AIP - 3 [Non-Constitutional] Fund the Arbitrum Grants Framework Proposal Milestone 1

The Snapshot temp-check passed on 7/18/23.

Final Version for Tally Last Edit 7/20/23

In discussion with delegates who voted no and through forum feedback, we feel confident moving the vote to Tally with a few changes.

  1. TL;DR - We are lowering the total ask. By removing the “buffer” funds and using percentages against funds allocated rather than the entire proposal, we reduce the total by almost 600k ARB.
  2. Multisig Management - We’ve included the exact payment address, added the DAO ability to vote to clawback funds, added how Plurality Labs will receive funding, and are requesting delegates reach out to be multisig signers on a 4/6 with 2 PL team members. Also, committing to snapshot governance only needed for the DAO to request changes to the multisig signers.
  3. Looking Forward to Milestones 2 & 3 - We reintroduced more details on what the full completion of the project entails including metrics to hit and achievements.
  4. Reworded 2 sentences in the Deliverables / Discovery section to clarify misunderstandings.

The feedback we have received is that the changes we are making do not substantially change the content of the proposal and are meant to clarify or add detail. The only substantial change of lowering the total ask is unlikely to move “yes” votes to “no”, but that can still be expressed on Tally if there are issues.

AIP - 3 [Non-Constitutional] Fund the Arbitrum Grants Framework Proposal Milestone 1

Proposer: disruptionjoe.eth

Authors: Plurality Labs

Reviewers: ccerv1.eth, emu.eth, dennison.eth, nich.eth, zer8🧠.eth, pepperonijoe.eth, shawn164.eth, azeemkhan.eth, jmcook.eth, boilerrat.eth, jord.eth, ui369.eth, spengrah.eth, griff.eth

A 7-minute video explainer


This proposal requests 3,360,000 ARB (0.07% of the total treasury) to fund the first of three milestones in a comprehensive plan to build an Arbitrum DAO Pluralistic Grants Program.

Milestone 1 is the start of this journey with a funding request that breaks down as follows:

Fund Allocation

  • 2.5 million ARB: Funding Ecosystem Development
  • 300k ARB: Matching Gitcoin Funding Pools which use Arbitrum
    • Total Funds to be Allocated = 2.8 million ARB


  • 336k ARB (12%): Plurality Labs Services
  • 224k ARB (8%): Grant Program Managers
    • Total Service Fees (20%) = 560k ARB

Proposal Total = 3,360,000 ARB

Successful completion of these Milestone 1 deliverables will be a major value driver for the Arbitrum ecosystem further establishing Arbitrum as the go to scaling solution for Ethereum… Plurality Labs is committing to being held accountable for the following Milestone 1 deliverables.


At the end of Milestone 1, Plurality Labs will have delivered:

Discover | Facilitate DAO native workshops

  • Conduct DAO native sensemaking to find the Arbitrum DAO Vision, Mission, Values
  • Clearly define funding priorities including short & long term goals & boundaries
  • Establish and confirm key success metrics for the Grants Program
  • Scope out requirements for a Gitcoin Grants round on Arbitrum
  • Establish clear communications cadences & channels for all key stakeholders to engage with the program

Design | Construct best in class Pluralistic Grants Program

  • Identify suitable tools and technology to support a robust, secure and efficient grants program (i.e. Allo)
  • Design and process map the end to end grant funding flows
  • Design approach, process and channels for sourcing high impact grants ideas
  • Design Grantee Registration process and grant pipeline management structure
  • Design Grant Program manager application process and assessment criteria
  • Work with Gitcoin to set up and launch a Gitcoin Grants round on Arbitrum
  • Design credibly neutral grant funding evaluation criteria, reporting structure and cadence

Execute | Facilitate the successful execution of Pluralist Grants Programs

  • Onboard and coach Pluralist Program Managers in grant program best practices
  • Deploy 2.6 million ARB in funding to programs selected via the Pluralist Program Managers
  • Deploy 300k ARB to Gitcoin Grants round recipients
  • Oversee grants rounds to ensure they are free from fraud or abuse

Evaluate | Report back on grant funding outcomes

  • Publish financial & analytics reports on grant funding value, volume, outcomes and other relevant metrics requested by the community
  • Share key learnings and grants program best practices with Arbitrum DAO and the wider web3 community
  • Collate community feedback and input on grants programs efficacy and success
  • Evaluate, review and iterate based on this feedback to continually improve the overall impact of the Arbitrum DAO grants program


We are here because Arbitrum intends to deploy one of the largest DAO treasuries ever to grow their ecosystem. A 10% difference in the allocation efficiency of funds could mean hundreds of millions of waste which would impede Arbitrum’s ability to actualize its full potential. It’s easy to say, “we can solve these problems later”, but we have an opportunity to start on the right track and solve these problems today

The Plurality Labs team has a chip on our shoulder. We have all been in DAOs and have seen how governance can fail, sometimes quickly, sometimes quietly. Our common thread is the shared values of trust, transparency and freedom combined with a passion for helping DAOs solve hard problems.

