Protocol for Progressive Public Goods Funding


The realm of public goods funding has recently seen a variety of technologically innovative models emerge, engineered in the interest of more sustainably and intelligently funding the commons. Philanthropic mechanisms such as quadratic funding, retroactive public goods funding, and impact certificates are being advanced by institutions such as Gitcoin, Giveth, Octant, and Endaoment. Whats more is that these mechanisms are increasingly being built onchain, allowing for greater degrees of transparency and collective governance, as well as interoperability with one another.

These rapid rates of open-source invention has unlocked a fascinating new technological dimension of a much older design space, namely the matter of how to best allocate funding toward public goods. In the economic sense of the term, public goods refer to goods that are non-excludable, meaning they can be accessed by everyone, and non-rivalrous, meaning that their usage doesn’t require people to compete for it. One generally thinks of public goods as being funded by state institutions via taxation, but they can also be funded within private sector by established or experimental means.

The Pitch

I have started working on a framework for “Progressive Public Goods Funding” (involving Gitcoin’s Grants Stack protocol, Ethereaum Attestation Service, Grantee Accountability Protocol, and Hypercerts) which we plan on implementing for the upcoming grants round OpenCivics will run during Gitcoin round 20 (see the proposal for the grants round here). Last quarter, we ran the first OpenCivics round, and distributed 14.3 ETH (~ $45k in current FMV) to civics/advocacy projects (view our report card here).

For this SoP PILL track, I propose a rich infographic which contains the various mechanisms and flows involved in this grants protocol for. So far I have some drafts, but I have started taking feedback and plan on adjusting and enriching aspects of them (edit: because I am a new user, and am limited to the amount of images I can embed in a post, I will just post them in replies within this thread).

And here are some other examples of diagrams I have made in the past, which may be taken as an indication of what I’m aiming for here:

So that is the gist, and I’m happy to share more information if people have questions. Does this seem like something within the scope of this grant track? Right now, I intend the final product to be a diagram or number of diagrams, along with an in-depth article providing context about public goods funding.



Here is a sequence of diagrams illustrating the progressive public goods funding protocol, and I can post higher-res screenshots of the different stages if people want to see them. I already have some changes I’d like to make, and I’m hoping this could be good material for a PILL grant:

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