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
  • 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. 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 to bring ideas to life.

OTF prioritizes individuals or organizations’ projects who are applying for the first time, addresses underfunded areas, and identifies as under-represented 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.

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 had operated as a program of Radio Free Asia.

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, the State Department. 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: Within Five Days

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 year-long contract. However, the target support ceiling of OTF is $300,000, but most supported projects receive 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 all project evaluation and monitoring for the duration of the contract. 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 not directly related to completing contractually stated deliverables and objectives.

Internet Freedom Fund Categories

The followings 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 to 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, knowledge sharing, and collaboration improvement 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 to 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 of their project. 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 application video 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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