Issues with fully Centralized and Decentralized Grants Programs

Within web3 we have seen three main vehicles by which Grants Funding can be allocated to builders. Below we have outlined why we believe Arbitrum DAO should take a pluralist approach to grants funding.

Centralised Grants Program: Problems

  • Limited transparency and auditability: A centrally managed grants program may lack transparency in decision-making processes, grant distribution, and fund allocation. This opacity can undermine trust and hinder the overall effectiveness of the program
  • Limited community participation: Web3 communities thrive on active participation and collaboration. A centrally managed grants program may not effectively engage community members at all levels of the organization in the decision-making and codesign processes.
  • Domain expertise and scale: Volume of grants requests may overwhelm capacity of small centralized team who may also lack domain specific expertise on programs requesting funding
  • Bias and limited experimentation: Centralized Grants teams bring their standardized approach to grant vetting leading to a lack of experimentation which creates an inherent selection bias. The selection bias can even be non-malicious as they are biased by forces like being more likely to “open the door” for those who they know or have worked with before.h.

Decentralised Grants Program: Problems

  • Lack of time: Delegates will stop engaging if the request is for more than is reasonable. Reviewing a grant, especially if it is a direct grant for larger amounts can be expected to take from 1-4 hours each. Delegates cannot take that much time.
  • Inclusion and accessibility: Navigating the delegates and governance process of a large DAO represents a major lift for any prospective grants applicants. Those able to do so will likely have the best network and most capital, not necessarily the best grants ideas…
  • Lack of coordination: With a decentralized grants program, decision-making and coordination are distributed among multiple stakeholders. This can lead to challenges in achieving consensus, coordinating efforts, and aligning priorities.
  • Evaluation of impact: It is challenging for the DAO to assess the relative impact of different grants programs if no standardized reporting cadence, key metrics and evaluation criteria is maintained centrally.
  • Mitigating risks and fraud: Decentralized grants programs are vulnerable to risks such as fraudulent proposals, mismanagement of funds, and malicious actors. Implementing mechanisms for due diligence, verification, reputation systems and Sybil defense can help mitigate these risks and protect the integrity of grants funding.
  • Not fully developed: Even solutions like quadratic funding which lets users directly express their interest still require a program manager. They must shepherd the round and ensure quality fraud protection while making objective decisions about eligibility criteria, user and project appeals, and more. Until we design the open and permissionless protocol to handle these subjective components, the model still has single points of failure.

Launching the Arbitrum DAO Pluralistic Grants program

A Pluralist Grants program provides a perfect middle ground between Decentralized and Centralized Grants programs, unlocking the “best of both worlds.

At its core the Pluralistic Grants Model will see the Pluralistic Grants Program Allocator onboard 4-6 pluralist grants managers who will be responsible for distributing funds to grant applicants that benefits the Arbitrum Ecosystem. Sourcing and selection of these ideas will use novel combinations of bottoms-up and top-down mechanisms facilitated by Plurality Labs.

The programs will focus on specific needs within the ecosystem and their potential impact, for example, one Pluralist Grants Manager may focus on bringing a novel new technique for fund allocation or deep grants proposal expertise (i.e. Questbook). Another might stand up an Arbitrum gaming specific grants program. This flexibility allows for experimentation to allow Arbitrum DAO to discover what works best and allows for the specific needs of the Arbitrum ecosystem to be catered to.

Our approach includes a progressive decentralization of the Pluralist Grants Program Allocator. During Milestone 1, Plurality Labs will maintain accountability for sourcing, selecting, reporting on and delivering results of the chosen pluralist grants programs.

Milestones 2 & 3 will see experimentation with decentralized allocation mechanisms in a Proof of Concept stage with the goal of running at least one round of Pluralist Grants Program selection in a fully decentralized way without needing any corrective intervention.

:bulb: The Pluralist Grants Programs will be selected after the proposal passes governance and the Discovery Phase is completed.

During the discovery phase, we will gather input from delegates and the broader community to define the vision, mission, and values of the Arbitrum DAO, and determine what needs to be funded.

Once this foundation is established, we will evaluate the best domains and mechanisms for allocating resources and capital to grantees. Pluralistic Program managers will play a crucial role in promoting experimentation, decentralization of decisions, and improved resource allocation outcomes.

