[Discussion] A Community-Run Push Grants Program (v3)

After two iterations of the Push Grants Program, we have learned many lessons that we would like to apply towards starting a community-run Push Grants Program (PGPv3).

Push Grants Program v1 (PGPv1)

In the first iteration, we designed the program to be governance-led, with all grants conversations and decisions taking place via the governance route. However, over time, we realized that while transparency is important, we also needed more community engagement and a broader understanding of the Push Protocol. This led to low community participation, longer grant processing times, and a slower overall pace.

Push Grants Program v2 (PGPv2)

After learning from the challenges faced during PGPv1, we decided to bring more velocity back into the process by introducing an internal Grants Review Committee. While this may reduce transparency to some extent, our goal was to create a strong foundation that would allow for a more engaged community, more voters, maintained transparency, and improved infrastructure for grantees. (Read more about PGPv2)

How did we achieve this? We introduced several programs and events that enable our community to contribute their skills and expertise to Push DAO. These programs can work together to maximize opportunities for grantees:

  • Rockstars of Push (Currently in its second iteration)
  • Push Bug Bounty Program: for security researchers
  • Push Missions: challenges that involve solving technical or brand awareness tasks
  • Push Ambassadors Program: Latin America and India Programs (with more to come)
  • Demo Thursdays: a platform for Grants applicants to showcase their ideas to our community and receive immediate feedback or guidance on improving their grant submissions

The Push Ambassador Programs have been instrumental in working with grantees to maximize growth opportunities. The formula is simple: if a grantee grows, Push grows.

All these programs help educate the community by actively engaging them, ensuring they have a deep understanding of the Push Protocol and encouraging critical thinking when evaluating solutions built on top of Push.

Enter Push Grants Program v3 (PGPv3)

As we continue on our path of Progressive Decentralization, we want to gradually hand over control of more programs to Push DAO and allow more contributors to provide value to Push Protocol.

With a more educated and engaged community, as well as contributors and infrastructure to support the ecosystem growth, we believe it is time to establish a Grants working group. This group will leverage the lessons learned from the first two iterations and take the Push Grants Program to new heights.

We would like to kick off this incubation phase and provide an opportunity for our community to share ideas on how to run PGPv3. To ensure a controlled transition in our Progressive Decentralization process, please consider the following guidelines:

  • Push DAO operates in seasons: This allows all our programs and working groups to follow an iterative incremental model, providing flexibility to adapt and react to changing conditions (3-4 months).
  • Governance = Resource Allocation: The specifics of how this new iteration will run will be decided via governance. However, the grant program’s operation is not limited to governance alone. We have experimented with creating multiple teams that are loosely coupled but aligned with the protocol mission, granting each team autonomy to operate within their allocated funds.
  • Transparency: By default, information should be public. Regular quarterly reports and community involvement in grant selection enhance transparency and accountability.
  • Cross-Working Group Collaboration: Collaboration with other working groups, such as the Ambassadors, is both encouraged and supported by the contributors running this grants program.

This discussion will remain open for feedback until October 15th, 2023, before we proceed with evolving this into an RFC proposal.

Push DAO Governance calls are public ceremonies that occur every other week on the Push Discord Stage. However, until October 15th, 2023, we will be monitoring this post and creating an open space for discussion around this idea. This post will also be shared in the Discord Proposals forum for further refinement and brainstorming.

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It’s a great initiative. Getting the community involved in these processes is a big step to become a 100% DAO.

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Is it possible to participate live in the decisions to choose the Grantees?

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Thats one of the most important points we want to bring again with PGPv3: transparency.
Not only transparency regarding which candidates are elected as grant recipients, but also reports informing the community the impact of supporting such grantees.

With Push quantifying the ROI is somewhat simple, as we can always measure notifications sent, chats opened, and Push Spaces.

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Hey @MrJaf this sounds like a great idea, getting the community more involved is a good way to evolve the current grants process. Any thoughts on how to incentivize community members to be more active in engaging with grant proposals? Haven’t had a chance to attend but Demo Thursdays sounds like a step in the right direction.

Perhaps we can experiment with different forms of voting for grant proposals apart from token voting, making it easier for community members to participate.

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Thanks @SixtyKeys . We have learned a lot from whats happening in Arbitrum (and many other projects) right now and how they are running their grants program initiatives.

Giving ownership of the Grants Program to the community is a great responsibility, and people or teams running the program should be incentivized to do a great job. This is part of the conversations we want to have with the community - what incentives mechanisms will work well for Push Grants Program needs.
The DAO need contributors that can explain their rationale transparently as to:

  • Why they decided to support or reject a grant
  • Metrics from grantees to justify the ROI after giving a grant
  • Open discussions with the community to get more critical feedback. For this we can also make use of existing infrastructure like Demo Thursdays.
  • Financial metrics to provide transparency about how funds are allocated, tranches, etc.

