Recap on Community Fund
The Community Fund is an on-chain pool built into the Celo protocol topped up daily with a governable 25% of epoch rewards. As the fund grew, community members and our predecessors @Patrick, @Dee, and @deepak recognized this pool was under-utilized and set up the first stewardship program via protocol governance - called CCF (Celo Community Fund) - to assist ecosystem projects in need.
After their (planned) twelve month tenure ended, @Wade, @MayaRB, and @Thylacine formed the second stewardship and named it Prezenti to avoid confusion with the governable on-chain pool itself, and to highlight the independence of Prezenti as a community-owned initiative. Governance proposal 61 was executed on 11th June 2022 and formalized the creation of Prezenti. Our role as stewards fills an operational gap for smaller projects that do not have the votes reach to pass governance independently.
Our successful proposal gave us token approval to pull 800,000 CELO from the Community Fund to independently review, accept, manage, and disburse funds to ecosystem projects as stewards of this approval amount.
You can read about us and Prezenti’s grant thesis in our first post here - https://forum.celo.org/t/reopening-of-the-celo-community-fund/3475
Feedback from the forum community was instrumental in getting this stewardship operational last year and we’d like to share our progress so far, what we’re excited about, what challenged us, and what’s next for Prezenti.
What We’ve Achieved
Since last June, we spent many meetings learning from CCF(v1), building administrative and accounting processes, and learning how the three of us work together. We created a 3-person company in Canada, set up a simple informational website, legal terms, and most importantly - grant application form. Prezenti formally opened the doors for applications on 14 October 2022.
We have had an overwhelming response to date! In the 3 months since October we have had over 50 applications, of which 18 have been successful in getting Prezenti support. One major theme for Celo builders applying to Prezenti so far has been; payments, banking, and on/off ramps - especially in projects from the Global South. A great sign that one of Celo’s value drivers - fast, cheap payments - continues to gain traction worldwide.
Another large segment of applicants are working on educational platforms, with many wanting to host in-person events; lectures, developer training sessions, or a hackathon. There’s also been fantastic alignment to the Celo ecosystem as a movement, with many carbon credit and other ReFi solutions applying for funding to kick-start their idea.
Operational transparency is a major focus for us. A large part of the lead-time from June to October before opening for applications was setting up robust administrative practices that allow us to be responsive and clear with all of our applicants while avoiding costly rework.
We opted for fiscal conservatism, rather than playing traders with the governance allowance during this relatively tumultuous market and wider macro market uncertainty. Our aim is to ultimately add value to the Celo ecosystem and so we kept the governance approval denominated in the CELO token and only pulled from the Community Fund as we needed to ring fence grant amounts or pay for expenses. We’ve kept detailed records of all our transactions, which can be viewed on our website here (view the “Ledger” tab for details, and the others for summaries).
Our agreements with successful applicants are all denominated in cUSD. Each grant is broken down into milestone payments, where we review the work progressively for the duration of the grant. Before this however, after the grant is initially approved, the full cUSD sum of all milestone payments agreed by both parties is converted from CELO and isolated in our 2 of 3 multi-sig wallet. Here are the current accounting headlines to date (denominated in cUSD for clarity):
|Grant Milestones Pending Completion||$264,185.77|
|Grant Milestones Completed||$51,958.23|
|Administration Expenses (to date)||$57,465.19|
|Administration Expenses (set aside for 2023)||$65,353.56|
Using the average CELO price from inception to today of approximately $0.76, as a fraction of our original governance approval for 800,000 CELO ($606,530), our management expenses currently sit around 9.47%, and closer to 6.39% at the original price of $1.12 when Prezenti’s treasury was created. The majority of the expenses are compensation for the three stewards Aaron, Maya, and Wade, the remainder some fixed accounting and technology items.
We’ve now set up a streamlined administrative process for grant management and have processed 51 applications. We’ve stuck to our thematic goals, and transparently recorded all of our financial accounting. Today, even with a minor bump in the CELO price recently, we are at the end of our ability to fund any new projects and we closed our online application form on the 31st of January 2023.
We’re very excited to be working with our current cohort of grant recipients! Additionally, even though there are many applications that were ultimately unsuccessful, we’ve had mutually beneficial exchanges and broadened our network of Celo ecosystem builders. In some cases we’ve given mentoring feedback on the application and project itself, and we welcome and expect to see applications from some of our connections in 2023.
With the Celo Foundation itself following a path of progressively decentralising it’s grant programs, over time community-led projects will pick up the lion’s share of grants management and we are already seeing this migration of projects to date with the overwhelming response to Prezenti’s opening. It’s been a great success and we plan to submit a follow-on governance proposal to re-fill our treasury so we can re-open applications and continue supporting Celo creators.
With this post, we wish to update the community on our progress and run a temperature check with the community. Would you support a second governance approval to continue funding the current Prezenti stewardship?
Thank you for your support thus far and we welcome any questions about the current or continued operations of Prezenti.