[RFC-15] Beneficiary program structure

1. Summary/Scope: Press ahead with the implementation of the beneficiary program of Popcorn by simplifying the main structure of the process.

2. Link to previous DAO discussions: The original plans for the beneficiary program are explained in the whitepaper. The social impact WG has been working on the details in the last months with support from the core team.

3. Main Objective: The aim of this RFC is to propose a change from the 1-, 3-, and 12-month grant term lengths that were outlined in the whitepaper to a uniform process of quarterly grant rounds and to get feedback on the configuration parameters. This new process would roughly resemble the process of Gitcoin grants, the most successful program for charitable crypto donations, so people should be able to quickly grasp the concept. Gitcoin’s yet-to-be-released permissionless grants protocol could potentially be utilized.

Each round consists of three main phases:

  1. beneficiary registration
  2. marketing
  3. voting


(the length of the different phases will probably not be equal and might vary)

In the first phase (lasting two to four weeks, up for discussion) beneficiaries need to register for the new grant round. This prevents inactive beneficiaries (that might have been onboarded a long time ago) from receiving funding. This also ensures all info from beneficiaries is up to date. If bonds of the beneficiaries are required (see whitepaper), it could happen in this phase. For now, there is no limit for the number of potential beneficiaries (this could need to be changed in the future)

The second phase of each cycle is the marketing phase, where Popcorn will host social impact spotlights and will also run different kinds of marketing activities to increase awareness of the upcoming donation and feature certain beneficiaries.

In the final phase of each cycle (lasting one or two weeks, up for discussion), the community of Popcorn will decide on who should receive donations via a quadratic voting mechanism (weighting based on number of votes + their amount of POP voting power, a trust score multiplier may be introduced later on). The voting happens on-chain on Popcorn’s dedicated grant application (not in snapshot) and each user can distribute their voting power to multiple beneficiaries (in one transaction). All beneficiaries should receive a share of the donation pool in relation to the results of the voting process (not just the top 1-3 beneficiaries). This process could potentially be made more sybil-resistant in the future by utilizing a one-person-one-vote approach (e.g. based on soulbound tokens or voting badges similar to what Optimism has planned).

4. Contracts/Technical Requirements: The change in the grant round duration should only require small adjustments to the grant round smart contracts that have to be updated anyway. Using Gitcoin’s yet-to-be-released permissionless grants protocol could potentially reduce the amount of work that is required.

5. Next Steps:

  • Gitcoin mentioned in their announcement of the new grants protocol that they are working with a set of design partners who will launch grants programs of their own to help test the protocol. Popcorn should approach Gitcoin to become one of those design partners.
  • Decision about this proposal and its configuration parameters (duration of registration phase, voting phase, voting mechanism)
  • A subsequent proposal will handle further details such as size of each round

6. References:
Gitcoin’s grants protocol
Optimism’s new voting mechanism

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Thanks! Makes sense!

Using some sort of quadratic voting would be great

Are we revising beneficiary selection/qualification criteria in this process as well?

FYI - we had some interaction with Gitcoin 6 months ago when Popcorn distributed POP to other DAOs via PIP-4

Kevin Owocki and Scott Moore (head of partnerships) we’re keen for us to explore their new Aqueduct product in order to grow both Popcorn‘s reach and and public goods within the broader Ethereum ecosystem Gitcoin Aqueduct - 📜 Budget Proposals - Gitcoin Governance

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We were also thinking about concretizing the beneficiary selection/qualification criteria, yes. Do you have any suggestions in addition to the four main focus areas (Environment, Education, Open Source, Inequality)?

An important question (in my opinion) is who should decide if an organization is eligible. Doing a community vote for every single beneficiary might be too much but having a central entity decide about eligibility is also tricky, especially if the rules are somewhat vague (for example is an open source yield farming defi protocol doing something good/that we want to fund?)

Do you maybe still have their contact info or do you know who was in contact with them?

Update to this RFC:

In various discussions with the core team and the founders, analyzing Popcorn’s goals/progress, strengths & weaknesses, we came to the conclusion that the best/fastest way to realize Popcorn’s mission would be to outsource part of the beneficiary process to focus on the improvement of the DEFI strategies, which will enable a bigger impact (also for the social mission) later on. In addition to that, teaming up with (already established) players in the impact sector could be a great way to grow Popcorn’s network.

When working with an external partner we might need to adapt our process based on their infrastructure which would affect the structure outlined in this RFC.

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