We have observed that many previous grants programs has struggled with an inability to source great grant opportunities, which we hope to address in the following ways:

  • Applications to be program managers should separate from the applications for grant program ideas
  • Create a backlog of “high impact work to be done” be created, allowing competent builders to step to deliver impact for Arbiturm DAO
  • Create a list of builders, potential grantees, and those interested in supporting the Arbitrum ecosystem which can be direct towards the “high impact work that needs to be done”
  • Robust evaluation and reporting facilitated by Plurality Labs reduce time/effort/reliance on Project Manager and Grantees to demonstrate their success to the community
  • Launch a Grant Program accelerator program to provide grantees clear guidelines, training and support to develop a high quality grant submissions

The selection of the Pluralist Grants Programs and their managers will involve a facilitated bottoms-up approach, sourcing ideas, people, and processes. Factors considered in the selection may include, but are not limited to:

  • Previous experience delivering grants programs.
  • Domain expertise and knowledge
  • Ability to source innovate grants projects and support in the maintenance of a health pipeline of grants submission
  • Maturity of program specific processes and tooling
  • Nature of proposed funding allocation mechanism and data on demonstrated impact/success of mechanism
  • Demonstrated involvement with and commitment to Arbitrum ecosystem and its values

This is an exhaustive list, and the criteria for selecting Program Managers will be further refined in the Discovery and Design phase, with input from delegates and the broader community. We are committed to maintaining credible neutrality in the selection process.

With this approach we are confident that the Arbitrum DAO Pluralistic Grants Program will be fair, impactful and ultimately support the growth and success of the Arbitrum Ecosystem.

The Pluralistic Grants model also provides 300k ARB to support matching Gitcoin rounds which run on Arbitrum.

This is not payment to Gitcoin the organization, but a payment to grant recipients in a Gitcoin Arbitrum round we intend to launch. Gitcoin core rounds include support for Open Source Software, Ethereum Infrastructure, & Zero Knowledge. This aligns with the stated Arbitrum goal of supporting the Ethereum ecosystem while also attracting users which might otherwise choose another L2. It also allows us to tap into support of the Gitcoin DevRel team to help source builders, host hackathons.

Funding grants this way will not only benefit the Arbitrum ecosystem, but enable the Gitcoin product team to prioritize making their Allo protocol available on Arbitrum. By being able to execute pluralistic programs on their Allo protocol allows us an open data substrate which will enable us to compare programs and projects across the pluralist framework. It also allows program managers to use quadratic funding and quadratic voting (if they choose) which require Sybil defense. This is a crucial enabler for the next section.

Improved Accountability, Transparency and Reporting are key benefits of the Pluralistic Grants model.

Web3 spends 100’s of millions annually on different grants and grants programs and to date, there has been little focus on the efficiency of those grant programs or the efficacy of their spend. We intend to build grant program efficiency metrics as well specific grantee project efficacy (or results) metrics.

By using a common framework for executing a plurality of grant programs, we have the ability to identify, track and refine metrics for each unique grant program. Something that has not been done to date, and would be more difficult to do in stand alone grant environments.

By doing this, we can begin to build qualitative data on the efficiency of each distribution method in a way that can identify improvements for that mechanism, but also compare mechanisms across stakeholder groups and use cases. By building these metrics, Arbitrum will be able to parse down the crowded field of grant-execution options and deliver the most effective Grants Program web3 has seen to date.

Grant program execution typically stops when the money has been distributed, and we think that is premature. As part of this program we intend to experiment with a series of existing post-project evaluation tools (after action reviews, qualitative/quantitative metrics, case studies) but add in or invent novel web3 project evaluation solutions (hypercerts, on-chain analysis, panel reviews) to rate every project receiving funding in a way that can demonstrate the efficacy of the spending as it relates to building the Arbitrum ecosystem.

We know there are inefficiencies and fraud in the web3 grant mechanisms; this part of the program allows Arbitrum to make the most of its investments. Doing this will lead to a higher return on the Arbitrum investment and more funding for the most worthy projects, while leaving room to experiment with the novel web3 mechanism that can help us revolutionize the grant process.

Multisig Management

Grants Safety Multisig

On Tally, the request is to send 3.36 million ARB to the PL-ARB Grants Safety Multisig.


There are two layers of community protection against misuse or abuse of funds.

Gnosis Zodiac OZ governor module

  • DAO can clawback funds from multisig direct to its treasury with a vote
  • Protects from a corrupted set of multisig signers

Grants Safety Multisig Signers

  • A multisig protects from simple wallet hacks
  • Protects from having the service provider hold all the funds
  • Protects against obvious self dealing or abuse
  • Provides a more integrated delegate watching the program closely
  • Does not decide how funds are allocated - Only a signer

This multisig is set up with a Gnosis Zodiac OZ governor module looking at the Arbitrum token contract. This means that the DAO can at any point reclaim the funds in this multisig with a vote on Tally. (Quorum is set at 100 million ARB for non-constitutional vote)

Request for Signers

The role of the multisig signer is solely to protect and prevent fraud and abuse such as perceived “self-dealing” by Plurality Labs. They are not expected to actively participate in deciding where funds should be allocated.

This multisig will review, sign and execute all fund disbursement for the Arbitrum DAO Pluralistic Grants program.

During our sessions with the community, we learned that there is not an expectation of any election or term limits for this multisig because it does not actively make any decisions. Instead the requirements should be large delegates (skin in the game), active (will actually sign in timely manner), and has reputation (wants to maintain positive impression).

:bulb: This vote will enable the DAO at any time to set term limits or request elections and for that request to be executed within 30 days. Governance requests for the Grants Safety Multisig will only require a winning vote on snapshot which meets non-constitutional quorum.

