[SEP #6] Safe Grants Program (SGP)

Thanks so much for this valuable feedback @links . The compensation is a tough topic to get right, we’re cautious of over-compensating contributors and attracting people for whom compensation is the only attraction, and in general, we’re mindful of a ‘sober’ approach to distribution of ecosystem funds. At the same time, as you say it’s important that we attract ‘the best and brightest’ and that’s a balance we seek to find together with the community.

I really like your input on making SAFE tokens part of the compensation and incentive model for reviewers, and would love us to consider adding that into the refined proposal.


Thanks for this @corbinpage :pray:, really appreciate you sharing your learnings with us here. I’ll be doing a review of previous programs and the take-aways and learnings, to help inform the grants program going forward, so I very much appreciate you sharing, and welcome any others with learnings or experiences from other grants programs to do the same. :fire:

Excited to get our hands dirty here!

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Very excited about Safe finally getting a grants program!

Regarding the compensation, I agree with @links that SAFE tokens should be part of the stipend if possible. I would even go so far as to completely forego USDC as compensation for reviewers and only use SAFE tokens. But then very generously, as the future value - if any - is still uncertain.

By the way: When @netrunner.eth proposed the Safe Grants Program last year, I decided to register the domains safegrants.com and safegrants.org to prevent domain squatters from taking them.

I’m happy to transfer both of them to the Safe Ecosystem Foundation if there is interest in utilising them for the program. For free, obviously.


Love this reply, I support forego USDC altogether as compensation for reviewers and only using SAFE tokens, obviously, this will show more value growth in the future, but before that, it is necessary to evaluate the price fluctuation range of safe when it can be transferable.

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A primary ROI is just a key performance metric we want to capture for the grants in the Grant category itself. The thinking on the gas ROI is ultimately to measure the Safe adoption gained from specific grants. This is especially relevant for the category of Safe{Growth} grants when the key result the DAO wants is adoption and growth. Definitely room for discussion on whether that ROI is something we want primarily measure against Safe{Build} grants. Open to alternatives.

Why do gas fees benefit the Safe ecosystem? Primarily because the economic activity (gas fees spent) on Safe accounts is a more holistic adoption metric to use, rather than the number of Safe accounts (which could be ghost Safes). Or the number of Safe tx’s (which could be on chains with a high level of centralisation and thus, super low fees).

The SAFE stipend is a valid point and something to consider. In reality, the lack of transferability of SAFE right now makes this more difficult operationally for the DAO/SEF. Wdyt would be a better compensation model using SAFE?


Thank you for the proposal @MetaGuardian I am glad to see this initiative by the community and congratulations to @1sla.eth on the Grants lead role!

  1. I second @links on the compensation part. I would suggest adding SAFE tokens on top of stables as a way to align incentives and bump up the comp.

  2. The metrics and goal for Research Grants seems a bit abstract, it would be good to have it refined.

  3. In terms of growth grants, people who are already in crypto are well aware of SAFE, the growth potential is in new entrants (which happens in bulls usually) or market expansion ie other language markets. I would suggest focusing on the latter in the current market cycle so we have a solid foundation for onboarding new entrants from all around the world in the next bull.

I would like to push back on this. Lumpsum should be a function of total ask as opposed to timeline.

I would like to push back on using straight up token voting for elections given the history of voting we have seen and referenced here Discussion about SafeDAO voting power. Less than 30 people hold more than 90% of the voting power and those wallets will ultimately decide the outcome unless we explicitly mandate those wallets to not participate or incorporate quadratic voting.

  1. I would encourage the community to come up with a code of conduct for delegated governance positions such as Grants Committiee so members can be held accountable.

  2. I would like to request clarification on what exactly this entails for applicants:

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This proposal has my full support. I look forward to seeing it realised.


Very excited about SafeDAO getting a grants program!

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It’s great to have you join the community and steward the grants program @1sla.eth!

I am excited to read through the initial outline of the Safe Grants Program (SGP) and see the Safe Ecosystem Foundation (SEF) invest the time, energy, dedicated roles, and funds to launch a successful SGP. I added some of the important tentative details to the SafeDAO open source info.



