[RFC - 22] Funding for the Social Impact Working Group to continue its work

Summary

This proposal seeks to continue the operation of the Social Impact Working Group for a three-month period from February 1st through April 30th 2023. The documentation below provides a review of the accomplishments in the group’s pilot phase and the plan for continuing this work to fulfill Popcorn’s mission according to the whitepaper and work on setting up a grant program in which Popcorn’s users can vote on the distribution of funds to eligible beneficiaries.

Links to previous discussions

WG pilot review

WG accomplishments during the pilot phase:

  • Created a detailed proposal for Popcorn’s grant program with specifications for the structure of the grand rounds, its voting mechanism, beneficiary selection, funding of the round, etc., and reconciled it with the core team
  • Revamp of beneficiary onboarding process (improved data collection, new contact form, streamlined necessary steps, integration in catapult.xyz)
  • Onboarding of beneficiaries
  • Helped in the development of grants UI for the voting on beneficiaries
  • Helped in creating a concept for a new product: charity/impact vaults
  • Established relationships with partners for beneficiary setup: Gitcoin (to be one of the implementation/pilot partners for the testing of their new decentralized grants protocol), Endaoment (to set up a donor-advised fund for Popcorn for tax-optimized distribution of grants)

Lessons learned from the pilot and how they will be applied moving forward

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.

Due to the required collaboration with external partners, we cannot say with certainty when Popcorn can do the first grant round. In the meantime, it is unclear if approaching additional beneficiaries is sensible because we might give them wrong information or they might lose interest after a while. Therefore, going forward, the WG does not need as many members as other WGs because the main task for members of the WG was to onboard and manage beneficiaries.

Proposal for next phase (3 months)

Objectives, work streams, and KPIs

  1. Establish a partnership with an implementation partner for the beneficiary program, to reduce necessary dev work and to use their network to grow Popcorn’s reach.

We already identified and established contact with potential partners (e.g. Gitcoin, Endaoment). The next step will be to discuss the details of using their solutions/infrastructure and plan or even run a pilot. This will be the primary task that is most likely going to take up most of the time.

→ Partner selected and preparations for pilot started by the beginning of April

  1. UI for voting on the distribution of grants.

Even with an external implementation partner like Gitcoin (we would most likely be using their decentralized grants protocol to replace Popcorn’s smart contracts for voting/payouts) we will still want/need a UI for the distribution of funds (that should have a branding/design in-line with Popcorn’s other products). After testing/prototyping the functionality to onboard beneficiaries in the current MVP for the grants UI in the last months, the next step will be to build and improve the UI for the voting (or find a good external solution). This task also requires time from the core dev team.

→ Working Grants UI with functionality to vote for projects by end of April

  1. Framework for beneficiary marketing efforts

During future grant rounds, Popcorn wants to use various ways to increase awareness of upcoming donations and feature certain beneficiaries. An example could be hosting social impact spotlights on Twitter but different kinds of marketing activities are possible. The goal for this objective is to define potential options and the corresponding tasks to have a plan for the first round.

→ First draft for framework end of February, final version End of March

  1. Process in-bound beneficiary requests

While we might not want to contact too many beneficiaries at this stage (as explained above), we still want to make sure that all potential beneficiaries that find & contact Popcorn on their own have somebody to talk to and can be onboarded to Popcorn’s network for future grant rounds. It is important to tell them exactly where we are in the process and explain to them what they can expect (and when).

→ Process 100% of all in-bound beneficiary requests (means they will receive an answer if they are eligible to be a beneficiary)

Team structure & Budget

Core Team Liaison: Joey N
Team lead: PopstarPepe

The main responsibilities of the team lead for the next three months include:

  • Continue the conversations with the implementation partners to enable the first official grant round of Popcorn
  • Continue the testing/prototyping of the grants UI to allow users to vote on the donations
  • Create the framework for the beneficiary marketing efforts to raise awareness for Popcorn’s first grant round and increase participation
  • Process all beneficiary requests of eligible parties that want to become members of Popcorn’s network
  • Handle all other social impact-related requests to Popcorn (on discord, Twitter, etc.)