Please reply to this post with your desire to be a signer on the Grants Safety Multisig. Potential signer applications will be reviewed by Pularity Labs before a final list of selected signers are confirmed and onboarded.

Plurality Labs Payment

Upon receipt of 3.36 million ARB, the Grants Safety Multisig will send 30% of the Plurality Labs service fee to the Plurality Labs wallet: arb1:0x76Ae3Af25332F5cd01c312E281685Bb35D7d27eA

The remaining 70% will be streamed to the Plurality Labs wallet over a period of 6 months. This means that if the DAO believes Plurality Labs is performing poorly, they can even clawback the payment to Plurality Labs.

:bulb: We also intend to use the Zodiac module shared by the Tally team allowing the DAO the ability to clawback funds from the grants program at any time.


Plurality Labs Team

Disruption Joe

Ran grants operations for Gitcoin Grants rounds 8-10 growing gross marketplace value from $2 - $10 million. First Gitcoin employee to leave the company and work full-time for the DAO. Started the Fraud Detection & Defense (FDD) workstream. FDD is responsible for stopping over $3 million in fraud while Gitcoin Grants delivered over $50 million in funding.

More reading about the work done in the FDD Review. Joe will be supporting overall project management and grants framework design.

Pepperoni Jo3 (on behalf of

Cofounder of r3gen, a web3 financial service provider working with clients including Squid, Coordinape, Inverse Finance and Treasure DAO. Previously PwC consulting alumni specializing in Org Design, Operational Excellence and Change. Joined web3 full time at Index Coop where he served on the Leadership Council as Head of People and Community.

More information on the r3gen services and team can be found here.

Mary Quandt

People-first strategic design-thinking and organizational development leader. Partners with global business leaders to accelerate business strategies and execute people- and organization-focused solutions. Leadership approach combines possibility and participation while keeping firm foot in practical implementation. Thrives on building, leading and growing inclusive cross-functional teams to challenge the status quo. Experience includes IndexCoop, US Election Assistance Commission, Johnson & Johnson, Human Performance Institute, GE, Amazon, Martha Stewart and Charles Schwab to name a few.

Shawn Grubb

As former CIO, CEO, and non-profit chairman of the board, Shawn spent his corporate career preparing for DAO governance. Introduced to the blockchain in 2015 he went full-time degen in 2019 but moved to DAOs in 2021 when he joined Index Coop leading the governance communications and people operations. In August 2022, he joined Gitcoin where he currently leads governance

Looking Ahead: Milestone 2 & 3

The overall plan is to deploy a pluralist grants framework which operates in a politically decentralized & capture resistant way. This will fund grants programs in a continuous way that minimizes bureaucracy and increases action while providing accountability as part of the system.

Prior to releasing funds for milestone 2 to begin, Plurality Labs will offer a review of the previous milestone accomplishments and failures… The same process will occur before Milestone 3.

Milestones 2 & 3 are about scaling the frameworks and models we use while iteratively testing them. By the end of Milestone 3, we hope to have built the needed components for the entire process to run autonomously onchain.

Milestone 3 - Completion of the full project

We expect this to take 18 months in total. Each milestone being a 6 month cycle of iterative improvement. At the end of the third milestone we will provide:


  1. The number of quality active developers building on Arbitrum is growing at an increasing rate

  2. The combination of a quality assessment and the nuance of an increasing rate of growth indicates healthy and sustainable growth.

  3. Voter participation is increasing as indicated by # of active ARB holders in participating in grants governance.

  4. Participation, especially those buying ARB to participate, is a key indicator of ARB value as a governance token providing political decentralization.

  5. DAO delegates’ satisfaction with Plurality Labs service is improving as measured by NPS

  6. The delegate’s happiness with Plurality Labs service indicates success as viewed by the delegates.

What will have been achieved

  • Capture-resistant governance of the grants program which supports continuous and sustainable funding of the grants program going forward.
  • Ability to massively scale allocation amounts such that the DAO can comfortably allocate significant capital to grow the Arbitrum ecosystem by improving sourcing pipelines, standardizing evaluation models, and using multiple allocation methods appropriately aligned to outcomes.
  • Improvements in the DAOs ability to sense, make and drive impact and outcomes by bringing the right information to the right decision making apparatus in a way that cuts off poor performance and doubles down on high-impact work.

Voting Options

  1. Yes, fund Milestone 1 (3.36 million ARB)
  2. No, do not fund Milestone 1
  3. Abstain

We have decided that the Questbook & Plurality Labs proposals should be separate, but complimentary proposals. Here are the reasons behind keeping the proposals separate:

Credible Neutrality

To maintain credibility and avoid any perception of bias, Plurality Labs proposes conducting a discovery process to identify the most impactful means of deploying funds. By selecting Questbook before conducting this discovery, Plurality Labs may be seen as favoring a particular solution from the outset. Such a perception could undermine trust within the community.

The Arbitrum DAO can decide if they would like to see the Questbook program start outside of the governance and accountability of the Plurality Labs program.

