The Season 4 grants process included a novel application of its own, the development of the Requests for Grants (RFG) process.
RFGs were born of a desire to create a new dimension to the grants program, demand-based granting. The bulk of Web3 grants programs are supply-based, meaning that protocols provide grants to the projects that show up and ask for grants. This can be limiting for an ecosystem that requires consistent innovation to achieve its vision. Some excellent projects may show up for the supply-based grants program, but the community can do even better if the grants process incorporates a feedback loop from the community to incorporate the highest-value applications at a given time.
RFGs are the preliminary effort to refine the feedback loop. In this Season, the RFG program truly was an experiment. The Council appointed an RFG manager (@jackanorak) to reach out to the community to figure out an answer to the question: what does the community need built right now?
The Season 4 charter included a budget for RFGs, which included a preliminary thesis that audits are an important need for the community. Whether it would be possible to create a successful audit RFG (or any others that would attract significant builder attention) was yet to be determined.
The RFG process began as any experiment should, slowly. Even after publishing a handful of RFGs, it was not clear there would be substantial interest in the program. However, the RFG program caught fire in Cycle 15. Across 8 published RFGs, the Council received 72 proposals. What the Council had worried might become a backwater of the grants program turned into a clear signal: this is the next generation of Web3 grants.
As proposers have been patient reading up to this point, here is a list of the Season 4 RFGs along with Finalists.*
- Llamanodes (100k OP)
- Identity Fusion (20k OP)
- Shapley Values - Franklin DAO / Penn (11k OP)
- Metagov (20k OP)
- FHE x OP - Caltech (11k OP)
- Tokenbound (50k OP)
- Cross-Chain Interoperability Research: Norswap (100k OP)
- Complete Guide: Can Gurel & Ceteris (100k OP)
The Grants Council is hopeful that the work generated from this initial set of RFG finalists will push the ecosystem forward meaningfully. While this marks the end of the RFG program for Season 4, the Council encourages the community to consider carrying on an RFG process and potentially renewing some of the RFGs from Season 4 in the future.
The Foundation should be in touch with RFG Finalists in October to discuss KYC and any further steps. Certain projects, such as the RFG 3 and 5 projects may be required to work with the RFG manager to define final milestones that provide greater clarity to the community as to how the final programs will function with prospective grant finalists (in whatever form a future grants program might take, as that will be subject to governance votes).
*Listing a project as a finalist is not an explicit or implicit promotion or endorsement of the projects, their representations, or their underlying products but rather an acknowledgment that the projects’ applications were deemed most suited to receive a grant given the parameters applied by the mandate of Season 4 governance. Grantees accept grants subject to terms, including those outlined in the Internal Operating Procedures.
**RFG 4 was intentionally omitted as no projects were selected for RFG 4 for this Season.