Written by: Mashal Waqar
While non-profit organizations and social impact-driven organizations face numerous challenges in today's world, one of the most critical is easy access to capital. Many organizations struggle to resource their goals and make a lasting impact on the communities they serve.
In response to this, Gitcoin introduced Allo Protocol, the first and only decentralized, open-source protocol that enables donors to allocate pooled funds to support their collective goals.
A collaborative Quadratic Funding pilot, the UNICEF Alpha Round was launched on Gitcoin Grants Stack, built on Allo, to maximize collective decision-making and equitable distribution of funds across various projects.
Traditionally, many funding mechanisms obscure how funds are distributed, leading to inefficiencies and misallocation of resources. Ensuring transparency in resource allocation proved to be a challenge, and the UNICEF-Gitcoin partnership sought to address this issue.
The UNICEF-Gitcoin partnership led to the UNICEF Alpha Round on Gitcoin Grants Stack, it being the first test round on the stack. All the grantees in this round were part of the Digital Public Goods Alliance (DPGA). Gitcoin's Quadratic Funding model allows for a fairer distribution of funds, where projects that affect more people receive more funds from the matching pool.
The UNICEF Alpha Round was a resounding success. Over 15,500 unique donors participated, contributing over 67.5 ETH and approximately 15,000 DAI. Interestingly, individual donor donations were collectively higher than the matching pool, proving that round participants were excited by all of the projects chosen by UNICEF.
UNICEF’s Office of Innovation supports the mission of UNICEF to be a public sector innovation leader by aligning with diverse partners to discover and scale innovative approaches and technologies to deliver equitable impact.The office has explored frontier technologies like blockchain to revolutionize the way resources are allocated.
Gitcoin's commitment to open-source projects and supporting the digital public goods space resonated with UNICEF's mission of promoting innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.
The partnership with Gitcoin enabled UNICEF to experiment with Quadratic Funding, with which they had no prior experience. In the past, UNICEF relied on an exclusive committee to determine fund allocation, but by including the community in decision-making and providing transparency, a more equitable and efficient funding mechanism was possible.
Participants of UNICEF’s Alpha Round were thrilled with the outcome and praised the ability to connect with a broader audience and receive support from individuals who share their values.
“The experience itself was incredible,” remarks grantee José Trajtenberg, CEO of Xcapit. “Our experience taught us that crypto is the better and more efficient way to receive capital. The Quadratic Funding method is great. Community-driven ideas have the potential to double their impact, and this is the best way to drive them through.”
Our experience taught us that crypto is the better and more efficient way to receive capital.
CEO of SimpleMap, Julio Rejón says,“Most of the time when you’re raising capital you have to wait for the donor organizations and their internal processes to get the money and transfer. With Quadratic Funding, donors are directly funding your wallet and you have access to the money in real-time. That was really amazing.”
For Abigail Njeri Munene and Keith Mandela of Kotani Pay, “The round was a new and exciting way to raise funds and gain attention.” With three products, Kotani Pay’s greatest revenue comes from the stablecoin settlement solution. Quadratic Funding around UNICEF has gotten them increased visibility on the API (Application Programming Interface) they offer for remittance in Africa, leading to new API clients and customers. “The matching funds and donated funds concept was new for us, but it allowed us to push content and do marketing around our startup.”
Throughout the UNICEF Alpha Round on Gitcoin Grants Stack, several key findings emerged:
The UNICEF Alpha Round on Gitcoin Grants Stack has redefined the landscape of transparent, community-driven funding for digital public goods projects. By leveraging the power of Quadratic Funding, the UNICEF-Gitcoin partnership has empowered communities to have a more equitable say in resource allocation and decision-making.
The positive experiences of the participating grantees, along with our key findings, underscore how this partnership might serve as a model for future funding initiatives that prioritize inclusivity, transparency, and impact. As UNICEF and Gitcoin continue to explore the possibilities of this collaboration, they will undoubtedly uncover new ways to drive lasting, positive change in the lives of children and communities worldwide.
In order to extract the best insights from the UNICEF Alpha Round, we interviewed members of Gitcoin’s internal team, core participants in the UNICEF Grants Round, grantees, and the UNICEF Venture Team.
Internal Gitcoin Interviews and Calls