Proposal: Improving the Integrity in Grant Distribution


The AdvocatesDAO of The Graph has established a grant distribution process that utilizes community voting and committee reviews for grant vetting and approval. While this method has shown success, it also presents opportunities for significant enhancements, notably in fraud detection, grantee accountability, and applicant reputation assessment. This proposal aims to address these areas with the ultimate ambition of refining the integrity of grant distribution.

The existing process demonstrates competence in managing the distribution of grants. Nonetheless, there are areas that could benefit from improvement:

  • Early detection of potential Sybil accounts
  • Rigorous monitoring of grantees’ progress
  • Deeper insight into applicant reputation within web3 communities

This proposal suggests enhancing this process by integrating tools provided by Gitcoin. Gitcoin Passport will aid in identifying Sybil accounts and assessing applicant reputation. Gitcoin Builder will facilitate applicants in project creation, while Gitcoin Manager will assist the grant committee in project review and progress tracking.

While quantifying benefits at this stage might prove challenging, the proposed changes aim to significantly enhance the quality and accountability of grant recipients and amplify the overall impact of distributed grants. Use of Gitcoin’s established tools aligns AdvocatesDAO with a tested protocol for grant distribution.

Anticipated challenges primarily involve the learning curve associated with the introduction of new tools into the grant process. To facilitate a smooth transition and enhance user proficiency, the implementation of comprehensive training and education initiatives is recommended. These initiatives will help familiarize both applicants and the grant committee with Gitcoin tools, thus showcasing their benefits and boosting efficiency in grant management.

This proposal signifies a crucial stride towards continually refining processes, bolstering community trust, and advancing the strategic objectives of The Graph’s AdvocatesDAO.

Problem Statement

The AdvocatesDAO grant distribution process faces certain challenges in its current form. These include Sybil attacks and some applicants with opportunistic intentions, seeking to extract value from the DAO without sufficient value return.

Existing progress monitoring and applicant reputation assessment procedures are manually intensive and may not accurately reflect an applicant’s commitment and reputation in the web3 ecosystem. This situation is further complicated by instances of grantees not fully fulfilling their commitments, leading to resource misappropriation.

The lack of robust solutions for fraud detection, progress monitoring, and reputation assessment affects the process’s integrity and efficiency. Addressing these challenges is essential to ensure the effectiveness of AdvocatesDAO’s grant distribution and maintain trust within the community.


  1. Enhance Fraud Detection: Leverage Gitcoin Passport for early identification of potential Sybil attacks and opportunistic applications, aiming to improve the integrity of the grant selection process.

  2. Improve Progress Monitoring: Utilize Gitcoin Manager to develop a more efficient system for tracking grantees’ progress, thereby ensuring the optimal use of granted resources and timely fulfillment of commitments.

  3. Deepen Reputation Assessment: Employ Gitcoin Passport and Gitcoin Builder to implement a comprehensive system for assessing applicants’ prior engagements, contributions, and standing within web3 communities, providing a more nuanced understanding of each applicant’s credibility.

  4. Boost Grantee Accountability: Encourage a higher level of responsibility among grantees by implementing stricter accountability measures, fostering a culture of trust and reliability within the community.

Proposed Changes

The proposed changes aim to streamline the entire grant distribution process, from application to post-grant evaluation, enhancing its efficiency, security, and transparency. Ultimately, this will improve the integrity of grant distribution by AdvocatesDAO.

  1. Application: Recommend the use of Gitcoin Passport during the application process to identify potential Sybil accounts and assess the reputation of applicants within the web3 community.

  2. Review and Selection: Propose the use of the Gitcoin Manager app by the grant committee to efficiently review applicant profiles and their projects.

  3. Fund Distribution: Encourage grant applicants to use the Gitcoin Builder app to create projects and milestones. This will assist in monitoring the progress of funded projects and facilitate staged fund distribution based on achieved milestones.

  4. Post-Grant Evaluation: Define stricter rules for milestone submissions and progress reporting. This will enhance post-grant evaluations by fostering transparency and accountability among grant recipients.

Anticipated Benefits

  1. Enhanced Fraud Detection: Utilization of Gitcoin Passport for application vetting will significantly reduce the instances of Sybil attacks and opportunistic applications, ensuring resources are allocated to genuine projects.

  2. Improved Grantee Accountability: The integration of the Gitcoin Builder and Manager apps will enable a more efficient and thorough monitoring of grantees’ progress, ensuring optimal resource utilization and the completion of commitments as per schedule.

  3. Deeper Applicant Reputation Assessment: The Gitcoin Passport will provide a more comprehensive reputation assessment system, enabling a deeper understanding of applicants’ past engagements and standing within the web3 community.

