[Governance Proposal] - Funding Categories + Processes

Funding Categories + Processes

This is a proposal to define new processes depending on what type of grant we are funding.

This was borne out of the thoughts outlined below:


As outlined below, we currently do not have a process for funding the following:

  • Use Case Grants
  • General Web3

Use Case Grants


Allocate 10% of our budget (~100,000 USDC) for such grants using Quadratic Funding OR Retroactive Funding

Quadratic Funding:

  • We work with GitCoin’s Round Manager to facilitate quadratic funding rounds on a regular basis (e.g. monthly). Launching around March/April 2023.
  • This allows us to vote on a budget say 100,000 USDC, then allocate say 20,000 to each round, allow external parties to add funds/votes on grants, and also lets us set an upper limit on how much each team can get for matching funds (e.g. don’t hand out all 20,000 if only a single team applies, but do hand out upper limit of 5,000 USDC)

Retroactive Funding:

  • We also allow such projects to come to us AFTER they have completed work for retroactive funding

General Web3

Use Case Grants


Allocate 10% of our budget (~100,000 USDC) for such grants using Retroactive Funding

Retroactive Funding:

  • We allow such projects to come to us AFTER they have completed work for retroactive funding
  • The rationale here is that we don’t have the resources or bandwidth to review, monitor, and fund projects that are unrelated to Radicle’s core tooling and ecosystem. But there may be special cases that a team builds something genuinely useful, so we should be open to funding this work once it is useable.



This proposal will be left up for the next 2 weeks.

After this, it will be divided into 2 separate SnapShot polls, open to current Radicle Grants OtterSpace badge holders. The Radicle Grants Snapshot page is here.


This will include the following changes:

  • Accounting: we will manually account for how much of our budget has been used on any given category (this could be automated in future) to make sure it remains within a reasonable % of budget, as outlined above.
  • Management: we will work with relevant partners (GitCoin) to manage quadratic rounds, marketing to announce rounds, and as usual, manage any multi-sig components such as approving budget for funding rounds.
  • Documentation: updates to our repo/documentation to help guide both grantees and committee members


The obvious problem with this is that is introducing human-driven processes. This means it will require consistent management and consistent adherence to the proposal.

As with the entire Grants Program, the incentive for us to do so lies the existential nature of our roles on the committee. I expect that if we do not consistently manage these processes, we will be voted out.


Great initiative @bordumb! This feels like a natural step for maturing the Grants program and will also hopefully make it even clearer for applicants exactly what types of technical initiatives are funded via Radicle Grants. Love the dog-fooding of Drips in the dependencies category!

I am excited to see how the first round of Otterspace badge voting goes! Curious to monitor initial participation.

I’d like to share my personal experience as a receiver of a retroactive grant. @bordumb did a great job laying out the mechanics above, and I’d like to compliment it with additional qualitative reasoning.

I’ve worked in the cryptocurrency space for years, and started contributing to DAOs in the last two years. I received a retroactive grant from Shapeshift DAO last year after voluntarily contributing time to test some of their infrastructure. Similarly, I wrote this guide to backing up GitHub repositories with Radicle to share with my partners in PSF DAO, and received a retroactive grant for my work from Radicle.

The nature of this retroactive funding is that it’s unexpected. It’s not about incentivizing people to do something (extrinsic motivation), it’s about rewarding and aligning those people who have already done something through intrinsic motivation. Equally important, it opens the door to symbiotic growth between the DAO and the receiver of funds.

Case in point: When I was playing with the ShapeShift infra, I was doing it for myself, and simply trying to contribute my findings to others, so that my efforts didn’t go to waste. Receiving the retroactive payment for my work, gave me greater incentive to participate in the DAO. It also allowed me to participate in governance votes since I also receive FOX tokens. It leveled me up as a participant of the DAO. It grew a symbiotic relationship.

The exact same thing happened with Radicle. I didn’t have any interest in participating in Radicle DAO when I wrote the article. I was simply trying to solve my own problems and share that solution with my friends. Receiving the retroactive grant ‘leveled me up’ in terms of participation with Radicle DAO. It encouraged me to investigate and participate at a deeper level in the DAO, and eventually lead me to do deeper research for Radicle DAO.

This ability to do retroactive funding is a feature that the cryptocurrency space has been lacking. It’s common to see excited, intrinsically motivated developers create amazing prototypes in the cryptocurrency space. But they almost always burn out as they are running on passion and have no funding. The projects don’t go anywhere, and are eventually forgotten. But if the right projects received a little bit of financial help, they could have made a big impact. I’ve seen this scenario play out several times through the years.

This is the specific use-case where I think retroactive funding could have a big impact. If the management can keep an eye out for those unique and unexpected opportunities; those intrinsically motivated prototypes that could benefit Radicle, and give the developer a little financial boost, then it helps everyone and can lead to a big impact.

I think my personal experience provides a good blueprint:

  • When unexpected, creative, and beneficial (to Radicle) work is discovered, retroactive funding allows the managements to bring the people behind it into Radicle’s sphere of orbit, by encouraging greater participating and interest in the DAO.
  • This builds up the available ‘brain trust’ of the DAO. It can lead to increasing the talent pool to draw from, for achieving goals in the Dependencies and Core Infra categories.