contribute with comments and by submitting questions for grant applicants.

Each grant proposal needs to specify its own KPIs that must be easy to measure (e.g., for Content Creator must write 2 articles per month). The DAO itself, will meet weekly to discuss new grant proposals based on the public forum engagement.

Once a certain threshold of engagement is reached, a conversation must be held (public or private) with the grant applicant. DAO members can then vote on-chain whether or not disburse funds to the grantee (e.g. 20% upfront, 80% once the grant has been delivered and KPI reached).

7 Likes

KPIs are a great idea to for funding future work.

Another proposal use case is for funding retroactive public goods/works that have been built and done. Similar to KPIs, it’s important to show with data why this work that has already been completed is meaningful to the community.

4 Likes

Great proposal. Would be happy to help out on this. I’ve been on both sides of the table when it comes to grants and have learned a lot specially about how they work (or do not) in this sector.

I have a few KPIs I’d be happy to share to ensure grantees stay on course and are successful. I also have found meeting with them on a weekly basis just for 30 minutes to touch base, see progress, look for any hurdles I may be able to clear, and above all just have a quick face to face goes a long way.

We are geographically distributed and 30 minutes on zoom reminds teams and council members that we all are working for similar goals and that KPIs aren’t there to measure how well or poor you’ve done, but rather identify potential problems and address them before they become a problem at all.

Also I will post a link to my intro post in a minute here. However in the mean time…

Hello all I’m Sam. I purchased my first bitcoin in 2010. There’s a hard drive somewhere in my mothers attic that probably has an encrypted wallet with enough bitcoin to still bring a tear to my eye. :slight_smile: (I’ll never find it., nor crack my own encryption).

I am a BSEE/CompE from Purdue. However I also tried to major in math and CS at the the same time because I’m a bit of a masochist apparently. I have worked in Silicon Valley for 10 years or so and yada yada yada. You get it.

Follow me on Twitter or whatever the kids use these days! @c0nt3mp7

-Sam
sam@huntingtonanalytics.com

3 Likes

I nearly forgot - For the last ten years I’ve been a an engineering manager. In my most recent position I managed 30 projects with about twice the number of technicians working on them. Keeping track of a bit of chaos is in my wheelhouse for sure. Budgets have floated around 30 million give or take 5 for the majority of my work so far.

I would love to bring form this council and be an example of how effective and efficient a DAO ecosystem incubator / accelerator can function!

2 Likes

Agreed with your sentiment.

Long term I expect that the DAO’s decided KPIs will align with a Safe Grants Program, but at the moment a grants program should be on hold until those priorities are decided.

When/if it’s clear that a grants program would drive progress towards the DAO’s key objectives, the following should be made explicit as part of the proposal:

  1. criteria for eligible grant applications
  2. criteria for awarded grants
  3. metrics or criteria that define what success looks like for the grants program

All three points are important for ensuring that DAO funds are responsibly distributed to individuals and teams that are moving the needle for the DAO’s key initiatives.

If/when the time comes, @jierlich’s suggestion to learn from existing grants programs could be a good starting point for defining those criteria.

4 Likes

i dig it.

i co-authored the proposal for the PoolTogether PoolGrants program and was a lead member of the committee once it launched.
from my experience i’d say this is a good starting point and will foster growth and attract innovation from the community.

6 Likes

I’d like to find consensus and ratify a framework for Safe DAO resource allocation first before designing and launching a grants program: Safe DAO Resource Application Model

6 Likes

The Resource Application Model and the Safe Grants Program are not mutually exclusive. Both can be run concurrently and scaled in time. Based on the positive feedback so far, I think this proposal resonates with the community.

As @pet3rpan-1kx alluded to, it would not make sense to launch a Grants Program first, and then subsequently agree and ratify an OBRA-based operating model. A grants program is only one of the strategies that we employ to contribute to our North Star, Goals & KPIs. I am against launching one before we define our North Star, and reach consensus on our operating model (OBRA or not).

2 Likes

As clarified in a previous reply, the Safe Grants Program will take time to come online and it is highly likely that the DAO’s “north star” and goals will be clear by then.

While I support the OBRA model proposal, this grants proposal is not dependant upon it, as the OBRA proposal may fail to achieve consensus.

This proposal stands on its own merits and if successful, can be launched in the future or after some conditions the community agrees upon.

1 Like

Hi @theobtl can you please move this proposal to the SEP category and assign it a SEP. This proposal was created prior to the category existing in the forum. Many thanks.

1 Like

Once this proposal is an SEP, it could be uploaded by anyone to Snapshot as soon as six days after, but that seems not really meaningful and too soon now given the lack of a comprehensive resource allocation framework, which could be [Discussion] Safe DAO Resource Allocation Model (OBRA) or another proposal. There are also practical processes left to be resolved about the funds themselves that SafeDAO is supposed to be spending based on your proposal.

Second, on a more fundamental level, a more comprehensive governance framework than [HOW TO] SafeDAO Governance Process is also still in the making, as we discussed in the comments there.

Third, on an even more fundamental level, there’s a constitution proposal being worked on, I believe, which this proposal also depends on.

I’m sure, as the author of this proposal it could feel discouraging to wait yet again, although personally I’d argue we’re just not yet in a position to vote on an arbitrary number of specific proposals when the before-mentioned pieces are not yet in place. Once they are, we’ll have much more clarity on the general direction and process how this DAO operates and defines its activities through more granular proposals. That’s just my2cents and I’m of course not the only one to say which proposals should be moved to the SEP section.

Wouldn’t it make sense to align on the before-mentioned proposals first before moving this proposal to the SEP phase?

3 Likes