This post outlines a framework for funding Indexed ecosystem development with grants from the Indexed Treasury. The proposal is largely modelled on a similar proposal in the Uniswap community which has been carefully crafted by several prominent investors and community figures in the DeFi space.
The scope of the program encompasses anything that helps the project—sponsoring hackathons or gitcoin bounties for example, media sponsorships and community competitions — anything is fair game. Eventually it could fund (with renewals approved by governance) core protocol development.
Grant administration is a subjective process that cannot be easily automated, and thus we propose a nimble committee of 6 members —1 lead and 5 reviewers—to deliver an efficient, predictable process to applicants, such that funding can be administered without having to put each application to a vote. We propose the program start with a cap of US$100,000 + 10,000 NDX for the first quarter - a sum that we believe is appropriate for an initial pilot - renewable or adjustable after each quarter.
Anyone can become a part of the committee.
The mission of the Indexed Growth Committee (IGC) is to identify and pursue opportunities which help to grow the Indexed ecosystem. These can be inbound requests or opportunities proactively pursued by the committee. The point is: to get more people involved in the growth of the project it is crucial to have a single point of contact responsible for filtering and reviewing the work proposals.
Max quarterly budget of up to US$250,000
Budget and caps to be assessed every six months
6 committee members: 1 lead and 5 reviewers
Each committee has a term of 2 quarters (6 months/one epoch), after which the program needs to be renewed by NDX governance
Committee functions as a 4 of 6 multi-signature Gnosis
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 IGC 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.
Since the scope of the opportunities will be quite broad - from more technical matters to marketing activities - we’ll strive to bring in committee members with diverse backgrounds.
The grants program should be administered by a single lead.
Here I propose myself, having led most of the growth efforts to this point.
The other 5 committee members should be thought of as “reviewers” — Indexed community members who will keep the grants program functional by ensuring I am leading effectively and, of course, not absconding with funds.
Part of the reviewers job is to hold the program accountable for success (defined below) and/or return any excess funds to the Indexed treasury. Reviewers are not compensated as part of this proposal as we expect their time commitment to be minimal. Compensation for the lead role is discussed below, as we expect this to be a labor intensive role.
At this point we don’t want to suggest any “reviewers” as we’d like to see applications coming from the community. If you would like to become a reviewer, please nominate yourself in this thread or contact any member of the core team via Discord or Twitter.
Nominations should include why you’re suited for the reviewer job and ideally also what ideas you bring to the table. The best nominations will be moved to an off-chain poll.
This proposal recommends a max cap of US$100,000 + 10,000 NDX per quarter, with the ability to reevaluate biannually at each epoch (two fiscal quarters). While the IGC will be the decision makers around individual grants, respective budgets, roadmaps, and milestones, any top-level changes to the IGC including epochs and max cap, will require full community quorum (4% approval).
The IGC will be funded by the Indexed treasury according to the release schedule set out by the Indexed team.
1.2 Grant Application Process
Grant applications to the IGC need to be submitted publicly in the forum. We will create a new “Grant” category for this purpose which is where all applications need to be submitted. Applications must be well-written and contain all the relevant information such as price, scope of the proposal, timeline, benefits etc. so that the committee and the community have all the information at hand.
In rare circumstances, if the committee reaches out proactively to a service provider and wants to keep it private for competitive reasons, it is acceptable to publish the proposal afterwards.
1.3 Committee Compensation
Operating a successful grants program takes considerable time and effort.
The lead should be compensated for their time. The reviewers will not be compensated for their time as we project that the commitment will be minimal to start (2-5hrs).
We propose the lead be compensated US$75/hr capped at 10 hours/week. This compensation, along with the quarterly budget, will be allocated to the IGC multisig from the NDX treasury. In keeping with the committee’s commitment to the community, hours and duties will be logged publicly and transparently.
Initially, the program aims to start narrow in scope, funding peripheral ecosystem initiatives, such as targeted bounties, education material, tooling & dashboards, media sponsorships, and other low-stakes means of building out the Indexed brand & ecosystem. Over time, if the program proves effective, the grant allocations can grow in scope to include, for example, listings on centralized exchanges, integrations into other dApps and eventually core protocol development.
With the initial priorities in mind, some effective measures for quick successes might look like:
Total number of initiatives funded
Quarterly increase in applications
Project engagement post-event/funding (no of holders, TVL etc.)
Overall community engagement/sentiment
The grants program will be managed on a quarterly basis and reviews every two quarters.
After each quarter the program will be required to submit progress and the committee will be required to report on key metrics to the community.
If a team of qualified reviewers are found and there are no major objections from the community this will move to a vote on Snapshot. If the proposal passes on Snapshot, the committee will be created and IGC will start accepting applications on a rolling basis starting April 2021.
This program is meant to be the simplest possible MVP of a Indexed Ecosystem Grants initiative. While the multi-sig committee comes with trust assumptions about the members, our hope is the community will approve this limited engagement to get the ball rolling in an efficient structure. After the two quarters the burden of proof will be on IGC to show empirical evidence that the program is worth continuing in its existing form and will submit to governance to renew treasury funding.