Grants up to 300,000 for The Projects That Promote Internet Freedom from OTF

Date limite : 20 janv. 2020

Organisation à but non lucratif: Open Technology Fund

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Grants up to 300,000 for The Projects That Promote Internet Freedom from OTF

Open Technology Fund offers grants under the Core Infrastructure Fund (CIF) program that will support projects and people working on open and accessible technology-centric projects which promote human rights, internet freedom, open societies, and help advance inclusive and safe access to global communications networks for at-risk users living within repressive environments.

Entry Requirements:

Ideal applicants meet one or more of the following:

  • Individuals of all ages irrespective of nationality, residency, creed, gender, or other factors, with the exception that OTF is not able to support applicants within countries that the United States has trade restrictions or export sanctions as determined by the U.S.Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
  • Non-profit organization/non-government organization, including U.S.-based NGO, PIO, or foreign NGO.
  • Non-profit university or research institution in any country;
  • For-profit organization or business in any country.
  • Consortia of multiple people or organizations with one individual or organization designated as the lead applicant;
  • Have demonstrated experience administering successful projects, preferably targeting the requested program area, or similarly challenging program environments where OTF reserves the right to request additional background information on organizations.
  • Ideal applicants should not duplicate or simply add to efforts supported by other USG funding programs.
  • Ideal applicants must not reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization, whether or not elected members of the government.


  • Relevant to the mission: Proposals should exhibit originality, substance, and relevance to the funds stated mission. The work plan should adhere to the program overview and guidelines.
  • Ability to achieve objectives: Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable and achievable within the boundaries of the proposed funding. You should not include items that require additional funding beyond the life of this grant. For complete proposals, applicants will have to provide a monthly timeline of project activities.
  • Applicant’s record and capacity: OTF will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project’s objectives.

Ideal applications for this fund focus on supporting:

  • Key developers or organizers, so they can work full time on crucial core efforts in need of additional support.
  • New developers or organizers focused on improving security standards, quality assurance, and best practices within core infrastructure projects.
  • Developers, authors, or organizers drafting or promoting digital security and civil society needs within standards and protocols.
  • Researchers exploring new methods of circumvention that would improve the resiliency of widely utilized tools.
  • Specific outcomes, such as the necessary maintenance and upgrades to existing open-source projects (database, hosting, or other tool migration; rewriting test suites; major new features).
  • Efforts that make existing projects more accessible and easier to contribute to (ex. documentation, tool migration, refactoring code, testing).
  • Efforts that develop new or evolve existing organizational and governance structures and sustainability models beyond work-for-hire.
  • Efforts that increase the understanding and awareness of relevant actors in this space, their roles, and how they contribute to maintaining the Internet’s core ecosystem.

Note: You can also apply if you feel your effort fits within the goals of this fund but is not explicitly listed above.

Problems addressed by the Core Infrastructure Fund:

  • Many open-source software technologies critical to access and security are underfunded and under-resourced.
  • Core developers consistently face a lack of resources that would allow them to improve the foundational technologies relied on for free expression online.
  • While potential new forms of circumvention are frequently identified by researchers, few are fully assessed let alone made available for integration.
  • Lack of funding for maintenance of essential Internet components leads to exploited vulnerabilities, such as happened in 2014 with the Heartbleed bug exploiting a vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic protocol.


  • OTF awards are performance-based contracts (see an example template here) signed directly with the applicant. Payment is issued on completion of stated objectives, activities, and deliverables per the schedule outlined in the contract. 
  • OTF reserves the right to award less or more than the funds requested as deemed in the best interest of OTF’s priorities.
  • Applications that request more than the award ceiling of $300,000 or less than the award floor of $5,000 may be deemed technically ineligible.


The Open Technology Fund (OTF) was created in 2012 as a program of Radio Free Asia and is sustained by annual grants from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), which originate from yearly U.S. Congressional appropriations for State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.

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