How Workstreams Work

Spinning Up Workstreams

Anyone may start a workstream and gather momentum behind it by posting on the forum. Until a formal proposal for a budget is made, this workstream is considered β€œinformal.” A workstream 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 Essential Intents.

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

  • 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 workstream on the forums.

Worksteams 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 Workstreams

There might be several reasons for a workstream 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 workstream:

  1. Voluntarily - the workstream 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 workstream 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 Workstream Leads and DAO contributors do their best to ensure a smooth transition to the workstream's nonexistant future.

Workstream Funding

Workstreams are not funded by default. A workstream 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:

Workstreams can define their own structure for paying contributors and leads, though we do have DAO-wide suggestions available. Workstreams 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.

Workstreams can seek other sources of funding, including Gitcoin Grants, whether or not they have been funded by the Gitcoin DAO.

Once a workstream has been funded, it is eligible to participate in Cross Stream DAO Operations (CSDO). More details are available above on CSDO.

Pre-existing workstreams requesting renewed budgets

Budgets are reviewed by assigned Steward Council members 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.

Workstream Autonomy

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

Typical decision rights for a product-based workstream (including Gitcoin Grants) include:

  • Product roadmapping and implementation

  • Staffing

  • Opex spend

  • Partnerships

  • Marketing strategy

Typical decision rights for a service-based workstream (ex: Marketing and Sales/BD) include:

  • Staffing within and outside of the workstream for function-related roles

    • Ex: A product team may want to hire a marketer onto their team, but the Marketing team will final decision rights over this

      • This ensures that product-based workstreams do not subvert the need for service-based workstreams and create job security for their contributors

  • Opex spend

  • Implementation and execution of functional intiatives

Workstream Accountability

Workstreams are held accountable through the KPIs set in the budgeting process. Should a workstream 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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