mDAO Proposal: Grant committee and budget

What do you propose?

Establish a grant budget of 10MM MNDE and a committee to oversee and disburse it over time.

The conditions I propose are:

  • Initial budget of 10MM MNDE
  • A committee of 3 people, with grants passing if they get 2/3 votes.
  • The committee should consist of:
    • 2 Master chefs
    • 1 community member Chef
  • Grants up to 250K MNDE per tranche, but starting smaller (see notes on Additional considerations)
  • All grants must go to enhance mSOL or MNDE value.
  • The end result must be in the community’s control after it is created, to ensure continuity - that is, it must be open source and cannot rely on a closed server that the grantee runs.
  • MNDE will be paid out as NFT, upon delivery of agreed-upon milestones.
  • Grant proposals must be public for anyone to review and comment, but will not be sent to or require an on-chain vote.
  • There will be at least 1 week between the final version of a grant proposal being posted and the committee making a decision to proceed, so that we can get comments from the community.
  • Grant proposal and discussion will happen in the forum, so we can keep them around for future reference.
  • Final decision on grants will be up to the committee, without an onchain vote, but the community can vote to stop any grant (see Additional considerations).
  • It is the committee’s responsibility to ensure that grants are achievable, and to verify delivery before disbursement.
  • The committee commits to post, once per quarter, some brief post-mortem notes on the grants that were implemented in the previous quarter (Q2 retrospective would look at the results of the grants deployed in Q1).

Any grant outside these guidelines must go through the usual onchain vote process.

What is the rationale behind the proposal?

Currently, the entire responsibility to build around mSOL and MNDE rests in the hands of the core team, along with a few volunteers contributing work like FlipsideCrypto. We want to make sure we increase Marinade’s TVL, enhance mSOL, and increase MNDE utility, however:

  • We cannot expect that the team will scale up in the near future - both because of the financial cost and the coordination overhead;
  • We should not assume that all good ideas will come from within the team;
  • Nor can we expect external contributors to work for free.

Having a well-defined grant program helps us reward people who help build Marinade, without requiring or expecting an ongoing commitment.

We could use the existing onchain proposal process and have the community vote on grants. However, this will lead to unnecessary overhead and quorum requisites for what are ultimately small disbursements. Creating a grant committee and enabling them to operate within the guidelines the community has approved helps grants proceed faster.

What is the expected positive impact of this change?

I see multiple advantages:

  • It will help lighten development load from the team. If you think that there’s a valuable ancillary product, don’t wait for the team to build it - apply for a grant and do it!
  • It will bring in outside perspectives for what can be build with and upon Marinade, helping remove the risk of the team getting tunnel vision.
  • It will get MNDE in the hands of those willing to build up its value.
  • It will help the team and community evaluate collaborations in a speedy manner without requiring an on-chain proposal to disburse.
  • It will help add value to mSOL and MNDE without forcing the team to choose between increasing its treasury burn or passing on an interesting collaboration.

Any other considerations?

  • Q: What kind of projects will this fund?
    • We will focus on things that directly help Marinade grow.
    • Some examples: projects and tools built to drive mSOL use, dashboards, specific tools for our users, governance tool improvements.
    • Core development will remain within the Master Chefs.
    • We may eventually do some grants to build commons projects, but it will neither be a focus nor a priority.
  • Q: Isn’t 250K MNDE kind of a lot?
    • It could be, and by no means I’d recommend every grantee aims for it. While these rules enable grants up to 250K MNDE, I would strongly advise the committee to keep them smaller at the start, as we test-drive the process
  • Q: What sort of project size are you looking for?
    • I’d currently suggest that proposals should be executable within 4 calendar weeks - that will help keep scope small and enable a faster learning cycle.
  • Q: What if there’s a grant request larger than 250K MNDE?
    • We currently prefer the idea of running smaller grants, to get a shorter time to deliverable.
    • Even when an idea could arguably only make sense as a large project, it’s best to split down into smaller components and milestones.
    • If an applicant still thinks that a grant warrants a larger amount, there are two options: splitting the grant in smaller units, or sending it to a governance vote instead.
  • Q: What if I have a large, multi-quarter project in mind?
    • Consider breaking it up into smaller, more manageable pieces.
  • Q: What if I think a grant is a bad idea?
    • Help us out! Get involved in a proposal and give clear reasons as to why.
  • Q: I still think a grant is a bad idea but the committee is for it. Shouldn’t the community have veto power?
    • They do! If you think the committee is screwing up that badly, launch a governance vote to stop a grant from moving forward.
  • Q: How long do you plan the MNDE to last?
    • There is no fixed timeline right now, but we do not expect to rush into grants
    • Even at 250K MNDE per grant that’s 40 total - it would take us a couple of years to get through it at a pace of 5 grants per quarter.
  • Q: Does the “under the community’s control” clause exclude grants that depend on third-party services? For instance, would this cover Marinade-specific work that relies on Flipside data?
    • This is a tricky one, since the service could disappear at some point, but I don’t think it makes sense to build everything from scratch. My suggestion would be to say that third-party services should be allowed, as long as the committee determines that it’s likely to be a long-lived service.

