Funding Proposals

Overview of the how funding proposals can be better understood and improved

Benefits of improving funding proposals

The structure and information gathered in a funding proposal is a foundational part of the funding process. That information is relied upon in numerous other parts of the funding process to assess, select and measure the progress of different proposals.

Foundational work for other areas in Catalyst

Improving the structure and data collected in proposals for any type of funding initiative will help other areas in the Catalyst process in being able to better utilise quality information being recorded.

  • Proposal assessments - Improving funding proposals will mean that all of the relevant information included in proposals has been analysed and considered towards how it should be recorded in the proposal. This helps improve assessments by giving people the full information about something that is in a good format.

  • Voting interface - Improving funding proposals would help ensure all of the relevant data is included to make it easier to sort, filter and rank proposals such as using proposal tags as one example. Efforts to better standardise the structure of data means it will become easier to make interfaces for viewing that data.

  • Progress and completion auditing - Ensuring all of the important data relevant to a proposal is included and that its recorded in a good structure will help with the auditing of any progress or completion reports being submitted by proposers. Better structured proposals will make it easier and more predictable to create and apply different auditing approaches.

  • Data analysis - Improving proposals data structure will make it easier for data analysis to be conducted on the historical proposal data. The easier this is the more informative the outcomes could become.

  • Algorithms for sorting proposals - How proposals are sorted in the voting experience is vital for proposers based on the exposure the proposal will receive with voters. Sorting proposals effectively using increasingly more complex but useful algorithms will rely on structured and useful data to compare proposals against one another. Improving funding proposal structures for consistency will help ensure proposals follow a similar format and structure that better helps making comparisons between proposals. Improved structure should make it easier when proposals are vastly different to other proposals in their intentions and any goals and objectives each proposal is trying to achieve.

Data to consider for idea proposals

The following is a list of ideas for the different pieces of data that should be considered, analysed and reviewed to determine which pieces of data are actually useful and what ways that data could be recorded and structured and also how it could be misused or abused by bad actors. Based off that analysis a recommendation can be made towards how and if each piece of data should be included in a standardised approach for handling idea proposals.


  • Title

  • Description

  • Problem

  • Solution

  • Impact - How could this proposal create impact for the ecosystem? Who would benefit from the execution of this proposal?

  • Risks - What could go wrong? How is that being accounted for during the planning for this proposal?

  • Type of project - One off or recurring? Is the project going to need more funds in the future?

  • Goals & objectives - What is the proposal trying to achieve?

  • Success metrics & KPIs - How will the proposal determine whether it achieves its goals and objectives?

  • Location focus - Is this idea focussed on a specific area, country or continent or is it intended for global usage from the start?

  • Links / attachments - Further information to aid in understanding the idea and intentions of the proposal


  • Itemised deliverables / milestones - What are the individual pieces of work that must be completed for this proposal to be delivered?

  • Roadmap / timeline - When is the intended completion data for each of the deliverables in the proposal and the project as a whole?

  • Relevant experience - What experience the team or organisation has that provides evidence that they have the experience to be able to execute the proposal

  • Budget required - What budget is needed for each deliverable or entire project?

  • Tracking progress - How will the delivery of the project be tracked and recorded for the community to verify?

  • Measuring outcomes - How will the deliverables or overall project be measured in terms of whether it has achieved the intended outcomes?

  • Links / attachments - Further information about existing execution of the proposal and current progress

Team - Could have one or many members.

  • Personal information - First name, last name

  • Professional background - Career history, volunteer work

  • Education - Qualifications, certifications

  • Ecosystem contributions - Relevant contributions made to the ecosystem

  • Funding history - Proposal submission history, funding and proposal completion history

  • Contact information - Email, social links

  • Links / attachments - Personal links or information like articles, blogs, qualifications

  • Location - Individuals location. Could be town, city or country

Organisations - Could range from any communities, organisations or businesses. Could have one or many involved in the idea.

  • Name

  • Description - What the organisation does

  • Members - List of individuals, each could have data similar to the team section above

  • Funding history - Proposal submission history, funding and proposal completion history

  • Location - Organisations location

  • Contact information - Email, social links

  • Links / attachments - Organisation information like website links, code repository, articles, blogs, legal documents if necessary


  • Proposal tagging - Attach the relevant tags which apply to this proposal

  • Project links - Add any links relevant to the idea and deliverables such as any repositories or evidence of any completion or existing progress

Current plan

Focus on just idea funding proposals

Contributor proposals are not yet being considered formally by IOG. Idea proposals are currently what is being used in the Catalyst funding process so this will be the initial focus.

Start with proposal tagging

Proposal tagging offers a very useful way for the voters to traverse a large variety of proposals each with different focusses. Getting this area right will help make it easier for voters to compare similar proposals when making informed voting decisions. This work can also be adopted immediately after an informed recommendation is better analysed and defined.

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