Maintaining clear accountability

Questbook offers a ready-to-go solution with a process architecture that incorporates pluralist and decentralized elements. Their approach relies on a single allocation mechanism called Delegated Domain Authority. On the other hand, Plurality Labs aims to explore multiple allocation mechanisms to create a sustainably decentralizing solution that doesn’t rely solely on delegated authority.

In this regard, Questbook should be held accountable for allocating funds effectively, while Plurality Labs should be held accountable not only for effective fund allocation but also for developing native DAO processes that facilitate co-creation of the best grant funding mechanisms and approaches.

Showcasing pluralism from day 1

Plurality Labs fully supports other grants programs and wants to avoid discouraging investment in those programs due to their own efforts. By presenting their proposal separately, they hope to set a positive example on Day 1. If Plurality Labs successfully delivers their final proposal, it is anticipated that other grants programs will choose to participate through their program based on its demonstrated effectiveness. This expectation is reasonable upon completion of the third milestone.

Commitment to collaboration

Separating the proposals does not imply duplication of work. Questbook is likely to participate and co-host many discovery and design sessions organized by Plurality Labs. Questbook will benefit from the insights gained through Plurality Labs’ efforts. Additionally, Plurality Labs may choose to incorporate the Questbook software as a specific component within one of their pluralist grants programs.

Next Steps

Posting both proposals

The final version of the Questbook proposal is available here. The community will decide whether one or both proposals will pass. In the event that both proposals succeed, the entities involved are eager to collaborate, thereby establishing a precedent of pluralism from the very beginning.


Hello! First of all, I want to express my gratitude for providing this proposal. But I have a question regarding to this.

Could you please provide a detailed explanation of how these percentages were calculated?
Also do you have any transparency report associated to it?

I believe that a clear explanation on this matter would greatly benefit not only myself and the other new DAO members who may have similar queries, but the future itself of the proposal.

I would like to emphasize that this is solely my personal opinion and do not represent the opinions of the @seedlatam delegation.


Too much funds for abtract program. You would do a better video representation, considering the amount of the requested funds. Disagree


Thank you @DisruptionJoe and PL team for all the hard work you have put in to continuously iterate the proposal based on feedback as well as all the twitter space and workshops you have organised to get this going. :pray:

These are fair near/mid term goals for milestone 1, however, we need to also be able to gauge how these metrics relate to the north star/mission of the DAO. We have suggested what the north star could be here Proposal: Temp check - Mission of the Arbitrum DAO [Constitutional] and we are fine with adapting to another mission statement as long as we as a DAO agree on why we are funding anything at all.

With this rationale, I do believe that these points are important for us to clarify:

and I am happy to see that the PL team has taken initiative to address this. Maybe a smoother path forward is to start with funding the Discover phase as milestone 1.1, facilitated by the PL team? Each of the subsequent deliverables could be sub-milestones for the PL team to deliver which unlocks further stage of funding. In this regard, it would be good to have a breakdown of expenses for each of the


450+260k for managing this program. That’s a huge amount. For how long? Are these people full timers?

You mention a lot about programs wasting money. Well this program would spend 710k ARB on managing the program?!

As a previous Grants Lead myself, I will applaud the goals and spirit of the proposal. The problems mentioned are real. I am not sure if the solutions mentioned are convincing me enough of this grant program being different.


As always, Arbitrum is being generous. Grant programs are obligatory for every single protocol or blockchain ecosystem, imo. We can’t deny how many ideas just came from grant programs, incentives, hackathons, etc. I just hope that Arbitrum will make a good selection among applicants and keep funds safe. And verify that what is promised in the grants is delivered by the applicators.


I am in favor of running multiple Arbitrum grants programs in parallel. The Arbitrum DAO has a lot of potential, but is off to slow start. I would like to see several, relatively small efforts to deploy ARB to grow the ecosystem activate this year. As a result, I am generally in favor of both this grants framework and the Questbook program.

With that said, I would like to see more detail on how the funds will be deployed in this program. The proposal suggests spending 2.6 million ARB on the ecosystem, but does not include any details on what will be prioritized with the funds. The proposal also includes an additional 1.4 million in ARB that goes to the team, Gitcoin rounds, and unspecified. I’d like to understand more about how the 1.4 million will be used and why that amount is necessary. Re: Gitcoin, I would like to hear from Gitcoin on why this round is a priority for them. I am surprised there is no direct representation from Gitcoin in the Arbitrum forum given the size of the potential funding round.

I would like to fully support this proposal, but need a bit more detail before explicitly endorsing.




These amounts have been set over months of conversation here on the forum, in telegram chats and one on ones, and in community workshops.

Are you asking for a transparency report on how we set the amounts?

We’ve invested well over 200 hours of Plurality Labs team time plus a ton of time of delegates and community members helping to craft this. I’m not convinced that spending on higher quality video is the best use of our funds at this time.

