What should be eligible for funding under the Octant community fund?

Hello everyone!

As we venture deeper into the exploration of Octant governance and our community fund, one thing I see looming is the understanding of what should be eligible for funding? Theoretically, anything that is in alignment with the Octant mission is eligible. It’s easy for me to state this, but when you begin to dig into the details, things become less obvious.

Within the Octant mission we are looking to empower both the public goods ecosystem, and our users. Even just tackling the public goods funding ecosystem, many people have a different definition of what constitutes a public good. So having this conversation with everyone transparently seems to be the best path forward towards identifying how to clearly answer the titled question.

Our Path Forward:

I see the path towards answering this question effective as follows:

  • Define Core Principles and Values: We’ve laid the groundwork here, detailing the mission that propels us. If you haven’t yet, take a moment to read through Octant’s purpose and principles.

  • Establish Broad Categories of Funding: (we are here)
    The aim here is to draft a broad framework that captures the essence of initiatives we intend to support, setting the stage for more detailed criteria to follow.

  • Develop Specific Eligibility Criteria: After our broad categories are in place, we’ll drill down into the specifics—what makes a proposal fit for Octant’s backing? This step involves crafting detailed guidelines that proposals must meet to gain our support.

  • Continuous Learning and Adaptation: Governance is not static, and neither is our approach to funding. As we learn and grow, so too will our criteria, ensuring we remain responsive to the evolving needs of the public goods space and our community.

So my hope in this discussion is to first outline the broad categories I feel should be eligible, and I’ll post these in a separate comment below.

Do you have other broad categories that should be included? Do you not agree with a category (or more than 1) that are listed in this conversation? Share your thoughts here.

Once we move from the broad categories section, we can get into the details for each group!


So for the ideas I’ve had in general around the fund could be:

  • Deciding which communities to run other rounds with, and how much funds
  • GLM incentives for actions we are trying to drive
  • Marketing or Education initiatives
  • Research initiatives (like with MetaGov)

I’m sure I could be missing some general ideas here though!!


Thanks for sharing, maybe focus on what is not yet eligible for the “general” public goods funding? The ideas sound great.

Possibly the design of the Ethereum protocol fellowship could be an inspiration, but instead of focusing on the Eth protocol focus on public goods.


Really good point! A few of us have been mapping this out on the Miro board:

As you also suggested to me elsewhere, getting a working doc in order would be helpful. I’ll shape that up today. Thanks for the point @Bitblondy !!

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You’re welcome, the miro board is indeed a great idea :+1:

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I’m trying to think of what categories you might have missed here but can’t think of any, but then again maybe this:

is the most important part of the path forward. If we don’t come up with any more ideas beyond the four in your list now (which are all good IMO), we can always add more when it dawns on us later on that there was something we missed.


I am as well! I’m sure once we hop on a call with our group to discuss this we can really iron it out, but just wanted to start spinning the wheel on the conversation.

Ofc please comment if something comes to mind!

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I’ve been thinking about this a bit more. As I started to go through the exercise of eligibility and not, I began to realize this can potentially complicate things so quickly that a simplified approach to this topic makes more sense.

I attended a metagov event over the past 2 days that was extremely helpful for me to rethink how I am approaching this aspect of the process. One of the primary things that shifted my way of thinking was going through the idea of impact, and how does Octant define it with respect to its mission.

We have a broad mission, one that looks to support the public goods ecosystem and our users. With that in mind, I think we could judge each proposal based on 3 basic aspects

  1. Alignment with Core Mission and Impact: Start by ensuring that projects directly contribute to the Octant mission and have a clear, measurable impact. Define impact in the context of your mission, whether it’s innovation, community development, sustainability, etc.
  2. Feasibility and Scalability: Consider the project’s feasibility and potential for growth. This includes the team’s ability to execute, the project’s sustainability, and its capacity to scale and create broader impact.
  3. Innovation and Uniqueness: Not as important, but we could prioritize projects that offer innovative solutions or fill unmet needs within the ecosystem. This encourages creativity and supports the development of novel approaches to existing challenges.

So in my mind, in order to have the ability to evaluate based on these concepts (and possibly others) is that we need to answer some fundamental questions:

  • Defining Impact: What does “impact” specifically mean within our mission and the broader ecosystem we aim to support?
  • Measuring Impact: What measurable outcomes are we expecting to see from projects we fund And how can projects demonstrate their progress towards these outcomes in both quantitative and qualitative terms?

This is something that I think would be a much easier way to approach answering the original question versus getting lost in the weeds too quickly with my original plan.

@mike.sylphdapps.eth @Bitblondy are there any thoughts that jump out to you with this?


Thanks James for your thoughts, sounds all very reasonable.

Are there exisitng guidelines for the Octant public goods funding?

Maybe you could just adapt them to fit the community fund. Having some fundamental rules, especially fitting Octant’s mission, is a great approach though. :+1:

Wanted to add some thoughts to this discussion - I think an important aspect of the overall funding of public goods experience in the crypto ecosystem (and maybe more broadly also) is the lack of incentives/mechanisms to seek out the likely most impactful projects.

What usually happens is that public goods project contributors need to spend a lot of time “shilling” their projects to the community (esp. for QF). This may be a somewhat enjoyable exercise, but in reality it’s a problem; contributors to public goods are already working with very limited time and budgets. Obviously it would be preferable if they spent their time maximizing impact, instead of “shilling” their projects on social media. This also creates a sort of “Keynesian beauty contest,” where the projects that tend to get rewarded the most are those that spend the most time on social media and getting engagement, instead of, you know, those that create the most impact.

So as we think through what should be eligible for funding, I propose to focus on the process itself; it’s not only important that a project is eligible for funding. It also matters why we choose project X and not project Y. What’s our process for seeking out these projects?

This is especially important since most (all?) of us are involved in the crypto public goods ecosystem in various capacities (project founders, contributors, funders, DAO members, etc.)

Would it be a conflict of interests, for example, if a project that we propose for funding has some personal connection to us or others in governance? Would it make sense on the other hand to exclude any such projects from the eligibility criteria? To avoid getting mired in such discussions I think we need to be laser focused on the merit/impact of projects, and the process of seeking those out.

Basically, I think it would be ideal if the main consideration for any project contributor is whether their project is impactful enough to be eligible for Octant funding, and not anything else.

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100% agreed and it was top of mind for me during the MetaGov events in Denver this week.

The problem here is we as a team have not given clarity on desired outcomes. What is a public good in the eyes of Octant? What is the impact we are looking to achieve, and how will we measure it? This needs to be defined by the team and then the community can provide feedback. Up until this point, I think we tried to stay away from defining what is a public good in the Octant ecosystem, and this did us no favors in allowing Octant to form an identity in where it aims to go.

As I mentioned to @smith.a in another thread, I don’t think at this point we would consider this a negative if the intention behind it is solid. This may change in the future as we grow.

Really appreciate your thoughts here @Abundance, and I couldn’t agree more. We are going to be talking with Golem Factory this week on this exact issue so that clarity can be shared. Will look to update asap. It seems your point, and what I was sharing here are in alignment with one another, unless I am missing something.