The Internet Society Foundation’s Beyond the Net Large Grant Programme offers funding to support Internet Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to implement innovative projects that make a local impact by providing meaningful access to an open, trusted, and globally-connected Internet.
- Strengthen the impact of the Internet Society and the Internet Society Foundation’s mission and global initiatives with complementary local activities
- Contribute to the development of the Chapter and local community
- Engage members and Chapter leadership around a common activity
- Develop new or strengthen existing relationships and partnerships at the local level
The Foundation will support Internet Society Chapters and SIGs to implement initiatives, within one 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.
The Internet Society Foundation may fund projects outside of the focus areas listed above. Such exceptions could include a Chapter or SIG having previously been funded to implement projects outside of these funding areas and can demonstrate the value of continuing this work. Or a Chapter or SIG can demonstrate strong local need. Strong local need could include an urgent legislative proposal or the Chapter’s unique ability to work with an underserved community. In all instances, projects must support the overall mission of the Internet Society Foundation.
Given the exceptional situation created by the spread of COVID-19, the Foundation will also accept applications that propose Internet-based solutions in response to local needs created by the pandemic. On this note, the Foundation encourages Chapters and SIGs to consider the health and safety of their members, participants and the broader community. To this end, virtual events, trainings and learning opportunities are encouraged when possible.
Beyond the Net Large Grants are available to the Internet Society Chapter and SIGs only. Chapters and SIGs must also meet the following criteria:
- Be in good standing (or pre-rejuvenation – on a case by case basis) and meet the minimum Chapter/SIG 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 required funding reports from previous years.
- Chapters and SIGs may only receive one Large grant at a time.
The Internet Society Foundation will not consider requests for:
- Applications for projects that begin within six weeks of the date they are submitted to the Foundation.
- Applications for projects whose duration exceeds 24 months.
- Support to Internet Governance Forums (IGFs) or Schools of Internet Governance.
- Reimbursement of costs incurred prior to the signing of the grant agreement.
Eligible applications will be reviewed by the Selection Committee (see “Application Review Process” below) against the following criteria:
- The proposed project effectively responds to a clearly identified need (for individuals, communities and/or the broader Internet community).
- The proposed project provides a creative solution for the presented problem, that is well tailored to the local environment.
- The Chapter/SIG has a plan to ensure the project will be sustainable beyond this funding.
- 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.
Any applications that do not meet the above requirements will automatically be disqualified from receiving funding.
Application Review Process
The Beyond the Net Large Grants Selection Committee is responsible for the review and selection of applications, in accordance with the approved selection criteria (see “Eligibility” above). Members of the Selection Committee must adhere to the Foundation’s Conflict of Interest Policy.
The members of the 2020 Selection Committee are:
- Chapter representatives
- Nadira AL-Araj, Independent researcher and member of ISOC Palestine Chapter
- Adarsh BU, Senior Network Engineer, Innominds and Founder & Chair of the ISOC Rural Development SIG
- Amrita Choudhury, Director of CCAOI, President of Internet Society India, Delhi Chapter and the APAC Lead of ISOC Women SIG
- Cedrick Adrien Mbeyet, Infrastructure Unit Manager at AFRINIC and member of ISOC Senegal Chapter
- Vincenzo Puliatti, CEO, ITSYN Srl and Board Member of ISOC Italy Chapter
- Alfredo Calderon Serrano, eLearning Consultant and member of ISOC Puerto Rico Chapter
- Pierre-Jean Darres, Consultant in International Affairs and member of ISOC Canada-Québec Chapter
- ISOC Project representatives
- Each of the eight ISOC project areas will be represented on the Selection Committee by an ISOC employee.
- Internet Society Foundation employee
Grants of up to USD $30,000 will be awarded for projects lasting up to 24 months. One Large grant is available per Chapter or SIG in good standing at a time.
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 and applicants will receive a decision from the Foundation within six weeks of submission.
(Please note: Applications submitted between December 10th–January 5th will require eight weeks to review given the holiday period)
If you have questions about this programme or the application process, please email [email protected].