[SEP #6] Safe Grants Program (SGP)

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.

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@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

Rationale

  • 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

Change
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.

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From what I’ve seen so far, the retroactive grants component seems to relate to retroactively using $SAFE for grant top-ups or similar (and hence the logical flow of vesting for retroactive $SAFE).

For grass roots developers that may very well build on Safe at their own risk / cost - there should be some pathway by which their work may also be eligible to receive retroactive funding (including non-vesting USDC).

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Thanks for the input and noted @mfw78 - there will be a lot more thought going into the wider, more holistic picture of the grants program in the coming months and ideas like these will be considered.

Appreciate you chipping in!

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This is a great initiative and excited to see this program come to life!

Will keep a close eye on this, and good luck @1sla.eth

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Good initiative @1sla.eth waiting for the application of the reviewers. I prev have a similar experience with polygon village & quest book.

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超级兴奋地看到 Safe Grants 启动!

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让我们翻转吧! 感谢您的光临! :green_heart:

I appreciate the thoughtful updates!

Is there a rough target goal for when SEF would like to see wave 1 begin in terms of projects being proposed, e.g. End of Q2, beginning of Q3, etc?

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At this stage we’re aiming to launch applications at the end of June / early July.

This would allow us to close out wave 1 and the review process by end of year, but dates are tentative at this stage.

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GM guys! I’d like to kick off by giving a huge shoutout to @MetaGuardian and everyone involved in the discussions for their amazing work in driving the Safe Grants Program initiative. It’s exciting to see the commitment from the Safe Ecosystem Foundation (SEF) to launch a successful SGP, and we’re thrilled to have you, @1sla.eth, joining the community to help steward the program!

These collective efforts have paved the way for this vital proposal to transition into the formal SEP stage. As we keep working together to polish the proposal, I’d like to share some feedback based on the current version to make the Safe Grants Program even better and more impactful.

TLDR;

Grants program:

  • Scoring criteria for grant proposal approvals
  • Minimum requirements for the number of projects in each grant category
  • Criteria and procedure for funding requests exceeding limits

Grants committee

  • Concerns about the number of reviewers for the Grants committee
  • Grants committee consensus in case of conflicts of interest

Retroactive Reward

  • Wave 1 retroactive rewards budget allocation
  • Encouraging active governance participation through retroactive rewards

Grants Program

Scoring criteria for grant proposal approvals:

  • I understand that it’s still work in process but I believe the scoring criteria for the Grants committee should be explicitly stated in the proposal or involve community input before being implemented. I feel that since this is the core component of this whole grants programs, having community involvement would make it much more legitimate rather than just the grant lead and the reviewers having full control over the criteria.

  • Moreover, since the 4 categories focuses on different area, each of the four categories should have its own criteria, these should ensure alignment with SafeDAO’s mission and goals, potential ecosystem impact, technical feasibility, implementation plan, and team capability etc. (really wanted to get involve on this!)

Minimum requirements for the number of projects in each grant category:

  • While the proposal sets a ideally limit of 30 grantee projects due to administrative overhead, it would be helpful to establish minimum requirements or goal for the number of projects in each grant category. This would ensure adequate representation and support for each category, promoting a more balanced and aligned the allocated SGP budget:

Criteria and procedure for funding requests exceeding limits:

  • What are the criteria or procedure regarding funding requests that exceed the limits?
    • I think we should consider providing clear guidelines on what constitutes a valid exception
    • The procedure for requesting exceptions could follow a similar path to other grant proposals, but with additional involvement from the SafeDAO community, such as community voting.

Grants committee

Concerns about the number of reviewers for the Grants committee:

  • I am concerned that the small number of reviewers (5) may not have sufficient resources and expertise to effectively cover all four grant categories, considering it’s a part-time role.

  • Comparing this to the Optimism Grant council, they have 3 reviewers for the Builders Sub-Committee (3 technicals) and 5 reviewers for the Growth Experiments Sub-Committee.

  • For the Safe Grants Program, this translates to roughly 1.25 reviewers per category. Even when grouped similarly to Optimism’s committees (Builders - Safe {Build} & Safe {Research}; Growth - Safe {Growth} & Safe {Govern}), there would still be only 2.5 reviewers per group.

  • I suggest starting with 7 reviewers for Wave 1 and evaluating the effectiveness of this approach throughout the wave.

    • As for the two new reviewer positions, options could include adding one each from the Safe Core team and the community or adding two more positions from the community to create more opportunities for involvement. We are leaning toward the latter option.

Grants committee consensus in case of conflicts of interest:

  • In cases where a reviewer has a declared conflict of interest and cannot vote on a grant proposal, since there is only 5 reviewers, if only one abstain - there is a risk that the remaining reviewers may not reach a consensus due to the even number of reviewers involved. Therefore, a formal procedure should be established to address such situations.

    • I suggest for now, the Grant leads could step in to reach a consensus - but we could come up with an alternate decision-making mechanism to avoid further potential conflicts.

Side note: Hence also why I suggest adding more reviewers to decrease the likeness of this happening.

