Grant Giving Chili Pods

Time to get back to the basics of giving our money away.

Over the last few months MetaCartel Grants have got into a grid lock around treasury sustainability.

This has distracted us from our core goal of getting funding out to the people and projects that need it the most. And right now people need it more than ever.

There is a lot of overhead in having weekly all hands meetings to review grants.

This proposal is to delegate small teams with agency to distribute grants where they see the most need and quickly.

Our greatest super power is our members. We are group web3 veterans, with diverse skills, spread out across multiple verticals in the application space. We are on the front lines and see new promising projects and talent all the time. For many of these people a micro grant can go a long way.

Lets harness this power by allowing small teams to have the agency to manage a pot of funds. This is more efficient than managing a large inbound funnel of grant requests as a committee every week.

Mechanics:

  • A small team of 1-5 people set up a multisig Safe
  • the Safe is setup as a ‘side vault (Minion Safe)’ of the main dao. (signers still have full agency but the dao has an escape hatch if they disappear)
  • 20-50k is transferred through proposal to this vault
  • 1-5k grants are given out by the team over a 2 month period, the small team of signers have full agency of how grants are disbursed.
  • after 2 months the team presents a summary of grants given
  • if after 2 months the funds have not been distributed or the signers have disappeared the DAO can pull funds back into the main treasury.

chili pods

  • teams without proven track records can request up to 20k.
  • teams with a history of successful distribution can request up to 50k.
  • Grants should be branded as MetaCartel.
  • Funds should not be for the managing team in any way.
  • New chili pods can focus on different verticals in the space where they are closest and have the most expertise and influence.

Initial pilot proposal

The Pet3rpan fellowship fund. Pet3rpan and a team he chooses will pilot this program with an initial distribution of 50k to be managed by him and his team.

After 2 months the success of this team can be reviewed by the DAO and follow on proposals can be made.

fin

Hopefully this kicks off a new hyper productive micro grant giving machine. I look forward to seeing other chili pods that want to help execute this initiative.

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On chain proposal

Pretty strongly disagree with this approach. I think a better alternative would be to:

  1. Start back up at least monthly meetings for the cartel.
  2. Invite 2-3 promising projects to present per meeting
  3. If soft consensus, we ask the project to submit for a $10K grant.

This ChiliPods proposal feels a little like giving up on decentralization and diminishes the power of rage quit if someone doesn’t like the grants that are being made.

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I strongly agree with Bill here.

This proposal correctly identifies off-chain issues we are having as a DAO, but proposes subverting our on-chain process (which works perfectly well) to divert funds from the treasury to a multi-sig.

I am in favor of working together to streamline and improve our grants process, and I’m always down to experiment, but diverting funds from the DAO into a slush fund managed by a handful of not-DAO-selected members doesn’t feel like it.

I also believe the on-chain proposal has been rushed. Posted nearly the same time as the forum post, it has not had enough time to be discussed

I support this proposal generally and the specific proposal to provide 50k to @pet3rpan to distribute in small chunks to promising builders.

I believe the grant pipeline currently takes too long and has too many opportunities for derailment. Very early stage builders and teams like those that emerge from hackathons cannot get money from MC when they have momentum but few resources. A small MC grant can make the difference between project development and abandonment, both for the funds to work for another month or two and for the community signal. Peter’s individual signal is an especially valuable boost for these nascent projects.

This isn’t abandoning the whole DAO grant decisionmaking process as it’s only 10% of the treasury, and I think that the centralization boogeyman is vastly outgunned by the value to the ecosystem of getting bootstrap funds into the bloodstreams of the web3 builders we want to support. If Peter deviates from his track record and does a shit job, we’re out 10% and learn a lesson. In my view that risk is low and the benefits if he succeeds are worth way more than 50k to both the ecosystem and MC’s reputation.

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While in general I’m wary of delegations like this, I do agree that it’s not necessarily a bad thing to get the wheels greased and turning again. Getting momentum is key.

I’d argue that this proposal isn’t so much giving up on decentralization but rather a way for us to start generating momentum again so we can get the train moving. What we don’t want to happen though is the DAO losing visibility on whom we give grants too.

To test this idea out: Would a chilipod be open to doing the same process, but instead of finishing with them giving a grant straight, they recommend the grant to the DAO to be voted on.

if after pilot we find that we are always approving the grant, we then can actually move funds to the smaller group then.

