ESD Statement: S1 Funding Strategy - Allocation, Process & Reporting

SMART Objectives w Clear Deliverables & Milestones

The Executive Sub DAO has the following mandate as established by section 6 (2) (a) of the Aragon Network Charter:

  1. Make grants to other community members at their discretion, providing;
  • such transactions are disclosed transparently on the Aragon Forum website.
  • an Escrow is used to hold funds until the completion of the agreed-upon deliverable. - the deliverable has been fully assessed by the members of the ESD
  • the funds are used further the Aragon Network’s Mission
  1. Pay suppliers of the Aragon network, providing such transactions are disclosed transparently on the Aragon Forum.

In order to deliver on this mandate specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound (SMART) objectives will remain key assessment criteria for allocation of ESD funding in Season 1.

Clear milestones and deliverables will allow us to quickly assess and release approved funding on a monthly payment cadence.

S1 priorities are projects that aid the GTM for Aragon.app We also recognise the need to provide specific guidance as to the types of proposals that we believe will ultimately

  1. grow the number of active DAO on the Aragon network and

  2. support the overall purpose of the Aragon DAO defined in the Aragon Network Charter

Priority funding categories are intentionally broad, as they are intended as a community guide for ESD discretionary funding. It is important to note that while we want to provide this transparency, discretionary funding is not entirely foreseeable nor fixed in stone. This document is subject to change, pivots and budget restraints. Following voting, updates to the funding strategy will be included as comments to clarify future changes should priorities shift for strategic alignment.

Priority Proposal Process

Rather than simply allocating funding on a first come first served basis we propose instead to prioritise discretionary funding for new initiatives that meet one or more of the following three priorities. These funding requests will be assessed on a fortnightly basis to encourage proposals that present opportunities for

  • Finance: As the AN DAO treasury expands we seek to support projects to support financial transparency, maximise operational efficiency and treasury productivity within clearly defined risk parameters. i.e operational accounting, treasury and tokenomics

  • Talent: Developing key talent and competencies to support product growth and success i.e operations, business development and DAO2DAO relationships

  • Tech: expanding usability and accessibility, cost-efficiency and security of DAO on the Aragon network i.e security audits, analytics and product documentation, incorporating features from Aragon apps, advanced voting (anonymous, CPS, multi-census, etc) and Zk-based decision making processes (ZkMultisig, ZkVote, etc)

Monthly Proposal Process

We will continue to support funding requests in addition to the top three priorities; however they will be assessed on a monthly basis in the second week of each month. We encourage funding requests that present opportunities for

  • AN DAO Culture: to grow we will need to proactively develop a performance culture that understands, lives and breathes our shared values. i.e governance, constructive communication and performance metrics

  • Leadership: Positioning Aragon as leaders in the DAO ecosystem through collaboration and partnerships that underpin DAO as a leading form of organisation i.e research, policy development, standards and frameworks

  • Education: given our nascent industry, education stands out as the leading method to drive product awareness, understanding and engagement. i.e projects with a focus on documented, presented and applied product education, DAO builders and future DAO natives (youth)

  • Revenue: Self-sustainable funding through the development of revenue streams i.e DAO development services, legal services and DAO related consultancy

Funding Request Process

  1. ESD funding request template here.

  2. Please post completed ESD funding request in the forum under the “Proposals for Executive Sub-DAO” category and tag ESD Members: @lee0007 @fartunov @daniel-ospina

  3. Add link to your proposal to #proposals-and-live-votes Discord channel and tag @Executive SubDAO members

Expectations for ESD Response

Proposals will need to be posted for at least 7 days on the forum for a majority decision to be reasonably expected at the next scheduled ESD meeting.

If proposals have not been on the forum for a minimum of seven days, they may roll over to the next meeting agenda. We reserve the right to provide discretionary funding within a shorter time frame.

ESD KPI’s

Given at least seven days lead time by way of forum post for both proposals and monthly reporting the ESD are committed to reporting fortnightly in Discord (stand-up) on the following individual key performance indicators (KPI):-

  1. Initial Review and Response: 100% timeliness to read and respond to proposals prior to ESD General Meeting

  2. Funding Decisions: 100% timeliness to advise funding decisions within 24 hours where decided at ESD General Meeting

  3. Funding Queries: 100% timeliness to seek clarification within 24 hours where undecided at ESD General Meeting

  4. Final Decisions: 100% timeliness to advise decisions on proposals within 7 days where undecided at ESD General Meeting and where properly notified

  5. Reporting: 100% timeliness to assess funding deliverables before the release of funding reward

  6. Attendance: 100% attendance at General Meeting or apologies added to meeting agenda

Transparency

Funding recipients should set up a workspace within AN DAO Notion and utilize it to “work in the open”. Delivered work should be available or linked there for any community member to review as the funding period progresses, not only at reporting cadence

Reporting

Monthly reporting guide template here
All proposals will need to post end of month reporting as a comment on the associated forum proposal post by the 1st of the following month with a simple report of progress on proposed/funded deliverables.

