Alternative Sources of Support – January 2018

Thu, 2018-01-18 22:16

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 low traffic 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 January 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

State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor – Internet Freedom Annual Program Statement
Deadline: February 12, 2018
The State Department is seeking Statements of Interest (SOI) in response to four “funding themes” – “Technology: Uncensored and Secure Access to the Global Internet,” “Digital Safety,” “Policy and Advocacy,” and “Applied Research.” Organizations may submit up to two SOIs per deadline.
More information:

The ISC Project – Small Technology Grants
Deadline: February 9, 2018
The ISC’s Small Technology Grants support efforts “aimed at helping improve existing tools and/or services that will benefit the ISC Project’s in-country beneficiaries around the world – civil society organizations (CSOs), human rights groups, and independent media.” Themes including technical testing, translation, training material development, and customization or improvement of tools. Grants are for between $2,000 – $24,000 USD for a duration of up to 12 months. Note the deadline for submitting questions is January 22, 2018.
More information:

Euro-Mediterranean Foundation of Support to Human Rights Defenders (EMHRF) – Standard Intervention
Deadline: January 18, 2018
EMHRF provides support to “human rights defenders [in the South-Mediterranean region] in difficulty or at risk, for the specific purpose of allowing them to pursue their activities, as well as to small human rights organisations or groups with the aim of strengthening their capacities in implementing innovative activities in the region.” Funding is usually between €5,000 and €30,000 for a duration of no longer than 12-18 months.
More information:

Swedish Institute – Creative Force Grants
Deadline: January 25, 2018
Creative Force supports organizations using media or the arts to “strengthen democracy, freedom of expression and human rights” internationally. Seeking to support efforts in 27 specific countries throughout the MENA and Eastern Europe regions, as well as Turkey and Russia. Funding for collaborative efforts can be for as much as SEK 500,000 per year for a duration between 12 and 24 months. Note: Applicant organizations must either be 1) registered in Sweden or 2) partner with an organization which is.
More information:

Mozilla – Open Source Support (MOSS)
Deadline: January 31, 2018
MOSS has 3 tracks: 1. Foundational Technology (open to FOSS projects relied upon or implemented into Mozilla products) 2. Mission Partners (open to any FOSS project that helps advance the Mozilla mission) and 3. Secure Open Source (supporting security audits for FOSS projects).
More information:

Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University – Fellowship 2018-2019
Deadline: January 31, 2018
“The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is now accepting fellowship applications for the 2018-2019 academic year through our annual open call. This opportunity is for those who wish to spend 2018-2019 in residence in Cambridge, MA as part of the Center’s vibrant community of research and practice, and who seek to engage in collaborative, cross-disciplinary, and cross-sectoral exploration of some of the Internet’s most important and compelling issues.”
More information:

Library Freedom Project – Library Freedom Institute
Deadline: February 1, 2018
Designed for public librarians, this six-month program will allow participants to “spend 5 hours per week on a combination of readings, webinars, exercises, class discussion, and assignments” with a goal of teaching how to do things like “install, configure, and troubleshoot privacy software like Tor Browser,” increase your library’s digital security, and better “educate and train your community on privacy best practices.” The program consists of a free online course and one in-person weekend session in NYC.
More information:

Harvard Library Innovation Lab – 2018 Summer Fellows
Deadline: February 11, 2018
“Our summer fellows program will bring together a small set of visionaries to explore future directions in libraries, law, and technology. We value different ways of thinking and strongly encourage brilliant minds from all disciplines and backgrounds to apply…particular encouragement [is] given to potential candidates that might benefit from some of the Lab’s current work in open law, web archives, war crimes research, private talking spaces, crowdsourced fair use predictions, and free textbooks.” Fellows join the Lab from June through August and bring their own projects to work on – in collaboration with their cohort. A stipend of $6,000 is issued.
More information:

Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows – Host Org Application
Deadline: February 16, 2018
Open Web fellows spend 10 months “embedded at leading advocacy organizations to safeguard the open Internet as a global public resource.” Mozilla is currently accepting applications from such organizations interested in hosting an Open Web fellow. Access the host org application here:
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: 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:

Pineapple Fund –
Pledging to donate $86 million worth of Bitcoin to charity, the Pineapple Fund has so far given $20 million to 28 projects including EFF ($1 million), OpenBSD ($50k), Internet Archive ($1 million), and the Software Freedom Conservancy ($250k).

UNICEF Innovation Fund –
Funding open source technologies to improve children’s lives. “The Fund has made 51 investments in 28 countries with an eye to invest in 30 more start-ups in 2018.” Project themes include “Products for youth,” “real-time information,” “infrastructure,” and “knowledge products.” Applicants need to be registered in one of UNICEF’s program countries and have at a minimum a working prototype to point to.

DevLabs –
DevLabs provides “business development & product development support to early stage software startups” focusing on those “that provide access to basic services to people in undervalued regions in the Americas” through incubation, acceleration, and direct funding (between 25-75k). Primarily focused on six sectors: education, agriculture and food, finance, health, enterprise, and tourism.


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