Part Two: How Our Grant-Making Process Works

This is part two of a three-part strategy that will cover the reimagined grants strategy for the Uniswap Foundation. In part one, we covered the broad strategic changes we’re making this year. In this post, we’ll talk about our future dashboards, impact measurements, and our process for grantees. In part three, we’ll announce our first initiative in this new model.

As we shared last week, we’re excited to introduce our reimagined grant allocation strategy for the Uniswap Foundation. In this post, we’ll share what this new strategy means for our grantees, developers, delegates, and more. Please continue to share any feedback or ideas you have for this process with us directly.

What to Expect from Our Reimagined Grants Process

In 2024, we’re planning to fund 15-20 initiatives. Here’s how our grant-making process works:

Measuring Impact

One best practice we’re adopting from other grant-making orgs is to publicly share a Dashboard of Success, which quantifies the impact of our grant capital. Each grant within the same category will report on the same KPIs, which allows us to try multiple initiatives that achieve the same shared goals. These KPIs will be tracked in grant reporting and will tie to and drive our organizational OKRs. We will collect updates on a quarterly reporting basis as part of the grants contract.

What these changes mean for you

Whether you’re a current or prospective grantee, a developer, a delegate, a researcher, or another contributor in our ecosystem, we hope you’ll see an increased level of engagement from the Uniswap Foundation. This will include:

  1. Tailored Community Experiences. For grant recipients and delegates, we’ll be rolling out a series of engagements tailored to each workstream’s audience that addresses their unique needs, value propositions and requests. You’ll be connected to like minded individuals in person and online, starting with recurring grantee gatherings at conferences, regular grantee calls, and post-grant support from the UF and broader ecosystem.

  2. More opportunities to engage with and contribute to the Protocol. Up until now, contributing to the ecosystem meant contacting the Uniswap Foundation. As these initiatives get off of the ground, they will act as additional “hubs” within the ecosystem, expanding links between contributors. For instance, the Uniswap Data Alignment Initiative (to be announced soon) empowers the grant recipient to launch a series of competitions and bounties for data analytics outputs, replacing the Uniswap Foundation as the core actor for grant making in the data analytics realm.

  3. Long term engagement opportunities. For contributors who want to earn a livelihood contributing to the protocol, there are now opportunities to do so because of the shift to larger, longer term grants. We’re excited to already see some new teams banding together for 1-2 year commitments among our early grant awards and hope to spur more collaborations and partnerships in the years to come.

  4. Scalable programs that repeatedly onboard and engage networks of core stakeholders. Our larger initiatives will serve as epicenters for developers, researchers, governance and protocol innovation. Each program invites participation from dozens to hundreds of contributors in a repeatable and scalable way. One great example of this is TL;DR. Rather than choose a single research project to pursue and fund, we funded TL;DR, a program that invited dozens of PhD level DeFi researchers to convene and ideate together. We’re excited to roll out this kind of program across a number of other areas in the coming months.

  5. Greater Transparency. With clear and consistent KPIs set across all programs, we’re now able to measure and report the success of each grant. We’re also sharing more of our thesis and philosophy behind each of our grants, by linking investment memos to large initiatives, so now you can both see our thesis, as well as outputs from the grant recipients (which we’ve already been linking to to each completed grant) on our website.

We’ll be adding more and more communications, reporting, and storytelling about the results of the work as we build up the team and our grant recipients get off the ground. It will offer a new path for web3 foundations that want to shift from using grant capital as a way of engaging community to actually making long term, measurable impacts on the protocol and its stakeholders.

In Part Three of our series, you can expect to learn about a few of our first of our first large initiatives awarded this January.

Thank you for being along for the ride and entrusting us to maximize the impact of the Uniswap Treasury’s capital.

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