Grants Framework VOTING is live for the top 100 delegates!

The JokeDAO contest to source the best grants framework ideas is live through 5/20!

Vote here: jokerace 🃏 contests for communities to make, execute, and reward decisions

What does this vote mean?

This vote is not a vote to send funds. It is essentially “heatmapping” what the DAO thinks is very important. I will be putting together a proposal with a few others to fund a few of these best ideas, but that will be separate from this contest!

For more info, see the original announcement post: Grant Framework Design Contest! Submissions live until 5/13

The original post starting the convo: Grants Funding Framework Discussion - How To Excel at Being a DAO

Also, check out this excellent post from @dennison: Building better Grants Programs: A handbook

What is next?

Last week, I was out of office at MetaCamp hosted by MetaCartel in Costa Rica. There we shared ideas around this topic which I am writing up to share with this community. We had hours of workshops with some top minds in the space.

The JokeDAO contest ends on 5/20. I hope to have a proposal ready to fund multiple of the ideas sourced via the contest. I’m discussing opportunities with multiple potential partners and look forward to sharing soon.

Ok. What do I need to do today?

If you are a top 100 delegate, head to the JokeDAO page to vote!


Sadly I had a few issues last week that made me miss the deadline, so best of luck to the people who submitted their ideas! Looking forward to seeing what we can build up from here


Make a forum post in the grants section and link to it here! I’m reserving 250 of the reward for my discretion for the reward. A late great idea is better than not sharing it.

@Boiler Let’s have all the submissions copy paste their ideas here.


Submitting a proposed grants framework below, co-developed with a few friends and colleagues. See also the hackmd version here.

Arbitrum Grants Powered by Impact Evaluations

This proposal presents a novel funding model for Arbitrum Grants that aims to create a scalable, plural, and transparent system for grant distribution that fosters innovation and rewards hard work.

Key Points

  • Size funding rounds based on the L2’s economic activity; hold larger grant rounds during periods of lower TVL and transaction activity
  • Divide each round into 3-5 funding pools for different prioritized ecosystem growth areas
  • Require projects to submit structured data that facilitates permissionless observation of their activity and impact
  • Incentivize impact evaluators to review structured project data and submit a recommended percentage of funding for each project
  • Shift the role of delegates from voting on projects to voting on impact evaluators’ scoring of all eligible projects

Round Sizing Formula

Size grant rounds based on ecosystem economic activity over a time period, i.e., a function that considers $ARB’s total value locked and network transaction activity. More $ARB should be granted during bearish or low activity cycles, i​​ncentivizing and supporting hard work during challenging times.

Funding Pool Parameters

Establish distinct funding pools to support development and growth at different network levels, e.g., separate “infrastructure” and “onboarding” pools. We propose leveraging Gitcoin’s Round Manager, with an initial 3-5 funding pools, including one for individual contributions.

Project Eligibility Requirements

Require grant applicants to provide structured project data that facilitates permissionless observation, including Github repos, social media handles, project wallets, and deployed smart contracts. We propose using Gitcoin Passport to prevent application spam, and the hypercert schema to enumerate contributors, work scopes, and work periods. By implementing these standardized measures, we enhance transparency and evaluation of project eligibility.

Impact Evaluation

Allocate a fixed percentage of each funding pool for decentralized impact evaluators. An “impact evaluator” takes as inputs a set of eligible projects and returns a recommended percentage of funding for each project. Evaluators are expected to rely on open data feeds to assess the eligible projects and submit auditable scoring functions alongside their recommendations. We propose dedicating 10% of funding initially to encourage building and innovation in this area.

Funding Decisions

Delegates make funding decisions by voting on impact evaluators instead of projects. This elevates Arbitrum delegates to address the meta problem of signaling which types of impact they value the most. As the ecosystem grows and diversifies, the work of impact evaluators becomes increasingly valuable to delegates’ network and social capital, resulting in a more scalable and effective system.


Jokerace Proposal

Grant Ships Game

This proposal is submitted by DAO Masons, a new service DAO committed to “Helping DAOs Win”. We are a small team of governance enthusiasts who design and implement DAO governance systems. Learn more about us at


Grant Ships is an ‘evolutionary grants game’ where Grant Ships (grant-giving subDAOs) compete to best deploy capital in the Arbitrum ecosystem.

The goal is to continually improve how we allocate capital by learning which Ship models are most effective, who the talented actors are, and which allocations resonate with Arbitrum voters.

How it works

The game begins with the election and funding of 6 Grant Ships and a small Referee Team.

