The Internet Society Foundation’s Beyond the Net Small Grant Program offers funding to support Internet Society Chapters to implement short-term projects with a goal of providing learning and engagement opportunities as well as strengthening the Chapters’ relationships, partnerships, and presence in their surrounding communities.
- 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.
- Vet new ideas and innovations before proposing to scale up through a Beyond the Net Large grant.
Typical projects are small and short-term in nature, such as events and workshops, trainings and webinars, research initiatives, or testing/piloting an idea for a future Beyond the Net Large project. All proposed activities should help promote an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for all that positively impacts humanity. Chapters may submit applications that address Internet needs specific to their communities.
Beyond the Net Small grants are available to the 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 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:
- Applications must be submitted at least eight to ten (8 – 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 eight weeks in advance will be declined immediately, and that Foundation funding cannot be used for any expenses incurred before signing the grant agreement).
- Proposals must have a clear focus and cohesive objectives. Applications combining multiple different projects under a single proposal will not be considered.
- Projects must be completed during a one to nine (1-9) month period.
- Funds may be used to compensate chapter members or external contractors for their time and contributions to the project, including salaries, stipends, and honorariums where appropriate. Elected chapter officers may receive stipends for their contributions to projects. Chapters are encouraged to recruit experts from within their chapter member communities to carry out projects and all recruitment should be done in an open and transparent manner to ensure inclusiveness. Names and qualifications of paid staff must be included in grant applications and budgets. Personnel expenses cannot exceed 20% of the total grant amount.
- 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. Applications are evaluated solely based on the content submitted and a chapter’s previous performance with Foundation grants, including reporting quality and compliance with grant agreement terms and conditions. Evaluation of proposals does not consider a chapter’s annual plan, and submission of an application does not guarantee that a project will be funded.
Applications will be reviewed by Internet Society Foundation 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.
- The proposed project helps the chapter develop new and/or strengthen existing relationships, partnerships, and presence in the surrounding community.
- The project team has identified clear objectives with relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and established reasonable targets.
Grants of up to USD $5,000 will be awarded for projects lasting up to nine months. Grants are made on a first come, first serve basis, and applications are reviewed in the order they were received.
Each year, the Foundation has a fixed amount of funds available for Beyond the Net grants. Chapters are therefore encouraged to apply for grants as early as possible, as funding availability cannot be guaranteed late in the year.
Beyond the Net grant recipients are responsible for submitting all required reporting to the Internet Society Foundation in a timely manner through the Fluxx platform. Reports include narrative information about the projects, workplan updates, data demonstrating the achievement of project objectives, and detailed financial reporting.
Compliance with Grant Agreement Terms and Conditions
It is extremely important to carefully review a grant agreement before signing it in order to ensure your chapter carries out the project according to the standards required by the Internet Society legal team.
All organizations receiving Internet Society Foundation funding, including Internet Society Chapters, are required to maintain detailed financial records for projects and be prepared to share them with the Foundation’s accounting staff in a timely manner if requested. A project can be audited at any time during its implementation and up to four years after the project comes to an end.
The Internet Society Foundation has a zero-tolerance policy concerning fraud. Any misrepresentation of project activities or apparent mismanagement of grant funds is taken seriously. Failing to pass an audit or committing fraud can result in a chapter being placed in emergency rejuvenation
How to Apply
Applications must be completed and submitted online through Fluxx, the Foundation’s Grants Management System. The Fluxx URL — https://isocfoundation.fluxx.io/auth/saml — was uniquely created for the Internet Society’s Chapter Officer users. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis but will be reviewed quarterly.
The program will open for applications on November 28, 2023 and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. The last date to apply for 2024 grants is October 10, 2024.
- Budget and workplan template (required as part of your application) – if you are requesting funding for equipment as part of your grant budget, please complete the Equipment Tab as well
- Objective Writing Guidance
- 3-tab financial report template (required as part of all grant reports) – SAMPLE here
If you have questions about this program or the application process, please email [email protected].