Good proposal.

  1. It will be better if this sentence, “All grants must go to enhance mSOL or MNDE value”, could be explained in better. The value of either of these tokens can be enhanced by a Educational project, building more dapps that supports Marinade ecosystem,…etc. Do we have any specific areas that comes under the purview of this sentence or is it put intentionally so that Marinade is open to all possible ideas?

  2. why should the end result be in community’s control? If someone wants to build a lending application and the team finds this proposal really interesting, the builder can still apply for the grant. Doesn’t mean it needs to be in community’s control. The end goal is to increase the value of mSOL or MNDE. It shouldn’t matter if it is closed source or open source.

  3. The NFT payment is debatable. If I am from a small team of 3 looking to raise funds for something I am building why should I get a locked MNDE and wait for 30-days? Grants should be more open.

  4. Agree with this being not “on-chain”

I would suggest the following structure to the grants program (mostly in-line with the sentiments above):

a. Someone applies for the grant through a form
b. The committee reviews the proposal.
c. The committee responds with a final yes/no within 7 days with 7th day being the maximum final day for result. Reason: It is important to have a fixed timeline to this process. The community feels respected and answered and the committee will make all the diligence at a faster pace. I personally like to see the timeline less than 7 days, but that is up for discussion. My vote is for a 3-5 day period.

Disbursal of the grants:

Long term, there could be two ways for grants disbursal: Milestone based & Tiered approach.

a. Milestone based:
Agree to a set of milestones based on the objectives & outcomes of the said proposal. Committee will release funds upon completion of the said milestone.
Release suggestion: Set milestones and release funds. 10% release on approval and 90% on milestone basis

b. Tiered grants approach:
This disbursal method can be adopted when this program is mature and automatic in the future. The idea behind this is to fix the disbursal rates based on the total amount being granted.

For a project with $5K USD approved: $5K can be released upfront (based on other criteria but I have generally seen upfront disbursal is normal)
For a project between 5K - 20K USD: 50% at the beginning and 50% after completion
For project above 20K USD: Milestone based
following structureI know the limits are different with what Marinade is starting but the above approach can be applicable for any scale.

Demo day:
For any grants that got approved, the team can showcase their project on a monthly-demo day at Marinade. Chefs can get special onboarding gifts - free access to the dapp for a limited time to lesser fees,…etc.

Let me know if I can be on the grants program design team as well or if there are any steps for that. Exciting this is.


Great proposal, thank you @PlayerOfBits ! Also some thoughtful input from @spleen!
I also thought a lot about the wording that it has to “enhance mSOL or MNDE value”. I think it’s actually good, or at least to me it would mean it can be really any idea as long as it has some value or benefit, if that is your intention.
Elaborating what falls under it could be further explained somewhere else, on the form or a website for these grants.

Also, I’m wondering how the community member should be chosen / voted, and for how long, and if that should be part of the proposal?
Should the community member receive some compensation for her/his time?


Thank you @PlayerOfBits for the shoutout and for making this proposal! I do believe that, if done correctly, a grants program like this can help expand Marinade’s footprint (tentacles??) across the DeFi landscape and enhance the value of both mSOL and MNDE.

I have to respectfully disagree with @spleen here:

and here:

Open source code absolutely matters IMO. Like many of the top DeFi protocols out there, Marinade itself is open source.

I also think that dispersing grant payments in the form of chef NFTs is perfectly reasonable. Maybe grantees might even be inspired to stick around for a little while and continue contributing / engaging in governance. Definitely not a bad outcome. To my knowledge, every grantee to date and every participant in the Marinade token exchange program also received tokens in the form of a chef NFT.

