Internet Freedom Fund of $900,000 by Open Technology Fund (OTF)

Grant / Award in Communication , in Computer Science , in Technology
  • United States, United States

Opportunity Details

  • Opportunity ID 213902
  • Degree Non Degree Program/Certificate
  • Fields of study Technology and Internet
  • Opportunity Type : Partially Funded
  • Duration 12 to 24 Months
  • Gender MaleFemale
  • Language of Instruction English
  • Application Fee Required No

Opportunity Description

Open Technology Fund (OTF) provides a maximum of $900,000 for projects from individuals or organizations under the Internet Freedom Fund scheme. These projects prioritize tech development and implementation and encompass applied research, gatherings, and digital security initiatives.

Through this fund, the projects will advance inclusive and safe access to global communications networks, mitigate digital security threats to Internet freedom, particularly for at-risk users, human rights defenders, journalists, civil society activists, and others living in oppressive environments, and counteract censorship and surveillance. OTF aims to support activists and technologists in bringing ideas to life.

OTF prioritizes projects by individuals or organizations applying for the first time, addresses underfunded areas, and supports those who are underrepresented within the field. The projects and people OTF supports all fall into one or more areas: technology, Applied Research, Development, Digital Security Support, or Events and Community Convenings.

The Internet Freedom Fund applications are on a rolling basis. Applicants can apply in a two-stage process. Applicants can submit their applications as concept notes. Upon successful review, OTF will invite the applicant to submit a full proposal.

About Open Technology Fund (OTF)

OTF is a non-profit and independent organization that contributed to advancing global Internet freedom. The organization supports projects focusing on counteracting repressive surveillance and censorship, enabling worldwide citizens to exercise their fundamental human rights online.

As of 2019, the Open Technology Fund became a non-profit and independent corporation and a U.S. Agency for Global Media grantee. Before that, it operated as a Radio Free Asia program.

Created in 2012 within Radio Free Asia as a pilot program, the OTF adopted a policy of supporting global internet freedom initiatives under U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Today, RFA is looking into technologies that help its audiences avoid censorship and surveillance.

Brief Details of the Fund

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis Application

Application Outcome: 6-8 weeks after submitting a Concept Note

Program Language: English

Gender: Male/Female

Eligible Countries: All

Funding Organization: Open Technology Fund (OTF)

Field of Support: Technology and Internet-Relevant Projects

Details of the Internet Freedom Fund

OTF awards a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $900,000 for qualified applicants with a 24-month contract. However, the ideal candidates can seek funding between $50,000 and $200,000.

OTF Fund is payable on performance-based contracts signed directly with the applicant. The organization pays the amount upon completion of stated objectives, activities, and deliverables mentioned and scheduled in the contract.

Additionally, successful candidates will benefit from pairing with an OTF program manager. The manager will supervise and monitor all project evaluations for the contract duration. The monitoring process comprises monthly compulsory reports, phone, email, or in-person discussions and consultations. All monitoring and evaluation assessments are per agreed-upon metrics, goals, and deliverables as laid out by the applicant in the project proposal work plan.

Please note that OTF generally does not support overhead or standalone expenses that are not directly related to completing contractually stated deliverables and objectives.


Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applications are open to Individuals or organizations (for-profit or nonprofit) of all ages
  • There are no nationality, creed, or sex restrictions.
  • OTF cannot support applicants from countries with trade restrictions or export sanctions with the United States.

Internet Freedom Fund Categories

The following are the OTF’s Internet Freedom Fund categories:

Technology Development

In this category, the OTF will support the innovative development of Internet freedom technology, projects, prototypes, and core infrastructure projects serving the Internet freedom and human rights communities.

Applied Research

Applied research categories may include identifying where, how, or why censorship is happening, studying ways to improve specific Internet freedom tools, advancing knowledge about what content censors target, or evaluating threats to Internet freedom in a specific geographic context.

Digital Security

OTF supports initiatives and efforts that meaningfully empower digital security. Improving the digital security ecosystem will eventually help internet users access and understand the tools and workflows that allow them to avoid censorship and surveillance securely.

Community Convenings

This funding empowers Internet freedom communities to become vibrant and more robust by creating relationships, improving knowledge sharing and collaboration, and diversifying the next generation of leaders.

How to Apply for Internet Freedom Fund?

Applicants should submit a concept note containing a brief outline and essential project information to apply for this fund. Please enter the link below to access the concept note format.

The OTF team will evaluate and assess the project’s concept notes; if accepted, the applicant will receive a request to submit the complete proposal. The full proposal should contain detailed information on the outlined ones in the concept notes.

Upon successfully evaluating the proposal, the OTF will provide a contract and follow up the funding procedure.


Apply Now



Note: Please watch the Concept Note Guide and review the OTF fund guidebook.


Please enter the official website of the Open Technology Fund (OTF) for detailed information about the Internet Freedom Fund or read the FAQs.


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