How to Apply
Whether you're working on a specific project, or you're still exploring possibilities, you can connect with our team for guidance.
Small grants, capped at $30,000, have a streamlined application and evaluation process to deliver a decision around two weeks after submission.
A small grants application might be a good fit if any of the following apply to your project:
- In early stage: you've started work but are still testing assumptions or working toward a proof of concept.
- Experimental: you have an idea that's a little “out there” but potentially impactful - and the only way to find out is to try it.
- Time sensitive: you need a decision within a few weeks.
- Smaller in scope: funding request comes in under $30,000.
- Community event related: sponsorship requests for events focused on Ethereum's technology and community can also be submitted via the small grants pipeline.
If you're feeling uncertain about anything in the application, please consider signing up for Office Hours before submitting.
Just fill out the online form! Make sure you have read and understood our scope and criteria below. After submitting, you'll receive a confirmation email within two business days.
Every submission is read and considered by the ESP team. You most likely won't hear from us during the evaluation process for a small grant application, but you're always welcome to get in touch - just reply to the confirmation email if you have questions or think of anything else we should know.
Unless we reach out to clarify anything on your application, you can expect to hear back from us with a final decision around two weeks after you submit it.
We sign a grant agreement, complete KYC and send funds in fiat, ETH or DAI - and you get to work!
Once you've completed work on your grant, you'll share the results in a report, blog post or video.
We're flexible in many ways, but we do have some hard rules for the projects we fund:
- Work funded by ESP grants must benefit Ethereum in a way that aligns with ESP's mission and scope.
- Any output must be open source or otherwise freely available; for-profit companies are welcome to apply but the specific grant funded work must be non-commercial.
We are happy to hear from all kinds of contributors who are working within our scope:
- Individuals, teams or organizations.
- Newcomers to Ethereum, established projects, past grantees or applicants.
- Any area of expertise - we work with developers, researchers, academics, designers, educators, communicators, community organizers, and more.
- Projects at any point in the development process: just an idea, early stages, proof of concept, or with significant progress already made. However, we do not fund past work.
- Builders of any age, origin, identity or background.
What is NOT eligible
- Anything that is not legal within the jurisdiction where the work is taking place.
- Financial products (trading, investment products, lending, betting, etc).
- Projects with a planned token launch or public funding round.
- Art projects or charities that don't fit within our scope.
- Token or investment focused events.
Tips for submitting a great application
The information you submit here is what we'll use to make a final decision about your grant application, so take the time to understand what we're looking for and answer the form questions thoughtfully.
When evaluating your application, we look for much more than just an explanation of the proposed work. In order to determine the potential impact on the ecosystem, we need a deeper understanding of both the “why” and the “how” of the project. Some things to keep in mind:
- Be specific: we want you to share your grand vision - but you also need to tell us, concretely, how you plan to achieve your goals.
- Be thorough: the more information you can provide in a grant application, the better. We encourage you to provide any supporting documents such as whitepapers, research papers, or slides from presentations you've given about your project.
- Show your work: we expect you to have made a meaningful effort to validate and refine your approach and researched what other solutions are being developed, and to be able to articulate how yours is different.
- Dig deeper: we want to know what problem you're trying to solve, but also why you think it's important to solve that specific problem, how solving it will benefit Ethereum and how it fits within our mission.
- Think broader: how does your project connect to, complement and enable the work of others? How can you make sure your work stays relevant and has a sustained impact?
- Identify output (what is produced) as well as outcome (what is accomplished): what will be the tangible result of your work - a research paper, a code repo, a community event, a working prototype? Who will use it, and how will they access it?
- Be realistic: we'll consider the funding amount you request in relation to the proposed scope of work, so go with a number that reflects what you think you'll need for the specific work in your proposal. Remember that being awarded a grant now doesn't mean you can't apply for additional funding later!