FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions

What types of efforts does OTF support?

OTF supports research, development, and implementation efforts focused on increasing:
  • Access to the internet, including circumvention tools;
  • Awareness of access, privacy, or security threats, including research, censorship detection, measurement platforms, and increasing digital security know-how among targeted groups;
  • Privacy for at-risk users; and
  • Security against threats to internet access and safety.

Does OTF support projects, individuals, or both?

OTF does not have any requirements regarding an applicant’s status - whether for-profit, nonprofit, or a single individual, located inside or outside the United States, so long as the proposed effort fits within OTF’s mission, goals, and focus areas, it may be considered.
OTF supports both individuals and projects through several different funding mechanisms:

Does my project sound like something OTF would support?

OTF encourages any potential applicant to first explore OTF’s mission, goals, and primary focus areas. If it sounds like your project might be a good fit, you’ll want to identify which fund or fellowship is most appropriate for you. From there, submitting a concept note is the best next step.

When does OTF accept applications? When are the deadlines?

For the Internet Freedom Fund and the Technology at Scale Fund
For the Rapid Response Fund
  • OTF accepts and reviews applications for its Rapid Response Fund on an ongoing basis as they’re received. There is no deadline for Rapid Response so that digital emergencies can be confronted as they arise.
For Fellowships
For Labs
  • OTF's Labs accept applications for services on an ongoing basis.

Is there a minimum or maximum monetary amount for funding requests?

For the Internet Freedom Fund
  • Minimum of $10,000 and maximum of $900,000 for a year-long contract. Note, however, that OTF’s target support ceiling is $300,000; most supported efforts receive between $50,000 and $200,000.
For the Rapid Response Fund
  • Minimum $1 and maximum of $50,000 for a period of no longer than six months.
For Fellowships
  • Fixed monthly stipend

I submitted an application. When can I expect to receive a response?

Immediately after submitting your application, you should receive an email from OTF confirming that we have received your submission. You'll receive a determination notice 6-8 weeks after your application submission date. Applications for the Rapid Response Fund are reviewed as quickly as possible. We make every effort to make a decision within five days.

I submitted a new application. How do I set up my user account on OTF's application platform?

Immediately after submitting your application, you should receive an email from OTF confirming that we have received your submission. This email will provide you with instructions for activating your account. Please set your password as soon as possible because the link will timeout.
If you do not complete the activation process within the suggested timeframe, you can use the password reset form.
We are asking all applicants to please enable two-factor authentication (2FA) for your account on OTF’s application platform. Here is guidance on how to set up your 2FA..

Does OTF support projects that are commercial or proprietary in nature?

OTF places high priority on funding tools that are open-source and freely available to download and use, ensuring a low barrier to user adoption and use.

Does OTF support overhead costs?

OTF generally does not support standalone costs which are not directly associated with the completion of contractually stated objectives or deliverables. In the very limited instances where OTF determines that an overhead cost is permissible, such costs cannot be greater than 10% of the overall project cost. More information can be found here under the "Overhead" section.

Do I have to include an attachment with my application?

If you have something you feel strengthens your application and it can’t be added as a link, including such materials as an attachment is fine.

In what language should I submit my application?

Please note that English is the language of record for all applications, and those submitted in other languages may not be reviewed as competitively as those submitted in English.

Reset or recover your lost account password

If you haven’t set up two-step verification and can’t reset or sign in to your account, check our application platform guide.
If you know the email address that you used to set up your account (which is used to sign in to OTF's application platform), you can reset your password now:
  1. 1.
    Go to Reset your password and enter your email address. Reset your password
  2. 2.
    Enter the email that is associated with the application you submitted.
  3. 3.
    Once you receive this email, you’ll be prompted to choose a new password and enter it twice. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long and should contain a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Note that you must have your email address to reset your password. If you’ve forgotten this email address, you’ll need to recover it before you reset your password.
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