CIP - 180 | CityDAO Grants Program using Delegated Domain Allocation


  • We propose the launch of CityDAO ecosystem growth initiative of 24 x $9,999 grants (each being approved by an individual vote) spread across 2 quarters to fund a wide variety of teams building apps aligned with the mission of CityDAO in a transparent manner.
  • Questbook is leading Compound grants program through delegated domain capital allocation model, a community-run grants program
  • We additionally propose that this budget be managed by individuals called Domain Allocators - chosen from the community, by the community . These domain allocators would manage grants for a domain. Citizens would delegate their votes to these domain allocators for a period of two quarters. Elected domain allocators will vote to approve grants on an individual basis. These domains are strategic areas of focus for which CityDAO wants to disburse grants
  • The performance of each of these domain allocators will be publicly viewable and auditable using rich dashboards. At the end of the quarter, the CityDAO community can vote to replace, continue domain allocators or increase budgets for each domain allocator.
  • We ( will help facilitate setting up these domain allocators and provide the tooling to run the grants program in an efficient and transparent way. We have previously set up or currently setting up the grants process for Compound, Polygon, Solana, Celo, and Aave


As we continue to experience the depth of the bear market, it is increasingly important for CityDAO to retain the mindshare of key ecosystem contributors and incentivize builders to build on towards its mission of a network-city. A grants program is a great way to attract high-quality builders and grow the ecosystem more quickly. This proposal details the benefit to all the stakeholders involved - token holders, builders and DAO members.


Based on our experience of running grants programs for multiple ecosystems and after speaking to key ecosystem contributors of CityDAO, we have identified the following key problems:

  1. Tokenholder’s blind spots - It is unfair to expect any token holder and community member to have expertise across various domains. It becomes impossible or inefficient to judge projects that may lie outside their expertise and may still be valuable to the CityDAO ecosystem. By delegating capital and decision-making to experts, we can empower domain experts to make informed decisions within a certain domain
  2. Lack of Impact Measurement - Measuring the impact of the grants program is crucial for understanding the effectiveness of the allocated capital and ensuring that the resources are being used effectively. In the absence of a thorough impact measurement, grants team is unable to identify the areas of improvement and is prone to repeat the same mistakes.


Giving domain allocators the capital and decision-making powers can increase the efficiency of the grants program, without compromising on accountability:

  • Individual expertise instead of collective blindspots
  • Distributed load instead of committee backlogs
  • Accountability instead of diffusion of responsibility

The proposed structure will lead to the following outcomes:

  1. Increase in quality proposals - measured by the number of proposals received per month and % of proposals accepted by the domain allocators. Questbook ( is a desired destination for 20,000+ builders each month. We also have a dedicated team who is responsible for builder engagement and reviewing draft proposals before they are submitted to ensure high quality

  1. Delegate capital allocation - Identify, attract and fund projects/builders that the current funding structure would otherwise not have funded by delegating capital allocation to chosen members of the community rather than a central disbursing committee or a large diverse community
  2. Consistent and timely communication - between the domain allocators, builders and community members is a key part of any successful grants program. This will be measured by impact metrics such as turnaround time to give feedback on the proposal and make a final decision, the number of projects completing all the milestones. The data and performance across key metrics will be visible to the community

Specification & Implementation

The program structure focuses on having community members as domain allocators. CityDAO grants will be disbursed by four domain allocators. Each domain allocator will be elected by the community. Interested community members can self-nominate themselves to be considered for becoming a domain allocator by creating an application post in the designate section on CityDAO forum. The domain allocators for each domain will be selected via a community-wide Snapshot vote where citizens will delegate their voting power on all matters related to grants for course to the initiative. Domain allocators will run their domain on-chain for full transparency. The data and performance across key metrics will be visible to the community in order to evaluate the domain allocator’s performance.

The disbursement of the grant will take place on-chain from a multi-sig wallet for each domain controlled by the program manager & the domain allocator. The domain allocators will approve or reject proposals based on their evaluation. The program manager will then coordinate with the CityDAO community to ensure that the proposal is aligned with CityDAO’s growth before making the disbursal.

