How Units Work

Spinning Up Units

Anyone may start a unit and gather momentum behind it by posting on the forum. Until a formal proposal for a budget is made, this unit is considered β€œinformal.” A unit can be as broad or narrow as its initiators like, but workstream proposals must satisfy the following criteria or risk being removed by mods:

  • Have a clear objective that aligns with Gitcoin’s purpose and goals.

  • Distinguish itself from or explicitly state its improvements on existing units.

  • Propose clear budgets and timelines for producing outcomes and all in line with the budget proposal flow and DAO Cadence.

If you have ideas for a new workstream, please suggest a unit on the forums.

Units are generally very difficult to spin up. There must be a serious need and gap in the existing structure of Gitcoin to merit this. It is advised that individuals (that are not active DAO contributors) seeking to spin up this kind of work start by getting a Gitcoin Community Proposal (GCP) funded. If the work being done in the GCP and goes well, it can create a clear path to creating a more regularly-funded workstream.

Winding Down Units

There might be several reasons for a unit to wind down:

  • It has accomplished its mandate and is no longer required

  • It has failed to achieve its intended objective

  • It is no longer needed to serve Gitcoin's purpose or Essential Intents

Regardless of the reason, there are two main ways to wind down a unit:

  1. Voluntarily - the unit declares that it will be winding down at the end of the season and does not request a new budget in the following season

  2. Token vote - the unit proposes a budget that subsequently does not receive enough votes to continue, leading to the eventual end of the workstream

In both cases, it is expected that DAO contributors do their best to ensure a smooth transition to the unit's nonexistant future.

Unit Funding

Units are not funded by default. A unit that desires funding must apply for that funding by making a proposal during an appropriate season or call for budget proposals.

Proposals to the DAO are made to request funding from the Gitcoin Treasury, and the requests should be denominated in GTC with a conversion to USD presented in the proposal at the time of posting. A template for how to structure those requests can be found here.

The parts of a budget proposal generally includes:

  • Funds being requested

  • Review of last season's performance

  • KPIs for upcoming season

  • Staffing breakdown

  • Additional context/information to aid with decision making (optional)

Here are also a few examples of past successful budget proposals:

Units can define their own structure for paying contributors and leads, though we do have DAO-wide suggestions available. Units are encouraged to set out a payment structure before work begins, clearly setting out who gets paid, how much, for what work, and how disputes are settled.

Units can seek other sources of funding (excluding Gitcoin Grants) whether or not they have been funded by Gitcoin.

Pre-existing units requesting renewed budgets

Budgets are reviewed and then voted on by the larger Steward community.

We are always looking for fresh eyes to help us with our budget review process. If you're interested in giving a few hours of your time, we'd love to have you help us. Please reach out to governance [at] to express your interest.

Unit Autonomy

Each unit has the autonomy to function as it needs in a self-managing way. Once a unit receives its budget, it is up to the unit to determine how to best use those funds based on their commitments from the beginning of the season.

Typical decision rights for a unit includes:

  • Product roadmapping and implementation

  • Staffing

  • Opex spend

  • Partnerships

  • Strategy

Unit Accountability

Units are held accountable through the KPIs set in the budgeting process. Should a unit fail to follow through on its commitments for the season, Stewards can choose to vote against funding the team for the following season.

There is currently no way to hold the Gitcoin Foundation accountable.

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