Governance Fund Charter

Governance Fund Charter

The Token House launched in May and has been busy allocating grants from the Governance Fund, which is responsible for 5.4% of the total initial OP token supply. Throughout Season 1 and 2, the Collective has called for more clarity on the purpose of the Governance Fund. This Charter provides guidelines on the purpose and scope of the Governance Fund, as a means of guiding Season 3. These guidelines are subject to change in subsequent Seasons.


The purpose of the Governance Fund is:

  • to incentivize sustainable growth of value-aligned projects and communities in the Optimism ecosystem
  • to bootstrap the retroactive public goods funding flywheel while the Citizens’ House develops
  • to strengthen Token House governance and broadly distribute voting power to value aligned ecosystem participants


Grants can help the Governance Fund fulfill its purpose by providing OP to incentivize future work. To date, the primary activity of the Governance Fund has been distributing grants.

However, the entirety of the Governance Fund should not be reserved for grants. For Season 3, the Foundation is proposing an elected Grants Council with a budget of 5M OP. If the Grants Council is approved, and continues in future Seasons, Seasonal budgets will be determined by the Token House. If the Token House continues to approve ~5M OP per Season for grants, sustained over the course of 4 years, ~30% of the Governance Fund would go towards grants.

All Governance Fund grants should come with an expectation of future growth-related contributions to the Optimism ecosystem (”work”). The Governance Fund may make grants to support either private or public goods, so long as there is also an expectation of future work. There is a distinct OP allocation, separate of the Governance Fund, dedicated to retroactively funding public goods, without future expectations.

Grant Objectives:

Grow population of values-aligned builders: The Governance Fund should support developers launching novel applications that will draw new users to Optimism. If a Grants Council is approved, a Council sub-committee will support this objective in Season 3.

  • Examples of grants aligned with this objective are: builder grants to support future work on new projects, sponsor hackathons and bootcamps, support the creation of technical content, and/or support developer DAOs.

Support small scale initiatives to grow unique users on Optimism: The Governance Fund may also support protocols by incentivizing small scale user growth initiatives. If a Grants Council is approved, a Council sub-committee will support this objective in Season 3. Larger scale partnerships with protocols that have already found product-market fit are better suited to the Partner Fund.

  • Examples of grants aligned with this objective are: growth experiment grants to support small-scale liquidity mining experiments, provide incentives targeting future usage, and/or to support user education.

Other Initiatives

The Governance Fund may be used to fund a variety of initiatives aimed at strengthening the Optimism community and broadly distributing governance power. Season 3 will continue to focus primarily on grants. As the Token House develops, future Seasons may introduce new proposal types specific to other initiatives. In Special Voting Cycle #9a, the Token House will vote on a proposal to enable a portion of OP from this category to be delegated to value-aligned protocols via the Protocol Delegation Program, but this does not constitute spend.


Similar to clear guideline on self-delegation, this was also needed. We had a debate on many occasion on whether to support private or close source initiative or not. Ideally, each piece of code should be fork-able and open sourced but if a close source protocol is adding value to the chain and helping ecosystem grow, we should support that too.

work on new projects

one request would be extend what constitute new ? Are we talking about a new innovative application or something that is already present on other chain and we are just on-boarding it to our chain, other option would be to leave it to the council to decide but adding some clarity would help.


This is an improvement. While I’m not entirely comfortable with the centralized decision making of Partner Fund, I acknowledge it’s a better fit for large scale partnerships.

I’d like to see a more defined, objective qualification criteria for regular Gov Fund, so there’s no ambiguity about what qualifies for Gov Fund and what for Partner Fund. At this stage, I’d also like to see further criteria like “must be open sourced”, “must be live on Optimism for X months” etc. There are too many proposals being submitted which just aren’t ready for a grant IMO.


I really don’t like seeing the private goods suggestion here.

What’s more I think those guidelines start being a little confusing. Is the governance of the Optimism ecosystem us the delegates or does the foundation decide about what we should be doing and we simply rubber stamp the decisions?


Hey all, I am trying to understand the Governance fund structure. Does the Optimism DAO have a way to revoke the subcommittee after launching it? Is there any relation between these two entities? I mean from a technical perspective.