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ICANN Grant Program

About | Key Documents | Apply | Grant Cycle Timeline | FAQs

ICANN Grant Program

About

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 objectives of the ICANN Grant Program.

This program will make a difference in the Internet ecosystem, while also positively impacting 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.

The types of initiatives that the ICANN Grant Program will fund include those that support ICANN's mission by:

  • Benefitting the development, distribution, and evolution of the services and systems that support the Internet's unique identifier systems.
  • Providing capacity development.
  • Advancing developments, innovation, and open standards for the benefit of the Internet community.
  • Contributing to diversity, participation, and inclusion across stakeholder communities and geographic regions.

This webpage will be updated with key dates and announcements for the launch of the first call for applications in 2024: Stay tuned for more!

Apply

The first call for applications of the ICANN Grant Program will open in March 2024.

Key Documents

Applicant Guide

The ICANN Grant Program Applicant Guide provides instructions on how eligible organizations can apply to the program.

Version 2.0 of the English Applicant Guide is available here.

Archive

English | العربية | Español | Français | Pусский | 中文 (26 February 2023)

Grant Cycle Tentative Timeline

Grant platform opens for application submission

25 March 2024 at 15:00 UTC

Grant platform closes for application submission

24 May 2024 at 20:00 UTC

Admissibility and eligibility checks

June-July 2024

Independent Application Assessment Panel review

August-October 2024

Expected ICANN Board decision on final slate of successful applications

December 2024

Grant agreement negotiations

January 2025

For questions, please email grantprogram@icann.org.

FAQs

What is the ICANN Grant Program?

It is a global grant-making program funded by the proceeds received from last-resort auctions in the 2012 New gTLD Program. The ICANN community convened a working group that developed a Final Report with recommendations on how these proceeds should be allocated. On 12 June 2022 the ICANN Board adopted the recommendations. As a result, ICANN org developed a Grant Program.

How much funding is available?

The total net auction proceeds fund amounts to $217 million as of 30 June 2023 and are segregated from ICANN's general Operations. This may not be the final amount of proceeds available for distribution, as a portion of the auction proceeds funds under management are still subject to disputes. Additionally, costs to run the program will be covered by the auction proceeds fund.

The Grant Program will operate in a series of cycles. During each cycle, a portion of the total fund will be available for distribution for successful applications.

How much funding is available for the first cycle?

The total amount available for grants in this first cycle is $10 million.

What are the minimum and maximum grant amounts?

Applications can be submitted for grant awards between $50,000 and $500,000. These award thresholds are for the first cycle only and will be reassessed for future cycles.

What is the maximum project duration?

The maximum project duration is 24 months.

How do we submit a funding request?

Applicants should thoroughly review the Grant Program Applicant Guide before starting their applications.

ICANN will use Submittable as an online grants management system to manage the grantmaking and reporting process. Instructions on creating a log-in and accessing the application will be released before the application window opens. Only applications submitted through this system will be considered.

Who can apply?

To be eligible applicants must :

  • Be a charitable organization.

    • Organizations within the U.S. must have a 501(c)(3) determination from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
    • Applicants outside of the U.S. must be charitable in nature and be able to provide relevant governing and financial documentation, upon ICANN's request, to confirm equivalency to a U.S. 501(c)(3).
  • Support ICANN's compliance with relevant U.S. laws, rules, and regulations.

  • Have no conflicts of interest.

  • Meet due diligence standards.

  • Have a bank account in the applicant organization's name.

Applicants should reference the ICANN Grant Program Applicant Guide, Sections 4(ii) and 4(iii) for more detailed information on eligibility.

May an applicant submit more than one application?

Applicants are welcome to submit as many applications as they wish and are welcome to collaborate with other applicants on additional submissions. However, applicants may only be awarded funding for one project and will not be eligible to receive multiple grants in one grant cycle. Applicants should detail funding preference in their submissions.

What types of projects and activities will be eligible?

Applications must be for projects consistent with ICANN's mission to help ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet's unique identifier systems and align with the objectives of the Grant Program.

