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ICANN Grant Program: Recapping Progress and Next Steps

21 December 2023
By Shayna Robinson

This year, I had the privilege of joining ICANN as Grant Program Director. The ICANN Grant Program is an exciting opportunity for eligible organizations across the globe to apply for funding for projects that are consistent with ICANN's mission and aligned with the program's objectives. The program will make a difference in the Internet ecosystem and positively impact people all over the world by investing in creative and innovative solutions that further ICANN's vision of a single, open, and globally interoperable Internet.

As 2023 comes to a close and we look forward to the exciting inaugural year of the ICANN Grant Program, I wanted to provide the ICANN community with an update on our progress to bring the program to life and highlight the upcoming milestones for 2024.

2023 in Review

This year, we have made tremendous strides toward the launch of the ICANN Grant Program. Over the past 12 months, we built out the core components, processes, and documentation for the program, as well as hiring staff to run the program.

In June 2023, ICANN org held a community webinar during the ICANN77 Policy Forum Prep Week. The session highlighted our progress in developing the selection processes, fund disbursement and monitoring, program literature, application platform requirements, and communication and engagement strategy.

In October, I was delighted to attend the ICANN78 Annual General Meeting, my first ICANN Public Meeting in my new role. This was a great opportunity to meet ICANN community members and discuss the program in person. During this session, we previewed the vision for the program and funding objectives, and provided an update on in-progress implementation work. Thank you to all those who were able to attend and participate in this discussion.

2024 Preview

Work is steadily progressing to lay the groundwork for the ICANN Grant Program. In early January 2024, we will make available the Applicant Guide that provides prospective applicants with information on how to submit applications.

In the interim, I am pleased to announce that the ICANN Grant Program has a new home on https://icann.org/grant-program. This page will serve as the central point for online information and updates on progress as we prepare for the launch of the first application window anticipated to open in late March 2024.

This is an exciting time for us all at ICANN – Board, org, and community. The creation of the ICANN Grant Program serves as a significant milestone and highlights our collective efforts to nurture a robust and inclusive Internet ecosystem. Please stay tuned for the rollout of the Applicant Guide next month, and I look forward to engaging with the ICANN community as we move toward the program launch.


Shayna Robinson

Grant Program Director