Having a demo day / project spotlight for grantees is an awesome idea! Would highly encourage that as part of the regular reporting flow. Even something simple like hosting a joint Twitter space would be great for both the community and the grantee.

Getting back to the original proposal, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this clause:

On one hand, I strongly believe that the community’s opinion matters and should absolutely be considered when making grant decisions. But on the other hand, community veto power means that the possibility for governance drama is always there. You may want to specify a window of time during which the community can propose a veto and move that veto to on-chain vote (ie 3 days from decision date).

Another potential alternative might be to hold a simple poll on the forums for each grant proposal prior to committee review and use that as a barometer for community sentiment. The results of this poll could then be assigned X% weight on some score card system (ie 5 criteria, 0 or 1 for each). Doing something like this could actually help to increase the transparency of the decision making process too.


Also I would love to be considered for this committee if you think it’s appropriate @PlayerOfBits.

For those who aren’t super familiar, we at Flipside have been working with the Master Chefs for the last several months to help deliver insights through on-chain data and analytics.

A couple of examples can be seen here and here.

I do what I do because my mandate is to help builders build and make informed decisions using Flipside’s data. I seek nothing of monetary significance from the Marinade DAO or its treasury - just a seat at the table and the ability to contribute.

I also just love working with this team and would be grateful for an opportunity to do so over the long term!


Thanks for all the points, @spleen!

That is a fair point: the general definition is vague, and it will require the committee making a call as if a proposal does it or not, but it is intentional. I do not think we should limit things too early, since one of the great values I see here is bringing outside perspectives - ideas about what could be done with/for mSOL and MNDE that we aren’t thinking of right now.

Given this is a governance proposal, narrowing it down here would mean that some great but off-the-wall idea that we didn’t allow for would require a governance vote, which would be overkill for a small experiment.

I considered this case, but a separate application would be:

  1. Something that is also more directly investable; and
  2. Would likely require larger funding and a longer process that a grant allows.

It seems that those cases are better suited for a partnership discussion and, given the likely larger funding, would be better handled through a standalone proposal.

Fair point, and I went back and forth on it myself. On the one hand, part of the goal is to align incentives with Marinade and get MNDE in the hands of people building it up, so I’d rather they hold the NFT. On the other, people gotta pay rent.

Happy to go with whatever the community thinks is best on this one.

Do you think this is necessary at first? I am suggesting we focus initially on projects that will take under 4 weeks to complete. It seems like the time to delivery is short enough that milestones would be overkill and add management overhead.

I like this! Not everyone will be comfortable doing a live demo, but we should have a mechanic where the grantee introduces what they’ve created to the community, even if on a forum post.


My first suggestion would be to say community vote on the forum. We can make an “election post” where people propose themselves as the community member, then we hold a vote through forum poll.

The advantage is that it would be lighter weight than an onchain vote, and would also be 1-person 1-vote. The disadvantage is that it would be open to forum members who may or may not be MNDE holders. I doubt we’re going to get any massive election interference, though. :slight_smile:

This is something I’ve been thinking about myself - thanks for bringing it up! I do think they should be compensated, because evaluating these may be work and we can’t expect people to do everything as volunteers. I don’t have an amount or mechanism in mind right now, though, other than the amount should come out of the grant budget as well. Happy to discuss here as well.


Thanks for raising this, @dobby! You are right - grants should not be vetoable forever, otherwise we may run into a situation where a grant gets approved, the grantee starts working on it, and then 2 weeks in someone starts a veto.

I’ve made a note of it and will have a veto window as part of the proposal modifications.

I agree with the need for transparency, and the committee should be able to explain why they decided to proceed with a grant.

I’m not keen on a poll, though, as I see it as something that could introduce all sorts of issues: an idea might be popular, even if impractical; or (given the relatively low forum participation so far) a poll could be gameable to create the impression that a grant has more support than it does.

I’d very much prefer that we take our cues about how popular or unpopular an idea is from the actual discussion. Someone taking the time to articulate why they’d like to see a grant happen, or would like to stop it, is a much stronger and harder to falsify signal than clicking on a poll.


I like this proposal. When I first read through it I didn’t really think what I’ve made (The Marinade Chefs and The Burned Chefs at would fit within the examples listed, but then I’ve been thinking that maybe it could as it potentially can help Marinade grow. So, I would like to ask if could fit, and also if it could be considered for a retro-active grant.
Also, going forward with the project means making even more Marinade Chef related content, like a rolling Top 20, a memorial for recently burned, a separate list of Shark Chefs etc.

