AIP-252: Funding Grant Proposals using Delegated Domain Allocation

Thank you @Sasha for sharing your comments and thoughtful questions🙏.

While detailed, the major point this fails to address is why we need a system that essentially replaces both the current system and, partially, the large Working Groups proposal and discussions that have been ongoing for awhile now. I.e. why should we outsource this to a third party when we will have an internal working group that may just happen to pick Questbook as software of choice for tracking?

Taking into account the current structure and the working group proposal and discussions, all proposals that require support in terms of grants need to go through an AIP process. As all/majority of the DAO treasury is dedicated to funding proposals (or is a grants program) that align with the mission of Apecoin DAO, we aim to tackle various challenges associated with grant disbursals through an AIP process by proposing the following solutions:

  1. Addressing Community Blind Spots: It is unrealistic to assume that every community member possesses expertise across all domains. Evaluating projects outside of one’s area of expertise can be challenging and inefficient, potentially resulting in missed opportunities for valuable contributions to the ApeCoin ecosystem. By delegating capital and decision-making to people who are experts and on the ground, we can engage the community to proliferate the ideas and projects that further the mission of the ApeCoin DAO.

  2. Addressing Voter Fatigue: We believe that not every grant proposal needs to go through an AIP process for receiving grant funding. Requiring every proposal to be voted on by the entire community can result in voter fatigue and low participation. By funding proposals through delegated domain capital allocation model, domain allocators can set maximum thresholds for accepting proposals within their respective domains. Proposals that fall below the threshold can be approved directly, reducing the burden on the community while reserving the AIP process for proposals that exceed the threshold and require broader community input.

  3. Addressing Inadequate Review Process and Tooling : Lack of evaluation rubrics and domain-specific evaluation criteria can result in an inconsistent and subjective review process, potentially leading to suboptimal proposals getting funded. Each domain allocator in the delegated domain capital allocation model will be required to specify the domain specific evaluation rubrics to ensure alignment with ApeCoin DAO’s roadmap and funding of high quality proposals. With Questbook, members of the community can easily access and view the scores assigned to a proposal by the domain allocator, based on their domain-specific rubric.

All domain allocators will be chosen from within the ApeCoin community by the ApeCoin DAO community members through a Snapshot vote, and will function as an internal group. These allocators will have the autonomy to independently decide on the approval or rejection of proposals based on their expertise and will be accountable to the ApeCoin community. As a team, we are committed to collaborating with the ApeCoin DAO community and adopting a structure that best fits the needs of ApeCoin DAO :handshake:.

These numbers seem high.

  1. The proposed compensation is based on our ongoing engagement with Compound, and the proposed compensation detailed in the Governance Working Group proposal. Based on our experience after working with multiple reputed ecosystems, a domain may receive more than 20 quality proposals per month. To effectively support and fund exceptional teams, domain allocators will need to invest significant time in activities such as marketing, project research, calls with proposers, preparing reviews, exchanging info/feedback with other DAs, tracking teams’ progress, and coordinating milestone based payouts.

  2. We aim to attract applications from quality domain allocators and keep the ApeCoin DAO competitive with other ecosystems.

Ecosystem Grants Budget Committee Compensation Details
Aave $3.25M per 2 Quarters Grants Lead- $9k/month Review committee- $150/hr, capped at 10 hrs/week Aave - Renew Aave Grants DAO
Compound $1M per 2 quarters Program Manager - $100/hr Domain Allocators - $80/hr Compound

Who is the program manager or how are they selected?

Given my expertise in designing and overseeing grants programs for various ecosystems and the intensity of the role, I have proposed to take on the responsibilities of the Program Manager for the first two quarters. Thereafter, the program manager will be elected from the community. I will be actively working with the domain allocators and tracking key metrics detailed in our proposal. I’ll be personally accountable for these numbers to the community and will be attending all the community calls to take suggestions and answer any questions.

That’s also quite high… could you elaborate why you’re charging such high fees? Usually SaaS products charge flat enterprise fee or a per-user fee. If we manage $5M/year of grants (very plausaible), that’s $250K / year for just the tracking software…

Thanks for raising your concerns. Our approach of charging a percentage of the grants disbursed is designed to align our incentives with delivering value as against product usage. Funding a project signifies that the ecosystem has identified a project worth investing in, which further indicates that various steps in the funding process, such as attracting quality builders, establishing evaluation rubrics, and ensuring successful milestone-based payouts, have been executed effectively by the domain allocators. Our intention is to charge based on the successful completion of all these steps, rather than just product usage, to align our pricing with the value delivered through the entire grant disbursal cycle.

We also acknowledge the importance of working within the budgets of the ApeCoin DAO, and hence, we have put forth a proposal for a 5% fee until the allocation of the $1 million proposed budget. We are willing to reevaluate our pricing structure to accommodate a different budget in order to remain in line with the DAO’s fiscal constraints while maintaining our commitment to providing value.

I will be attending subsequent community calls to take suggestions and answer any questions from the ApeCoin DAO community :pray: