Alternative Sources of Support – February 2018

Mon, 2018-02-26 17:31

Funding opportunities from OTF and elsewhere

Each month, OTF sends an announcement of upcoming funding deadlines for internet freedom and related projects and fellowships to our OTF-announce mailing list. The announcement includes funding opportunities from both OTF and alternative funding sources, as well as some new funders we’ve recently added to our list. Below you can find the February edition.

If you’d like to receive this announcement directly in your inbox, you can sign up for the low traffic OTF-announce mailing list here. In addition, you can find a compiled list of alternative funding sources here. The opportunities listed below are only for those with approaching deadlines, while a number of funders accept applications on a rolling basis.OTF Funding

OTF – Information Controls Fellowship Program
Application window open February 5, 2018 through March 25, 2018
The Information Controls Fellowship Program (ICFP) cultivates research, outputs, and creative collaboration on topics related to repressive internet censorship and surveillance. Fellowships may be 3, 6, 9, or 12 months in duration and offer a monthly stipend of $4,200 USD per month, along with a travel stipend. ICFP fellows embed with a host organization for the duration of their fellowship, with fellows indicating any host organization of their choosing when applying. OTF will begin accepting applications on February 5, 2018, with a final deadline of March 25, 2018.
More information:

OTF – Internet Freedom Fund
Next deadline: March 1, 2018
The Internet Freedom Fund is OTF’s primary way to support projects and people working on open and accessible technology-centric projects that promote human rights, internet freedom, open societies, and help advance inclusive and safe access to global communications networks. Successful applicants are awarded monetary support up to $900,000 and no less than $10,000, with preference given to those projects and people who are new to the internet freedom community, helping those living within repressive environments, and are requesting less than $300,000 for a duration of less than 12 months.

OTF – Core Infrastructure Fund
Next deadline: March 1, 2018
The Core Infrastructure Fund supports building blocks of digital security and circumvention projects. This may include efforts focused on sustaining or improving PGP, SSL, SSH, Tor, OTR, pluggable transports, code libraries, and other technologies used within the core building blocks of everyday Internet Freedom technology used by people throughout the world to increase their access, privacy, and security online.

OTF – Rapid Response Fund
Deadline: Ongoing
The Rapid Response Fund is part of a broader OTF initiative which aims to facilitate the development of a strong digital emergency response community that can work together to resolve threats in a timely and comprehensive manner. OTF offers both direct financial support as well as technical services from trusted partners to resolve digital emergencies experienced by high-risk Internet users and organizations, such as bloggers, cyber activists, journalists. and human rights defenders.

OTF – Labs
Deadline: Ongoing
For more specific, one-off support needs and services, check out OTF’s Labs: Localization, Community, Engineering, Usability, Red Team, and Legal.
Learn more about OTF’s Labs at: Funding

DefendDefenders – 2018 DefendersTech Professionals Fellowship
Deadline: February 28, 2018
The DefendersTech Program at DefendDefenders is seeking applicants for this short term, Uganda-based fellowship, where fellows will “help human rights defenders working in the dynamic but turbulent countries of East and Horn of Africa to use technology safely and effectively.” Based on an applicant’s skillset, DefendDefenders will match fellows with an existing project that suits or complements their skills. Existing programs “focus on digital security education and support, documentation and data, web presence, internet freedom/threats research and monitoring, and systems administration” for HRDs in the region. Fellowships last 1-3 months and pay a stipend of $4,000.
More information:

UNICEF Innovation Fund – Blockchain Call
Deadline: February 28, 2018
UNICEF is looking to fund blockchain startups that have the potential to benefit humanity, offering $50-90K equity-free seed funding. The “software solutions on open blockchains” may include smart contracts, data analysis, and cryptocurrency tokens and mining. Applicants need to be registered in one of UNICEF’s program countries and have at a minimum a working prototype to point to.
More information:

Creative Commons – Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship
Deadline: March 24, 2018
Creative Commons is now accepting applications for a new round of its Bassel Khartabil Free Culture Fellowship, honoring the legacy of Syrian-Palestinian developer and open web advocate Bassel Khartabil Safadi, who was executed while being held in custody by the Syrian regime. The fellowship aims to advance “collaboration, community, and the open web,” and support “outstanding individuals developing open culture in their communities under adverse circumstances.” The fellowship is one year in duration and is eligible for renewal, and offers a $50,000 USD stipend.
More information:

Facebook – Secure the Internet Grants
Deadline: March 30, 2018
Part of Facebook’s stated commitment of $1 million to security research, Facebook’s newly launched Secure the Internet Grants is seeking applicants to conduct research in areas including “abuse detection and reporting, anti-phishing, post password authentication, privacy preserving technologies, security for users in emerging markets, [and] user safety.” Applicants are asked to submit a two-page paper on how a grant would enable them to create “real impact in helping secure the internet.” Applicants may apply fo up to USD $100,000. Grant recipients will be announced at Black Hat USA 2018.
More information:

Prototype Fund
Deadline: March 31, 2018
The Prototype Fund “supports ideas in civic tech, data literacy, data security, and software infrastructure.” Grants of up to €47.500 are available, and projects have up to 6 months to implement ideas from a concept to prototype. The Prototype Fund supports up to 25 projects per funding round. Projects and their outputs must be released publicly under an open source license. This funding round features a specific theme of “Power to the users,” emphasizing submissions related to “digital tools that promote self-determination,” secure trust-building tools, and open source projects for a free and open internet. Note: Limited to German residents
More information: Added Alternative Funding Sources

We’re always on the lookout for new funding sources relevant in some way to internet freedom or the broader intersection between human rights and technology. Here are a few recently added to our list:

Norwegian Helsinki Committee – Small Grants Fund Central Asia
The Norwegian Helsinki Committee is offering projects up to $10,000 USD in support of projects promoting “human rights, democratization and the strengthening of civil society in Central Asia.” Applications are currently being accepted with a deadline of February 28, 2018. Applicants from all Central Asian republics are welcome.

TechSoup –
TechSoup provides or donates discounted hardware, consultation, and other technology-related services for nonprofits, charities, and libraries. To date, they’ve partnered with 70 civil society organizations worldwide, including in places such as Thailand, Turkey, Russia, and Hong Kong.

Facebook – Secure the Internet Grants
As mentioned above, Facebook announced in January the launch of its “Secure the Internet Grants,” part of its stated $1 million USD pledge to fund security and defense projects, supporting work around topics like anti-phishing, user safety, and security abuse detection and reporting.


Join the OTF-announce mailing list to receive this in your inbox on a monthly basis here. Access our compiled list of alternative support sources here.