Grant Council - Retrospective Season 5

Season 5 Grants Council retrospective team’s operations

Assessment of Benchmark Milestones and KPIs:

Regarding the benchmark milestones set at the start of the Season, our team has made significant progress and achieved many of the set targets:

  • Review> 95% of Mission Requests. We successfully reviewed 100% of the applications from Season 5 plus 23 applications for audit services from RFG3 of Season 4. This demonstrates our commitment to thoroughness and accountability in our review process.

  • Maintain finalist rate < 30% Despite the increased workload due to a higher number of applications, we maintained a finalist rate below 30%, with 130 finalists out of 530 applications, achieving a 28% rate. This suggests effective screening and selection processes.

  • Process > 300 proposals: We exceeded the target by processing all 530 applications received, ensuring timely handling of submissions.

  • Publish rubrics for each Sub-Committee, modified as applicable for each intent, prior to the review of proposals for Cycles 19-22: The publication of rubrics for each Sub-Committee before the review of proposals for Cycles 19-22 facilitated transparency and community involvement in the review process.


  • NPS score from finalists > 7/10: The NPS score from finalists surpassed the target with a rating of 9/10 in Cycle 19, indicating high satisfaction levels among applicants with the grants process. Cycle 22 pending.

  • Milestone Hub Creation: The establishment of a Milestone Hub for long-term tracking provides visibility and accountability for the progress of funded projects. Link

  • Office Hours and AMA Attendance: While there was personal confusion and oversight in tracking general attendance, the office hours were well-attended (20 to 40 attendants each), indicating community engagement and support.
    We held 17 Office hours meetings. Council members consistently demonstrated strong engagement, with attendance rates consistently above 60%. One notable instance is MoneyManDoug, who communicated having conflicting meetings and personal conflicts during office hours at the beginning of the season.

Member %
GFX 76.5
Gonna.eth 100.0
Jack Anorak 64.7
Joxes 64.7
Juanbug 94.1
Kaereste 76.5
Katie Garcia 88.2
MasterMojo 94.1
Matt L 88.2
Michael Vander 82.4
Mmurthy 82.4
MoneyManDoug 29.4
v3naru 88.2

Impact Assessment:

Our team’s outputs have effectively supported the Intent they were elected under. Despite challenges such as a change in leadership mid-season and an increased workload for a subcommittee, the Grants Council demonstrated resilience and dedication. Both subcommittees managed to review 100% of their assigned applications, showcasing our commitment to serving the Optimism Collective. The introduction of the Milestones and Metrics Subcommittee proved to be beneficial, streamlining the review process and ensuring the thorough assessment of past milestones and new applications. Special recognition is due to individuals like Jun, Katie, and Jack for their outstanding contributions in their respective roles.

  • @jackanorak: Led the Audits program, managing an increased workload with precision and ensuring the integrity of the grants process.
  • @katie: Excelled in Communications, enhancing transparency and community engagement through proactive communication strategies.
  • @Juanbug_PGov: Demonstrated exceptional leadership as Milestones and Metrics Lead, streamlining processes and providing valuable guidance for effective milestone tracking.

Changes to Internal Operating Procedures (IOPs):

Based on our retrospective, several adjustments to the Internal Operating Procedures are proposed to enhance efficiency and fairness in the review process. These include:
Here’s a refined version of the suggested Internal Operating Procedures (IOP) changes:

  1. Streamline Intake and Preliminary Review: Consolidate intake and preliminary review into a single process to enhance efficiency and rigor. This unified process should be more stringent to pass, ensuring that only high-quality proposals proceed to the next stage.

  2. Shorten Review Process: Reduce the duration of the review process from 6 weeks to 3 weeks to expedite decision-making and minimize delays in applicant feedback and final selections.

  3. Perpetual Finalist Status: Grant perpetual finalist status to non-elected applicants of the final review to allow sufficient time (2 weeks) for integration of feedback and revisions, reducing the need for repetitive resubmissions and administrative overhead.

  4. Mid-Week Review Assignment: Implement a mid-week deadline for initial review assignments. Applications not yet reviewed by this deadline will be open for any reviewer to pick up, ensuring a balanced workload distribution and fair rewards based on individual review contributions.

  5. Mandatory Feedback Focus: Make feedback regarding mission request alignment and formal application process mandatory, emphasizing alignment with established criteria rather than the viability of the project idea itself. This ensures consistency and clarity in the review process.

  6. Operational Buffer: Incorporate a 12 to 24-hour buffer between review steps to allow the Grants Council Lead and Operations team to perform necessary operational actions, such as second assignment, application declination, and report formulation. This buffer enhances operational efficiency and responsiveness to review outcomes.

  7. Enhanced Proponent Communication: Promote improved feedback mechanisms, communication channels, and contact with proponents to foster greater transparency and collaboration throughout the grants process.

Suggested Adjustments to the Charter:

The suggested adjustments to the Charter aim to optimize the structure and functionality of the Grants Council. These include:

  1. Audits Subcommittee Inclusion: Introduce an audits subcommittee along with its designated reviewers to enhance oversight and accountability in the audit process.

  2. Streamline Subcommittee Structure: Remove the builders and growth subcommittees as separate entities, and maintain a unified pool of reviewers to ensure equitable distribution of workload and resources.

  3. Flexible Reward Model: Implement a system to adjust rewards based on workload, providing opportunities for reviewers with lighter responsibilities to receive proportionate rewards during the season.

  4. Internal Reviewer Grouping: Internally categorize reviewers based on interests, performance, and availability to facilitate efficient assignment allocation and optimize team dynamics.

  5. Mission Request Authorization: Enforce the acceptance of only those mission requests authorized by the Grants Council to mitigate potential principal-agent problems and uphold governance integrity.

What improvements to the team’s mandate would you suggest for next Season?

Looking ahead to the next season, it is recommended to continue the team’s operations with a focus on refining processes and enhancing transparency. Additionally, the review of budget allotment mid-season for Token House voting is proposed to further align the grants process with broader governance responsibilities.

Overall, the Grants Council has demonstrated commendable performance and remains committed to serving the needs of the Optimism Collective. Through continuous improvement and adaptation, we strive to uphold transparency, efficiency, and accountability in our operations.