Chapterthon 2017: Digital Schools!

Chapterthon is a global Internet Society (ISOC) Chapters marathon, where all ISOC Chapters can participate by developing a project within a timeline and budget to achieve a common goal for the development of education and the Internet. Once the project is finalized, the best project receives a prize.

The winner was announced on Dec 19, 2017 during our Open Forum session at IGF. Read about the winning project!

The Internet Society seeks to improve the quality of people’s lives in all parts of the world by providing them meaningful access to an open, trusted, and global Internet. The adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the UN in September 2015 gave us a clear framework to increase our development efforts as well as reinforce our commitment to bringing the benefits of a globally connected Internet to everyone.

We have always seen the Internet as a critical enabler for sustainable development and believe that access to it will help accelerate the achievement of all of the SDGs.

To make this real and show the impact of the Internet in the achievement of the SDGs, we want to help our Chapters move the needle on one SDG in particular: SDG4 – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

This is why we invite you to participate in this year’s Chapterthon, with the theme Digital schools.

What is a Chapterthon?

Chapterthon is a global Internet Society (ISOC) Chapters marathon, where all ISOC Chapters can participate by developing a project within a timeline and budget to achieve a common goal for the development of education and the Internet. Once the project is finalized, the best project receives a prize.

For 2017, the topic is Education and the Internet. Projects must fit in one of the following categories:

  • Digital literacy
  • Online lectures
  • Training people in the community
  • Developing connectivity for a school or an educational institution


  • Each project will receive funding up to 2,000.00 USD and applicants will have 1.5 months to carry out the project.
  • At the end of the project, applicants must present a 3 minute video that includes project specifics and the benefits for the school.
  • In order to select a winner, all videos will be shared with the Internet Society members’ community for voting.
  • The best project will receive an award of 3,000 USD.

Who can participate?

The Chapterthon is open to all ISOC Chapter members. In the first phase, members must contact the Chapter board to share their ideas. Each Chapter board will decide which project will represent them in the competition.

Only one project can be presented per Chapter.

Project Eligibility Criteria

All project proposals must follow the Internet Society Beyond the Net common criteria requirements.

Specific Requirements for Chapterthon Projects

1. All projects should be related to the topic and sub-topics selected for the Chapterthon.
2. The beneficiary community should be more than 50 children.
3. The program will allow just one (1) project per Chapter. This means if we receive different projects from the same Chapter, just one of them will be able to participate. In these cases, we will send the competing projects to the Chapter board and they will choose which project will represent them.
4. Participants should finish the project according to provided deadlines. Projects that do not meet these deadlines cannot participate in the contest.
5. Participants cannot ask for extensions of deadlines.
6. Participants that do not provide or send video and reporting on time, will not be able to compete for the prize. (See deadlines in the table below in this document).
7. The project can be carried out in collaboration or in partnership with another local organization.
8. Negative campaigning against other projects is prohibited. Any team participating in negative campaigning will be disqualified.

How to participate?

Phase one: All Chapter members

1. Think about a project that fits under the topics above. (Download the Proposal form to start thinking about your application.)
2. Contact other Chapter members and form a team.
3. Make sure the community you want to help wants to join you in the project.
4. Think about local sponsorship.
5. Send your project idea and an estimated budget to the Chapter board.

You may refer to the Chapter list to find your Chapter board contact details.

If your Project is selected by the Chapter board:

1. Define with the board members the role they will play in the project.
2. Complete the Online Application Form via Zoomgrants (below).

Note that all funding related to the project will be wired to the Chapter bank account. Funds will not in any case be wired to individual members.

We strongly recommend you review the following tutorials before applying:

Apply via ZoomGrants(tm)

Answers to the questions in the ZoomGrants form can be submitted in English, French, and Spanish. 
A ZoomGrants tutorial can be downloaded here (PDF).
As part of the evaluation process, be ready to provide any additional information about your application.

Item Timeline Deadline
Official announcement May 18 May
Chapters confirm their participation May 31 May
Info sessions May 23 and 25 May
Members send proposal to Chapters June – July 10 July
Chapters select 1 project to represent them 11 – 31 July 31 July
Apply online 1 August – 15 September 15 September
Approval, evaluation of the projects, and funds transfer 15 September – 15 October 15 October
Development of the projects 15 October – 30 November 30 November
Video delivery 01 – 07 December 07 December
Voting 11 – 15 December 20 December
Winner announcement IGF Geneva ISOC Open Forum
(19 December)
Provide project reports  07 December 07 December

What happens next

The Internet Society staff reviews all project proposals to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria. Projects that do not meet the criteria will be declined. If your proposal is approved for funding, the Internet Society will contact you with a grant agreement to sign, disbursement setup, and other details. All applicants will be notified of their results via email.

Phase Two:  Successful Chapters

1. Implement your project according to the programme timeline.
2. Create a video about your project that lasts less than three minutes. Please refer to the following guidelines.
3. Submit your project reports no later than 30 days after completing the project (details below). Failure to comply with this requirement will exclude your project from the contest.
4. Wait for the winner to be announced.

Prize and recognition

  • The Internet Society member community will select the best project by online voting.
  • The best project will receive an award of 3,000.00 USD (as mentioned above, the funds will be sent via the Chapter account).
  • Each participant will receive a Certificate of Participation, after the submission of the project report and submission of the video .
  • All project videos will be uploaded to our website.
  • The winner will be announced via mailing lists, social media, and the Community Projects blog.

Reporting Requirements: Written and Financial

As part of the follow-up, ISOC requires that every grantee submit a final report no later than 30 days after the conclusion of the project. All reports have to be submitted through ZoomGrants by logging into the same account that has been used by the chapter to apply for the funds:

The chapter is also requested to keep all invoices for audit purposes. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in the request to return funds to ISOC and the suspension of the Chapter from any future funding.

Any questions?

Feel free to contact if you have any questions about the program.


During the past months, 31 Chapters from all the regions have worked hard to extend the education benefits of the Internet to their communities. Connecting schools to the Internet, teaching coding to girls, training teachers and parents, raising awareness about the safe use of the Internet, developing an online platform for a school and helping to create educational, and local content are just some examples of the amazing work our chapters have done.

Each project has proven us once more that the Internet plays an important role in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal on Education. Each project has contributed to shaping the future of children, parents and teachers.

While all the projects have left an important mark on local schools, the Internet Society community members have voted and selected the best project. This year Chapterthon winner is the Internet Society Turkey Chapter for the project Coding Sisters, which had the aim of optimizing the opportunities for girls to be involved in STEM field.