I do agree that we need the vision & mission set. Part of this proposal is to facilitate finding this in a bottoms up way. I think if I personally were to craft one, I’d come up with close to what you have suggested. I’ve learned from experience that if the DAO is not a part of co-creating the statement that it will lose meaning. This proposal intends to discover the mission and vision using DAO native methods to engage the DAO in co-creation of these.

We would be happy to receive the funding for milestone 1 in stages. How small of time increments should it be broken into though? Sure, you can break it into smaller and smaller checks, but then our team needs to spend our time making political ties rather than doing the work. Something like 50k upfront and the rest streamed using Sablier contracts over the next 6 months is fine. This way the DAO could stop payment if we were to do nothing. Having us break the proposal into smaller pieces, each of which we need to pass separately on Tally… that wouldn’t be good for us or Arbitrum.

The work we are committing to is not simply managing a grants program. We would be designing frameworks and standards for open and permissionless participation which would yield effective grant spending which can be validated by the community. We are designing DAO native processes for increasing the effectiveness of grant spending while also increasing governance participation.

This is milestone 1. The DAO could choose not to fund milestone 2 if we aren’t making impressive progress. Yes, there is some risk, but you have a team with solid reputation for executing and a very specific need which most DAOs ignore - to their detriment.

Many grants programs simply throw money to what the council or delegated teams think is best. Our solution is to design more DAO native ways to engage community members like yourself to learn what opportunities the community sees. DAOs should have a superpower, but we haven’t gotten good at harnessing the collective knowledge yet.

I’d like to discuss this with you on a call because I’m having a hard time seeing where our views diverge. I think you are saying that you would like to see us state “Nova, Account Abstraction, Gaming, etc” for our focus areas. To me, this would be directly in conflict with our commitment to engage the community in deciding these things. It is a great thing that Questbook can define specific areas, but that is also a key difference in our proposals. We are aiming to create more DAO native processes for assessing these questions in a bottoms-up way.

I’d also like to point out that pluralism is not redundancy. It is about defining open & permissionless ways for the community to participate and rewarding the participation which creates value for the ecosystem. It is about using centralization and decentralization as tools which are best suited for different components of a holistic program.

The amount for Plurality Labs is both the design and kickstart of a capture-resistant grants governance framework, but also the selection and coaching of pluralist program managers. The funds for Plurality Labs are separate from the program managers allocations. This would all be delivered with oversight from the Grants Safety Multisig which would have the zodiac plug-in for the DAO to reclaim at any time. The “buffer” amount is in case of a drastic price change, but would be returned to the DAO or rolled over as buffer for Milestone 2.

Gitcoin’s Public Goods Funding workstream lead Azeem posted his approval on the other thread.

I do understand that we are asking for funds without exact KPIs. I also know that we are a capable team that is passionate about solving governance problems. At FDD, we ran a Machine Learning Operations pipeline for sybil detection while also reviewing as many as 1000 grants in less than 6 weeks with minimal errors. (You can see our governance briefs posted publicly after every round). The reason I’m sharing this is to show that we are highly capable of executing on our commitment.

Every grants program is either centralized and centralizing further over time or ineffective. Grants programs are complicated, but we keep YOLOing frameworks or resorting to delegated authority to individuals or councils. It doesn’t have to be this way. If you were building a house, would you YOLO it without blueprints and expect it to not have issues?

Funding this initiative could massively boost the Arbitrum ecosystem if we succeed.

Yes, this amount is a significant ask, but do you feel it is safe to try?


A few considerations for delegates before we move this to snapshot.

  1. Optimism is releasing 30 million in retroactive public goods funding later this year
  2. Plurality Labs is committed to solving the problems - This benefits Arbitrum
  3. The ability to run Gitcoin rounds on Arbitrum means more total funding
  4. We are offering to both support multiple programs AND do the work of learning and iterative improvement

When will we get to parity with OP in ecosystem funding?

  • How will we scale to get to parity?
  • How will we scale without the system centralizing?
  • How will we create trusted boundaries on what spending is “in-bounds”?
  • A 10% decrease in effectivity of funds means 350 million in waste over time

Plurality Labs is a mission focused organization

  • Our goal isn’t to pass this proposal, then move on to pass for another ecosystem next month and not have time for Arbitrum. We want to design a best-in-class system with a technology and team which has continually shown it is willing to push the ecosystem to truly decentralize.
  • We would not attempt other major client work until the path for Arbitrum is clear.
  • Our other work is mission aligned - building fraud dashboards, sponsoring Plural QF experimentation, designing real-time fraud detection tools.
  • In this proposal, we are only asking for 12.5% for services so we can get both our services AND the plural managers covered for under 20%. This isn’t just program management, but we are willing to do it for the same amount.
  • We want to get to milestone 3 - this means we depend on you thinking we did a great job after these 6 months
  • The fee we take isn’t evenly split across the 4 current team members. We will need to hire specialists and post bounties. We will likely need more PT help. Our profit, if there is any, would go to our mission aligned activities in the future as well. We want Plurality Labs contributors to be paid well, but not to be extractive.