This is a huge point and very much agreed here. I do think 10% is a high amount to do on the first experiment imo, but i think thinking of this like any grant or experiment makes this inherently stronger.

To me my biggest hesitation is us all losing visibility into what is getting funded. Seeing what as a DAO we are funding i think is one of the biggest strengths of the DAO.

@pet3rpan what would your thoughts be on some kind of feedback mechanism back to the DAO of what’s being funded?

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First of all, despite this seeming to be somewhat controversial amongst the DAO, I am very happy to hear the conversation around this. It’s been quiet, and if this is what it took to spark discussion, I’m happy to see it. Thank you @Dekan for igniting this discussion.

Regarding the slow down of the grants flow:

  • I think there were valid, and definitive reasons the grants process was paused. The discussions surrounding forming a more-sustainable treasury were weekly conversations for a few months, which I think was worth brainstorming and discussing. During those discussions, the thought was if we’re able to determine a way to give grants directly from yield (while maintaining a treasury base) then the more grants we distribute before finding that solution, the more we ate away at our starting principle. If this were solved, then we would’ve had a somewhat perpetual grant-distribution machine.
  • At this point in time, after much discussion, it doesn’t quite look like this is going to be the answer we may have been hoping for (with any reasonable level of risk).
  • Given this, I do agree it’s very important that we get back to supporting this growing ecosystem.

Aside:

  • As an alternative here, sustaining the treasury with yield may not be our answer, but given ETH is relatively cheap at the moment, perhaps if folks know others who wanted to contribute via “blood-equity” this would be a good time to reach out to these individuals.
  • We’ve also discussed how we can potentially provide non-financial ecosystem support, through social signaling, network connections, or potentially project mentorship.

As for this specific proposal (The Pet3rpan fellowship fund) for 32 ETH:

  • Reviewing many of the grants that have been given over the life of MetaCartel, I have no doubt that @pet3rpan has a keen eye for solid projects that can make an impact in this space. He’s clearly experienced with this stuff, and many of the most successful grant recipients were referred directly by him. As others have pointed out (ie @victorrortvedt’s post), if Pet3r were to go rogue and abuse/waste/run off with, or simply just fund garbage projects, then we take that small haircut and vote “no” in the future on such proposals (though something tells me that won’t happen).
  • I don’t see this as necessarily “replacing” the existing grants flow. @Jeremy has spent a lot of time working on the grants flow, which only really paused because of above reasons. I’m also in favor of getting this going again, and is really only a matter of flipping an off-chain switch to start the flow back up.
  • I don’t really see too much of a problem with having a few different streams of grant distribution, with a few different trust models. The grants flow back in Q1 involved a subset of us having the ability to work with minion funds to help streamline that process, but this could also be another route.

We could ask Pet3r to simply place any grants he’d like to give as a proposal. Most, if not nearly all of these proposals pass… I suspect part of the reason is because many of us have developed a trust for the advocacy of others in the DAO, and not strictly because every voter has thoroughly investigated the project that is requesting funds. I strongly suspect if Pet3r were to place several on-chain proposals for grants, that they would all pass with flying colors. So, I think it’s reasonable to argue that the current proposal just streamlines that into one proposal.

A new metacartel.org website is also in the works, with grants being organized in an Airtable to be displayed on the website. We can work to make sure projects being funded through this mechanism are still transparent via this dataset and the website.

Summary of thoughts:
I’ll admit, my first thought was “we can just get the grants flow going again” and “32 ETH seems like a high starting point.” But, as I’ve spent some time thinking about this, chatted with a few folks, and read the comments thus far, I think delegating the decision making over this subset of funds as a collective to a small representative group with a strong track-record could potentially be an efficient way to get funds into the hands of new projects that could benefits from it.

We can debate separately the best way to provide value to the ecosystem. In the meantime, I am personally leaning towards this being a reasonable plan of attack to expedite some new grants, especially given we slowed things down right before a BUILD market, and this could help jump start a few projects without too much overhead and demand on the entire DAO. Ten-percent of the treasury isn’t insignificant, but anything less may not really have an impact, and anything more could verge on being a bit too much for a first go at this approach.

I don’t have much voting power, but I do think it’s something we should consider, and it has my support.

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