[Proposal] Grants DAO fundraising and recruitment

Summary

  • This proposal is to seek initial funding for the mStable GrantsDAO and kickstart recruitment from the community

Abstract

  • Providing grants have been a successful way for many projects like Compound and Uniswap to encourage developers and community members to build on top of their projects
  • The initial iteration 1 of mStable’s grants program saw limited traction due to limited resources from the team to drive its agenda
  • However, a high quality grants program is still required to attract builders while freeing up internal development resources for protocol development
  • In order for the mStable GrantsDAO to operate independently and provide high quality services to run the grants program, we would like to seek a seed grant to provide a newly formed GrantsDAO working capital to run its operations.
  • We are seeking a total of $20K in mUSD to cover operational costs such as website, domain, emails, required workspaces for one year, and an additional 50K MTA for incentives to cover time and effort for the grants committee to establish required processes, attract and source grant applications, provide content marketing support, among other things
  • Funding is valid for a one-year period
  • When deriving compensation figures, we benchmarked against industry’s non-profit organisations with an added topside to attract talents with knowledge in DeFi.
  • Compensation will be paid based on a fair hourly rate, with top-ups and bonuses for sourcing high-value grants that are approved by the GrantsDAO and eventually delivered that accrues protocol value
  • On benchmarking, the total sum of incentives is equivalent to a full time FTE hire focusing on grants, with the added ability to involve community members to contribute to the protocol and earn MTA

GrantsDAO seed funding for grants

  • On top of the above to maintain the GrantsDAO, we would also like to propose moving 100,000 MTA every quarter for seeding grants from the GrantsDAO
  • If the full amount of MTA is less than 50% utilized, then no top ups of MTA is needed for the next quarter
  • MTA disbursements to grantees will be authorised by a 3 out of 4 multi-sig

GrantsDAO roles and responsibilities

  • The GrantsDAO will support mStable through facilitating the process of providing grants to projects, ideas and events that build on top of mStable and grow its ecosystem; including providing and maintaining a public facing document for grants and provide transaprency reports

Next steps

  • Feel free to discuss specifics below
  • Approval of funding request
    • 100,000 MTA every quarter for grants disbursement
    • $20K mUSD for operational costs for one year that require cash payment
    • 50K MTA covering compensation for GrantsDAO members over a year, including a base compensation rate and bonus rate (tbd) for successful grants that were delivered
  • Recruitment of GrantsDAO members
    • We would like to source for members from the community who would like to be part of the GrantsDAO
    • There will be two main roles available -
      • GrantsDAO Cat Herder who’s involved in owning and managing the grants program
      • Grants Coordinators who will source (outbound) or manage incoming grant applications and coordinate the lifecycle of the grant
    • Apply through this form
5 Likes

Great to see this initiative come through here. I have a few quetions:

  • Would be good to understand why mStable needs a separate entity to give out grants. Could this be done by the mStableDAO?
  • What would be the approval process for these funds being distributed to the GrantsDAO? As it’s DAO funds MTA holders have power over them. I’d be in favour of quorums for example to ensure that MTA holders are represented appropriately and the decision making process is provably decentralised.
  • Can you give some ideas of initial roles that would be funded through the GrantsDAO? Would, for example, the twitter page management, be an example of a role? More context on this would be great.

On a high level though, excited to see further decentralisation of this contribution process. Thanks @derc for the proposal

2 Likes

Thanks @james.simpson for chiming in and great to see a thoughtful response.

I believe that as mStable further decentralises its operations, a separate entity managing the grants process is a natural evolution which would allow the community to coordinate an important piece of building the mStable ecosystem.

While the piece of work could be done by the mStableDAO, carving out a separate entity would be beneficial for the following reasons:

  • It carves out a specific objective and mandate with streamlined governance/ops
  • It creates an opportunity for the community to be involved and engaged
  • It speeds up quality and speed of execution by reducing the range of issues the mStable DAO has to handle

In terms of approval processes, I’d like to propose the following since it’s not practical for MTA holders to vote on every disbursement of funds.

  • MTA holders will approve a fixed amount of MTA to be allocated for a time-limited pilot of this GrantsDAO. In the above proposal, it’s proposed to be 100K MTA per quarter for 4 quarters - hence a maximum of 400K MTA will be dispersed through grants. In addition, we can limit any new disbursements to the GrantsDAO if the allocated MTA in the previous quarter is less than 50% utilised.
  • Secondly, I’d like to propose that the GrantsDAO can only administer grants up to $50K in USD. Any higher amounts has to go through normal governance channels by starting a proposal on the forum.
  • Thirdly, any grants disbursed by the GrantsDAO would have to be approved by a 4-of-7 multi-sig, of which members of the mStableDAO can be a part of.
  • Lastly, any unused funds at the end of the 1-year program will be returned to the mStableDAO.

