Fund 7

Catalyst Contributors challenge setting proposal for use in fund 8

Challenge Title

Catalyst Contributors

Challenge question

What full time contributors can be funded to help improve the Catalyst ecosystem?

Why is it important?

Catalyst needs more community members working full time in the ecosystem so it can reach its potential

How does success look like?

Catalyst community members solving important problems are funded so they can continue providing high impact

Key Metrics to measure

The key metrics to measure for Catalyst contributors would include:

  • Number of contributions (Code commits, events organised, coordination support between teams, documentation improvements)

  • Community support (Conversations with and contributions to new and existing projects and community members)

Challenge brief

Catalyst Contributors is a community voted group of contributors in the Cardano ecosystem that get funded to help support and drive the ecosystem forward full time. Contributor roles can include developers, coordinators, communicators, analysts, designers and more or a mixture of different expertise. The contributors can be seen as a glue that helps bring the Catalyst ecosystem together and maximise collaboration and outcomes within the community.

To read the full background, analysis and current documentation for Catalyst Contributors please visit -

Why is this challenge needed?

There is a benefit to consider other funding models rather than idea based funding. Strong ecosystems are built on good ideas that are well executed but the ecosystem also relies on impactful community contributors. The future of Catalyst funding could include funding community contributors as well as just ideas.

The analysis behind how this challenge brief was constructed can be found here -

It details the tradeoffs of funding types, the decision to use duration and salary caps and how the challenge total requested budget was decided.

Catalyst contributors candidate - What should be included in the proposal?

A guide for Catalyst contributor candidate proposals can be found here -

Catalyst contributors budget guidelines - What budget should a contributor request?

Guidance for Catalyst contributors for setting their budget has been researched. Candidates are not forced to follow this guidance however the guidance can be found here -

Catalyst contributors minimum thresholds - Is there a minimum number of contributors for each role?

Minimum thresholds have been added to make sure there is enough skills across the cohort of contributors for where help is needed most. The minimum thresholds for fund 8 can be found here -

What is expected from successful candidates?

  • Support the ecosystem - Contributors should focus on returning the highest value to the ecosystem and look to solve the largest problems the community is facing at the time. Those problem areas could include support for improving or creating tools, coordination, resolving governance issues, improving user experience etc.

  • Support the community - Contributors should understand the ecosystem and be able to help the community where it's needed. That could be answering questions, pointing people to the right resources or bringing more awareness to different areas of the ecosystem that need support.

  • High collaboration - Contributors have the power to be the glue that brings the community together and identifies overlapping or duplicated efforts. The community benefits by contributors spending time understanding different related projects and bringing those together where it would be a benefit to them and the ecosystem.

  • High participation - To be highly effective contributors will need to understand what is happening across the ecosystem to the best of their ability. Contributors may sensibly focus on one or a few areas within the ecosystem where they ensure they are up to date and are aware of the problems, projects, teams and roadmap.

  • Flexible - Contributors will be most impactful if they are able to be flexible in a fast moving environment and move to where they can have a high impact.

What should contributors report?

  • Progress reports - Contributors will report weekly progress reports on what they have been working on in the community, any blockers they have and anything else they feel is relevant.

  • KPI reports - Contributors would not need to report KPI reports like normal idea focussed proposals do. Instead they would focus on increased regularity of progress reports that keep the community up to date on how they are contributing to the ecosystem.

What sort of candidates are most suitable?

  • Approachable - You understand the community will reach out to you regularly and will need to be friendly and supportive to community members.

  • Outcome focussed - You understand that the problems within any ecosystem are complex and take time to overcome but are able to communicate and collaborate on finding solutions.

  • Open minded - You have insights but are always open to new ideas on how to solve a problem. You look to include all perspectives when solving problems.

  • Pragmatic - You understand solving problems often doesn't start with the perfect solution. You understand the difference between short and long term thinking and how to prioritise what is most important and achievable.

What candidates may be less suitable?

  • Idea focussed - You have a great idea and want to work on it full time. This candidate is less suitable as contributors should not be tied to a single idea. Instead contributors are a collaborative force that helps pull ideas and teams together. This person can make a proposal for their idea if that's where they want to focus their time where the contributors league could help them instead!

  • Wants full autonomy and independence - Candidates will need to communicate and collaborate with many community members, ideas and projects regularly. If a candidate wants full autonomy and independence to solve problems then they are more suited to idea focussed proposals rather than joining the contributors league.

Community advisors - How candidates should be assessed

Community advisors should use the following guide when assessing a Catalyst contributor candidate proposal -

Challenge team - What duties will support success

  • Proposal support - Help candidates propose a fair budget and salary expectations for their application. Guide candidates to add more proof of existing contributions or professional background where necessary.

  • Progress report reviews - Check on execution of reported progress by candidates to ensure it meets the standards and expectations of the community. Flag and report candidates where necessary for wider community review.

Future ideas to consider with this challenge

  • Reputation building - The contributors league could become a vital part of the Cardano ecosystem where the community could issue credentials or vote on members of the workers league for helping in certain areas. Some examples could be for high impact help in areas such as development, coordination, design or planning.

  • Bonuses - Top contributors league members could be voted for in a governance process and be given a bonus reward for the impact of their contributions. This could make being a contributor very lucrative and align financial incentives well towards those that make large effort contributions that positively benefit the ecosystem.

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