Retroactive Reward

Wave 1 retroactive rewards budget allocation:

  • The proposal should clarify which budget allocation (Wave 1 or Wave 2) the retroactive rewards for projects and reviewers will be accounted for, and how this would impact available funding for Wave 2 projects.

  • Fairness between Wave 1 and Wave 2 grantees should be ensured.

Encouraging active governance participation through retroactive rewards:

  • @MetaGuardian Could you clarify how it is designed to encourage them to actively participant in governance?
    • If the goal is to better encourage active participation in governance through retroactive rewards, I think a more detailed explanation should be provided. Would it be in form of taking on-chain activities into consideration? For instance, the lockup period can be linked to active governance participation, and rewards could be gradually released based on continued engagement in governance activities like voting. But since we are using off-chain voting via snapshot, this could be technically challenging.

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Thanks again to all of you for your awesome contributions to this important initiative for the Safe ecosystem. Looking forward further discussion!

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Hey @v3naru

Thank you for your valuable comments and input on this proposal. We really appreciate the thoughtful questions and points you have identified here and the attention to detail. While we’re not making any changes to the current proposal right now, as it was already queued to go up on Snapshot as of Thursday, please see our comments on your input below.

Your points are very valuable and will for sure be taken note of for further proposals and refinement that we do on the grants program. :green_heart: :green_heart: :green_heart:

v3naru

Scoring criteria for grant proposal approvals:

  • I understand that it’s still work in process but I believe the scoring criteria for the Grants committee should be explicitly stated in the proposal or involve community input before being implemented. I feel that since this is the core component of this whole grants programs, having community involvement would make it much more legitimate rather than just the grant lead and the reviewers having full control over the criteria.
  • Moreover, since the 4 categories focuses on different area, each of the four categories should have its own criteria, these should ensure alignment with SafeDAO’s mission and goals, potential ecosystem impact, technical feasibility, implementation plan, and team capability etc. (really wanted to get involve on this!)

Team feedback

We see potential for the grants program to have a criteria or strategy that is specifically designed with the DAO, however will refrain from taking this approach for this grants program proposal. At this stage we are keen to get the grants program up and running, and start funding the ecosystem. The initial grants program is small and designed to get things moving and create learnings to build on, while giving the SEF and community time to refine strategic priorities.

The four categories will have different priorities and goals defined by the grants lead but in full coordination with the SEF, the ecosystem team and the entire Safe team. The application criteria and focus areas of each will be shared with the DAO before grants applications go live, if the SGP grants proposal goes ahead.

v3naru

While the proposal sets a ideally limit of 30 grantee projects due to administrative overhead, it would be helpful to establish minimum requirements or goal for the number of projects in each grant category. This would ensure adequate representation and support for each category, promoting a more balanced and aligned the allocated SGP budget:

Team feedback

For now we would prefer to keep the program flexible and work with the defined target % in order to be able to adapt to the applications that are received, and what the grants committee ultimately feels will most benefit the ecosystem, with a view to refining these criteria more in future waves.

v3naru

What are the criteria or procedure regarding funding requests that exceed the limits?

  • I think we should consider providing clear guidelines on what constitutes a valid exception
  • The procedure for requesting exceptions could follow a similar path to other grant proposals, but with additional involvement from the SafeDAO community, such as community voting.
  • Other grant proposals, but with additional involvement from the SafeDAO

Team feedback

At this stage there are no defined criteria for exceptions. If a team applies for a grant higher than the amount defined, we will review their application and weigh it up against the value it would potentially provide to the community

The process would look as follows:

  • The grants committee would review the application and form a view and comments, and vote on the application for the greater amount of funding
  • If approved by the grants committee, the application would be put the DAO as an SEP and voted on, and the necessary funds reserved until the vote goes through
  • If the vote does not get approved by the DAO, we would release the fund to use on other grants
  • Note - this would only apply as long as the funding required doesn’t take us over the predetermined 500k for wave 1

v3naru

Grants committee

Concerns about the number of reviewers for the Grants committee:

[image] MetaGuardian:

Role Expectation
1 Grants Lead Full-time (40 hours per week)
2 Reviewers - Safe Core Team (at least 1 technical) Part-time (5 hours per week)
3 Reviewers - Safe Community (at least 1 technical) Part-time (10 hours per week)

I am concerned that the small number of reviewers (5) may not have sufficient resources and expertise to effectively cover all four grant categories, considering it’s a part-time role.

  • Comparing this to the Optimism Grant council, they have 3 reviewers for the Builders Sub-Committee (3 technicals) and 5 reviewers for the Growth Experiments Sub-Committee.
  • For the Safe Grants Program, this translates to roughly 1.25 reviewers per category. Even when grouped similarly to Optimism’s committees (Builders - Safe {Build} & Safe {Research}; Growth - Safe {Growth} & Safe {Govern}), there would still be only 2.5 reviewers per group.
  • I suggest starting with 7 reviewers for Wave 1 and evaluating the effectiveness of this approach throughout the wave.
    • As for the two new reviewer positions, options could include adding one each from the Safe Core team and the community or adding two more positions from the community to create more opportunities for involvement. We are leaning toward the latter option.