Please tag @lee0007 @fartunov @daniel-ospina on the forum post and drop a link in the #governance-general channel Discord channel and tag @Executive SubDAO Members

For the ESD to assess deliverables we seek only a summary of activity related to proposed deliverables. Please report which proposed deliverables are completed, in progress or yet to be started with an indication of the top three priorities for the following month. Please also include a summary of the funding to be approved including core contributor(s), flexible and bounty rewards

We expect final reports to have completed delivery, or in a case where deliverables are delayed, we would expect a deadline for completion. Further funding will not be considered until all deliverables are met or sufficient reason provided for non-delivery.

Reporting will be considered and decided at ESD general meetings. Where queries are raised decisions will rollover to the next ESD general meeting, so we encourage timely reporting so as to provide at least 7 days notice to clarify any questions.

Both final reporting and subsequent proposal can be considered at the same meeting. We encourage authors to provide all further detail and commentary by linking to proposal workspaces (Notion) and external sources.

Limitations

The ESD is a mechanism for bootstrapping growth and so we propose to set maximum limits on projects that the ESD should fund. Specifically, we propose funding projects

  • up to a maximum of 20k per month and

  • for a maximum of two funding cycles

Projects beyond this scope we believe are better suited to Main DAO proposals. Furthermore, to enable the seasonal cadence there will be no new funding allocation during the final month of each four-month season, instead, this time is used for strategic planning in the lead up to the next season.

Exceptions

In S1 we do see exceptions already arising because the DAO does not yet have the operational ability to support, progress and fund some mission-critical requirements. The Security Audits are an example that the ESD would look to release funding for in Season 1 while also looking to fund operational Finance and Governance support required to progress large scale funding in the future.

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Hi @lee0007 , can you please elaborate more on how these priorities were determined?

With the upcoming release of Aragon App on Testnet combined with clear strategies in place for product, tech and GTM, would it not make sense to prioritise a good chunk of the ESD funding to support these strategies?

I understand that these strategies have been shared with the ESD but please let me know if that is not the case.

Agree, it would make sense to prioritise a good chunk of the ESD funding to support product, tech and GTM strategies

However, during my term with ESD I have not seen any strategy for product, tech and GTM, beyond insight about Vocdoni shared by @Joan_Arus in December 2021 and the product roadmap that @Harry shared with the community. @fartunov has also shared a recent presentation on ecosystem growth.

Being the information was not yet forthcoming or more correctly remains “coming soon” I have continued to support AN DAO on the understanding that product, tech and GTM were subject to confidentiality and subsequently would remain the remit of the AA teams.The categories are intentionally broad, as they are intended as a guide for discretionary funding and will be subject to updates and changes (will note this in post).

Links to specific strategic documents will certainly inform these guidelines. I have no doubt AN DAO contributors (including myself) would LOVE to understand the product, tech and GTM strategy.

Sans such insight these priorities are selected

to provide specific guidance as to the types of proposals that we believe will ultimately

  1. grow the number of active DAO on the Aragon network and
  2. support the overall purpose of the Aragon DAO defined in the Aragon Network Charter

I welcome your feedback, I’m apt to pivot where that better aligns shared strategic objectives and I look forward to receiving more information CC @fartunov @daniel-ospina

1 Like

Plus 1 to @lee0007. While the strategies @joeycharlesworth has mentioned have been communicated with ESD, before they are communicated with the web3 community (not Aragon’s existing one only) it is difficult to really expect the community to come up with relevant proposals and to be crystal clear the burden of that communication is on AA/AL, not the ESD.

Furthermore, it would be great to open the door to community initiatives that can meaningfully contribute to these strategies. Currently, the “Talent” priority seems to cover this more direct support towards AA/AL while operating with limited information.

On the positive side within AA/AL together with @Anthony.Leuts @brent and @Harry we are pushing forward Host of the Party 1.0 - Google Slides
and have already engaged multiple community members and aligned with existing funded initiatives but this proactiveness is the exception rather than the rule

2 Likes

EDIT: to clarify that reporting will be considered fortnightly at ESD meetings

EDIT: to include the “summary of the funding to be approved including core contributor(s), flexible and bounty rewards”

Edit to add monthly reporting template Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.

Edit to add New KPI

  1. Attendance: 100% attendance at General Meeting or apologies added to meeting agenda

EDIT: added “proposed” to clarify reporting is to focus on proposed/funded deliverables.