The grants committee and the CityDAO community shall evaluate the performance of each domain and domain allocator using publicly available data. The outcomes could be as follows:

  1. Change the domain
  2. Change the allocator/program manager
  3. Change the budget

Active community members can also initiate a no-confidence motion to initiate a review off-cycle. This can be initiated by any citizen. The program manager can coordinate this, if the situation arises, along with the active community members. The unallocated funds from every domain will be returned to the treasury at the end of the quarter.

Product Screens

Invite proposals to your grants program

Anyone from the community can view and comment on the proposals

Invite community members to review proposals based on an evaluation rubric

Make milestone-based payouts directly from the multi-sig

Track the performance of the grants program

CityDAO Grants Committee

The program will consist of

  1. A Program Manager
  2. Four Domain Allocators

The funds for grants will come from CityDAO treasury. Funds that will be disbursed to the proposers will reside in the domain-level SAFEs. The program manager will be responsible to update the community about approved proposals and their details through bi-weekly community calls and reports over discord.

We have identified the following domains based on the feedback of the community and welcome the community members to self-nominate themselves once the temp check has passed.


  1. DAO Research - ****This domain will help CityDAO accelerate research initiatives across key focus areas such as the socio-economic impacts of DAOs, novel governance models, and regulatory and legal frameworks, and will help CityDAO expand the overall understanding of DAOs.

  2. DAO Tooling: This domain is dedicated to the development and enhancement of the technical infrastructure that underpins DAOs. This includes, but is not limited to, platforms, protocols, smart contracts, APIs, and interfaces. This domain will support projects that aim to improve the user-friendliness, scalability, security, and interoperability of DAO-related technologies.

  3. AI and DAOs: This domain encourages projects at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and DAOs. These could include initiatives to integrate AI-driven decision-making into DAO governance structures, machine learning models for DAO analytics, AI-enhanced platforms for DAO operations, and applications of AI in ensuring security and trust within DAOs. We welcome innovative ideas that leverage the transformative potential of AI in the DAO ecosystem.

  4. Network City: This domain pertains to the digital and physical aspects of creating and sustaining ‘Network Cities’. This involves urban development and city planning projects that are driven by DAOs. This could range from using DAOs to manage community resources, to implementing blockchain technology in smart cities, to developing virtual metropolises in the digital realm. Projects in this domain should demonstrate how DAOs can redefine the concept of a city and its operations in the age of decentralization.

Domain Allocator Roles & Responsibilities:

The following will be the roles and responsibilities of the selected domain allocators.

  1. Time commitment per week: Maximum of 25 hours per week for the program manager and 15 hours per week for the domain allocator, which might vary based on the number of proposals. The program manager will ensure that the workload is evenly distributed
  2. Program Manager:
    1. Communication:
      1. Work with the CityDAO core contributors and the elected domain allocators to create and list out the necessary RFPs
      2. Create marketing content for communicating RPFs to the builders
      3. Coordinate between the CityDAO Contributors and the community regarding funding requirements
      4. Communicate the information regarding approval/rejection of proposals to the CityDAO community regularly
      5. Attend community calls, actively participate in the community forum, and keep the community updated and take their feedback on the program
      6. Regularly update the progress of the grants program to the CityDAO community over Discord and community calls
    2. Grants Program:
      1. Source good-quality proposals from developer communities
      2. Sign the transactions for the approved projects
      3. Ensure a quick turnaround time for proposers regarding their proposal decision
      4. Coordinate between the domain allocators to ensure that the workload is evenly distributed and take their feedback consistently
  3. Domain Allocator:
    1. Review proposals received for their domains based on the rubrics set by the domain allocator
    2. Reject/Approve proposals and coordinate consistently with the program manager
    3. Source applications by reaching out to developer communities in their network
    4. Discuss program improvements with the other domain allocators and program manager during scheduled meetings


A base payment of $9,999 will be divided among domain allocators at the approval of this initial proposal’s elections and voted via CIP to be continued each month for 5 months

Domain Allocators may also vote on a performance based setup fee for Questbook between $5,000-$9,999 for the successful implementation of their tooling and governance framework.