I highly suggest reading this amazing thread in Arbitrum foundation forum about their experience with one of their grant programs. IMO we are in position to learn from their experimentation and come with something really cool for Push DAO.

Remember this is an incubation post. The idea is that all of us together can co-create a Grants Program and run it in seasons so we can do better after each iteration.


A well planned side-effect to this initiative: while the Grants Program is definitely the main goal, this also is very aligned with our progressive decentralization roadmap. As such, we want to see more contributors joining Push DAO and taking more active participation really evolving Push into a community owned project.

REMINDER:This incubation post is originally planned to start evolving into a proposal after October 15th (unless the community decides more time is needed to finalize a more sound idea). This being said, we will be meeting wednesdays on a weekly basis in our Discord until then.

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Great information @MrJaf Jaf

I consider that in this v3 with the two previous experiences, You’re improving the incentive program.

One question, in order to apply for the Grants with Push Protocol, Can an educational community participate?

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Absolutely!
The goal with Push Grants Program is to work together to grow the Push Ecosystem. Everything counts.
We have supported from big educational platforms like Platzi, to meetups, hackathons, content producers and more.

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This is amazing to know

The Push ecosystem is not all about the implementation of services.

Can you consider a proposal with educational activities where a project may not have all the knowledge about Push and can collaborate its team or ambassadors?

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For Grants is always important to define a clear Return of Investment. So, the answer is yes as long as the impact for Push can be measured.

Keep in mind once you become a Push Grantee you also get companionship from Push to help you grow. You get access to different infrastructure to support your activities and growth strategies.

Nacion Bankless is a beautiful example of a team spreading news and education around Push and everything Push has to offer. They have worked together with the Ambassadors Latam group, and even interacted with other communities to bring more awareness and adoption for Push.

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Ok, that’s very good to know. Thanks Jaf

Understanding that Push DAO operates for 3 - 4 month sessions, that time is what during the whole incubation and voting process to opt for a Grant?

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Hi, @MrJaf By having transparency of public information, is it possible to see the proposals accepted in the two previous programs?

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hi @say_sarg
Definitely. The current iteration of the Grants Program is still ongoing.
Join us tomorrow if you have any question.

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Friend i think that we need a token weighted delegates, since we are having a lot of PUSH that are not using to vote and are not included in the governance process. In Nación Bankless we are trying to implement a system to delegate one of our mates to start their journey and be aware of whats happening in the ecosystem.
So Delegated voting with staking tokens and also deploy the governance in an on chain manner. Just being careful that everything that we are doing it’s traceable. Congratulations for this big step.

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Thank you very much for bringing this up @CryptoReuMD

Depending on how the program ends up being structured we might/might not involve Governance in the decision making for Grants. However → how the program will be structured is indeed a Governance decision.

IMO the Delegates conversation is something we can start in parallel, as it will have a DAO global effect for all decisions. We had a plan to start a Delegates Launchpad Program, but it got postponed a little bit to ensure we have a more solid foundation on how to govern and what to govern.

Now is looking like a good time to resume that conversation here in the forum.

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Hey @MrJaf , continuing the conversation we had during the governance call here. Some potential ideas for PGPv3 listed, and we can continue to iterate:

1. Governance / Decision Making

  • The Grants process can begin in the governance forum, where grantees would post a proposal which follows a grant proposal template.
  • Members of the grants working group will review the proposal for correctness, clarity and conformity to the grant proposal template, after which a poll will be added to the proposal. The proposal will be marked as open for voting, and community members will have a fixed amount of time to vote FOR or AGAINST the proposal. Voting can be limited to forum members with Trust Level 1 and above as a form of sybil resistance. Something like 10 votes would allow the proposal to move to the next step / be accepted.
  • Depending on the size of the grant, a formal governance vote could take place in the Push DAO snapshot page or a dedicated Push Grants snapshot page. Or the process could end in the second step.

2. Proposal Evaluation / Domain Allocators

  • Alternatively, a Push Grants working group would create a public and transparent system for evaluating grant proposals. This would include community members, and domain experts in the evaluation process.
  • Members of the working group would update grant proposals on the forum as ACCEPTED or DECLINED, with rationale behind the decision. Grantees who are declined are allowed to apply a second time after a fixed period of time.
  • Periodically report on all aspects of the grants program, including guidelines, processes, and decisions, to provide transparency and assist future contributors.

