[Feedback Requested] Annual Org Proposal Timeline

TL:DR: Below you will find an initial draft of the timeline for the annual Org proposal process. This timeline, which was prepared by the Governance and Operations Committees, aims to align the community on deadlines and expectations during annual Org proposal cycles. We want to start collecting feedback from the community to gauge if this timeline resonates with them. Please share your feedback by April 19th.

Clarifying and Revising a Timeline for Annual Proposals

As captured in the Governance Feedback Survey, November’s Org proposal cycle was demanding and stressful for everyone involved. Org proposals (and their supporting documentation) are unique to other governance proposals in that each Org proposal outlines a year-long strategic direction and a (significant) budget that Radworks considers to fund. Last November, there were four active Org proposals that were applying for funding from Radworks in the same cycle.

Simply put, there wasn’t enough time in a regular proposal cycle for the community and proposal authors to meaningfully review and discuss these very substantial proposals.

Proposed Annual Timeline

With this clarified timeline, our goals are:

  • Provide the community with predictable, more accessible timeframes for reviewing, evaluating, and interacting with annual proposals
  • Enable Org leads to plan ahead while preparing annual Org proposals and supplemental documents (e.g. annual retrospectives)
  • Ensure higher quality final proposals that have been enriched by community engagement and have community buy-in

From the feedback shared in the survey, we learned that, although people really appreciated the idea of Retrospectives and MoUs, many did not have time to properly review them. On the proposal author side, many felt rushed to incorporate feedback in such a short time period. We also observed some critical/contentious feedback being shared very late in the proposal process, leaving little time to discuss or negotiate complex components of the proposals.

The timeline is structured in a way that aims to:

  • Create more time between the publishing of the retrospective and the Org proposal to allow for proper review of both.
  • Recommend a tiered review process, sharing early drafts of the proposal with major stakeholders for review far in advance of the November cycle
  • Require formal proposal drafts be shared at least two weeks before the November cycle, leaving four whole weeks for the community to review and discuss, surface and address problems, before the voting process begins.

Timeline Feedback:

While reviewing the proposed timeline below and drafting your feedback, keep the following questions in mind:

  • Do you feel the proposed timeline adequately addresses the issues experienced in last year’s Org proposal season?
  • Is there anything still missing?
  • Do you foresee any conflicts with other deadlines/timelines Orgs have planned for the year?

We aim to have a more formal version of this timeline updated by May 2024. We currently plan to host it on the forum for now. Input and confirmation from the community will be crucial to be able to finalize this. Please share your feedback by April 19th.

. . .

Insight into Upcoming Work

In addition to introducing the Annual Org Proposal Timeline, the Governance and Operations Committees are actively taking actions to improve Radworks governance coordination and processes around annual Org proposal cycles. These initiatives include:

  • Reformatting Community Calls so that community members are getting the information needed to assess progress and alignment with each Org’s proposal throughout the year.
  • Revising templates for Org Retrospectives to ensure Orgs provide the community with details relevant for evaluating their next Annual Proposal, while also being realistic about what information will be available [in October].
  • Updating Org Proposal templates to reflect minimum Org requirements [coming soon!] and highlight the most critical information to streamline the review process.
  • Evaluating Drips as a payout mechanism for enabling greater accountability and reducing the need for trust in how Radworks funds its Orgs.
  • Revisiting the Timeline later this year to incorporate any changes made to or work that has impacted the Annual Proposal cycle.

We will continue to publish drafts of this work as it’s completed in order to get your feedback before it’s finalized.


Hello! I’ve enjoyed seeing this work come through. From the point of view of Quarterly calls, and getting useful numbers on budgets, I think the calls should be at least a week later than planned so that the most accurate numbers could be provided.

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It seems to me that Orgs and the community don’t have enough time to run the Proposal Review calls for all the Orgs just in one week during November. Maybe it would be a good idea to use a couple of weeks from December so we all have more time to discuss the final proposals. I understand that we’ll start discussing the proposal during October but review calls provide more direct feedback and we might need more than one for each proposal. If we start mid November and complete them after one month, it might be easier for everyone to participate and provide feedback for all the proposals.

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This is a great point! Moving the community calls back slightly would allow for more complete financial reporting at the quarterly check-ins.

