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ICANN Request for Proposal: The Grant Program

5 June 2023

Today, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) issued a request for proposal (RFP) to identify external vendors to provide services in support of the ICANN Grant Program.

The ICANN Grant Program is based on the recommendations contained in the Final Report of the Cross-Community Working Group on New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Auction Proceeds (CCWG-AP), as adopted by the ICANN Board in 12 June 2022. These recommendations provided ICANN with guidance on the distribution of proceeds from the auctions of last resort in the 2012 New gTLD Program. The Grant Program is being designed with best practices at the forefront. Because this is a new program for ICANN, there is a need for external vendors with a proven track record of expertise in the grant-making field to support this work.

The CCWG-AP Final Report outlined that the allocation of the auction proceeds should:

  • Benefit the development, distribution, evolution, and structures or projects that support the Internet's unique identifier systems.
  • Benefit capacity building and underserved populations.
  • Benefit the open and interoperable Internet.

New gTLD Auction Proceeds are expected to be allocated in a manner consistent with ICANN's mission.

The program will operate in a series of grant cycles until the funds are depleted. Each cycle includes, at minimum: development (or confirmation) of application materials; receipt of applications; validation that applications and applicants meet admissibility and eligibility criteria; evaluation of applications by an Independent Application Assessment Panel; recommendation of a slate of applications to the ICANN Board of Directors; Board consideration of the slate; contracting and disbursement of grants; auditing, reporting, and monitoring of grants as appropriate; and evaluation of the cycle to determine if future modifications are needed.

ICANN is looking for vendor(s) that may be able to offer services in some or all of the following areas: assembling and managing the Independent Application Assessment Panel; conducting eligibility checks of the applications received; offering and managing grant-management software throughout the life cycle of a grant, from the application phase through the end of the grant, as well as applicant and grantee support; or conducting process evaluations for future improvements, as needed.

This RFP is public, meaning anyone may provide a response. The goal of the RFP is to identify competent vendors that can provide services for some or all areas mentioned above. Evaluations of bids received during the RFP will ideally result in the selection of one or more vendors.

Read the full RFP Project Overview for more information, including a timeline.

Indications of interest should be emailed to The-Grant-Program-RFP@icann.org and provide the following information: 1. company name, 2. contact person name, and 3. contact person e-mail address.

Proposals should be electronically submitted using ICANN's sourcing tool by 23:59 UTC on 7 July 2023. Access to this tool may be requested via the same email.


ICANN's mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world.