[BIP-350] Balancer Grants DAO Service Provider Proposal Q3 2023

PR with Payload


This proposal is to continue Balancer Grants within the Balancer DAO, as an independent community-owned grants program for the Balancer ecosystem as a Service Provider (SP). The program aims to accelerate the development of the BAL ecosystem while optimizing contributor rewards in the Balancer ecosystem. Grants are an alternative pathway for projects aimed at funding smaller, short term or one off projects up to $100k USD that don’t fit the Foundation Service Provider funding model.

The current Balancer Grants team has been working together under the previous snapshot proposal passed on Apr 10, 2023. To date, the grants program has successfully delivered 8 waves of funding and mentoring, expanding the Balancer ecosystem by encouraging building to bring more quality teams into the Balancer ecosystem, increase TVL and build useful tooling for developers, LPs and ecosystem projects. This proposal is to continue the operation of the grants program as per BIP-229.

Changes to the previous proposal are:

  1. Increase lead (Burns) comp by $1k USDC due to removal of Baller coordinape circle. Note this represents a net reduction of total compensation. Being the most significant compensation we think it is prudent to pay this in USDC due to a healthy stables treasury and BAL hovering around all time lows. Remainder are to be paid in BAL with committee members able to lock or otherwise.
  2. Committee total of 1 lead and 4 members (down from 6).
  • Xeonus opting out due to other commitments as a Baller and Grantee.
  • Departure of JayN from committee during Q2

Finding is requested to top up the treasury (currently 34,404 BAL + 236.61 USDC uncommitted) to 55,000 BAL for future grantees and 4,667 BAL + 25,500 USDC for committee/support.

As always, we welcome comments and recommendations from the community on how to better develop the Balancer grants program.

Service Provider Name: Balancer Grants

Leader(s): Burns, with committee members John Grant, Mike B, Steve and Zen Dragon. More below

Pledge to abide by the DAO’s Code of Conduct 1 (or link to your own): Yes


In accordance with the Balancer DAO Accountability Guidelines. This will include the Grant’s Committee:

  • Holding an open community call quarterly
  • Developing a monthly report detailing key objective progress which is posted to the Balancer Forum
  • Attending and presenting during the Baller weekly meeting (mandatory attendance by a least 1 representative)

Domain of Operation

The grant program provides support and funding (up to $100K USD, paid in BAL) to projects committed to supporting Balancer Protocol in achieving its mission to become the number one source of liquidity for DeFi. This program is made for groups and individuals that aspire to run a project that builds on the Balancer Protocol or supports the development of the Balancer ecosystem. While the Foundation SP model is aimed at long term engagements or those with a cost beyond $100k USD, grants are an alternative pathway aimed at funding smaller, short term or one off projects.

The Balancer Grants DAO Service Provider will be operated by the Grants Committee, a group of diverse and experienced Balancer contributors. More details on the Grants Committee are below

Grants Committee

The Grants Committee consists of dedicated Balancer contributors with strong analytical and support backgrounds. The committee remains an equal democracy with no person having a greater authority on what is approved or not. We rely on individuals’ expertise in different areas to help make informed decisions.

Burns - Committee Coordination Lead

Zen Dragon - Committee Member/Mentor

John Grant - Committee Member/Mentor

Mike B - Committee Member/Mentor

Steve0xp - Committee Member/Mentor

The committee has the ability to onboard/offboard members as individual circumstances change throughout the quarter between funding proposals. Given the authority to approve and distribute grant funding, the committee can also self manage members within the approved budget.

The Grants Committee will continue to work closely with Balancer Labs, Ecosystem SPs and Ballers to amplify and support grantees.

By having a dedicated and diverse group of committee members and proactively working together with other ecosystem partners, Balancer Grants are set out to be one of the most effective grants programs in DeFi.

Previous Performance

The committee has shown that only quality projects will be approved for funding after rigorous assessment. This is evident in the committed spend from the previous quarters. We value BAL above all and will not approve projects simply to meet our allocated budget but on the merits of the project.

Managing between 14-18 live grantees providing cross-functional support between BLabs, Maxis, Marketing, Orb and grantees.
Championed co-funding arrangements with Aura Grants (Notional and Sturdy)
Two TWAMM implementations, one in Beta (longswap.xyz) and a second live (Cron Finance)
Notional Finance adding >$3m TVL from $70k grant. More pools to be launched with Aura co-funding

Funding custom managed pools controller development with novel use cases. (Kassandra, Autonolas)

Bringing Yearn’s yBAL into Balancer ecosystem
Funding development of analytics site Defilytica
Expanding Balancer docs and SDK including a LLM assistance bot in training/testing
Dedication to transparent approvals process and reporting
Recovered Funds from stale grantees to redistribute to new projects.

Maintain Notion RFP page. Always open for new ideas. And live grant application assessment table for transparency in decision making…

Length of Engagement and Budget breakdown

This budget contains all costs for the full operations of the Balancer Grants DAO for the period July 1st, 2023 until September 30th, 2023. Unallocated resources will be kept to offset the next quarter budget request if successful.

