The Ethereum Community Fund (ECF) aims to provide both funding and support to builders of decentralized technologies.
Growing the Ethereum ecosystem and accelerating the mainstream adoption of decentralized technologies.
As a nonprofit initiative, the ECF is committed to providing financial support and strategic guidance to projects working on various aspects in blockchain: critical infrastructure and research, developer experience and tooling, open source development advocacy, educational initiatives, and responsible community growth.
How do I apply to ECF?You can start by submitting an application here
What are the requirements to receive grant funding?For the ECF to fund projects they must:
- be a shared public good and useful to others in the ecosystem, i.e. not only benefiting a single entity
- ship open source software (or eventually be open-sourced)
- not have an immediate plan to seek funding through equity or token sale models (however, we will not limit the option to do so in the future, if and when the need for additional funding presents itself)
How much grant funding will you provide?The size of the grant we provide will depend on the budget of your project and other sources of funding you’ve received. Typical grant amounts range from $10,000 to $100,000. In general, ECF will provide funding that will initially cover six (6) months of runway. After six months, we may also provide your project with some additional follow-on funding, depending on its progress.
What if my project requires more funding than your typical range?If your requested funding is beyond our typical range, we may co-grant with other organizations and initiatives in the space. You are still encouraged to apply!
Does ECF take any equity or ownership?ECF's grant funding is 100% no-strings-attached. We provide only the funds you need and take no ownership of your project or company equity.
Will you fund multiple projects working on the same idea?Yes. In practice, even when two projects are working on the same problem, their approach and focus will likely differ. We believe this diversification is healthy, and still encourage applicants to research others’ past work so that they better understand the problem space.
We've already raised funding through equity or a token sale. Can we still apply?We are open to funding projects coming from a for-profit or post-ICO “Host” entity, as long as they’re able to satisfy all other criteria. When evaluating projects in this category, we may also consider the potential impact of a grant based on the project’s financial need: for example, if a project is a core competency of the Host entity, or is a tool that the Host entity needs and will likely fund whether or not they receive the grant, then ECF will not rojects if a grant would enable a Host to more quickly move to open-source or provide tangible additional utility to the community.
We've already raised funding through another grant program. Can we still apply?Yes, you are still eligible for an ECF grant even after raising other grant funding.
How long does it usually take to process my application?It usually takes around a month or two to get a final answer, depending on the size of the grant.
What kind of projects does ECF fund?Some of our basic funding categories are infrastructure, tooling, research, UX, education, and community building.
ECF will prioritize projects that focus on solving technical limitations facing Ethereum, such as scalability, privacy, security, either at the protocol level or layer 2. If a project concerns layer 2 standards, we require that it be built in a non-rent-seeking way.
ECF will prioritize projects focused on improving any aspect of the developer experience, such as debuggers, IDEs, static analysis tools, and automated test suites. We are also interested in projects to improve developer documentation.
ECF is open to diverse R&D efforts focusing on any aspect of the space. Some examples of topics we’re interested in include:
- New approaches to the key challenges of decentralized technology (e.g., privacy, scalability, and security)
- Consensus algorithm research
- The current states of adoption, education, and the developer experience
- Ecosystem data and analysis-driven reports for protocol benchmarking
User Infrastructure and Usability
ECF will prioritize projects building end-user infrastructures and improving end user experiences, such as user-friendly, secure wallets (both hardware and software), clients, and key management.
Education & Community
ECF will prioritize organization of educational events, hackathons, meetups, developer and community growth focused conferences, and diversity and inclusion programs.
How does the grant application process work?Our application process is relatively simple and straightforward:
- First, submit an application on our website.
- Next, our team will review the application.
- If the application passes our initial screening, it next undergoes further due diligence from our domain experts.
- Phone interviews: the applicants may be invited to one or two rounds of phone interviews with the grant manager and the subject domain expert.
- Feedback: throughout the process, the grant managers will give feedback to applicants and allow them to make modifications to their applications along the way.
- In cases where we cannot fund a project but are impressed with its quality, we may match the applicant with other grant programs or existing projects, provided there is mutual interest.
How does the ECF structure member governance to decide on grant funding?Small grants (<$100,000) are decided by our team, with the help of subject domain specialists from our founding members’ teams. Funding decisions for larger grants are made through a voting process by stakeholders from our founding projects.
Can a single person apply for funding?Yes, we are open to funding projects built by both individuals and teams.
What are the expectations of me if I receive a grant?We encourage our grantees to publish regular updates and keep the community involved–beyond this, our expectation after you receive a grant is simply that you keep building, continue to update the community, and ship your open-source project!
Where do I go if I need help?