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Program Update

Alternative Sources of Support - June 2018

Funding opportunities from OTF and elsewhere

Each month, OTF sends an announcement of upcoming funding deadlines for Internet freedom and related projects and fellowships to our OTF-announce mailing list. The announcement includes funding opportunities from both OTF and alternative funding sources, as well as some new funders we’ve recently added to our list. Below you can find the June 2018 edition.

If you’d like to receive this announcement directly in your inbox, you can sign up for our low traffic OTF-announce mailing list here. In addition, you can find a compiled list of alternative funding sources here. The opportunities listed below are only for those with approaching deadlines, while a number of funders accept applications on a rolling basis.

OTF Funding

OTF - Internet Freedom Fund
Next deadline: July 1, 2018
The Internet Freedom Fund is OTF’s primary way to support projects and people working on open and accessible technology-centric projects that promote human rights, internet freedom, open societies, and help advance inclusive and safe access to global communications networks. Successful applicants are awarded monetary support up to $900,000 and no less than $10,000, with preference given to projects and people who are new to the internet freedom community, directly serving those living within repressive environments, and are requesting less than $300,000 for a duration of 12 months or less.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/internet-freedom-fund

OTF - Core Infrastructure Fund
Next deadline: July 1, 2018
The Core Infrastructure Fund supports the development, improvement, and increased adoption of foundational ‘building block’ technologies that are relied upon by digital security and circumvention projects. This may include efforts focused on sustaining or improving PGP, SSL, SSH, Tor, OTR, pluggable transports, code libraries, or other technologies, infrastructures, and standards that make up the core building blocks of everyday internet freedom technologies and which are used by people throughout the world to increase their access, privacy, and security online.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/core-infrastructure-fund

OTF - Rapid Response Fund
Deadline: Ongoing
The Rapid Response Fund is part of a broader OTF initiative which aims to facilitate the development of a strong digital emergency response community that can work together to resolve threats in a timely and comprehensive manner. OTF offers both direct financial support as well as technical services from trusted partners to resolve digital emergencies experienced by high-risk Internet users and organizations, such as bloggers, cyber activists, journalists. and human rights defenders.
Apply: https://www.opentech.fund/requests/rapid-response-fund

OTF - Labs
Deadline: Ongoing
For more specific, one-off support needs and services, check out OTF’s Labs: Localization, Community, Engineering, Usability, Red Team, and Legal. Of note, the Usability Lab recently expanded its offered services, which you can read about here.
Learn more about OTF’s Labs at: https://www.opentech.fund/labs

Alternative Funding

Nexus Fund - Request for Proposals: Dangerous Speech Global Fund
Deadline: June 30, 2018
The Nexus Fund’s Dangerous Speech Global Fund supports “locally designed and implemented projects related to the understanding, monitoring, countering, and/or analysis of Dangerous Speech,” with a focus on those that seek to “prevent violence targeting specific identity-groups (groups targeted based on religion, ethnicity, indigenous-status, trade, etc.).” Note that requests from Nigeria, Myanmar, or the United States are not accepted. Funding requests may not exceed $15,000 USD, while the average grant size is $5,000 and does not usually exceed $10,000.
More information: https://www.nexus-fund.org/dsglobalfundrfp

Call for Proposals: g0v Summit
Deadline: June 30, 2018
The 2018 edition of the Taiwan-based g0v community’s biannual summit will take place from October 5-7, 2018 in Taipei. The conference theme is examining the “ecosystem” of Civic Tech, both globally and locally. Proposals may draw from a wide variety of topics and fields including “fake news and fact checking, participatory and deliberative democracy, environmental sustainability, LGBTQ rights and gender equality, community-building and governance models, Civic Tech ecosystem and sustainability, and more.”
More information: https://summit.g0v.tw/2018/cfp/

MIT - Solve
Deadline: July 1, 2018
MIT’s Solve is now accepting “solutions” from applicants in response to four “Global Challenges”: “Coastal Communities” (mitigating effects of climate change in coastal areas), “Frontlines of Health” (improving access to affordable medical care), “Teachers & Education” (applying technology to improve education), and “Work of the Future” (addressing challenges associated with automated technologies replacing human jobs). Solve has a total funding pool of over $650,000 USD.
More information: https://solve.mit.edu/

