The Internet Society Foundation’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF) funding program supports the organization of United Nations (UN) IGF Secretariat-recognized National and Regional Initiatives (NRIs) and National and Regional Schools on Internet Governance. The purpose of the IGF is to encourage an open and inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue on policy issues related to Internet governance. The goal of Schools on Internet Governance is to ensure that diverse actors have the skills to participate in Internet governance structures and shape the future of the Internet.
- Contribute to the development of an open and inclusive multi-stakeholder dialogue on policies and issues related to key elements of Internet governance.
- Support the development of future Internet governance leaders with the skills, knowledge, expertise, and lived experience to positively shape the future of the Internet.
- Strengthen the impact of the Internet Society Foundation’s mission through multi-stakeholder dialogue and follow-on actions from IGF events.
The Foundation funds the organization of:
- IGF Secretariat-recognized NRIs as well as IGF Secretariat-recognized Youth initiatives. Funding requests can cover the costs including, but not limited to: IGF Secretariat activities; costs of hosting the IGF (space rental, catering); costs associated with encouraging diverse participation (publicity, outreach, participant travel or connectivity costs).
- National and Regional Schools on Internet Governance (SIG). Funding can cover the costs of organizing and running the Schools and/or hosting students (staff time, space rental, catering). Youth-specific SIGs (YSIG) are also eligible, however, SIGs targeting more narrowly defined groups cannot be considered.
Please note that the Internet Society Foundation will not consider requests for extended fellowship programs or events on the topic of Internet governance that are not IGFs. If requesting funds for travel-related expenses, the Foundation asks that budget requests adhere to the current Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA) rates as set by the United Nations for the event’s locality. The Foundation does not sponsor travel to the annual global IGF.
IGF and Schools of Internet Governance funding is available to organizations who are directly involved in the planning and execution of a recognized NRI or a School on Internet Governance. In addition, in order to receive Internet Society Foundation funding, organizations must have an official bank account in their name (based on their legal registration) that can receive funding from a U.S.-based bank.
The planning organizations for NRIs must confirm their recognition and active status for the current year with the UN IGF Secretariat in order to be eligible for funding.
Recognized national and regional initiatives are generally listed on the UN IGF Secretariat website and meet the core principles for IGFs, as defined in the NRI toolkit. If an initiative is not currently recognized by the UN, please contact the IGF Secretariat directly in order to coordinate recognition.
Schools on Internet Governance are strongly encouraged to register with the Dynamic Coalition of Schools on Internet Governance (DC-SIG) and ensure that their information is updated on the website.
Internet Society (ISOC) Chapters are typically prioritized as eligible to apply for a National IGF or a National School on Internet Governance. The exception to this is if there is no active ISOC Chapter in that country or if the Chapter is not able to take the lead on the event. In this case, other organizations are eligible to apply.
IGF applications must be submitted at least 8-10 weeks prior to the proposed event date. The Foundation requires sufficient time to review applications, conduct due diligence, make determinations, and complete administrative duties for processing funding requests. Applications received less than 8 weeks in advance of the proposed event will be declined immediately.
Please note: Organizations that do not have an official bank account can apply using a fiscal sponsor who will need to complete and submit the application on behalf of the organizer.
Application Review Process
Applications are reviewed by Internet Society Foundation staff to determine whether they meet the eligibility requirements and are aligned with the focus area.
The selection criteria against which the Foundation staff will review eligible applications is:
- The proposed event supports the program objectives of the Internet Society Foundation’s IGF Sponsorship program.
- The applicant demonstrates the necessary knowledge and experience to accomplish the event goals.
- If previously funded, the applicant has successfully managed their events and completed and submitted the required report in a timely manner.
Funding for up to two (2) sponsorships is available per organization each calendar year: one for an NRI and one for a National or Regional SIG. Eligible organizations cannot receive funding for two NRIs or two SIGs. Funding is available at a maximum of:
- USD $5,000 National IGFs or National Schools of Internet Governance
- USD $10,000 for Sub-Regional IGFs, Sub-Regional Schools of Internet Governance, and Regional Schools on Internet Governance
- USD $15,000 for Regional IGFs
Please note: Geographic designations are aligned with those used by the IGF Secretariat. Only recognized Regional IGFs are eligible for the highest tier of funding. Each NRI, or School on Internet Governance (SIG) can only be funded through a single application. Applicants are therefore asked to coordinate with other organizers to ensure only one application is submitted per event. Eligible organizations are encouraged to apply as early as possible, as funding is available on a first come, first serve basis. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received.
How To Apply
To be considered, applications must be submitted online using the Foundation’s grant management platform, Fluxx. Applications are not accepted via email. First-time applicants will need to register with the platform prior to submitting an application. At least two points of contact for the organization must register.
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.
Applications that are incomplete, do not meet eligibility requirements, or are not submitted at least 8 weeks before the start date of their events will not be considered.
Currency exchange rates should be shown in budgets. Please ensure that the most current exchange rate is used.
NRI and SIG organizers who receive sponsorships are responsible for submitting all required reporting to the Internet Society Foundation in a timely manner. In order to meet reporting requirements, organizers must plan to collect valid data on event participation (e.g., stakeholder group and gender representation) and provide detailed financial reports covering the use of Internet Society Foundation funds. All reports must be completed and submitted on the Fluxx platform.
Organizations receiving funds for NRIs must also upload a copy of the same report they submit to the IGF Secretariat. NRIs whose reports do not meet the standards outlinedby the IGF Secretariat will not be prioritized for funding in subsequent years. Reporting guidelines can be found on pages 20 – 27 in the NRIs Toolkit.NRIs Toolkit. NRI organizers must submit their reports on the Fluxx platform no more than twelve (12) weeks after the completion of the event.
Organizations receiving funds for National or Regional School on Internet Governance must submit a narrative report through the Foundation’s online Fluxx platform no more than six (6) weeks after the event.
Any organization found to misrepresent their reported activities, mismanage events and funds, or operate without transparency will be disqualified from receiving sponsorships in the future.
- Budget Template (required as part of your application)
- Supporting Schools on Internet Governance: Syllabus for Schools on Internet Governance
- NRIs Toolkit
If you have questions about this program or the application process, please email [email protected].
If you’d like to learn more about Internet Governance, The Internet Society provides an online course to anyone curious to understand how the Internet is governed.