For initial roles of this GrantsDAO, there will be 2 main roles plus reviewers who perform checks and balances authorising the payout of the grants.

  • A Program Lead or Cat Herder who will be held accountable for the success of the program and to coordinate between various stakeholders
  • Grant Coordinators who are involved in managing the lifecycle of individual grants - the responsibilities can be assigned based on outbound and inbound grants or based on the type of grants (e.g. dev vs community grants)
  • Reviewers who will be reviewing grants disbursements

I think management of social media channels could be a recipient of a grant but outside the work of the GrantsDAO (however, it could be part of the mStableDAO that handles marketing ops).

4 Likes

Awesome proposal @derc, and loved to browse through it all. I think forming a GrantsDAO around mStable makes a lot of sense to future-proof the protocol and it’s intrinsic value to enable others to build and further the development of the entire mStable ecosystem.

I think @james.simpson has some valuable points on the decentralization aspect. Since the entire quorum threshold and participation/incentivation game is currently in a stage of being gradually upgraded, I believe that a nice middle way can be struck between allowing the GrantsDAO to disburse a certain amount of funds and keeping Meta Governors tightly knit in the process, all the while keeping the mStableDAO on top of the treasury making sure that all funds make their way into the right places.

Overall, I think this will yet again set a primitive on how governance should be managed in a decentralized fashion.

As complexity is constantly against us, we have to outsource to different groups and teams in order to make up for the lag introduced, and this is yet another section and important wing of the wider mStable mothership that has to be accounted for.

I give both my thumbs up, and looking forward to see who will be stepping up to the challenge in the community to take the reins on this one to steer this project in the right direction :innocent:

MOAR decentralisation!

JS’ question about why this couldn’t be performed by the mStableDAO is a good one, and got me thinking. My 2 cents is that I think that the grantsDAO should exist to make clear a separation of objectives and place emphasis on the specific roles for the mStableDAO and the GrantsDAO.

The mStableDAO’s purpose is to manage the public treasury in the best interest of Meta token holders. It has an asset management role (for non MTA tokens in treasury), and aims distribute MTA in a fair manner for years to come. Its signers are there to protect against malicious attack and their priority should be security of the treasury at a protocol level (thus more signers and higher threshold signer structure). Signers already have their hands full at present from a capacity standpoint with the DAOs operations, without any of the material work that would be asked of them in assessing and awarding grant applications. So I guess its a signer capacity thing too.

The GrantsDAO’s purpose is to fund specific, smaller grants that will grow mStable in some targeted and measurable way (for each grant). It will need to be more nimble than the mStableDAO, with members that ideally have targeted knowledge in community, ops, and technical matters for assessing the various types of grants that come in. From a capacity point of view, this will be a material task, and in the event we get a lot of grant submissions, we’ll want a dedicated team looking at them that doesn’t burden bandwidth for the other essential mStableDAO functions like EARN emissions, larger grants to fund the genesis team (that are larger than the grantsDAO budget), and asset management decisions (such as selling tokens to USD).

Rambling a bit so I’ll end there. Looking forward to seeing this grow from vision to reality.

1 Like

Hi, I think this proposal is great :clap:

At the same time , I have some questions in my views
*Is there any mStable Grants before(developers or community)?

  • How did the previous Grants project perform?
    *Can you explain your GrantsDAO fundraising budget more detail?
    *How do you ensure that the grant amount is sufficient?Any other DAO’s grants amounts references?

Thanks.

Hi Metanauts,

The mStableDAO has unanimously agreed to have this motion move forward to a public Snapshot vote. The proposal is now live and the ballot box open for the next 5 days.

As always, if you got any feedback, questions, or further comments on this, please don’t hesitate at all and let us know!

Have a great start into the week, and looking forward to see the outcome of this.

5 Likes

Hi all,

In line with this forum post, and as successfully motioned forward by the mStableDAO, the proposal for the quarterly funding of the GrantsDAO is now on the way.

Please kindly note that if this vote should resolve favourably, that no further proposals of this kind will be necessary to fund the GrantsDAO on a quarterly basis, unless some drastic or unforeseen change happen in the outline described at the beginning of this thread.

The GrantsDAO already has their first applicants ready to move to a vote, so we hope that all of you are going to have your say in this proposal, and looking forward to seeing all the fantastic ideas from the community become a reality through this!

Happy Friday everyone,

The proposal to fund the GrantsDAO has successfully passed, and the MTA allocation will make its way into the Safe of the GrantsDAO soon.

Please kindly note that this time around, the funds will still come from the mStableDAO treasury directly, but further contributions will be handled via the Funding subDAO, as agreed upon previously.

Thanks to everyone who voted, and wishing you all a successful and relaxing weekend ahead!