The site itself, while admittedly extremely nascent, will be developed indenpendently and offer APIs for sites that want to integrate the data for this and other collections, so there’s potential for exposure in the future as it develops.


Hello there,

Fully behind this proposal, I like the nimbleness that having a committee will allow and it should encourage people to suggest ideas and projects as they see a fast-paced validation/rejection process that doesn’t require on-chain votes.

Regarding the choice of the Community member to sit on the committee, I wouldn’t be against another forum post where the candidates can introduce themselves, their background, etc. I’m not decided on the way of voting, if it should be on-chain or not, but I believe we need to find a way to reduce the chances of a “skewed” vote. The forum allowing external users/non-MNDE holders to participate, I’m worried it could be suboptimal but I don’t have a perfect solution to offer either.

Finally, I wanted to publicly come in support of @octo and his suggestion, as I’ve been the one inviting him to open this discussion here. I truly believe that what he worked on recently is bringing value and comfort to MNDE holders, and definitely falls into the spectrum of projects I’d love to see outsourced to the community in the form of grants.
I would support a retroactive grant for this project as I think it’s a perfect example of the type of projects that deserve to be encouraged and supported.


I am flexible with the open source discussion. While I see no harm in a closed-door system as long as it works. I agree that Marinade and all other top DeFi protocols are open source. So, no comments here. Acknowledging all your thoughts on why open source is necessary. A thing for me to read & learn for later.

I slightly disagree to this. Marinade can maybe provide an option on how they want the grant disbursal to happen but it is necessary to not allow only Chef NFTs. The end outcome is the project that comes out of the proposal and that in turn is already beneficial to Marinade (because that is the criteria they get the grant). So expecting any more control is bad imo.

Noted and agreed. Thanks for the clarification.

Covered my reasoning behind not supporting this approach in this thread.

Not at first, but eventually when the scope of the program expands. There could be one or two outliers and we have to be ready with a model :slight_smile:

Glad everyone is onboard for the Demo Day idea. It can take different formats but good to involve the builders and community of Marinade!


I would personally be for retroactive grants - I see no reason to avoid rewarding people who have helped the community so far, merely because we didn’t have a framework in place up until now. We also don’t know how long is the discussion going to take, and I’d rather people don’t hold on contributing because the proposal hasn’t passed yet.

The exact decision of what would qualify would end up on the grant committee based on the final framework, of course.


I see your point here ser! Makes sense to me.

Also, I would definitely support retroactive grants as @octo mentioned - and would strongly encourage octo to build out all of those new features for the community. TBH, I already find the app quite useful for finding the amount of MNDE tokens locked in a given NFT.

Grants awarded for previous contributions are actually quite common in other DAOs - Mango DAO is one that comes to mind. Lots of builders over there with a ship first, ask for money later type of attitude.


Folks, any more feedback on this proposal? Otherwise I’ll collect some of the notes into a small amendment and look to get it on chain soon - perhaps at the same time as our marketing budget proposal.

To summarize the amendments to the original proposal:

  • Grantees will be expected to provide some sort kind of result demo at the end of the grant. The comments referred to it as “demo day”, but it can take any shape that the grantee and the committee consider appropriate - a video showcasing the functionality, written documentation, and so on.
  • We will pay out grants after the committee is satisfied with the delivery. Grants of up to 50K MNDE will be sent out as unlocked tokens, any amount beyond that will be paid out in locked NFTs.
  • There will be a limited time for the community to object to a grant after the committee has approved it. The committee will accept objections for the first five calendar days, after which the committee will make a decision and notify the grantee. Any strong objection after that period will need to go through a governance vote.

The proposal is now on chain for your voting pleasure. Governors, get governing!

The Chefs discussed this proposal and the marketing budget proposal in the twitter spaces today. Listen to the recording here:


Hello folks,

The proposal passed with almost 14M votes for, 46k abstains, and none against. Now we need to define a Grant Committee.

I’ll be at Berlin Blockchain Week most of this week, and probably distracted, but will make an effort to post my thoughts on the topic. Please bear with me if my response times are slow, though.

Thanks to everyone who voted!


I’ve created a post about electing the community member representative for the Grant Commitee. Please go here to vote, and post if you’re interested in volunteering.

I’ll be closing this topic, as there are not other action items.

Let’s continue the discussion on the grant committee formation post.