Safe Grants Program (SGP)

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.


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.


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


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).


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.

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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.

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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?


Thank you for your feedback. Let’s wait for more community feedback regarding this proposal, also giving the DAO more time to iron out the Governance Process.


To what degree do we include University clubs involved in this? There’s need to involve a young generation in the space and there’s visible witness of growth in Crypto use and Web3 amongest the enthusiasts in both the technical part,non technical part, implementation of lets say Safe problem solution and the economic modal of the tech.
Community building and engagement organic growth and outreaches since there’s a broader gap of many various communities understanding about the space sphere.
Will be grateful to help too


Couldn’t agree more

The startup I co-founded aims to help with these problems!

We opened an office space directly across from a few schools in order to help encourage younger people to get involved with developing technology early.

It’s DecentrAgora on Twitter


Now that SEP #3 has been ratified, it is time to reinvigorate the conversation around decentralizing the Safe ecosystem and encouraging protocol growth. I believe that a Safe Grants Program is an excellent way to do that. I encourage the community to add their voices of support for/against this proposal before we can move it to the next stage.


Absolutely! With SEP-3, we now have a roadmap of milestones to complete before SafeDAO focuses its attention on discussing enabling transferability again.

When it comes to this proposal, the SGP itself seems to depend on a couple of milestones itself:

  1. [blocker] Legal setup of SafeDAO to manage funds: Open legal issues to be resolved before SafeDAO can receive funds from the Safe Ecosystem Foundation and pay them out
  2. [blocker] Technical setup of SafeDAO to manage funds: SAFE needs to be transferable before SafeDAO can pay out grants in SAFE
  3. Ideally, ratify OBRA (as a high-level resource allocation framework) before SGP (as a programme/initiative within that framework). @pet3rpan-1kx mentioned to publish a final revision soon.
  4. Ideally, ratify but at least draft a governance framework in parallel to SGP, where the governance framework specifies a governance process for funding/grants proposals

With 3. and 4., we can probably make progress relatively soon, although the two blockers seem more medium-term, unfortunately. Enabling transferability depends on several major milestones and timeline for the legal work is currently not clear.

What’s your view on this roadmap and which milestones SGP depends on?

In the meantime, we could specify this proposal in the context of OBRA.

  • Does SGP serve a specific goal, or is SGP agnostic to goals?
  • Would SGP be one strategy, or several strategies?
  • What are specific strategies SGP should initially start out with?
  • Are initiatives the equivalent for grant applications? How should the application process look like?
  • How is SGP embedded in the review process?

Another initiative to coordinate with is the grants programme by the Safe Ecosystem Foundation. cc @lukas @John
Like SGP, the Foundation’s programme is currently being developed, but contrary to SafeDAO, the Foundation is already legally and technically equipped to manage and pay out funds. Based on that, we could explore a short-term grants programme implemented through the Foundation that is complemented by a long-term grants programme overseen by SafeDAO.


I’m glad to see that figuring out the best fitting legal status for SafeDAO is a focus.

The concept of a co-operative seems like a potential good fit for SafeDAO. Opolis adopted a Colorado Co-op.

From my (non-legal advice) perspective it has a few benefits.

  • Limited liability
  • Securities exemption
  • Investor class rights

It would be useful to know what other jurisdictions offer in order to compare their benefits.

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Safe Grants Program

The Safe Grants Program (SGP) aims to provide resources to support the growth of the Safe brand, ecosystem, and $SAFE token utility. It is designed to increase the number of contributors working with the Safe Protocol. The SGP will align with the OBRA model and could also fund decentralized protocol development, hackathons, new user experience tools, marketing efforts, documentation, and tooling.

Milestone questions

To manage funds, the SafeDAO plans to set up a separate multi-sig safe that is periodically funded by the SafeDAO, as approved by the community. The OBRA should list the areas that the SafeDAO wants to improve and grow, so that the SGP can focus on these priority areas and disperse funds to grantees.


The governance framework for the SGP will be lean and iterative. It will involve the following steps:

  1. Initial public application: A dedicated space on the forum will be created for the Safe Grants Program, where anyone can submit an application to the Safe Grants Committee.

  2. Application review: The Safe Grants Committee will review grant applications against identified goals cascaded from the OBRA model and community guidelines.