  4. Improved Grant Efficacy: Overall, these changes are expected to result in more effective grant distribution with improved accountability, leading to higher quality outcomes from funded projects and a more impactful utilization of AdvocatesDAO’s resources.


This proposal presents a strategic opportunity to significantly enhance the grant distribution process at AdvocatesDAO. By integrating Gitcoin tools, we expect to elevate our capability in fraud detection, grantee monitoring, and reputation assessment, thereby enhancing the integrity and efficacy of our grant distribution.

Anticipated challenges such as the learning curve associated with new tools can be managed through comprehensive training and education initiatives. These changes represent a proactive step towards continual improvement, underlying AdvocatesDAO’s commitment to strengthening our community and advancing our strategic goals.

With careful implementation and monitoring, this proposal can set the stage for a more efficient, accountable, and impact-focused grant distribution process, ensuring that the AdvocatesDAO resources are used to foster meaningful and innovative contributions to the web3 community.

The product lead of Gitcoin Grant, having noticed my questions in their Discord server, has expressed interest in our collaboration. They like to onboard us for their beta testing and are keen to understand our grant funding process. Personally, I see a lot of value in this. The Gitcoin platform is incredibly useful for grant funding. I firmly believe that our collaboration with them would be mutually beneficial. Together, we can refine and enhance the grant funding process for a better experience

Wow, this all sounds promising and really interesting! I’m eager to see and learn how it actually works. Thank you @iamdon for stepping forward with the initiative!

Are the mentioned tools free of charge, are there any requirements we would have to meet as a DAO in general, or on the individual member level? (I’m thinking about the necessity of being part of the Gitcoin community as well to use the tools?)

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It’s a pretty cool and interesting proposal. Overall, I have very positive thoughts about Passport, as it’s a fascinating way to verify user address, data and generally online activity.

Many projects have been using it and I think many will eventually as well. As it becomes more and more popular, it introduces new methods of user verification and anti sybil.

But, I still have some concerns about other products and I will leave some more thoughts about the passport:

1/ Builder. From the documentation that I have reviewed, I think it is not quite suitable for us, as the product is aimed at self-creation of grant proposal, with a description and other necessary things. It is done for participation in future rounds, as one of the projects that may qualify for funding.

2/ Manager. Also following the documentation, this proposal looks more intriguing, but also have mixed thoughts about it. In fact, if in Builder you create a project and take part. Then in the case of Manager, you are the one who creates the round and participants can apply, which in the future to get funding from you as the creator.

For DAO, this method can be, because it is a cool kind of interaction with other communities and people, not just within DAO or The Graph. Do some round of funding, for an allocated amount of GRT and participants can apply.

3/ Passport. As previously stated, interesting technology, but requires some clarification and clarification. Let’s say if we come across a situation where a person doesn’t have GitHub or interactions with other protocols, exchanges, and projects in general. The score will be low, and we can’t, for example, like DAO, impose interactions with other projects to raise the Score.

The API also looks pretty solid and could be smoothly integrated into the grant process and into the future DAO site, for interaction with users and the future community.

@iamdon Thanks for your time and in general for your efforts. Write to me on doxe_0x in DM on discord and we can try to solve all points about this proposal and also have a meeting with a representative of Gitcoin as with members of DAO to talk about what Gitcoin is and how it can be useful. And in the future, if needed, with the community in general.

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I believe we can integrate this into our current grant process, as it will serve as a record or tracking system for the grant applicants. I know this sounds confusing but I will become clearer once I can show you the diagram of the current process and the diagram of my proposal. I am happy to discuss this more if we can have a quick call.

You are absolutely correct about this. Nevertheless, it could still be integrated into our current process, given the proper configuration for each round. I do believe that it would add more complexity to the process without yielding significant benefits. I hope we can collaborate with the Gitcoin team, share our challenges with them, and hopefully they can develop features to address these issues.

I believe we can configure how much score will be the equivalent of each activity or account (using dapps or having GitHub or Twitter account). We can also set very low score requirements.

100% agree on this. Moving the data onchain will unlock more features for the DAO.


@iamdon this is a very well articulated and thoughtful proposal! Thank you so much for compiling and sharing this info. I don’t think anyone would disagree that the DAO needs to do a better job ensuring funding is distributed to legitmate and well-intentioned actors.

I have the same questions as @doxe01.eth and @juliannaMLN . So for me, I think a call with the Gitcoin team would be helpful to determine if the passport tool would be beneficial or just complicate the existing process (I’m hopeful its the former). If you are up for scheduling that call I’d love to join!

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"Thank you for your inputs, @Mr.1776 . I think we need to study this thoroughly and perhaps initiate a pilot program if we decide to implement it. I understand the struggle and the hard work needed to change the current system and implement a new one. We want to make sure that it will benefit us and not add more complexity. What is your discord handle? I will connect you with the gitcoin team.

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