Building an ecosystem of developers and enthusiasts is an immense challenge for all crypto projects. Establishing a grants program is one way projects address this challenge.
Funding source: Most grant programs are funded by the project’s treasury, as voted on by holders of the project’s native token. For example, the Nexus Mutual Community Fund has 250,000 NXM.
Program length: The lifespan of each program varies. Many are piloted for a period of 3 months (e.g. AUDIO Grants Program) or 6 months (e.g. UNI Grants Program, Aave Grants DAO, Compound Grants Program). Other programs are multi-year (e.g. ALGO Grants Program).
Grants committee: For efficiency, many programs are overseen by a committee. Committee members are typically responsible for tasks such as reviewing applications, distributing grants and managing grantees.
Program expenses: The main running expenses associated with these programs are committee compensation and legal counsel. Committee members generally earn US$100 per hour, with the lead working 30–40 hours per week and the others 3–6 hours per week. Legal expenses associated with program set-up vary (e.g. $30,000 for Aave Grants DAO).
For crypto investors, researchers and enthusiasts, tracking grant programs can be a worthwhile exercise for several reasons:
- Project discovery: Grantees are typically very early stage projects.
- Ecosystem knowledge: By monitoring programs’ requests for proposals (‘RFPs’), you gain an understanding of what projects consider the most essential additions (e.g. third-party developer tooling, educational initiatives, analytics dashboards).
List of Grants Programs
Below is an alphabetical list of project-specific grant programs that will be updated intermittently.
Aave Grants DAO “is a community-led grants program to fund ideas submitted by the Aave protocol’s community, with a focus on empowering a wider network of community developers. The community has allocated $1 million per quarter for two quarters for funding grants. The program will run from May 10 to November 10.” [Application form; RFPs; @AaveGrants]
The ALGO Grants Program “offers various funding level opportunities across application development; tools and infrastructure; research; and education and community.” [Application form; RFPs; past grantees; proposal template]
The Alpha Grants Program “is a program in which Alpha Finance core development team will give grants to Alpha Builders, well-organized development teams and individuals with a proven track record of building in DeFi who want to contribute in building the Alpha ecosystem.” [List of open grants; grant proposal submission guidelines; @AlphaGrants]
The AUDIO Grants Program “offers AUDIO token grants for initiatives that grow the Audius ecosystem. These grants will range in size and can be used for campaigns like remix contest prizes, recurring live streams, community playlists, and whatever else comes to mind.” [Application; @AudioGrants]
Aztec Grants “provides support and resources to contributors growing the Aztec ecosystem.” [Announcement; application form]
The Celo Foundation Grants Program “is an open program that supports projects that are committed to Celo’s mission of building financial system that creates the conditions for prosperity for all.” [RFPs; past grantees; grant playbook; FAQs]
The Chainlink Community Grant Program “deploys substantial resources toward the creation of critical developer tooling, the addition of high-quality data, and the launching of key services around the Chainlink Network.” [Announcement; application form; past grantees]
The Compound Grants Program provides “grants to projects, ideas, and events that benefit Compound and its ecosystem.” [Initial governance proposal; rapid grant application form; RFPs; past grantees; @CompoundGrants]
Layer 2 Community Grants 2022 is a grants round in which “the Ethereum Foundation sponsors grants to support layer-2 applications, analytics and education.” Up to $750,000 in total available. [FAQ]
The Filecoin Developer Grants is “engaging community members to contribute to the Filecoin protocol, project and ecosystem.” [RFPs; proposal template]
The $100M grant program “enable game developers to build the tools needed to make Web3 gaming better and more accessible.”
The DFINITY Developer Grant Program “aims to cataly[z]e the growth of the Internet Computer ecosystem and make the Internet Computer accessible and approachable to more developers around the world by providing support to promising developers and teams.” [Guidelines]
The Livepeer Community Node Grant Program “provides contributors with an opportunity to build a position in the network.” [Past grantees]
The Metaplex Foundation’s grants program provides grants and support “to accelerate the development and creative vision of the Metaplex community.”
The Project Grant Program is designed to encourage community members to work on projects related to developing the Mina protocol and community. [Application form]
The mStable Dev Grants is an initiative for funding “community efforts to contribute to and grow the mStable ecosystem of products, tools, and utility.” [Announcement; RFPs]
The NEAR Grants Program “supports projects that share NEAR’s mission: to accelerate the world’s transition to open technologies by growing and enabling a community of developers and creators.”
The Nervos Grants Program “was created to empower innovation and development, and to support the growth of a diverse and thriving ecosystem.” [Application form; FAQs]
The Nexus Mutual Community Fund supports the community “to bring their skills and experience to growing and developing the mutual.” [Initial governance proposal; application form; announcement; past grantees]
OceanDAO “offers community grants curated by the broader community of OCEAN holders. It’s key to the growth and sustainability of the Ocean Protocol ecosystem.” [Past grantees; RFPs; FAQs]
PoolGrants focuses on “enabling the entire user base, with its wide range of talents, to contribute those skills to the [PoolTogether] protocol in their own ways—whatever those ways are!” [Application form; RFPs; @PoolGrants]
The Solana Foundation Grants Program “gives teams access to funding, dedicated technical support, recruiting assistance, and more.” [Application form]
The Stacks Foundation Grants Program funds “infrastructure development, community resources, tools, research, and education that serve our mission of a user-owned internet, powered by the Stacks Blockchain.” [Past grantees; RFPs]
The Synthetix grantsDAO is “responsible for vetting, issuing and accepting proposals to be funded. The proposals consist of public goods that community members want to be built that directly benefit the Synthetix ecosystem.” [Past grantees; application form; @snxgrants]
The Graph Foundation Grants Program “focuses on funding protocol infrastructure, tooling, dApps and subgraphs, and community building efforts.” [Announcement; application form; Wave 1 grantees]
The UNI Grants Program “acts as a catalyst for growth and helps to maintain Uniswap as a nexus for DeFi on Ethereum.” [Initial governance proposal; past grantees; application form; RFPs; @UniswapGrants]
Zcash Open Major Grants (ZOMG) “exists to fund projects that advance the usability, security, privacy, and adoption of Zcash, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency..” [Initial governance proposal; past grantees; guide; proposals; @ZcashCommGrants]
Find more crypto grants programs and related funding initiatives at Cryptoneur, a website that maintains an up-to-date web3 grants database.