This is also a valid point - the Proposal Review call was intense last year. This is also aa suggetsionn we saw shared in the Governance Feedback survey from last December.

Maybe we do a series of 1-hr calls during the second week of the November cycle, where each Org gets their own call to discuss their proposal and answer questions. They would all be recorded and shared afterwards for folks who were unable to make it. How does something like that sound?

I would really love to hear some feedback from other Org leads on this proposed timeline, as it will impact the work they are expected to deliver to the community for annual Org cylces. @lftherios @cloudhead @yorgos @bordumb - anything thoughts to add here?

@ange was involved in drafting this timeline so her input has been included in the design process.

This sounds very interesting / promising! :eyes:

With regards to the proposed annual timeline, I certainly see this proposal as an improvement to the short time frame we had available in 2023 to have all org proposals reviewed.

At the same time, the 2023 cycle revealed something else that could perhaps help with the “congestion”:

Not all orgs were “out of budget” in 2023, so, from my point of view, there wasn’t really any real need to have all org proposals reviewed / renewed at the same time (the end of the year). (If there is some hard constraint around this, I don’t know about it).

If we could therefore relax the need for an annual budget in October/November, this could mean that Orgs can simply request extra budget when they are actually running out of funds (well, probably a couple of months before that) and we might see that there naturally isn’t that much workload in the November cycle.

Of course, this is all assuming that not all Orgs will run out of budget at the end of the 2024 - like it happened in 2023 -, but we can even be a little more proactive, and ask Orgs if they could move their annual budget to different quarters, thereby considerably reducing the risk of “congestion” at any one quarter / monthly proposal cycle.

Taking the time to carefully review Org proposals is demanding, both in terms of time required, as well as context of the overall Radworks ecosystem - and the broader industry - and having all Org proposals at the same time can simply be … too much. These are just some thoughts, but I’m really looking forward to other ideas about how this problem could be addressed!

Thanks for the feedback @yorgos! To your suggestion about scrapping the annual Org proposal cycle -

Since we have only undergone one annual Org cycle thus far, we would first like to try optimizing the process before considering eliminating it altogether.

By having Orgs apply for funding on the same annual schedule, the community has a better opportunity to evaluate and compare each Org’s progress, strategy, and spending within the broader context of the Radworks mission and purpose. In regards to budgets, the hope is that, as Orgs become more experienced in planning their budgets, there actually will not be as much surplus left at the end of each year.

If this annual cycle still turns out to be too hectic, we will definitely reassess and discuss alternatives moving forward. How does that sound to you?


Hi @yorgos ! I appreciate the thinking and desires for simplification. I agree with @shelb_ee that we don’t want or plan for overbudgeting. We are getting more accurate with budgeting every year but it’s an adjustment.

The goal of budgeting is to think through what resources are needed to do XYZ work and [by] when. If there are deviations from this planning, they should prompting explanation or discussion. My concern is that evaluating annual proposals and budget amounts throughout the year could make evaluation of priorities and funds used less effective. If an Org runs out of funds before the end of the year, it’s (relatively) easier to evaluate overspend and whether it was “worth it.” But if Orgs are on all different proposal timelines, it may become more difficult for a community member (and/or voter) to evaluate proposals and refunding throughout the year and whether this is the best use of Radworks’ funds at the moment.

And, as @wendy put it, if an Org can just ask for funds when they are running out of money there is less incentive to actually stick to budget and monitor cost - and it gives a feeling of an ever-dripping tap so overspend is far more likely.

I definitely agree, however, that this annual cycle is worth reevaluating in the future (even next year), especially as our community matures and morphs.

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Thank you for all of the feedback on this Annual Org Proposal Timeline! The three key suggestions and updates I have implimented in the latest version below include:

  • Moving the Community Calls back to allow for more time for more complete reporting (validated by this Discourse poll)
  • Will plan to have a series of Proposal Review calls for the Novemeber cycle
  • Changed the distribution of funds mechanism to include the ongoing initiative to impliment Drips as a payout mechanism for Orgs to receive grants from the Treasury. It is listed as TBD for now as the development work is still being explored.

:point_right: If no further feedback is shared by May 10th we will plan to move forward with this timeline for this year!