  • How should those potentially interested in being a grants committee reviewer and/or a grantee approach the SGP?
    • Would the timeline work where someone could apply to be a committee reviewer, and if they did not get it they would be able to still apply for a grant?
    • Could someone have both roles and not vote on the matters related to their proposals?

Grants council selection

  • Will this vote be done by the SafeDAO or will the SEF team be selecting the community reviewers?


Retroactive public goods

  • It’d be great to have a path in SGP for retroactive public goods funding for Safe contributions.
    • This funding would focus on contributions between now and the time that occurred after the Safe Guardians program applicants were awarded initial SAFE tokens.
    • Perhaps this would be a separate program if out-of-scope for SGP.


Equitable global frameworks

I agree with the points above regarding the $37.50 per hour ($1,500 per 40 hours a month) compensation for the community reviewers stipend being below the market rate set by distributed teams. There is also the potential counter point from SEF that this role is meant to be a volunteer position with some incentive. Therefore the role does not need to compete with other distributed for-profit teams part/full-time compensation.

Outside of the reviewer role, it’d be beneficial for SGP to create a compensation framework for evaluating compensation levels for the grantees based on the skill, value added, and location.

Remote first companies have set a high standard building various compensation frameworks that aim to have a more equitable global compensation, with some variance based on location. Some of these companies outline their thinking on the topic here: DuckDuckGo, Automattic, 37Signal (Basecamp), and Buffer

USDC and/or SAFE

It’d be great if the reviewer role can choose between the amount of USDC and/or SAFE they’d like to accept. It is likely that many promising applicants for this role will have experience with the Safe ecosystem and may have a decent amount of SAFE from their activity with Safe accounts and/or existing contributions.

Offering a competitive amount of USDC compensation could allow for those to consider the role who may not have been able to consider participating before.


The SAFE stipend is a valid point and something to consider, even with the lack of transferability of SAFE. Will review the options and come back on this point.

This is great! I would say the home of “Safe Grants” will start lightweight with a Notion page for now, but we will then look to move to a single domain. Can we keep safegrants.com and safegrants.org on hold and decide which one works best one we get the SEP voted on?


Sure, we can keep the domains on hold.

Are you familiar with super.so which allows you to use a custom domain for a Notion page?

Aave Grants, for example, uses Super to have their Notion page under the aavegrants.org domain.


This could be a good option will look at this with the team next week and revert - thanks for reserving these for the Safe community. :fire:


Personally a very big fan of the work of Buffer on transparent orgs and fair compensation from back in the day. I used to read Leo’s blog on Buffer culture in 2010-2012 and eventually when he became a coach, I was lucky enough to have him as my exec. coach for a little while (semi off-topic, I highly recommend him if anyone’s looking for a coach). Looking back he’s definitely one of the inspirations behind my journey into DAOs.

Not so familiar with the others, thank you for sharing. Will definitely take a look at these.


Hey Sam,

Really appreciate the well wishes. I’m really new to the team and role so I’m currently asking a lot of these questions myself with regards to the longer term. Will come back to you with a more detailed answer in the coming days but wanted to say thank you and that I look forward to working together on building a successful grants program and Safe ecosystem.

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That’s awesome you’ve followed Buffer and their open-source methodology since the beginning and had the opportunity to work with Leo!

I’ve discovered some sources to find data on compensation across skill sets and cities worldwide like levels.xyz, Glassdoor, and Remotive that could be a useful part of the tool set to evaluate and value grant proposals.

HackMD has a custom domain feature too with the Enterprise version. I also like the ability for progressive decentralization with the option to self-host the data.


One of the main benefits of the Safe Grants Program is that it provides funding not only for project development, but also for research and content creation related to the Gnosis Safe ecosystem.


@1sla.eth - who is anticipated to be a signer on the Grants SAFE? We will want to ensure that payments can be made quickly to grantees once they hit milestones - otherwise we may find that we need to increase the upfront amount.

As per reply to your Telegram DM ( just so no one thinks I’m ignoring you) this is still tbd at this stage.