Gitcoin Citizen Round just brought in $80k in donations for a $20k matching pool.

  • Matching pots on Gitcoin for choosing to run on Arbitrum is immediate user growth
  • Our ability to run QF rounds means more money granted including the direct donations!
  • The Allo protocol allows for an open data substrate which can be used for Quadratic Funding, Quadratic Voting, and Direct Grants programs. It allows for the open analysis of results in a consistent data format with a variety of ready to use and tested tools.
  • If this is broken out into a separate proposal, we will lose the ability to do many types of grant tests during our first milestone.

Iterative improvement included

  • Our proposal explicitly calls for judgement for our next milestone funding to be include process improvements on top of funding outcomes
  • We have a ton of “low hanging fruit” learnings from past experience which wasn’t prioritized yet, but is expected to be impactful
  • If you think our process improvements might result in even a 1% effectivity gain, then you are estimating $35 million in savings over the lifetime of the DAO
  • We think that there is like room for 10-20% effectivity improvements by simply reducing fraud, monitoring outcomes, and evaluating impact ($350-$700 million without compounding!)
  • The current market is designing monolithic grants program solutions which can be great for creating a specific outcome, but none are perfect for the entire needs of keeping an ecosystem healthy, balanced, and growing.

Statement from Joe

Have you been in a situation where you are always focused on the next couple months priority and never get around to long-term strategy planning? This is happening to every DAO grants program. A few great ones like OP & Uniswap have realized that centralized teams must make and guide the long-term strategy. We believe the whole community can be better represented and produce more effective outcomes by using more DAO native and on-chain tools. Many of these are sitting in backlogs waiting to be built or already exist but aren’t well known.

Think of Plurality Labs as not only scouring all of web 3 to find the most effective grants program processes and software components, but also creating a playbook for how these components can be modularly assembled to create the best possible outcomes.

If you look at Atlassian Playbooks, they have compiled a list of “plays” which teams can run to make meetings suck less and deliver consistent results.

We are looking to compile a list of “plays” for the web 3 grants program playbook. We can look at successful programs like Gitcoin QF rounds or Thrivecoin engagement campaigns. We can also review other grants programs that Arbitrum may approve like Questbook. Each of these programs provides one or multiple plays which specialize in producing a specific outcome. We may also discover or even design new plays using existing or new software.

A best-in-class ecosystem grants program will:

  • Find and fund the most impactful outcomes
  • Source collective intelligence from the community
  • Know which “play” to use to best produce a specific outcome
  • Increase voter participation over time

At the end of our third milestone, we hope to provide a playbook full of proven plays with context to which situations each is best suited. We are not only delivering funding to the ecosystem, but providing long term benefits to all future grants programs! It is ambitious, but not unrealistic. We believe, as many in the DAO space do, that effectively using the wisdom of the crowd will work even better than centralizing authority which slows down innovation.

We aim to provide decentralization long-term through competency, not coercive control.


Joe, I appreciate your leadership on this proposal. You’ve been very collaborative, patient, and receptive to feedback along the way.

Philosophically, I think I struggle with the expansive scope of this proposal, which includes funding for a reasonably large grants program, grants program design and implementation at multiple levels, and a public goods funding round. I personally would choose to get started with a narrower scope.

With that said, I will support this proposal. I really want the DAO to start experimenting and funding initiatives, and I think on balance this proposal will benefit the DAO both in terms of providing grant funding to the ecosystem and kickstarting the learning process on how to operate grants initiatives.


Just as with the prior thread, I’m really supportive of this. I know that it’s not the smallest amount of funds but to properly run a grants program does require that, and that can have a massively positive impact on the ecosystem as a whole.


Hey everyone, I am FOR this proposal, the Pluralistic Grants Model sounds like a great approach for the Arbitrum ecosystem.

I can vouch for the innovative ideas and approaches of the Plurality Labs team having worked with some of the members, and I am excited to see how a Grants Program shaped and designed by the team will encourage the growth of the Arbitrum ecosystem.


Reminder - tomorrow (Tuesday 7.4) will be our bi-weekly Grants & Governance workshop

We will use the Lean Coffee approach to work through some sticky Grants related topics - find the outline here and we hope you will join us.

Bi-Weekly Grants & Governance Workshops - Tuesdays at 2pm UTC

These bi-weekly facilitated sessions will be made open to all delegates and teams/individuals contributing to the Arbitrum ecosystem. Hosted workshops will use design thinking to better understand the problems we are facing, align our conversations, and find better solutions.

:calendar: Add to calendar


I will be there on the call


Blockworks Research is voting no to Plurality’s grant program. In our opinion, it does not make sense to fund another grants program with an overlapping mandate to Questbook, especially one so similar. Having one program is optimal as otherwise concerns around the “mom and dad” issue, a lack of communication, and other potential problems could occur. After careful consideration of the two programs, we decided that we preferred Questbook given:

  1. Questbook has seen success in other DAOs.
  2. The high service fee requested for Plurality + grants program managers in this proposal.
  3. The total expense for Questbook is far lower, and that program will function as a trial, posing a lower aggregate risk to the DAO.
  4. A more clear and sufficient multisig model proposed by Questbook that involves the DAO’s input on members.