3. Funding / Grant Disbursement

  • The Grants working group would request funding for the operation of the working group from the DAO via the governance process, after a passed governance vote, funds would be sent to a multisig, with signers from the grants working group. This will allow for transparent disbursement of funds to successful grantees. Any remaining funds after a grant season would be carried forward to subsequent grants seasons.

4. Community Incentives

  • As seen with Arbritrum DAO, incentivizing community members to participate in governance activities can lead to an educated and involved community. Perhaps we can experiment with similar incentives in the PUSH community.

These are just a couple of ideas but ultimately there should probably be a balance between token and non-token voting mechanisms based on the specific needs and dynamics of the community. Flexibility in the grants process can assist with accommodation of different levels of engagement and expertise within the community.

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This will bring the transparency we are looking for, and as you said during the call → there is too much noise in Discord and other channels. So keeping the forum as step #1 of the Grants Process is something I truly agree with you.
The voting in the forum is the part that is tricky IMO. As there are easy ways to game things and go to the next step. However, Domain allocators (if we introduce this role) can debate here in the forum in case a proposal needs more clarification.

Agree 100% with everything you mention here.
Starting in the forum and then go to allocators will bring more security and scrutiny to the process and help take better decisions when approving/rejecting grants.

Agreed. Signers from Push and the working group.

Agreed. Running a grants program is a great responsibility, and as such there needs to be compensation for it. Will bring this topic on the next Wednesday call (Oct 11th).
Arbitrum established a compensation scheme for Domain Allocators, and if we also introduce such role we can come up with a similar compensation scheme.

There is a very interesting side conversation starting around this topic here: [Discussion] A Framework for Delegates

Thanks for your inputs @SixtyKeys.

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Congrats on the continued evolution of this grans program. It’s been evident that community and ambassador contributions are effectively helping grow PUSH awareness and adoption. A community run grants program is a great way to use community intelligence to signal what they care about and fund it.

Grants Stack can be a viable option for managing these resources and encouraging community participation through the planning and execution of these grants rounds. This can be accomplished using the GS quadratic funding or direct grants features. I am bias because I work at Gitcoin, but I think this is a great fit with PUSH being a Gitcoin grantee success story and then returning to fund Gitcoin Grants rounds. Launching a QF round doesn’t require any dev work, but it does include some heavy lifting when it comes to establishing eligibility criteria and application reviews. The reviews can even be opened up to the community, this is a process we want to implement at Gitcoin but are unable to due to the volume of applicants we receive. This would be more efficient within the PUSH ecosystem. Running the rounds on Grant Stack would also add visibility.

This is a great point and it also opens up the opportunity to incentivize impact evaluators. One of the biggest flaws in the web3 grants space is failing to capture or quantify impact generated from grants distributions. I think PUSH is in a great position to experiment with this and set an example for the space because its easy to measure metrics with PUSH usage.

It was really cools seeing this program be implemented first hand. PL did an amazing job opening the decision making to the community. I believe this approach will become more prevalent with iterations.

I’m personally experimenting with layering funding mechanisms like quadratic funding, retro funding through direct grants based on milestones. This structure delivers 50% of QF matching to projects which allows access to some funds, but withholds the remaining 50% until milestones are met. This allows the funders to determine if the remaining pool should be redistributed to the teams that met their goals and disqualifies the teams that didn’t from the next grant cycle. This format also creates more engagement through community updates.

Congrats to the PUSH community for the continued evolution.

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Thank you, @Carlosjmelgar , for your valuable input. While we’re still in the incubation phase, your insights are greatly appreciated. We’re exploring various program formats, and your feedback gives us more to consider.

As you mention quantifying the impact of supporting PUSH grants its somewhat easy , with metrics like user opt-ins, notifications, and chat activity. We have multiple options to measure ROI.

I’m keen to explore how GS aligns with PUSH Grants, especially considering we in average run smaller grants. It could offer us control and agility for maximum benefits.

Evaluators are very similar to the Domain Allocators from PL (if I’m not mistaken). I believe there is great support for introducing this role into our DAO as an incentivized position. Whether thats in the form of an individual or a group of people.

Would be amazing if you could join us to talk about GS in our next Governance Call perhaps??

  • whats possible?
  • what limitations you see?
  • What are the requirements?
  • Explain about the “heavy lifting” part regarding the eligibility criteria.

WHEN : Wednesday Oct 11th, 2023
WHERE : PUSH STAGE
TIME : 2PM UTC

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Im very happy to see your name over here friend.
-Im totally agree we can use something that it’s already here. Funding what matters in a very transparent way, with Allo protocol and the grants stack
-For the emergence of decentralization of a nation we need new tools, and try to control it with meritocracy and weight it’s great.
-Looking forward to see if you can jump to the discord, and it could be great if we have records of the governance call for all the asyncronus people that want to listen. =)

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