A few weeks ago, as part of a series of blogs on the state of funding, NEAR Foundation announced it would be examining its evolving funding strategy. This is in line with the Foundation’s  goal of providing a clear and concise update to continue to foster transparent communication. 

At this time, NEAR Foundation is actively working towards a more decentralized model of capital allocation that will initially involve the DeveloperDAO, MarketingDAO, CreativesDAO, with an additional DAO that will begin formation in Q1 of 2023. This will impact the ecosystem in the following ways:

  1. Effective immediately, NEAR Foundation will cease allocating capital directly from our inbound start-up grants program, with the exception of our current events grants, which will be handed over to the MarketingDAO when they are set up to manage them.  Request events funding by following the steps outlined here.
  2. In January and February, we will be working directly with community members to outline a clear application process for funding via the DAOs. Processing time is expected to take 6-8 weeks. If you are interested in helping us form the new DAO with a focus on start-up projects, please submit your interest using this contact form.
  3. Any  projects that have already received a portion of their funding and are working towards their agreed milestones will continue to be supported through the remaining milestones.
  4. Any application that is not already in the approval stage will not receive funding. However, we will do our best to redirect you to appropriate, alternative funding sources.

NEAR Foundation’s goal is to empower the ecosystem to make decisions that support  the strategic approach that will drive NEAR  to the next phase of its roadmap, with a look ahead at new areas of product and development, as outlined in the NEAR Strategic Update and Outlook for 2023. We will continue to be as transparent as possible about the new funding strategy as it rolls out. The Foundation will communicate as often, and as frequently, as possible. We encourage the community to continue providing meaningful feedback so we can iterate more quickly as we unite to build the NEAR Ecosystem together.

NEAR’s ever-growing and engaged community is one of the ecosystem’s greatest strengths. Remember the NEAR Foundation Grants team’s Refer-and-Earn Program? A number of NEAR community members participated in Refer-and-Earn in early 2022, resulting in grants for dozens of exciting projects currently building on the NEAR ecosystem.  

The Foundation has had the pleasure of seeing the community being a key contributor in providing ecosystem support and building dapps. The community does this in a number of ways, including running and sponsoring events, educating developers and entrepreneurs on the benefits of NEAR, bringing projects with active user bases from other chains, and so on.

NEAR Foundation wants to build on the community’s successes through a new incentive structure that aligns with the Grants Program (more information can be found at the Grants Program Handbook here bit.ly/Grants-Program-Handbook). 

  1. The payout for each project referred will be awarded a total of 10% of the project awarded grant amount. This amount is awarded in nUSDC (wrapped USDC on NEAR) and is calculated at the end of each quarter.
  2. The first half of the 5% will be awarded at the point of the contract signed.
  3. The second half of the 5% will be awarded once all project milestones are completed. 

Refer-and-Earn: Q3 Qualified Projects

The NEAR ecosystem receives a number of your recommendations and referrals. A total of 12 quality projects emerged from Refer-and-Earn, each aligning with NEAR Foundation’s Grants program objectives. 

In no particular order, here are the Q3 2022 qualified projects: 

The Grants team has reached out to all Refer-and-Earn referrers. Thanks to your help and support, the Grants team is able to support innovative projects like those listed above. 


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