  3. Committee feedback: After reviewing the applications, the committee may approve the grant, deny the grant, or work with the grant applicant to update the application to better align with SGP goals and reconsider it.

  4. Grant approval: The Safe Grants Committee will announce approved grants in a public forum.

  5. Grant structuring and milestones: Once a grant is approved, the committee will outline a series of milestones that the grantee must achieve to receive funding. Grantees will be compensated for reaching each milestone, and the Safe Grants Committee reserves the right to stop payment or close the grant if milestones are not met.

  6. Grant payments and management: The committee will sign off on grants using the multi-sig system and keep records of payments and monitor the grant over time.

Safe Grants Program Flow Chart

The following chart outlines how an applicants grant is processed, reviewed and paid or denied.


Love the example of Opolis! In Safe’s case, the decision has already been made quite a long time ago to go with a Swiss foundation: the ‘Safe Ecosystem Foundation’.

I can’t be much more specific than described above about the outstanding legal work myself since I’m not deeply familiar with the matter, but in essence, the situation is as follows:

The Safe Ecosystem Foundation currently holds the funds from the raise, while SafeDAO does not yet directly control any stables which could be triggered through SEPs and SafeSnap. For the people behind Safe now and before the launch of SafeDAO, it’s always been a priority to ensure compliance with tax/AML/other law and figuring out how that works in practice is a tedious, long process. While that is being worked towards to, SafeDAO proposal that involve the payout of funds cannot trigger that directly, but would need to involve the Safe Ecosystem Foundation.

For the purpose of this grants programme proposal, this brings up the question of its scope – currently, SGP could signal information to the Foundation, but not directly fund applicants. Given that the foundation is already working on a grants programme, that again brings up:


In Safe’s case, the decision has already been made quite a long time ago to go with a Swiss foundation…

I am referring to establishing a legal entity for SafeDAO, not the core Safe team. Creating a legal entity that is the best fit is potentially important for SafeDAO for the same reasons you mentioned above with managing funds and limiting liabilities for its members.

priority to ensure compliance with tax/AML/other law

Let me know if the team would like an intro to TaxBit for help researching the tax and accounting aspects mentioned. I recently worked with their team doing product consulting on the consumer app. They are well positioned to work with large institutions as they partner with Deloitte, EY, and other large players to be announced this year.


Sorry for not being clear, I was referring to SafeDAO too. The Swiss Safe Ecosystem Foundation (SEF) was chosen as a vehicle for SafeDAO quite a while before SafeDAO launched. Exactly for the reason mentioned. The integration process between SafeDAO as an onchain entity and SEF as a legal entity is a tricky one though and will take quite a bit more time.


That’s incredible news that SafeDAO will be an incorporated non-profit entity in Switzerland! :switzerland:

After reading the response above I found a The Block article outlining SafeDAO’s intention for this for those interested from 2022-02-15.

@theobtl, to make sure I understand, what type of Swiss non-profit is SafeDAO seeking?


  • A Swiss association runs similar to a business and is not for profit.
  • Revenue generated is invested back into the association or towards meeting its objectives.
  • Members are legally protected from participating in the association’s activities vs general partnerships.


  • Similar to an association
  • Can be linked to an existing company

It’s interesting to note that the Commons Stack organization has been established as a Swiss Association.

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Actually, already part of the spin-off from Gnosis the Safe Foundation was established: Safe Ökosystem Stiftung - StiftungSchweiz

There was quite some thought put into the reasoning behind foundation vs. association, and I am not the expert to talk about this in full lenghts. But one of the key features of Swiss Foundations is that they are, by design, quite rigid and there is a designated oversight body that makes sure any assets in the foundation are not used outside of the foundation purpose which is defined in the foundation charter (see also link above for the German version of the charter). These are properties that are important if you want to create a trust-minimised legal entity for the SafeDAO.

A big part of the work this year will be going into how we can tie SafeDAO and Safe Foundation together so we achieve effective governance (mandates, budgets, guidelines/processes) for assets that should be used to foster the Safe Ecosystem. We’ll start communicating more on how the current situation is and where we see things heading in terms of governance in the next months. But it will definitely be a process, as we’re trying to push the boundaries corporate governance and hopefully establish new best practices in DAO governance, which takes time.