The types of initiatives that the program will fund include those that support the ICANN mission by:

  • Benefitting the development, distribution, and evolution of the services and systems that support the Internet's unique identifier systems.
  • Providing capacity development.
  • Advancing developments, innovation, and open standards for the benefit of the Internet community.
  • Contributing to diversity, participation, and inclusion across stakeholder communities and geographic regions.

All proposed activities also must not duplicate existing activities currently or previously funded by ICANN.

Please reference Sections 2(iii)-2(v) and Sections 4(v) in the Grant Program Applicant Guide for more information on what type of projects and funding themes are eligible.

What types of projects are not eligible?

Ineligible activities include:

  • Any political or lobbying activity, including activities to influence legislation and/or the outcome of any specific public election, or to carry on, directly or indirectly, any voter registration drive.
  • Any activity that may lead to private financial benefit of individuals beyond incidental items such as payment of reasonable employment salaries.
  • Any unlawful activity according to the country where the applicant is based and/or where the project is developed.

Who will evaluate the applications?

ICANN staff will initially review applications to confirm consistency with ICANN's mission and the Grant Program's funding themes. Applications that are deemed admissible and meet preliminary eligibility criteria will be referred to the Independent Application Assessment Panel (the Panel).

A third-party vendor will manage the Panel including the recruitment and selection of Panel members as well as manage their assessments of applications. This third-party vendor will be used to maximize independence from the ICANN Board, organization, or community.

The Panel composition is expected to include a diverse collective of subject matter experts aligned to the themes and work areas of the Program. The Panel will use assessment criteria outlined in the Grant Program Applicant Guide Section 5(ii) to deliver a rank order list. ICANN staff will conduct final eligibility screening before a final slate is prepared. Grant Program Applicant Guide Section 5(iii) provides more information on how final decisions will be made.

How will the funds be disbursed to the grantees?

Disbursement of the grants will occur in installments. The first installment will be disbursed to the grantee in a timely manner after the signing of the grant agreement. Following installments will be disbursed after the submission and approval of regular reports that the grantee is expected to produce and submit.

What will be required from the grantees?

Grantees will be expected to complete interim reports throughout the duration of the grant to document the progress of the project and the use of the funds. A final report will also be due at the conclusion of the project and should detail achievement of goals and objectives and final expenditures for the project.

Projects may be subject to additional monitoring activities, such as site visits to verify and document project activities as reported. On the occasion of any such activity, ICANN will contact the grantee directly to make arrangements for the visit at no cost to the grantee.

Grantees may also be subject to periodic reviews and evaluations. This may include surveys, participation in virtual or in-person meetings and interviews with ICANN staff, or other activities that require data collection related to implementation of the project and use of grant funds.

Domain Name System
Internationalized Domain Name ,IDN,"IDNs are domain names that include characters used in the local representation of languages that are not written with the twenty-six letters of the basic Latin alphabet ""a-z"". An IDN can contain Latin letters with diacritical marks, as required by many European languages, or may consist of characters from non-Latin scripts such as Arabic or Chinese. Many languages also use other types of digits than the European ""0-9"". The basic Latin alphabet together with the European-Arabic digits are, for the purpose of domain names, termed ""ASCII characters"" (ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange). These are also included in the broader range of ""Unicode characters"" that provides the basis for IDNs. The ""hostname rule"" requires that all domain names of the type under consideration here are stored in the DNS using only the ASCII characters listed above, with the one further addition of the hyphen ""-"". The Unicode form of an IDN therefore requires special encoding before it is entered into the DNS. The following terminology is used when distinguishing between these forms: A domain name consists of a series of ""labels"" (separated by ""dots""). The ASCII form of an IDN label is termed an ""A-label"". All operations defined in the DNS protocol use A-labels exclusively. The Unicode form, which a user expects to be displayed, is termed a ""U-label"". The difference may be illustrated with the Hindi word for ""test"" — परीका — appearing here as a U-label would (in the Devanagari script). A special form of ""ASCII compatible encoding"" (abbreviated ACE) is applied to this to produce the corresponding A-label: xn--11b5bs1di. A domain name that only includes ASCII letters, digits, and hyphens is termed an ""LDH label"". Although the definitions of A-labels and LDH-labels overlap, a name consisting exclusively of LDH labels, such as""icann.org"" is not an IDN."