[DRAFT]: Proposed Grants Council Charter - Season 6

Note: Huge thanks to @danelund.eth for publishing an open-source charter designed for season 6 for anyone to use as a lead proponent.

Goals

In short, the goals of the Grants Council, as outlined by the Foundation in Season 3, are to:

  • create a streamlined and consistent process for grant applicants
  • empower high context delegates to make high context grant decisions
  • reduce the workload required of non-Council delegates so that they have more time to weigh in on high impact votes

In Season 6, the Collective will aim to bring the grants program to the Superchain. This Charter seeks to carry the goals above beyond the Optimism Collective and to participating Superchain grants programs.

Council Structure

The Governance Fund grants process will be managed by an elected Grants Council. The Grants Council will be comprised of a Lead and [15] Reviewers sitting across four review teams. The Council will have full decision-making authority as to which projects are named finalists for Governance Fund grants. Each team will have a clear mandate and be tied to a specific grant objective, as outlined below.

Superchain Review Team:

  • Goal : Review grants programs applications for Superchain programs
  • Format : proposers receive grants that are used to perpetuate the grants programs for Superchain protocols
  • Reviewers : 3
  • Consensus : 2/3 vote required to approve a list of finalists
  • Notes : Superchain reviewers can join the Mission Review Team if and when they complete the review of relevant Superchain proposals.
  • Election : There will be no separate election for the Superchain Review Team. The top 3 reviewers in the election for the Optimism Mission Review team will be included by default. If the elected reviewer opts not to be a member of the Superchain Review Team or if they become unable to perform their duties as part of the team, the reviewer with the next highest number of votes in the Optimism Mission Review Team election will be added to the Superchain Review Team.

Optimism Mission Review Team:

  • Goals: (1) maximize the number of builders building projects within a specified Intent; (2) maximize the number of users interacting with applications that further a specified intent defined by the Optimism Collective. These goals are of equal weight.
  • Non-goals : retroactive airdrops; retroactive funding
  • Format: proposers receive direct grants that are locked or unlocked according to the Collective Grants Policies.
  • Reviewers: 7 to 12 (counting Superchain and Audit and Special Mission Team reviewers)
  • Consensus: Minimum 3 supporting votes for a proposal to be considered a finalist. Simple majority of the relevant reviewers required to approve a list of finalists for a grants cycle. Notes: The Optimism Mission Review Team will publish proposed missions for community feedback at the beginning of Season 6 (in accordance with the governance calendar).

Audit and Special Mission Team:

  • Goals: Review proposals and select finalists for Mission Requests or Legacy Requests for Grants that require ongoing review. The Audit and Special Mission Team will develop review standards in line with the goal of the particular mission.
  • Non-goals: retroactive airdrops; retroactive funding Format: proposers receive grants or allocations from previous grants that have been designated for a specific purpose pursuant to a Mission Request.
  • Reviewers: 2 elected to the Grants Council and 1 reviewer from the Developer Advisory Board (assigned in agreement between the Grants Council Lead and the Developer Advisory Board Lead)
  • Consensus: 2/3 vote is required to name a finalist or validate a proposal.
  • Notes: the grant’s lead will have the ability to declare a mission a “Special Mission” with a simple majority vote of the Optimism Mission Review Team. Successful past mission proposals that require ongoing incremental proposals (e.g., Season 4-5 audit proposals), will automatically be assigned to the Audit and Special Mission Team without a necessary council vote.
  • Members of the Audit and Special Mission Team may conduct intake reviews for the Optimism Mission Review team.
  • This Team may handle highly technical material and should consist of reviewers with a technical background. Audit and Special Mission reviewers can join the Mission Review Team if and when they complete the review of relevant Audit and Special Mission proposals.

Milestones and Metrics Team:

  • Goals: assessing historical grant finalist progress on milestones and maintaining relevant council and reviewer metrics

  • Non-goal: not meant to be punitive for the sake of being punitive

  • Responsibilities :

  • The Milestone and Metrics Team will maintain an orderly list of historical and pending milestones, providing a clear location for proposers to report milestones and for the community to review milestone progress Responsible for monitoring Trust Tiers

  • The Team will track reviewer-level KPIs for Season 6, which shall include (but not be limited to): Reviewer comment frequency on substantive rubric components during final reviews Reviewer attendance of office hours Reviewer voting on council polls

  • The Milestone and Metrics team will review the application of review rubrics for each of the other two sub-committees and offer recommendations on how rubrics can be more finely tailored to their purposes

  • Reviewers on this Team may be assigned to intake reviews (e.g., intake) if the Lead determines additional capacity is needed

  • Reviewers : 3

  • Consensus : 2/3 vote unless otherwise stated.

