How to apply for a Gitcoin Climate Grant

What is Gitcoin?

Gitcoin is a project created to help fund public goods. It was originally established to fund open-source software but has expanded to include a variety of public goods.  Gitcoin has  a platform that facilitates peer-to-peer funding (like kickstarter) with a large pool of matching funds that are used to finance projects that enrich the world. Grants are funded with cryptocurrency but don’t worry you can easily convert it to local currency.

What is the Gitcoin Climate  Grant opportunity?

This grant is for projects that address climate change. They can be any kind of project, in any region of the world—from regenerative agriculture to renewable energy—they just need to address climate change and lower GHGs. Pilot projects are encouraged, especially if they are replicable and eventually self-sustaining.

As of May 2022, Gitcoin has funded 13 quarterly rounds of public goods. In Round 12, climate projects were introduced and over $700K was raised and given out to 29 projects.

What about the crypto impact on climate?

People are often concerned that some cryptocurrencies (for instance Bitcoin) use a lot of electricity. Ethereum (which is another cryptocurrency) uses far less electricity than Bitcoin and in the months ahead it has a plan in place that will cut these emissions by 99.95%. Currently, on the Gitcoin platform, people can make donations using Ethereum or using Polygon or Zsync which use trivial amounts of electricity.

This graphic illustrates the current energy consumption of Ethereum (Eth) compared to bitcoin now and the projected levels of energy use after the transition to a much less energy intensive approach to securing its network.

Who is allowed to apply for a Gitcoin Climate Grant? 

  • The Grant must be in support of, or directly advancing the climate cause.
  • The Grant may not have any form of quid pro quo that has financial value (a scenario in which a user gets some additional unique benefit/award in return for their donation)
  • The Grant owner must be directly affiliated with the project and the funds must go to the project.
  • The project should not have its own token or have raised VC funding (let’s keep the funds for the aspiring projects!)

What format should my Climate Grant proposal be in?

A short narrative is best—probably around the equivalent of a page. Tell people about the what, the how and the why, and include pictures and videos for greater impact.. What is the story that makes this something that people want to support? Why is this going to be an impactful climate project? What specifically will these funds go towards? Here are some examples of past  Climate Grant projects:.

How do I access the platform and what do I do once I am there?

Here’s the link to the grants platform. We can walk you through all the steps from creating a wallet that will store your donations, to uploading your proposal, and to how to claim your funding at the end of the process. 

What happens if I don’t know anyone who is already involved in the space to help  ‘spread the word’?

Due to Gitcoin’s quadratic funding mechanism discussed below, what you really want are as many people as possible making donations to your project. It’s not primarily about the amount of money that they donate but about how many of them donate it. The more people donate - the more ‘matching’ funding your project will receive.

We’re here to help you find ways to spread the word if you aren’t connected in the space. For example, Climate Grant  projects have found new donors by speaking about their proposals on our Twitter Spaces, adding a direct link to their proposal on their Twitter and Instagram profiles, networking with other people in the Climate Grant community and engaging in the Gitcoin and All for Climate discord servers. We can help you connect to these spaces if you aren’t there already.

How does the matching fund work?

Quadratic funding distributes money to public goods projects. The distribution is not matched at a one-to-one ratio, but is based on how many people contribute to a given project, with matched funding from bigger pools of funds from partners.

The result is that individuals' donations are generally matched by much larger amounts from the matching pool.

Can I get my community to contribute even if they aren’t already involved in the crypto world? How do they do that?

Everyone is welcome to set up an account on Gitcoin and donate. In order to do so they will need a cryptocurrency wallet with the funds they want to donate in the wallet. The options for how best to do this vary from one country to another. Members of the All for Climate community are available to help as needed.

What is required of me or my group after we raise money?

In order to claim your funds, you will need to initiate a transaction at the end of the process. You will be contacted with step-by-step instructions and support will be available if required.

No formal report is required but updates on your grant page on the Gitcoin platform regarding your project’s progress are required for funding support in future grant rounds (quarterly). Even if you are not planning to apply for further funding, donors always appreciate knowing how you have progressed and what your project has accomplished.

Do I have to reapply every quarter?

No. You don’t have to reapply but you should update your proposal to let people know how the funding was allocated.