Further responsibilities/requirements can be found in the description here: https://www.notion.so/popcorn-network/Social-Impact-WG-Lead-role-responsibilities-5a85ff629c244477abbb62db8c1c416e

We estimate that fulfilling these requirements will take approx. 80h/month for which a compensation of $2500 USD per month paid in POP, based on the 30-day MA of POP on the last day of the month, is paid.

Instead of having full members that currently might not have enough tasks where they can fully contribute (in addition to complicating communications with the implementation partners, beneficiaries, and the core dev team if there are too many people involved), it might make sense to involve the general community more and work with bounties for tasks that do not have as much context.

These could be:

  • Bounties for referrals of beneficiaries (larger part of the money would be paid once they have been onboarded and participated in a round)
  • Writing articles or updates on social impact related activities at Popcorn
  • Creating guides for beneficiaries or users

For this three-month period, we estimate that we might need 3000 POP for bounties. POP that were not used at the end of this period will be returned to the treasury.

Next Steps

If approved, the Social Impact WG will continue its work to support the setup of a grant program in which Popcorn’s users can vote on the distribution of funds to eligible beneficiaries and handle all related tasks such as those outlined in this proposal.

2 Likes

I like the idea of opening up the Social Impact related tasks to the community with bounties. This is the aspect of Popcorn that draws most new people to the protocol, I’d believe. At least it was like that for me and I’ve been wondering how I can contribute.

3 Likes

Great to see the social impact initiative taking such an efficient approach through Gitcoin. The success of such collaboration will have an immediate impact on Popcorn’s effect on social good. I do recommend incorporating a set of WG members that can assist in this new goal. It is difficult to identify any significant differences in the scope and detail of the goals of this WG from the other WGs. The bounty system can be useful but it is also marred by limitations; largely, it would prolong a process that can be more optimal with assigned WG members. Also, without WG members there is no reason to have social impact as a WG when bounty tasks can come directly from the core team.

Makes sense!

I think this (the DAO org WG is going to work this way) can be added to how the team works :point_down:

Ideas for new tasks will be added to the group’s Dework suggestions board, reviewed weekly, and developed as tasks if approved by the Working Group Lead and Core Team Liaison.

After participating/being present in and reading the plans for both this and the DAO org WG, I don´t find it fair that both have the same compensation, i.e. either this has been/is overestimated or the DAO org WG lead´s has been/is underestimated.

2 Likes

Update to this RFC:

As mentioned in the community call, the plan is to have members in the future (once our grant round process is up and running or at least close to being ready). This will likely already be the case in the next season (3 months from now).

Our experience in the last three months was, that for now, it is easier/more efficient if the WG lead takes over all tasks of the WG (that’s why there was little work for the current members and we want to avoid having members with nothing to do in this season)

The Social Impact WG will also (continue to) collaborate with the Growth & Comms WG. Their members will take over tasks related to marketing to the beneficiaries and similar topics to have one aligned communication strategy.

If working with Gitcoin

would we not use their voting system?
Or would we allow only vlPOP holders to nominate and vote for beneficiaries, and then Gitcoin manages the grant?
Could you explain the main functions of the external provider?
Thanks

Gitcoin can provide smart contracts for the distribution of funds (which are battle-tested and allow required functionality like being able to vote for multiple organizations in one transaction to save gas fees). They can also provide additional features for e.g. sybil resistance like the option to use Gitcoin Passport. And finally, they are able to provide a simple UI but there are still some open questions on how the final setup would look (as the development of their solution is not finished yet).

We want the voting on the grants to be aligned with the rest of Popcorns UIs (look and feel, branding, etc). This might or might not be possible with Gitcoin’s UI. We might also want to allow our community to approve beneficiaries before a round starts (the UI/smart contracts for this have already been developed) and Gitcoin does not offer this functionality. Also, Gitcoins UI and process are currently designed to work with donations, not votes (they have plans to also cover voting but only in a later iteration of the protocol)

We will need to find a balance between getting the process ready as soon as possible and keeping it as close as possible to what we had originally intended. This might require us to use our own UI (either in the beginning or for parts of the process).

I hope this answers your questions, if not let me know