[PIP - 19] Social Impact Working Group Funding Proposal


This proposal seeks to continue the operation of the Social Impact Working Group for a three-month period from February 1st through April 30th 2023. The documentation below provides a review of the accomplishments in the group’s pilot phase and the plan for continuing this work to fulfill Popcorn’s mission according to the whitepaper and work on setting up a grant program in which Popcorn’s users can vote on the distribution of funds to eligible beneficiaries.

Edits from RFC-22:

  • Added task for development of beneficiary referral UI
  • Reduced pay for lead and reduced amount of POP for bounties
    (due to overall WG budget cuts - this also prevents us from having full members in this WG in the next three months)

Links to previous discussions

WG pilot review

WG accomplishments during the pilot phase:

  • Created a detailed proposal for Popcorn’s grant program with specifications for the structure of the grand rounds, its voting mechanism, beneficiary selection, funding of the round, etc., and reconciled it with the core team
  • Revamp of beneficiary onboarding process (improved data collection, new contact form, streamlined necessary steps, integration in catapult.xyz)
  • Onboarding of beneficiaries
  • Helped in the development of grants UI for the voting on beneficiaries
  • Helped in creating a concept for a new product: charity/impact vaults
  • Established relationships with partners for beneficiary setup: Gitcoin (to be one of the implementation/pilot partners for the testing of their new decentralized grants protocol), Endaoment (to set up a donor-advised fund for Popcorn for tax-optimized distribution of grants)

Lessons learned from the pilot and how they will be applied moving forward

In various discussions with the core team and the founders, analyzing Popcorn’s goals/progress, strengths & weaknesses, we came to the conclusion that the best/fastest way to realize Popcorn’s mission would be to outsource part of the beneficiary process to focus on the improvement of the DEFI strategies, which will enable a bigger impact (also for the social mission) later on. In addition to that, teaming up with (already established) players in the impact sector could be a great way to grow Popcorn’s network.

Due to the required collaboration with external partners, we cannot say with certainty when Popcorn can do the first grant round. In the meantime, it is unclear if approaching additional beneficiaries is sensible because we might give them wrong information or they might lose interest after a while. Therefore, and only for the next season (3 months), the WG does not need as many members as other WGs because the main task for members of the WG was to onboard and manage beneficiaries. The plan is to have members in the future (once our grant round process is up and running or at least close to being ready). This will likely already be the case in the next season (3 months from now).

Due to the budget cuts for the WG program and our experience in the last three months we think that for now it is easier/more efficient if the WG lead takes over all tasks of the WG and rely on bounties for tasks related to marketing/communication.

Proposal for next phase (3 months)

Objectives, work streams, and KPIs

  1. Establish a partnership with an implementation partner for the beneficiary program, to reduce necessary dev work and to use their network to grow Popcorn’s reach.

We already identified and established contact with potential partners (e.g. Gitcoin, Endaoment). The next step will be to discuss the details of using their solutions/infrastructure and plan or even run a pilot. This will be the primary task that is most likely going to take up most of the time.

→ Partner selected and preparations for pilot started by the beginning of April

  1. Develop a system for beneficiary referrals

Instead of having people join our Discord and contacting the WG or one of Popcorn’s core members, we want to develop a UI or at least a form where everyone can submit potential beneficiaries to Popcorn and can provide more information about them/their relationship with them. It should also be possible for users to see which beneficiaries are already onboarded at Popcorn.

→ UI/form for beneficiary referral/lool-up ready by April

  1. UI for voting on the distribution of grants.

Even with an external implementation partner like Gitcoin (we would most likely be using their decentralized grants protocol to replace Popcorn’s smart contracts for voting/payouts) we will still want/need a UI for the onboarding of the beneficiaries and potentially also the distribution of funds. We want the UI for the voting on the grants to be aligned with the rest of Popcorn’s UIs (look and feel, branding, etc). This might or might not be possible with Gitcoin’s UI. We might also want to allow our community to approve beneficiaries before a round starts (the UI/smart contracts for this have already been developed but needs to be finalized) and Gitcoin does not offer this functionality. Also, Gitcoins UI and process are currently designed to work with donations, not votes.

After testing/prototyping the functionality to onboard beneficiaries in the current MVP for the grants UI in the last months, the next step will be to build and improve the UI for the voting (or find a good external solution). This task also requires time from the core dev team.

→ Working Grants UI with functionality to vote for projects by end of April

  1. Framework for beneficiary marketing efforts

During future grant rounds, Popcorn wants to use various ways to increase awareness of upcoming donations and feature certain beneficiaries. An example could be hosting social impact spotlights on Twitter but different kinds of marketing activities are possible. The goal for this objective is to define potential options and the corresponding tasks to have a plan for the first round.

→ First draft for framework end of February, final version End of March

  1. Process in-bound beneficiary requests

While we might not want to contact too many beneficiaries at this stage (as explained above), we still want to make sure that all potential beneficiaries that find & contact Popcorn on their own have somebody to talk to and can be onboarded to Popcorn’s network for future grant rounds. It is important to tell them exactly where we are in the process and explain to them what they can expect (and when).

→ Process 100% of all in-bound beneficiary requests (means they will receive an answer if they are eligible to be a beneficiary)

Team structure & Budget

Core Team Liaison: Joey N

Team lead: PopstarPepe

The main responsibilities of the team lead for the next three months include:

  • Continue the conversations with the implementation partners to enable the first official grant round of Popcorn
  • Develop an easy way for people to refer beneficiaries to Popcorn
  • Continue the testing/prototyping of the grants UI to allow users to vote on the donations
  • Create the framework for the beneficiary marketing efforts to raise awareness for Popcorn’s first grant round and increase participation
  • Process all beneficiary requests of eligible parties that want to become members of Popcorn’s network
  • Handle all other social impact-related requests to Popcorn (on discord, Twitter, etc.)

Further responsibilities/requirements can be found in the description here: Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.

The budget for the WG lead consists of $1500 USD per month paid in POP, based on the 30-day MA of POP on the last day of the month (for roughly 60h work/month).

For tasks relating to communication and marketing, we want to involve the general community more and work with bounties.

These could be:

  • Doing interviews with Popcorn’s beneficiaries
  • Writing articles or updates on social impact related activities at Popcorn
  • Creating guides for beneficiaries or users

For this three-month period, we have a budget of 1000 POP for bounties (the current idea is to pay roughly 30USD POP equivalent per article/interview). POP that was not used at the end of this period will be returned to the treasury.

Next Steps

If approved, the Social Impact WG will continue its work to support the setup of a grant program in which Popcorn’s users can vote on the distribution of funds to eligible beneficiaries and handle all related tasks such as those outlined in this proposal.

  • Approve
  • Disapprove
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