October 7, 2020
Stacks Grants Retro: September 2020
The Stacks Grants Program launched in Beta on September 3rd, 2020. We will host monthly retrospectives to share updates and share progress. This is the update for September, the first month of the program.
As part of the beta, we hope to use metrics to answer three questions over the next few months:

  1. Is our grant proposal and review process effective? Measured by avg. amount of time from submittal to approval, number of grants completed, and number of grants approved.
  2. Is the grant program scoped and communicated in a way that the community wants to participate? Number of submittals, NPS interviews with grantees, number of users providing feedback, amount of feedback per proposal.
  3. Are grants an effective use of capital to educate, grow, or enable our mission of a user-owned internet? Highlight three case studies of tools and resources, including their alignment with the mission and benefits to the community.

In the first month, we’ve had 15 applicants from around the world apply and receive grants for everything from content creation to web apps. We are so impressed by the quality of the applications and grateful to be apart of the community with you.

Stacks Grant Metrics
  • 15 Grants Submitted
  • 7 approved
  • 3 under review
  • 5 declined or closed by the applicant
  • $20K Awarded for distribution
  • 14 Days from submission to approval

Stacks Grant Review Process
Today, our review committee is made up of four members and follows a weekly candence for grant review:
  1. Applicants apply on Github
  2. Every week on Tuesdays at 3–4 pm EST, the Grant Committee, comprised of 4 people discuss all the grants in each stage of the pipeline. The Agenda is here.
  3. Respond to all applicants by Wednesday at 7 pm EST
Blockstack Stacks Grant Program Application Stages
Notes from the October Retrospective
We’re learning as we go during this Beta phase. Tuesday the committee completed a retrospective with these three questions:

  1. What’s working?
  2. What’s not working?
  3. What is the feedback from the community?

In keeping with our value of transparency, we’ve shared the committee agenda and our retrospective notes in the presentation below. You’ll see notes on our decision process, which we’ve all agreed at the early stage is more art than a perfect science, where we’re striving to add more parameters to over the next four-week sprint.

Another key focus area beyond success of the beta is defining what success of the program looks like over the next twelve months. This includes a clearer vision of the types of grants that we want to see submitted and how we best assess wildcard applications. You can find more information on this on the last page of the retrospective where we have drafted guidelines on what we’re looking for in grant applications.

You can find more information and get involved by tapping into the following resources:

Subscribe to our newsletter at stacks.org, join the #stacks-grants community on discord (https://community.blockstack.org/discord), and follow us on Twitter (@stacksorg).

Raphaela Saphire is a Grants Advisor to the Foundation and member of the Stacks Grants Committee. She's spent the last decade growing communities, funding innovation, and developing a robust decentralized ecosystem at LivePeer. You can find her on Discord @rsap.

Drop in your email to stay in the loop on Stacks Foundation news