At the beginning of each funding season, the Grant Ships are given capital from a common funding pool. For the bulk of each season, Grant Ships are busy screening applications, distributing funds, and reporting results. At the end of each season, each ship produces a Portfolio Report to communicate its progress.

The Arbitrum community then ranks the Grant Ships through a weighted token vote. In the following season, high-performing Ships receive a larger portion of the funding pool, and lower-performing ships receive less.

Inactive Ships or Ships that fail to meet minimum criteria can be replaced by new teams looking to enter the game.

The Referee Team facilitates the game and monitors the Ships’ compliance with reporting requirements by flagging rule violations.


Pluralistic Design
Pluralism is our primary design consideration. Nearly all of the coordination, creativity, and decision-making is left up to the individual Grant Ships.

Capture Resistance
This game decomposes the traditional, centralized grants-giving committee pattern and distributes power and responsibility among Grant Ships, Referees, and the voting community - each serving as a check and balance on the others.

Each Grant Ship is incentivized to monitor, document, and report on progress made by grant recipients. Grant recipients are incentivized to produce results and disclose progress to receive more funding in the following season.

Voter Participation
This game is a spectator sport, designed to be fun to play and watch. This is necessary to ensure the ecosystem stays involved and provides the right incentives and signals.

Adaptive Approach
Through token-weighted voting, Arbitrum DAO creates the selective pressure that forces Grant Ships to evolve. As Arbitrum evolves, so will its grants program.

Tools Needed

  • Weighted Token Voting Module (could be used in the temp-check phase with Snapshot)
  • Hats Protocol for building the game’s decentralized permission structure (more details here)
  • EAS or similar attestation model for ‘Flags’
  • Gnosis Safe for referee operations multisig

Final Thoughts

This is a new system that we designed from scratch – which is hard to get across in a two-minute read. For more reasoning and specifics, please read more in our FAQ.


We have some winners! Please dm me here, on twitter, or on Telegram to claim your prizes!

1st Place

500 ARB
Grants Ships Game
Proposer: DAO Masons
Twitter: @daomasons
Joe’s Review: A highly capable team is presenting what might be the technical infrastructure needed to decentralize allocation at the highest level. I can’t wait to see this tested and progress to be an industry-changing solution.

2nd Place

200 ARB
Proposer: Zeptimus
Twitter: @zeptimusq
Joe’s Review: This teams long history of thinking about the problem shows. The solution of a Tinder like swiping is great. It also is a great idea for increasing voter participation. They didn’t mention it, but the act of swiping can be a form of reverse turing test which creates sybil resistance is cool too!

3rd Place

50 ARB
Inverter dApp
Proposer: Inverter Network
Twitter: @inverternetwork
Joe’s Review: I really like the idea of KPIs driving the release of funds AND the potential for things funded as public goods to start having accounting to use for investment if/when they find a business model.

Host Choice Winner

250 ARB
Impact Evaluations
Proposer: Carl Cervone
Twitter: @carl_cervone
Joe’s Review: I see this being a clearly defined goal that attacks the heart of the problem. Having impact evaluations drive allocations is something I could see tested, then expanded to being a critical component of most grants programs.


Thanks @DisruptionJoe for hosting this. I really enjoyed reading the submissions from everyone and I am happy to see many novel approaches from folks! Are there any next steps planned?


Yes! I’ve drafted a proposal which I hope to share on the forum next week. It is on it’s second draft. I’m starting to socialize it to many top delegates to incorporate feedback before a public posting.

Here is the TL;DR:

The proposal aims to immediately begin funding ecosystem development while establishing a decentralized and pluralistic grants framework which is capture-resistant. It requests 5m ARB which is approximately 0.1% of the total treasury. The project will be led by Plurality Labs, a new entity created by Disruption Joe, former Fraud Detection & Defense workstream lead for Gitcoin.

If successful, this project will:

  • Immediately increase development building Arbitrum-native applications & protocols
  • Discover our Mission, Vision, Values in a DAO native, bottoms-up way
  • Ensure Arbitrum is first choice for program managers using Gitcoin (vs another L2)
  • Decentralize an onchain grant allocation mechanism to be capture-resistant
    • Progressively decentralized over three milestones
  • Establish a set cadence for the community to reliably participate in sense-making
  • Make governance fun and grow governance participation a key metric

It’s also cool that a Decentralized Review System platform has already been built & pilot tested on Arbitrum (Deresy)

So the majority of grant funds can be spent on evaluators rather than software developers. As each evaluator uses Arbitrum to submit reviews & get paid, it increases economic activity on the chain.


I have paid out these rewards.





Thanks to all the participants and voters!