The Internet Society Foundation’s Beyond the Net Small Grant Programme offers funding to support Internet Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) to implement short-term projects with a goal of providing learning opportunities, increasing membership in the Chapter/SIG, or undertaking specific research projects.
- Contribute to the development of the Chapter and local community;
- Strengthen the impact of the Internet Society’s and Internet Society Foundation’s mission and global initiatives with complementary local activities;
- Provide learning opportunities to local Chapters/SIG members and/or the local community;
- Allow the Chapter/SIG to undertake research initiatives that are in-line with the Internet Society and the Internet Society Foundation’s mission
- Engage members and Chapter delegates around a common Chapter/SIG activity that has the potential for longer term benefits;
- Develop new or strengthen existing relationships and partnerships at the local level.
Given the exceptional situation created by the spread of COVID-19, 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.
At the Internet Society Foundation we believe in an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for all that positively impacts humanity. The Chapters and SIGs pursue this mission at the local level by developing initiatives, such as events, trainings and research initiatives, within one of the following project areas:
Strengthening the Internet
- Promoting the Internet Way of Networking: This project will articulate and promote aggressively a positive vision for the decentralized “Internet way of networking.”
- Extending Encryption: A project to fight against the recent attacks on secure online communications, and to promote deployment of such technologies wherever they are needed.
- Securing Global Routing: Ongoing efforts to get the Internet service provider, IXPs and CDN/Cloud Providers to practice good routing hygiene.
- Increasing Time Security: This project will stimulate the implementation of secure network time protocols, raise awareness to promote adoption, and build capacity to decrease the cost and risk of deployment.
- Promoting Open Standards and Protocols: This project will demonstrate and document the operational details of implementing open standards and best practices for secure web servers, and translate them into easy-to-access and use resources that allow others to do the same.
Growing the Internet
- Building Community Networks (or providing internet access to unconnected communities): Ongoing efforts to ensure our vision that the Internet is for Everyone can be realized even where conventional mechanisms for connectivity are not viable.
- Fostering Infrastructure and Technical Communities: This project will work on supporting the local technical communities around the world, with continued emphasis on technical capacity building, mobilization of communities of practices and establishment of critical Internet infrastructure.
- Measuring the Internet: This project addresses the need to have a single, easily identifiable place to go to find timely data about trends that are shaping the Internet’s infrastructure and the health of the Internet Way of Networking itself.
The Internet Society Foundation will not consider requests for:
- Support to Regional Internet Governance Forums (IGFs) or Regional Schools of Internet Governance.
- NOTE: The Foundation will support Chapter requests for support of National or Local IGFs as well as National Schools of Internet Governance.
- Travel costs to attend events, such as conferences or symposiums
- Equipment costs, such as computers, laptops or projectors
- Reimbursement of costs incurred prior to the signing of the grant agreement
Given the exceptional situation created by the spread of COVID-19, the Foundation will accept applications that propose Internet-based solutions in response to local needs created by the pandemic.
Beyond the Net Small 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
- Are coordinating closely with their Chapter’s leadership to develop their projects.
Any applications that do not meet the above requirements will automatically be disqualified from receiving funding.
Application Review Process
Applications are reviewed by Internet Society Foundation Staff to determine whether they fit the eligibility requirements and programme focus areas. Feedback is provided when decisions are shared, if the application was eligible for funding (see “Eligibility” section above).
Eligible applications will be reviewed against the following criteria:
- The proposed project is in-line with ISOC’s 2020 Action Plan and the overall mission of the Foundation.
- The project can be completed during the proposed project period.
- The Chapter/SIG provides a realistic, reasonable and detailed budget
- Chapter/SIG has identified a clear and reasonable means of publicizing the project.
- The project team has identified relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and established reasonable targets.
Two small grants are available per Chapter or SIG in good standing on an annual basis (per calendar year) at a maximum of USD $3,500 per grant.
The 2020 Beyond the Net Small Grants funding cycle will take place as follow:
- Round 1 — To account for COVID-19, deadlines for Round 1 have been extended:
- Applications accepted on a rolling basis: Week of 6 April to 26 June 2020
- Decisions will be shared on a rolling basis
- Projects can be implemented between 6 April and 31 December 2020
- Please note: Funding can take up to a month to be issued followed the funding decision
The 2021 Beyond the Net Small Grants funding cycle will take place as follows:
- Round 1
- Applications accepted: 7 September to 31 October 2020
- Decisions will be shared the week of 30 November 2020
- Projects can be implemented between 1 January and 31 December 2021
- Round 2
- Applications accepted: 4 January to 26 February, 2021
- Decisions will be shared the week of 5 April 2021
- Projects can be implemented between 12 April and 31 December 2021
- Round 3
- Applications accepted: 3 May to 25 June 2021
- Decisions will be shared the week of 26 July 2021
- Projects can be implemented between 2 August and 31 December 2021
How To Apply
Applications must be completed and submitted online based on the above funding cycle outlined above. Incomplete applications or applications that do not meet eligibility requirements will not be considered (see “Eligibility” section above).
If you have questions about this programme or the application process, please email Beyond_the_Net@isocfoundation.org.