Grants

As part of our mission, the Web3 Foundation offers a comprehensive grants program focused on funding software development, research, technical education and community engagement efforts.

Grants recipients

The projects undertaken by our grant recipients are broad in scope and include low-level infrastructure such as alternative client implementations, ecosystem components such as wallets and software designed to enable direct use cases such as identity and supply-chain modules.

We periodically announce our grant recipients and their projects. Stay tuned to our Medium channel for more information.

See all announcements

Our grants program is focused on projects related to Polkadot and Substrate. It targets four key areas of interest:

Software Development

Web3 is an inclusive set of protocols that provides building blocks for makers of decentralized applications. We fund development work which furthers the improvement and adoption of these protocols, makes it easier for developers to build useful applications using them and makes it easier for users to access these applications.

Though we are interested in any project that furthers the goals above, we are particularly interested in the following areas:

  • Development and deployment tooling
  • New languages and libraries
  • Blockchains that can function as parachains
  • Protocol integrations (e.g. bridges, messaging protocols, IPFS)
  • Second-layer protocols in the form of runtime modules or dedicated parachains
  • Monitoring tools
  • UI
  • Hardware wallet integration / HSMs
  • Polkadot Runtime modules and corresponding UIs
  • Benchmarking tools
  • Core implementation testing tools

Research

We fund research that advances the protocols in the Web3 Technology stack.

We are particularly interested in the following areas:

  • Benchmarking
  • New primitives: Technical/Economical
  • Analysis of existing protocols and implementations
  • Security testing

Education and Documentation

At the heart of what we do is a desire to share the knowledge of what we are building. This is why we fund initiatives which further education and improve documentation.

We are particularly interested in the following areas:

  • Software documentation
  • Technical education material: Courses/Tutorials/Guides

Efforts to increase general awareness of Web3 and Polkadot are a top priority for the Foundation.

We are committed to supporting organizations that promote our vision. We are interested in supporting any short-term strategy that promotes community engagement. This statement is purposefully vague as we wish to be open to applications that promote community engagement in creative ways.

However, we believe the majority of successful grant applications will be to support the following types of events:

  • Meetups
  • Workshops
  • Hackathons

Process overview

All grant proposals are evaluated by the Grants Committee before recommendations are sent to the Web3 Foundation council for final approval. The Committee is composed of researchers, entrepreneurs, and developers.

Each application goes through a 5-step process, as detailed in our GitHub repository.

  • Scope

    Review the appropriate areas of interest:

    If your idea isn’t listed, but you think it’s cool, you can send us an email and tell us about it.

    Ensure the scope of your project falls within the appropriate guidelines

    Once you determine that your project falls within the areas of interest and corresponds to the guidelines above, proceed to the next step.

  • Application

    We recommend checking out the How successfully apply section at the end of the Wave 2 Grant Recipients blog post. It gives an indication of what a good roadmap should look like, plus it outlines the criteria of what we look for in an application.

    1. Fill out the appropriate Google form for your grant application:

    Partially public applications that limit financial information (e.g. funding amount requested) to the Google form are preferred. However, teams are free to make fully public applications as well as fully private applications.

    Teams that chose to make a fully private application are done. Teams that have chosen to make a fully or partially public application should proceed to the next step.

    2. Fully or partially public applications should be made via a pull request to this repo by following the steps below.

    a. Fork this repository.
    b. In the newly created fork, create a copy of the technical grant template or the community engagement grant template.

    • Most applications should go into the speculative sub-folder.
    • In the few cases where the application is a response to specific RFP then the application should go into the targeted sub-folder.

    c. Label the file as "project_name.md".
    d. Fill out the template with the details of your project.
    e. Once you have completed the application, click on "create new pull request".
    f. The body of the pull request will show a template that requests an abstract of the project and the completion of a checklist. Please complete as appropriate and take care to include all necessary information. The pull request template can be viewed here.

  • Review

    The W3F will review the applications received, determine if more information is required and potentially schedule a call with the team.

  • Decision

    The W3F will notify the applicants of whether their proposal has been accepted for grant funding or not.

    If a team is successful, further communication will be required to determine specific details around timelines and payment schedules.

  • Follow up

    Once progress has started, the W3F will want to have follow up conversations to see how the project is progressing.

Guidelines for technical grants

Technical grants are intended to fund:

  • Software development
  • Research
  • The production of software documentation and technical education material

For more specific information on our funding priorities, please view our areas of interest section on our Grants Github repo.

The funding maximum for technical grants is $100,000 per project. Teams shouldn’t seek to cover 100% of their early-stage funding via W3F Grants alone.

Any project requesting:

  • $30k or less will receive approval the fastest.
  • $31 - 100k will need to wait longer for a decision.

Teams can apply for grants more than once, but they need to complete the previous project (as described in their application) before receiving additional funds.

We are primarily interested in projects that can be completed in 3 months or less.

Licensing

In order to successfully receive grant funding for your application it is necessary for the project to have open source code. We prefer Apache 2.0 but the GNU GPL v3 license is also acceptable.

Documentation

To ensure ease-of-use we require all projects to create documentation that explains how their project works. At a minimum, written documentation is required for funding. Tutorials or videos are also helpful for new users to understand how to use the product.

Who we are interested in funding:

  • Individuals: Developers, anyone in the community
  • Companies/Teams: Established teams with a track record
  • Researchers: Universities/Professors

Guidelines for community engagement grants

Community engagement grants are intended to fund high-quality community engagement efforts such as meetups, workshops and hackathons.

The degree of financial support for each applicant is likely to be within the $3,000 to $10,000 range. The maximum funding for a single grant is $30,000.

Areas of interest for community engagement grants

Funding is available for any short-term strategy that promotes community engagement. This statement is purposefully vague as we wish to be open to applications that promote community engagement in creative ways. However, we believe the majority of approved applications will be for events such as:

  • Meetups (check out our meetup kit)
  • Workshops (e.g. setting up a Polkadot node or writing a Substrate Runtime Module)
  • Hackathons

If any of these areas are of interest to you then please make a speculative application to request funding for your project.

Who we are interested in funding:

  • The community engagement program will only consider funding companies and teams with an established track record of successful community engagement work. Grant funding for this category is not available to individuals.

Get in touch for more detailed information on our areas of interest, project guidelines and the application process.

Visit our Grants GitHub Repository