Why use grants?

As a decentralized organization, Totem doesn’t have a regular workforce. Instead, the efforts of advancing Totem's vision lie in the hands of The Tribe — the people who are part of Totem and want to see it succeed.

Currently, in order to ensure activities are performed for the benefit and advancement of Totem, Totem should incentivize specific tasks. The model of incentivizing those who perform these activities is allocating grants for these activities. In the future, Totem will have earnings, mainly from the assets sold on its platform, which will be used to incentivize game developers and others.

As Totem progress, and in line with our open-source vision, people may work just for the sake of advancing the project, regardless of compensation from Totem. At the same time, the grants program will decrease in size and over time the grants program would potentially end or significantly change.

Early stages

The exact path to reach our goals is hard to envision, and it’s based in large part on the efforts of many people who will be able to push the project in different directions. In the initial stages, however, we must ensure rapid progress to ensure we have a sustainable platform.

The ability to do so is highly dependent on the Contributors Clan. Those early contributors, who allocated large amounts of resources that can be used as the source for the initial grants, and help to push forward the initial development of the platform.

Initial Grants Program

The grant program will start extremely simple: a list of tasks that will compensate those who fulfill them.

Over time it will move towards a much more open, flexible plan where Totem members can vote over tasks, their compensation, approve payment and compensation, etc in different fields.

Grants Compensation

Grants provide compensation to the party that performed the task. The party is made of a single Tribe member or a group of members. To clarify: any person who performs an effort for Totem is automatically considered a Totem Tribe member.

The compensation can have either one or both of the following:

  • Monetary endowment
  • Tokens endowment

Monetary Endowment

A monetary endowment is paid in a specific fiat amount set in EUR, for example, 2,000 EUR.

This allows the grant receiver to be paid similarly to a job they would perform, or get a salary for working for an employer.

Whether paid in Stable Coin or Fiat, all payments would be made lawfully by the organization and by the receiver, namely with invoices and receipts as required by the relevant jurisdictions.


Monetary Endowment can be made either by Fiat or by digital Stable Coin. As a digital organization, we should strive to pay as much as possible in Stable coins.

Token Endowment

A Totem Token endowment is giving the recipient a fixed amount of Totem Tokens.

This allows the grant receiver to gain an additional share in Totem. The additional Tokens will increase their share and give them additional power that comes with a larger share. For example, more influence in governance votes.

A "token" of Tokens

Every person who completes a grant and has no totem tokens is automatically entitled to ten Totem Token.  This is a representation of the member's symbolic acceptance into The Tribe. While the voting power of ten tokens is almost nil, it's an important symbol of being a part of the community.

Grant Payment Schedule

Grants can have one or several of the following payment schedules, or a combination of them:

Bootstrap payment

Paid before the effort starts. This should mainly be used when the grant receiver has to allocate resources at the beginning of the effort. For example, a developer requires specific hardware that they don’t have and can use the grant to acquire it.

These should be rare, and can’t be given to Open Grants (see below). 

Completion Payment

Given when the task is completed.

Milestone Payment

Milestone payments are given for long-term tasks when a milestone is achieved.

Most grants should be short-term tasks, hence carrying a Completion Payment.

Monthly Payment

For long-term tasks, a monthly payment can be granted every month.

These should be done in specific cases and for a limited duration of time.

Grant types

Open Grant

An Open Grant is publicized and open to anyone to fulfill. It has a Completion Payment, which can be paid to whoever completed it, even if several parties completed it. 

These should always have an expiration date, clear requirements, and limitations. 

For example: Creating a game with specific requirements by some future date.

Exclusive/assigned grant

Once a grant is published, it is assigned to a specific recipient, who is the only one who can receive the grant.

Competition grant

Made to encourage several parties to perform the task. The grant is paid to the best-performing party or divided between the top-performing parties, based on pre-defined criteria.

Retroactive grant

Occasionally, someone can do something that advances the Tribe without being a part of the Grant program. We would like to compensate them to encourage members to support Totem in ways we didn’t envision or defined. 

Ongoing grant

Paid as a Monthly Payment for a few members doing ongoing tasks. 

Grant Request

Any grant should have:

  • Reason — why this grant is made. As much as possible, it should refer to a specific higher task, Totem rule, or Totem Goals.
  • Grant Goal — What the Grant tries to Achieve
  • KPI — How success would be measured
  • Payment schedule — what payment schedule is used
    • For milestones payment — define milestones
    • For competition grants — define how decided and divided
  • Grant size — what is the monetary and token compensation 

After completion

Handoff Document

A party completing a grant should produce a completion document that describes their efforts.

Grants that didn't succeed or reached their goal should still be encouraged to create a completion document





Financial Considerations


Totem Game Development Network 2022