  • Notes: This Team will be capable of amending milestone assessment procedures by majority vote. Changes can be vetoed by a simple majority of the full Council within five days of the proposal to change the procedures. The Milestone and Metrics Team will consider any change-of-use or change of milestone proposals from prior finalists and make recommendations to the full Council. A simple majority of the full Council reviewers (8/15) shall be required to approve a change-of-use or change of milestone proposal. The Team will have the authority to determine how many votes are needed to accept or reject milestone completion reports through its Internal Operating Procedures.

Participants

All council members may be removed via the Representative Proposal type in the Operating Manual. All Council members will be required to disclose all anticipated conflicts of interest when applying to serve on the Council and all actual conflicts of interest if engaged in a vote affected by the conflict. Where a conflict is known to be present, a reviewer should recuse themselves or provide a written voting rationale if the reviewer believes that they can vote impartially.

Cohorts and Election Terms

Members of the Grants Council, will be elected in the Reflection Period prior to each Season. Elected members serve for the duration of the Season and must be re-elected to serve in future Seasons.

Should the Grants Council determine that it needs more reviewer capacity for the Optimism Mission Review Team, the Grants Council may by the affirmative vote of ten reviewers (including all relevant review teams) opt to add additional reviewers. In this case, the reviewer with the next most votes (after the elected reviewer with the least votes) (Selected Reviewer) shall be provided the option to join the Optimism Mission Review Team with rewards pro-rated for the time that has elapsed in Season 6 prior to joining the Grants Council. Should the Selected Reviewer decline, the reviewer with the next highest number of votes after the declining Selected Reviewer shall become the Selected Reviewer. There shall be a limit of three additional reviewers added through this method after which the Lead must put forward a proposal for the election of any further reviewer.

Responsibilities

The Grants Council will

  • Originate and process Mission Proposals proposed in accordance with the Council’s Internal Operating Procedures
  • Review applications in regular cycles, which include a reasonable deadline for proposal submission before a review period begins
  • Publish a report outlining grant finalists for each Intent within three days of the end of Season 6. The council should additionally publish a report at the end of each review period
  • Use best efforts to assess whether grant recipients have met pre-defined milestones
  • Ensure ongoing Council operations and performance are reasonably transparent to the community

The Council Lead will oversee the general administration of the grants program and should:

  • oversee the provision and/or maintenance of external and internal information about the grants program, and any other resources needed by the Council
  • facilitate coordination across Teams by scheduling and hosting regular Council meetings. It is suggested that meeting minutes or summaries be made available to the community
  • not vote on Council decisions or score proposals
  • prepare regular reports to communicate grant decisions at the end of each review period to be published within a reasonable timeframe of the review period’s conclusion
  • exercise decision-making authority in the event that sub-committees cannot come to consensus on an administrative or operational matter

Reviewers will vote on grant proposals submitted to their Teams and should:

  • have the subject matter expertise required to evaluate advanced proposals. It is recommended that at least one member of each Team have a technical background
  • be accessible to grant applicants - within reason - to provide feedback, answer questions, and respond to comments. Reviewers should favor feedback on public channels but may provide direct feedback where doing so is efficient
  • work with proposers to ensure proposed milestones are clear, measurable, and achievable within the specified timeframe
  • maintain a participation rate >70% on Council votes and Team meetings aim to document voting rationale for each grant that receives a substantive review
  • provide any information required to publish regular reports and periodic updates in a timely manner
  • dedicate sufficient time on a weekly basis to accomplish the reviewers duties

Accountability

Grants Council members will be subject to the following checks on their authority:

  • All Grants Council members are subject to the Code of Conduct and the enforcement procedures outlined therein
  • All Grants Council members will be subject to re-election if they wish to be a member for an additional Season
  • A high degree of transparency will be required of Grants Council operations so that non-Council Token Holders are able to provide effective oversight on the Council
  • The Grants Council will conduct a retrospective at the end of Season 6

Budget

A Proposed Budget and Charter will be made by each prospective Lead and voted on by Token House according to the Governance Calendar.

The Lead may propose a budget that contains variable rewards for participation or non-participation provided that any variable component relates to discrete measures of reviewer or manager performance and those components are verified by the Milestone and Metrics Teams.

Additional Details

While the Council must abide by the above guidelines, specific operational and administrative details are left to the Council Lead to determine with input from Reviewers. These will be outlined in an Internal Operating Procedures (to be linked once available), which may be updated periodically as determined by the Council.

The grants council will not make an explicit or implicit promotion or endorsement of the projects or their underlying products. Rather, the grants council will acknowledge which grant proposers are most suited to receive a grant given the parameters applied by the mandate of Season 6 governance. KYC and grant delivery will be managed by the Foundation for Season 6. All grants are subject to KYC review and other terms.

Iteration

The canonical version of the approved Charter will be published to GitHub. Any material updates to the Charter will be reflected with a new version number at the top of this document, at which point the updated version will go into effect

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