Why isn't my Grant active?

Any user can create a new grant. This grant is visible on the platform via a direct link, but not visible when exploring or searching, and also not active in the matching pools. It needs to be approved first.
The Fraud Detection and Defense workstream of GitcoinDAO has a sub-stream called Grant Verifications. The community members & stewards review each grant, then approve or deny it based on the policy outlined below.
A list of all the grants, their approval stage, and comments from reviewers can be found here: Public Grant Approval Oversight
Below you can find information on:
  • Process of approval - How grants are reviewed
  • Levels of approval - Inclusion and exclusion in matching pools
  • Participation Policy - What is allowed
  • Recourse for denied grants - How to appeal
Process of approval
New grants usually takes 1-2 days for a response. Multiple Gitcoin reviewers investigate the grant, the team, the documentation and assess whether it fits within Gitcoin's policy & norms.
This is how this process most commonly transpires:
  1. 1.
    Grant is put in the queue
  2. 2.
    Reviewers comment on relevant items
  3. 3.
    Grant Verification sub-stream lead makes a decision
  4. 4.
    Reviewers confirm and document decision
  5. 5.
    The community can review the decision
    1. 1.
      The community can flag a grant they feel is going against current policy or norms
    2. 2.
      The grant owner can appeal the decision
The policy is set at the highest level through our stewards in a process similar to the way English common law works.
The judge makes a determination based on the current policy. Some of these decisions lay in ambiguous areas. The novel decisions need to be made quickly. Therefore, the judgement creates a new precedent for novel situations.
Each round the stewards then ratifies the decisions made. This act following the round "Governance Brief" signals the community's agreement with the decisions made.
For each new policy precedent, the Anti-Fraud & Collusion workstream will define parameters and present the updated policy for ratification prior to the next round of matching.
Levels of approval
Approval & denial happens at multiple levels. Each has its own sets of rules for what can and can't participate in matching.
Think of the platform as all of the grants that exist. If a grant is not allowed on the platform, it won't be approved for matching in any category.
An ecosystem is a set of grants allowed to participate in matching from a particular matching pool or organization. Gitcoin's quarterly "main" grants rounds (Grants Round 10 or GR15) are examples of the Ethereum ecosystem rounds. This ecosystem is supporting many open source software developers/orgs and creators who promote the building on or of Ethereum. Other ecosystems may run Grants rounds as well. Uniswap may have an ecosystem grants round, or zCash, Matic, etc.
The rounds are specific time based instances of Quadratic Funding matching within an ecosystem. Each round includes all the grants allowed in the ecosystem hosting the round. For example, GR10 was the Ethereum ecosystem round with matching from 6/16/21 - 7/1/21. During a Gitcoin Grants Round is is common to also have "side rounds" that run at the same time. For example, during GR10 the "main" round was the Ethereum Ecosystem round, with a "side round" for Gitcoin building Gitcoin. Each round has a unique pool of matching funds.
Collections are subsets of an ecosystem. These can be determined by the matching pool contributors like the Infrastructure, dapp, & community collections. They can also be created by any individual or org who wants to share the specific grants they support. These collections often have a unique pool of matching funds, but they do not have to.
Participation Policy
This is an incomplete list of the rules for each category and who sets them. The Anti-Fraud & Collusion workstream will be putting together a thorough policy document for the community before GR11. The current rules come from the Gitcoin Holdings Inc. Terms of Service and the established norms of the community.
This policy is set and enforced by the Anti-Fraud & Collusion workstream of GitcoinDAO and is ratified by the GitcoinDAO stewards. The following are not permitted:
  • Fraud | Impersonation - Claiming to be a brand or person you are not
  • Hateful Content - Racist, sexist, or otherwise hateful
  • Deceiving Users - Malicious content that could cause harm or unintended consequences to users
  • Advertising - Using grants to showcase something you are selling like a token sale or NFT drop
This policy is set by the contributors to the matching pool and/or the community the ecosystem serves.
For example, the Ethereum Ecosystem | Round GR10 policy is ratified by the keyholders of the multi-sig wallet which holds the matching funds.
The Gitcoin Building Gitcoin Ecosystem | Side Round to GR10 policy is ratified by Gitcoin Holdings Inc., the sole contributor to the matching funds.
Any ecosystem round can be ratified by the individual, org, multi-sig, or dao which controls the matching pool funds for that round. The same would apply for any other ecosystem round. For example, Uniswap can define their eligibility policy agnostic of other considerations from GitcoinDAO or other communities.
An ecosystem may decide to host a round with different participation criteria than the ecosystem level policy. For example, the Ethereum ecosystem may want to do a round which only supports matching for projects building layer 2 infrastructure. This "collection" of grants would be a subset of the grants. This could be constrained to only allow ecosystem approved grants or it could be open to any other subset of grants on the platform.
In this situation, the policy for the round would be ratified by the individual, org, multi-sig, or DAO which controls the matching pool funds for that round. Currently the "main" rounds are ratified by the multi-sig holders of Gitcoin DAO's matching funds. "Side" rounds are reviewed and ratified by those communities running the rounds.
Any subset of grants on the platform is a collection. Any user can make a collection. Participation for their collection in an ecosystem | round would be determined by that ecosystem | round. Uniquely funding a collection is encouraged, but has stipulations. For Gitcoin's Grant Rounds, to fund a collection there is a request to also fund the matching pool for all Grants at the same time. For example, if I want to build a collection for "Owocki's Fav Grants" and put a $15K matching fund together for that collection, Gitcoin has requested there is an equal $15K donated to the "main" matching pool to ensure the sustainability of the matching pool for all eligible ecosystem grants.
Appeal recourse for denied grants
If a grant is denied, there is a chance that one of two things have happened.
  1. 1.
    The judgement did not follow the policy and/or precedent.
  2. 2.
    There is a novel situation which the current policy does not address.
In the first situation, you will need evidence showing that the decision is made in error.
For the second, you will need to clearly articulate your case.
  1. 1.
    Find a Steward who supports your position. They will take your appeal and evidence to a Steward vote. If you are unable to find a supportive Steward proceed to the next steps.
  2. 2.
    Complete the Gitcoin Appeal form here:
  3. 3.
    Explain why your grant was denied, and why you believe it should be approved. If your case is strong it is possible a Steward from within the FDD group will support your appeal, and take your case to a Steward vote.
  4. 4.
    If your case is not deemed strong enough to appeal you will be notified by email from the Gitcoin FDD.
  5. 5.
    When contacted, provide the necessary information.
  6. 6.
    Gitcoin Stewards will consider the case, vote and contact you with the result. Note, the results will also get posted in our public repository where we share all grant approvals and disputes.
  7. 7.
    Gitcoin Appeals encourages all denied applicants to apply again after appropriate revisions, as a new project.