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Proposal Guidelines

The page provides proposal requirements, a basic proposal template and tips for creating a successful proposal. See the Example Proposals page for example proposals that use this template.


If your proposal seeks funds from the Treasury, in addition to answering all the questions in the proposal template, your proposal should provide the following information (if applicable).

  • Total budget: If your proposal draws down on its budget when milestones are achieved, include a draw schedule (how much is paid for each milestone achieved). To account for variance in the price of DCR, amounts must be specified in USD. The amount of DCR distributed will then be adjusted at payout according to the exchange rate.
  • Duration of contract: If your proposal provides an ongoing service, your proposal must provide an end date.
  • Restrictions on deliverables: Specify any license or other restrictions on deliverables. For example, if delivering software, specify whether it will be open-source, closed-source, and what (if any) license will be used.
  • Reporting commitment: Specify how you plan to report on the progress of your project. If reporting on an ongoing basis, specify what is being reported, who is responsible for the reporting, and a reporting schedule.

Proposal Template

All proposals should answer the following questions:


In the What section, provide a short description of the problem that will be addressed.


In the Why section, answer why the proposal is needed and why it is a good idea.


In the How section, describe the steps you will perform to accomplish your goals.


In the Who section, describe the entity that will complete the work and draw down on the proposal’s budget.


In the When section, describe the project’s milestones, expected completion dates, and the draw schedule (how much is paid for each milestone achieved).

Tips for Creating a Successful Proposal

Following the below tips will greatly increase your proposal’s chance of success.

Engage the community

Engaging with the community first, before submitting a proposal, will allow you to gauge interest in your idea, gather feedback, and better understand your proposal’s chance of success before investing time in a proposal.

Demonstrate clearly how your proposal will benefit Decred

Do not submit personal ventures, business ideas or experimentation, unless it clearly benefits the project. Explain how your proposal will directly further the project’s aims, and provide clear deliverables and milestones.

Check the hype

Many Decred stakeholders are highly technical veterans in the blockchain space. Over-hyped, buzzword-filled proposals without substance will likely be ignored. Be precise in your use of technical terms, realistic in your projections, and bring your A game in the comments.

Speak to a broad audience

Some proposals will necessarily contain complex concepts and jargon. This is fine. Be aware however that not all stakeholders will be experts in your domain. You’ll need their votes too. Take part of your proposal to explain any complex ideas in simple, easy-to-understand language all stakeholders can understand.

In the case of a proposal covering an unfamiliar topic that has not previously been introduced to the community, consider running educational and Q&A campaigns before putting the proposal to a vote.

Build Credibility

The bigger the proposal, the more you will need to convince stakeholders you are capable of doing what you propose. If you are unknown to the community, showcase past contributions to other projects (bonus points for verifiable open-source contributions). If your plan requires working with current Decred contractors, be sure to communicate with them beforehand and secure their support. If you’re looking to build credibility within the community before submitting a proposal (a good strategy), you will find the Decred project very welcoming to contributors of all levels. Start small, deliver, and your chances of submitting a successful proposal will increase along with your credibility.

Further Information