Questbook will receive a fee of 5% from any grant dispersals during the initiative


What does success look like?

  • Objective
    • The prime objective of this model is to have domains that align with CityDAO’s priorities. This way the contribution of the projects as part of the grants program is directly adding value to the DAO and the token holders.
    • Increase in the number of builders, proposals, and funded projects
    • Increase in the homegrown leadership to run grant programs (measured by the number of people running grant programs)
    • Increase in the community members’ participation to keep grant programs accountable (measured by the number of people looking at the dashboard and participating in the program)
    • Diversity in projects being funded across technologies, geographies, and demographics, to name a few. We encourage the community to regularly review the project domains during CityDAO’s community call
    • Increased engagement in builder community’s
      • Discourse
      • Discord, Telegram
      • Social media (Twitter, Reddit)
      • GitHub
  • Subjective
    • Improved community involvement in the grants program
    • Strengthened builders’ sentiment towards CityDAO
    • Enhanced CityDAO’s brand recognition in builder circles


  • Each domain allocator is required to come up with domain-specific rubrics similar to the following in order to evaluate the proposals. If the identified rubrics are not in line with the domain or CityDAO’s roadmap, anyone from the community can openly suggest changes or question them on the forum
Score 0 1 2 3 4
Developer Reach No project developer team. No developer attraction. No dev team. Small attraction plan (1 to 5 devs). Yes team dev. Yes team dev. Small attraction plan (1 to 5 more devs). Yes team dev. Big attraction plan (+5 more devs).
Developer Commitment No commitment attraction Mercenary commitment attraction (stays until benefits end) Commitment attraction (1 to 3 months ) Commitment attraction (1 year) Commitment attraction (3 year)
Developer Quality* Project does not have a reasonable chance to attract high-quality devs Project has a possibility of attracting high-quality devs Project has a reasonable possibility of attracting high-quality devs and/or has high-quality devs Project is likely to attract high-quality devs Project is highly likely to attract high-quality devs
Likelihood of success Clear flaw in design that cannot be easily remedied Difficult to see the project continuing for more than a year Reasonable chance that the project has intermediate-to-long-term success (+1 Year) Project is likely to generate long-term, sustainable value for the ecosystem Project has substantial likelihood to generate long-term, sustainable value for the ecosystem
Grant size Grant size significantly outweighs projected benefit Grant size is considerably larger than expected benefit Grant size is proportional to expected benefit Expected benefit outweighs grant size Expected benefit meaningfully exceeds grant size
Team assessment Team does not substantiate ability to deliver on plan Team does not show significant ability to deliver on plan Team shows reasonable ability to deliver on plan Team shows significant ability to deliver on plan Team exceeds what is required to deliver on plan
Milestone Assessment Milestones do not significantly hold proposer accountable Milestones are unlikely to hold proposer accountable Milestones are reasonably likely to hold proposer accountable Milestones are significantly likely to hold proposer accountable Milestones are very likely to hold proposer accountable
Demo included (binary yes/no) No demo included Demo included
Score -2 -1 0 1 2
Discretionary Factors (comment required)**
  • Total number of proposals received, number of proposals received for each domain, number of proposals funded, turn around time to take a decision and for disbursal, milestone and project completion rates
  • The program manager will share reports and conduct AMAs once every two weeks to ensure transparency and accountability.
  • We welcome any suggestions for additional qualitative or quantitative metrics not included above
  • Questbook product is a decentralized on-chain grants orchestration tool. Anyone from the community can view the data and create custom dashboards using the on chain data relevant to CityDAO Grants Initiative in a permissionless manner.

Track the performance of the grants initiative

Anyone from the community can track the number of proposals, funding available for builders for a particular domain, and accepted proposals from the Homepage.

About Questbook:

Questbook’s role in CityDAO’s Grant Program

  • Questbook Grants tool will make sure the workflows are systematic and transparent.

Product Flows

  1. Posting a grant - Link
  2. Reviewing and Funding Proposals - Link
  3. Settings - Link
  4. Communicating with Builders - Link
  5. Funding Builders - Link


  • Questbook (YC-W21) is a decentralized grant orchestration tool, currently being used by Compound, Polygon, AAVE, Celo & Solana Ecosystem

Community Buy - in and Next Steps

This is a temp check to gather interest to execute such a grant program during the bear market. We will also be involving more members from the community to identify the right Program Manager and domain allocators

We would appreciate feedback and any thoughts on this proposal.


