The Internet Society Foundation’s Beyond the Net Large Grant Program offers funding to support Internet Society Chapters to implement innovative projects that make a local impact by providing meaningful access to an open, trusted, and globally-connected Internet, as well as strengthening the Chapter relationships, partnerships, and presence in the surrounding community.
- Strengthen the impact of the Internet Society and the Internet Society Foundation’s mission and global initiatives with complementary local activities
- Develop new and strengthen existing relationships and partnerships at the local level
The Foundation will support Internet Society Chapters to implement initiatives within one or more of the following thematic areas:
- Establishing or facilitating connectivity: Projects that focus on providing or promoting the provision of Internet connectivity to underserved or unconnected communities. This could be done through building community networks, creating WiFi hotspots, establishing an Internet exchange point (IXP), or similar projects.
- Growing local Internet-related knowledge and skills: Projects that focus on increasing the technical knowledge or skills of local policymakers, stakeholders, or communities. This could be done through digital literacy or other training programs, workshops, innovation labs, or other similar initiatives.
- Understanding Internet usage and local needs: Projects that serve to better understand the needs of local communities, how these communities use the Internet, identify gaps in knowledge or uncover needs.
- Promoting innovation: Projects that focus on promoting innovation or implementing creative Internet-based solutions to local problems.
Beyond the Net Large grants are available to Internet Society Chapters who meet the following criteria:
- Are in good standing (or pre-rejuvenation – on a case-by-case basis) and meet the minimum standards as outlined in the Chapter’s Charter.
- Have an official bank account in their name (based on their legal registration) in order to receive Internet Society Foundation funds.
- Are not undergoing a rejuvenation process.
- Have submitted all required reports for other Internet Society Foundation-funded projects.
Chapters that wish to apply for the highest tier of Large grants ($31,000-50,000) must meet the following additional criteria:
- Have successfully managed a Beyond the Net Large grant previously
- Plan to execute the proposed project in partnership or collaboration with external partners. External partners can include, but are not limited to: local non-profit organizations, businesses, universities, and other ISOC Chapters.
Chapters may manage a maximum of three active Beyond the Net grants at a time (up to two Small and one Large grant projects). Projects that have already been completed and reported on earlier in the year (or from prior years) are not counted in this calculation.
Proposed projects should be designed with the following parameters:
- Application must be submitted at least ten (10) weeks in advance of a proposed project. The Foundation requires sufficient time to review, conduct due diligence, make a determination, and complete administrative duties for processing grant requests. (Please note that applications received less than 10 weeks in advance will not be considered, and Foundation funding cannot be used for any expenses incurred prior to signing of the grant agreement).
- Project is implemented in a period of either 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, or 24 months.
- Chapter officers cannot receive salary or compensation for contribution to the project.
- Travel expenses for Chapter officers are permissible for the execution of specific project activities with justification (include in budget).
- Funds may be used to compensate chapter members or external contractors for their time and contributions to the project, including salaries, stipends, and honorariums. Chapters are encouraged to recruit experts from within their chapter member communities to carry out projects. All recruitment should be done in an open and transparent manner to ensure inclusiveness. Names and qualifications of paid staff should be included in grant applications and budgets.
- Currency exchange rates should be shown in budgets. Please ensure that the most current exchange rate is used.
Applications that do not meet the eligibility requirements and project design parameters will be disqualified from receiving funding.
Review and Selection
Applications will be screened by the Foundation and then reviewed by the Selection Committee against the following criteria:
- The proposed project aligns with the overall objectives and priorities of the Beyond the Net program.
- The proposed project is clear, realistic, and demonstrates need (of stakeholders, communities, and/or the broader Internet community).
- The proposed project helps the chapter develop new and/or strengthen existing relationships, partnerships, and presence in the surrounding community.
- The proposed project provides a creative solution for the presented problem that is well tailored to the local environment.
- Technical specifications are suitable to accomplish the project activities and the equipment requested is appropriate for the execution of the project.
- The project team has identified relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and established reasonable targets.
The Beyond the Net Large Grants Selection Committee is responsible for the review and selection of applications, in accordance with the parameters listed above. Members of the Selection Committee must adhere to the Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy.
Members of the current Selection Committee are:
- Chapter representatives
- Arandjel Bojanovic, IT Manager and Advisory member of ISOC Serbia Belgrade Chapter
- Pierre-Jean Darres, Consultant in International Affairs and member of ISOC Canada-Québec Chapter
- Aris Ignacio, Dean of the College of Information Technology at Southville International School and Colleges, Board member and Vice President of Technology of ISOC Philippines Chapter
- Laura Margolis, Business Manager and Board member of ISOC Uruguay Chapter
- Brahim Ousmane Mustapha, IT Manager and member of ISOC Chad Chapter
- Naim Zard, CEO of ZIMA Cloud Inc. and Board member of ISOC Lebanon Chapter
- ISOC Project representative
- One ISOC employee who is engaged with chapters and who has knowledge of the proposed work will also be represented on the Selection Committee.
- Internet Society Foundation employee
Grants of up to USD $50,000 will be awarded for projects lasting up to 24 months.
How To Apply
Applications must be completed and submitted online through the Foundation’s Grants Management System, Fluxx. The Fluxx URL, https://isocfoundation.fluxx.io/auth/saml, is uniquely created for the ISOC’s Chapter Officer users. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Typically, applicants will receive a decision from the Foundation within six weeks of submission.
For all local, regional, and national Internet Governance Forum (IGF) events and Schools of Internet Governance, please visit the Foundation’s Internet Governance Forum Events page for information on eligibility and how to apply.
- Sample application
- Budget and workplan template (required as part of your application)
- Objective Writing Guidance
If you have questions about this program or the application process, please email [email protected].