On December 20, 2019, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 was signed into law, providing funding for the federal government and related entities through September 30, 2020. Included within these appropriations were funds allocated for Internet freedom, as detailed in the appropriations bill for the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs.
For fiscal year (FY) 2020, Congress called for a total of $65.5 million “for programs to promote Internet freedom globally,” representing a $5 million increase to the total earmark from FY 2019. $21.2 million of that total was designated for the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), the federal agency through which OTF’s funding is appropriated. With $175,000 allocated for oversight by the USAGM’s Office of Internet Freedom (OIF), OTF’s total budget comes out to $21,025,000. Notably, this appropriation includes language recognizing OTF’s newfound status as an independent grantee of the USAGM.
OTF’s total budget of $21,025,000 represents a nearly $11.5 million increase over FY19. It is the largest single-year budget in OTF’s history and our first as an independent non-profit organization. This budget increase will allow us to better support the tireless and uniquely impactful efforts of the Internet freedom community, as well as provide more direct support to USAGM broadcasters.
If you are working to advance Internet freedom and are in need of support, please explore OTF’s available funding mechanisms as described through our funds, fellowships, and labs, and apply if you think your idea is a good fit. We look forward to hearing from you.
- Program Update