Team feedback

We have some ideas about expanding on the capabilities of the grants committee leveraging the community, for example by working together with the guardians community. These ideas need to be refined, so we haven’t added them to this proposal.

It should also be noted that a direct comparison to Optimism’s grant council isn’t a perfect match, given the funding differences of each season and how Optimism are more mature in their Season learnings. For example, 500,000 in fiat is allocated for SGP Wave 1, while 5 million OP tokens ($10.7 million valuation today) is committed for their Season 3. Ultimately, the difference in wave/season funding levels should reflect the Reviewer’s workload (smaller amount of capital to allocate) as well as the Reviewer Cost requirements of each program.

V3naru

In cases where a reviewer has a declared conflict of interest and cannot vote on a grant proposal, since there is only 5 reviewers, if only one abstain - there is a risk that the remaining reviewers may not reach a consensus due to the even number of reviewers involved. Therefore, a formal procedure should be established to address such situations.

  • I suggest for now, the Grant leads could step in to reach a consensus - but we could come up with an alternate decision-making mechanism to avoid further potential conflicts.
  • Side note: Hence also why I suggest adding more reviewers to decrease the likeness of this happening.

Team feedback

In the case that this situation arises, the grants lead would step in to break the tie, if further discussion of the opportunity doesn’t change the consensus.

We won’t add this to the proposal for now as it would delay the voting process, but we agree that this would be the best approach.

V3naru

  • The proposal should clarify which budget allocation (Wave 1 or Wave 2) the retroactive rewards for projects and reviewers will be accounted for, and how this would impact available funding for Wave 2 projects.
  • Fairness between Wave 1 and Wave 2 grantees should be ensured.

Team feedback

The proposal for retroactive funding will be made separately and the details included there. The idea is that the retroactive funding is a separate proposal and will thus not be part of the existing budget allocation of wave 1, but a separate allocation that allocates governance tokens retroactively based on criteria that are yet to be determined, but one obvious criteria is that the grantee completed their milestones. It would not be taken ‘out of’ the wave 2 allocation either, but either a separate proposal, or separately budgeted for in wave 2.

V3naru

  • @MetaGuardian Could you clarify how it is designed to encourage them to actively participant in governance?
    • If the goal is to better encourage active participation in governance through retroactive rewards, I think a more detailed explanation should be provided. Would it be in form of taking on-chain activities into consideration? For instance, the lockup period can be linked to active governance participation, and rewards could be gradually released based on continued engagement in governance activities like voting. But since we are using off-chain voting via snapshot, this could be technically challenging.

Team feedback

There is no specific mechanism as yet determined for encouraging governance with the retroactive part we alluded to. The idea is solely that we believe successful grantees should hold governance tokens, and that these should not be part of the funds required for actually performing the grant, as this would encourage them to sell the token, but instead a separate allocation that they are encouraged to hold onto for a minimum of two years, in order for grantees to participate in the DAO’s governance and develop the ecosystem they have joined.

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SEP #6 Snapshot vote has been created - Snapshot

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Fully support this proposal.

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Wohoo +1 on supporting this proposal

@1sla.eth welcome and congrats on the new role :tada:

Advocating for a Wave 1 demo day at the end of the 6 months where each grantee gets 3min to present their work and show why and what they built :hammer_and_wrench:

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@1sla.eth I love how you’ve been so open to feedback from everyone here. Gives me great hopes for this programme and DAO.

I’m Daniel, instigator of RnDAO, co-lead of TogetherCrew (community health analytics), and previously head of Governance at Aragon, etc.

At RnDAO, our Decision Research team has been focused on improving RFPs. We did a few months of research on the topic of grant programs and proposals (finding here: Decisions in DAOs - What Causes the Pain? — RnDAO) and are now working on a tool to improve this processes. The idea is to help teams such as yours to reduce noise and have a system to get more valuable and aligned proposals. While this also saves proposers time and allows people to focus on what matters. It does so by making the whole problem identification and prioritization process more collaborative.

Still early days but I wanted to put it in your landscape (we’re likely to apply for a grant for this project and others). And if you’re ever up for a chat, we’d love to learn more about how you’re viewing the role and ways we can better design these tools to support you. My twitter is https://twitter.com/_Daniel_Ospina and my DMs are open :slight_smile:

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I totally support this proposal. Believe that the Safe ecosystem would benefit from a grants system.

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Thanks for @MetaGuardian, @1sla.eth, @links, @adamhurwitz.eth, @v3naru, and everyone else who contributed to this discussion, as well as @netrunner.eth, who started the initial discussion about Safe Grants in September.

I’ve voted to approve the creation of the Safe Grants Program for the first wave. There’s a wealth of talent and expertise within the Safe DAO community, and a grants program will allow the DAO to support community-led development that furthers wallet adoption and engagement within SafeDAO.

Looking forward to the Grants Council Selection forum post!

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