Over the years, the Internet Society has supported inspirational work by people who believe in the power of the Internet. The launch of the Internet Society Foundation during the first quarter of 2019 will be a major milestone for our organization, reflecting the next step in our grants-giving programs and opening new opportunities for initiatives closely aligned with our mission. As a central source for all of our grants programs, it gives us maximum flexibility to expand opportunities for our community and to extend our reach into new areas where we can make a positive impact.

The initial Foundation grant programs, as outlined in the 2019 Action Plan, include:

Beyond the Net Funding Programme. Chapter grant funding for local and regional projects aligned with the Internet Society’s mission.

Community capacity building. Support for broader initiatives that improve Internet access and bridge the digital opportunities gap.

Disaster relief and recovery. Support to partner efforts to ensure communities can be reconnected quickly after natural disasters.

Research. The Foundation will explore opportunities to fund research and strengthen research capacity across technical, economic and public policy topics.

Innovation. This fund will encourage and fund technology initiatives and innovative technologies that contribute to the open Internet.

The Foundation will also provide $5 million to the newly-established IETF Administration LLC in 2019 and 2020 as part of the Internet Society’s ongoing commitment to a strong IETF.

This is an exciting new period in the Internet Society’s history, where we will support and showcase the positive difference the Internet can make and deliver impact around the world.

May 2019

Internet Society Foundation Q&A

Why did the Internet Society create a Foundation?

The Internet Society established the Internet Society Foundation to provide grants for projects that support work aligned with our mission. It will allow us to expand our reach, increase our real-world impact and demonstrate the positive difference that the Internet can make to people everywhere.

As a registered 501(c) 3 tax-exempt charitable organization in the U.S., the Foundation gives us maximum flexibility in funding projects in our own community as well as other work around the world. The Foundation will help us extend our influence in supporting initiatives to shape an open, globally-connected, secure, and trusted Internet for everyone.

When will the Foundation officially launch?

The Foundation was introduced in February 2019 with a new website and call for applications from Internet Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) for the Beyond the Net Small Grants Programme. We also opened the Beyond the Net Medium and Large Grants to the Internet Society community in June 2019.

The other grant programmes of the Foundation are not yet ready to accept applications. Our plan is to have a larger public launch of the Foundation later in the year once additional grant programmes are ready.

What areas will the Foundation support?

The Foundation will support inspirational work being done by people who believe in the Internet as a force for good and in its power to change the lives of people around the world. The Internet Society Board approved five main areas of grant support (listed above).

What is the difference between the areas supported by the Foundation and the Beyond the Net programme?

One of the advantages of establishing a Foundation is that it provides a central source for our grant-giving activities. We will house all of the Beyond the Net grants within the Foundation. Beyond the Net will make up just one area of the Foundation’s grant portfolio.

What are the eligibility criteria and processes for those wishing to apply for Foundation grants?

Information on the Beyond the Net Funding Programme is available on the website. The eligibility criteria and application process for the other programmes are being developed. More details will be communicated when the Foundation is officially launched.

Who can apply for these grants?

The Beyond the Net Funding Programme is exclusively for Internet Society Chapters and Special Interest Groups. All other Foundation grants will be open to individuals and organizations that meet the established programme criteria. We welcome applications from the Internet Society community as well as those outside of the community whose work is aligned with our mission.

Who has oversight for the Foundation and its grants?

The Foundation is governed by the Board of Trustees. See the website for the current list of Board members.

Who will lead the Foundation and what is the organizational structure?

The Executive Director Sarah Armstrong leads the development of the Foundation’s grant programs and organizational structure.

How can I learn more about the Foundation?

Visit the Foundation website, or email:

Photo credit: Internet Society / Nyani Quarmyne / Panos Pictures