Google - Impact Challenge South Africa
Deadline: July 4, 2018
Google’s Impact Challenge “supports nonprofits and social enterprises with game-changing ideas to create economic opportunity in their communities” in South Africa. “The Challenge asks local innovators how they would make their community–and beyond–an even better place. The public and a panel of local Judges vote for the ideas with the most potential, and Google.org pairs each winner with a package of strategic support, funding and Google volunteers.” Grants are expected to be used over 1-3 years.
More information: https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/southafrica2018

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) - Standard Intervention
Deadline: July 9, 2018
EMHRF provides support to “human rights defenders [in the South-Mediterranean region] in difficulty or at risk, for the specific purpose of allowing them to pursue their activities, as well as to small human rights organisations or groups with the aim of strengthening their capacities in implementing innovative activities in the region.” Funding may not exceed €40,000 and is usually between €5,000 and €30,000 for a duration of no longer than 12-18 months.
More information: http://emhrf.org/standard-grants/

Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) - Open Source Center Strategic Grants
Deadline: July 31, 2018
DIAL is now accepting applications for its “first round of strategic grants for open source software projects serving the international development and humanitarian sectors.” DIAL aims to “support solutions to common challenges and to fund projects that foster creativity, scale, and support functionality of [FOSS] software by removing some of the barriers to FOSS projects meeting full maturity.” DIAL will provide up to five grant awards for up to $900,000 USD total.
More information: http://www.osc.dial.community/grants.html

NLNet Foundation - Network and Internet Technology
Deadline: August 1, 2018
“NLnet foundation supports a large array of activities, from software development, standardisation work and development of educational material up to hacker festivals, digital rights activities and the international development of open source software licences. The NLnet contribution can also be used as so called “matching” for other subsidies from organisations such as the EU and Science foundations.” Funding requests must be for less than EUR 30,000.
More information: https://nlnet.nl/news/2018/20180801-call-en.html

Mozilla - Creative Media (Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning)
Deadline: August 1, 2018
Mozilla is offering a total of $225,000 USD for artwork and advocacy projects that “help the public understand how threats to a healthy internet affect their everyday lives,” with a focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Mozilla is looking for “projects that are accessible to broad audiences and native to the internet, from videos and games to browser extensions and data visualizations,” and stipulates that “projects must be freely available online and suitable for a non-expert audience.”
More information: https://blog.mozilla.org/blog/2018/06/04/mozilla-announces-225000-for-art-and-advocacy-exploring-artificial-intelligence/

Mozilla - Open Leaders
Deadline: August 5, 2018
Mozilla is now accepting applications for its sixth cohort of its Open Leaders program, which supports individuals “running or starting an open project that supports a healthy Internet” and who are looking for ways to welcome additional contributors. Open Leaders “receive ongoing 1:1 project help from Mozilla staff and mentors,” “have access to a community of mentors [and] technologists,” and “get practical experience empowering others to collaborate.” The emphasized theme for this cohort is “Data and You,” exploring topics and projects related to the use and collection of personal data.
More information: https://medium.com/read-write-participate/announcing-mozilla-open-leaders-round-6-88224f6e4857

Newly Added Alternative Funding Sources

Given the large amount of funding requests OTF receives, we’re always on the lookout for new funding sources that may be of interest to the community - keeping a special eye out for funders that are relevant in some way to Internet freedom, technology development, or the broader intersection between human rights and technology. Here are a few recently added to our list:

Cisco - Research & Open Innovation
The Cisco Research Center (CRS) lists numerous Requests for Proposals (RFPs) related generally to Cisco’s “core business of improving the Internet” - with listed research topics including securing the Internet of Things, Anonymity and Privacy, Robust and Transparent Cryptography, and sponsorship for conferences and hackathons.

Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) - Open Source Center
DIAL, a program housed within the United Nations Foundation and funded by USAID, SIDA, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, offers grants for technology for development (T4D) projects and seeks to “fill projects’ funding gaps where traditional sources lack,” including by supporting “refactoring, dependency upgrades, test coverage, and packaging,” for example. DIAL offers different grants for free and open source (FOSS) projects n the humanitarian and international development sectors.

Facebook - Research Awards
In addition to its “Securing the Internet” grants, Facebook has additional research funding opportunities around topics like global literacy, crisis informatics, and testing and verification.

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Join the OTF-announce mailing list to receive this in your inbox on a monthly basis here. Access our compiled list of alternative support sources here.