Thanks everyone for your feedback and comments. Have now implemented changes based on the OG proposal above as a result. Below I outline what changes where considered / made including the rationale.

SAFE Token Grantee Rewards (alluded to by @corbinpage, @links etc)

Change: Payment and administration section

  • Due to current non-transferability of SAFE tokens, retroactive SAFE rewards to successful Wave 1 Grantees can be considered as part of Wave 2 implementation. The Wave 2 proposal, which would include retroactive SAFE Grantee rewards, will be reviewed and ratified by the DAO.

  • Any retroactive rewards would be subject to a two-year lockup period and is designed to encourage projects to participate actively in Safe governance

@Sam_rdj Questions / Feedback

No Change


  • How will the Safe grants program be different from other grants program.

    • SGP will be outcome driven with predefined objectives, with ROI/KR’s measured. See Safe Grant categories and associated metrics.
  • Will the grants program be transparent to the community?

    • Proposals and feedback will be public i.e. all proposals seeking funding post initial refinement (see @corbin’s comment)
    • Committee voting and decisions will be public
    • Transparency reporting will be conducted and a Grants digest will be distributed on a recurring basis.
  • How will you call this a successful grant program?

    • From a quantitative perspective, we will measure success by evaluating whether our funding distributions sufficiently impact our primary ROI’s and sub-metrics in each Grant category.

      • What is meant by sufficiently? The DAO decides on this given the post Wave 1 data, and determines whether Wave 1 is successful and should progress with Wave 2.

@jengajojo Lumpsum should be a function of total ask as opposed to timeline.

No change: For now we have left the proposal as is and will see how we can manage risk on an operational level**

  • This is a fair comment, and very much acknowledged, we would like to avoid processing multiple payments for multiple milestones on small grants, if possible.
  • The SEF and Grants committee will look into using Superfluid for small grants: this would mean:
    • Only one grant payment
    • Risk is managed and the grant can be halted during the open period if the team doesn’t deliver on communications / expectations

@jengajojo requesting clarification on what exactly this entails for applicants (completing internal SEF processes, KYC and tax compliance).

No change: clarification only

  • KYC requirements are partially dependent on the size of the grant.
  • There may be some restrictions depending on the jurisdiction / domicile of the grantee due to sanctions etc. but generally speaking KYC is very simple and fast
  • Usually KYC involves sharing full name, address, domicile and a copy of the person’s identification
  • For legal entities KYC may require incorporation documents, beneficial ownership etc. but is usually very simple for grantees.
  • We can give grants to projects who don’t wish to be known publicly aka doxxed but they must be known to the SEF.

@links feedback: compensation 1500 USDC potentially too low: include token compensation

Update proposal: Reviewer Compensation

  • Very much noted and acknowledged.
  • Updated compensation to 2000 USD a month fiat/USDC
  • SAFE token rewards is not feasible as this point in time due to transferability. However, retroactive SAFE rewards for successful Wave 1 Reviewers can be considered as part of the Wave 2 proposal.
  • Amended to 10 hr/week in effort table as this was previously unclear.
  • 2 core contributor reviewers will be 5 hr / week and only review after first filter.
  • 3 community reviewers will be 10 hr / week and review all projects.

Other amendments / reflections

  • Timeline expectation of each grant, project length max value needed to be given?
    • Initial proposals should be focused on milestones over no longer than four-months.

    • Subsequent proposals and grants can be formulated for follow-up work, in the event this engagement goes well and a continuation is warranted.

    • Projects should aim to focus milestones to target the 4 month timeline of the first wave

    • Update proposal: as per suggestion above

To conclude, Wave 1 will be the first of hopefully many iterations of Safe Grants. This will not be the perfect implementation, but it will serve as our launchpad for SafeDAO and its ecosystem, and our learnings will be key going into Wave 2 and onwards. If wave 1 proves successful, we can ramp up the capital allocation significantly, provided the positive outcomes/ impact has been proven.

Given this proposal has been up for 9+ days. Would like to now progress this to the SEP phase, for further feedback and iteration for the next 7 days.