Proposal is now LIVE on Snapshot

Click here to VOTE!

It’s time to build the tools and processes which will help the space collectively rebuild its vision of capture-resistant governance.

This vote is a commitment to Milestone 1 of 3. Here is a high-level overview of the three milestones.

Milestone 1

  • Utilize DAO native sensemaking & design methods to clarify vision, mission and boundaries for what the DAO’s short & long term goals are and how to collaborate between programs and the foundation.
  • Discover, Design, Execute, & Evaluate a best-in-class grants funding framework delivering 2.6 million ARB to builders aligned with the DAO mission.
  • Research & development of evaluation practices to assess project execution, impact, and alignment tracking of funds granted by the DAO (in or out of the Plurality Labs driven program) such that the DAO can quickly scale grant funding to make Arbitrum the #1 home for quality builders.
  • Benchmarking of key metrics to measure the three milestone program success.

Milestone 2

  • Iterative alignment of processes based on learnings from Milestone 1 to enable massive scaling of the amount of funds the DAO can comfortably allocate.
  • Business model discovery for a grants pathway to investment and overall program sustainability.
  • RFP and granting process to build needed components to deliver milestone 3.

Milestone 3

Deliver a governance framework for continuous ecosystem funding which satisfies the following metrics:

  • The number of quality developers building on Arbitrum is growing at an increasing rate.
  • The number of ARB holders participating in governance is growing.
  • DAO delegate satisfaction with our services is increasing as measured by NPS.

Questbook has 1 allocation method called Delegated Domain Authority. One thing I learned at Gitcoin while we were doing discovery of what grants programs need is multiple allocation methods. Our service will analyze results between allocation methods and utilize the results to compliment the Questbook model.

Additionally, our framework offers iterative design improvements between rounds.

If you truly prefer a centralized grants model, then you should indeed vote for one program. I’d suggest this is not only against the ethos of the DAO, but also the reason DAOs centralize over time.

Four allocators over 6 months representing 550,000 token holders means that even the allocator with the best of intentions is closer to some than others on the social graph. This imbalance will compound over time. The Questbook model with elections & term limits is a big part of why we support them, though we do think that our service would compliment theirs.

The total service fee being requested to pay both Plurality Labs and program leads is 19.7%. I’m not sure how you can call this high in comparison to Questbook at 20%. We aimed to have a similar fee to avoid this discussion. While their proposal goes deep in servicing the DDA allocation method, ours goes wide in servicing multiple allocation mehtods, comparative analysis between methods, and iterative improvements over time.

We are also working to put ourselves out of the job. We want to deliver and be done, not stay and continue extracting fees forever. Consider that Polygon has delivered $500 million in funding. How do we get to that scale as quickly and effectively as possible?

This does need to be decided before the Tally vote which would allocate funds. If the Snapshot for ours passes, we may design an acceptable model or even choose to collaborate further and use the same Grants Safety Multisig as Questbook.

This multisig is a key component for safety and preventing self-dealing, but it isn’t an active role in decision making.

Overall, we hope you reconsider given our clarification. I’m still available for discussion if you can find time. We would love to have Blockworks Research actively participate in our workshops and collaborative sessions.


good news!! thank you

1 Like

I’ve been giving considerable thought to the existing grants program and, based on my understanding, I am obliged to vote against its current implementation. I believe there are three primary issues that need addressing:

  1. Accountability: Often, we find that a project’s success is hindered not due to a lack of potential in the idea, but rather a deficiency in the team’s ability to execute it. As delegates, it’s challenging to evaluate and mitigate such risks when awarding grants.
  2. Bias: The crypto space unfortunately appears to function much like an ‘old boys club’, with grants often awarded based on who you know rather than your demonstrable capabilities. This biases the grant allocation process, since we lack comprehensive data on applicants’ performance and skills.
  3. Efficiency: The current process demands a disproportionate amount of delegates’ time for the minimal impact it has. Furthermore, it does not sufficiently address the critical issues DAOs face.

I think the Arbitrum DAO should look at a tender market model which, in my opinion, addresses these three issues effectively:

  1. Role Clarity: The Foundation or the DAO proposes the ideas, while teams are chosen based on their track record and prior engagement, ensuring that the selection is capability-based rather than idea-based.
  2. Transparency: This model discourages proactive solicitation by the teams. Instead, they respond to requests, making the process transparent and eliminating bias.
  3. Simplified Decision-Making: Delegates vote on broad ideas instead of specific implementations proposed by a particular team, streamlining their decision-making process.

Perhaps the most salient feature of the tender market model is that it encourages the creation of what is truly necessary rather than random proposals. For instance, if the Arbitrum DAO requires R&D efforts around shared sequencers, teams can respond to that specific need. I think that is how we’ll attract talent to the Arbitrum DAO, much more than a grant program anyway.