Compensation will continue to be paid out as per below. Due to the inconsistent nature of grants and the associated workload, grants team members will self-assess their level of contribution against defined Tiers each month to determine their compensation which is reviewed by the grants lead and committee.

Tiers are:

Committee Lead - $8,500 USD paid in USDC - significant administration of grants docs, prepare and present monthly reports/community calls, wave round up, grantee announcements, budget preparation and SP proposals, .

High Level Contributor - $3,500 USD paid in BAL - as per Low Contributor plus mentor 5+ low assistance grantees or 3+ high assistance grantees.

Medium Level Contributor - $2,500 USD paid in BAL - as per Low Contributor plus mentor 2-4 low assistance grantees or 1-2 high assistance grantees.

Low Level Contributor - $1,250 USD paid in BAL - contribute to weekly grants meeting, follow up call for 1-2 grant applications, mentor at least 1 grantee with low level assistance required (generally self-sufficient grantee with no major coordination with BLabs).

Expense Amount in BAL/USD Description
Q3 Grants 55,000 BAL ($275k USD @ $4.50 USD/BAL) To be rewarded to grantees based on milestones following the full Grants review process. For sub $5k USD contributions a light review process will be utilized.
1 Grants lead $8.5k x 3 months = $25.5k USDC The Grants Lead Role takes ownership of the establishment and operations of the Balancer Grant processes. The lead is responsible for coordinating with Committee Members, scheduling and hosting meetings, maintaining Medium and Notion pages and leading the post grants report.
4 committee members $1,562 USD average x 4 x 3 months @ $4.50 USD/BAL = 4,167 BAL Commit to supporting & reviewing up to 10 hours a week and mentoring up to 5 hours a week each month. Allowance for 3 x Low and 1 x Medium level contributions per month.
Other Program Expenses 500 BAL Any other program expenses that may be required for the smooth execution of the grants program. This may include (but is not limited to) to design, media, PR, research, legal, gas fees or any other specialized functions outside the skillset of the committee
Uncommitted Treasury 34,404 BAL & 236.61 USDC
Total request for quarter 25,262 BAL & 25,263.39 USDC

Funds to Transfer: 25,262 BAL & 25,263.39 USDC

The Grants Committee multi-sig (currently 3 out of 5) will continue to operate with the remaining funds in the Grants treasury (0xE2c91f3409Ad6d8cE3a2E2eb330790398CB23597) carried over and approved to be delegated to the grantees.

Impact on the Treasury: The Treasury currently holds ~4.5M BAL. Funding Balancer Grants for Q3 would cost around 0.56% of the treasury’s BAL holdings, which annualizes to ~1.68% of the treasury’s BAL. The Treasury currently holds ~4.5M in USDC. Funding the USDC portion would cost around 0.56% of the treasury’s USDC, which annualizes to ~1.68%.

All transactions will be recorded in a Sheet maintained by the committee and on chain.

ETH Address to Receive Funds

Grants Treasury - 0xE2c91f3409Ad6d8cE3a2E2eb330790398CB23597

Current Treasury Balance ~ 124,827 BAL + 10,236.61 USDC

Committed BAL ~ 90,422 BAL + 10,000 USDC (@$4.50 USD/BAL)

Uncommitted BAL in treasury ~34,404 BAL + 236.61 USDC


I believe I mentioned this before somewhere, but I’m curious whether it would be possible for the community to see the grant applications themselves, perhaps the committee could consider a public application process in some way, perhaps on forum. Just a thought–you guys are doing a great job.

Thanks for the feedback @Franklin. What we do have that we share in each proposal, is our application assessment table - a live, open resource that shows all grant applications and our reasoning for approving/rejecting in an attempt to keep this process as transparent as practical. It’s linked from our notion page too but maybe there is a better place for this? This format was decided on as each wave we get in the order of 60-80 applications, many of which don’t pass the initial filtering review for various reasons (unaligned project, not building on Balancer, no project at all etc). If all these were through the forum, it would be hard for the community to pick the signal through the noise.

We do try to keep the community informed with what we approve and how the teams are performing through grantee approval posts on Medium and our monthly update on both Medium and posted in the forum SP/Grants category.

Always open to ideas for how to improve our process and visibility but cognizant of having too much duplication of information.


Thanks for the reply, brother. That table is great, we’ll check it out. I think one benefit to having the grant application be public is that it drives some additional eyes to our forum, perhaps some stick around, get involved more in the future. One soft requirement that we have for Aura grant applications is that we take into account how engaged the grantee has been at Aura.

Here’s an example, I was just looking at this:

It seems like a nice way to get the community involved, build some stickiness and engagement. Just a thought–not pushing for anything on this one–seems like something that would just be nice.

Appreciate the suggestion. I’ve been interested in the OP grants council as of late as their application process is really well thought out imo. We will be running the application process for the ve8020 launchpad a bit differently given the multiple teams interested and the potential impact to the Balancer ecosystem. This will be through the forum in an open-book, community decided on-chain vote so keep an eye out for that soon.