The listed Domains are just suggestions to start with, I think we should all discuss the most beneficial domains before posting to snapshot.

Some other suggestions from citizens were

Physical Infrastructure
Any technical and physical infrastructure. This could include projects focusing on land buying and real world assets - some examples include decentralized power generation, internet connectivity, or waste management.

Digital Infrastructure
Since our city operates on a decentralized model, we will need innovative legal and governance models. Projects in this domain could include developing smart contracts for land ownership or community governance mechanisms. Education and Training, metaverse and AI constructs.

Web3 Infrastructure
This domain should focus on projects that promote community interaction between the physical and digital and the creation of public goods. This might involve the development of virtual community centers, public art projects, or open-source software beneficial to all citizens.

Decentralized Infrastructure
We need to consider the backbone of our city - the technical and physical infrastructure. This could include projects focusing on decentralized power generation, internet connectivity, or waste management. This domain would provide the essential services that make a city livable.

Legal Frameworks and Governance
Since our city operates on a decentralized model, we will need innovative legal and governance models. Projects in this domain could include developing smart contracts for land ownership or community governance mechanisms.

Education and Training
This domain should focus on creating educational resources to ensure our citizens are adept at navigating the challenges of a decentralized city. This could involve creating online courses, workshops, or mentoring programs on blockchain technology, consensus mechanisms, and the principles of decentralized organizations.

Community and Public Goods
This domain should focus on projects that promote community interaction and the creation of public goods. This might involve the development of virtual community centers, public art projects, or open-source software beneficial to all citizens.

I find this CIP to be very long and very unclear. The summary talks about “questbook” and Compound but what I take away is that this proposal would spend $240,000 for no tangible benefit to CityDAO, but would instead give grants for very vague ideas like “DAO research, DAO tooling, AI and Network Cities.”

To me, those are all buzzwords. This proposal doesn’t explain how the money would actually be used. Not to mention that @PatSantiago just days ago received nearly $10K individually to work on very similar issues in CIP-179. I’d rather see the work that was paid for be done.

1 Like

Thank you for the feedback David!

I totally agree that this version is a little confusing and vague.I hoped to get some input from others on ideas for domains that would best serve the DAO along with explore the idea of citizens delegating their voting power to other citizens.

This is intended to be a temp check, I wanted to put what I had worked on so far up for others to comment and leave feedback. I’ll be posting the revised version soon that is more to the point and outlines the proposal more thoroughly.

I’d love to chat one on one about revisions if you have time, mainly exploring the verbiage of delegating votes and ideas for where capital should be routed.

At its core domain allocation is the idea of having subject matter experts oversee the dispersal of grants for projects that directly benefit the growth of the DAO. I see it as an interesting experiment in representative democracy in the DAO that could potentially free up blockages caused by voter apathy,

Questbook offers super easy to use tools and setup for the participants of grants programs following this framework, they’ve helped tons of top protocols like Compound, Euler, AAVE, Arbitrum, and many more set up successful grants programs.

Also for transparency, I just became an employee at Questbook where I’ll be doing growth by networking with DAOs that can benefit from what we’re talking about here, I’m proposing the initiative because I think it’s a strong fit. The program would be lead by 5 elected citizens. I don’t plan on running for any of these positions or applying for any grants currently, simply routing people who I see as good fits at most.

As I said though, I’d really love to chat more about it, It’s in an vague phase but ultimately a worthwhile endeavor that could fruit some cool experiments.

I think that capital should be routed towards buying land. Almost none of the exploratory research projects have yielded a real, tangible benefit to CityDAO. With our limited treasury, giving out grants for people to “explore possibilities” will likely lead to more research of questionable value.

Additionally, if you just became an employee of an organization and then wrote a CIP suggesting that we allocate almost a quarter million dollars to that organization, I think that potential conflict of interest should have been mentioned at the beginning of the initial proposal.