Community Prototype Fund

Supporting the rapid development of innovative Internet freedom technology prototypes that serve the immediate needs of the human rights and Internet freedom communities

The Community Prototype Fund (CPF) supports the rapid development of innovative Internet freedom technology prototypes that serve the immediate needs of the Internet freedom and human rights communities. Through short-term support, technologists and activists can bring to life nascent ideas that help advance inclusive and safe access to global communications networks, counteract censorship and surveillance, and mitigate digital security threats to Internet freedom, specifically in repressive environments.

Important Considerations

The Community Prototype Fund operates a little differently from OTF's other funds. Here, we outline the most important details.

The CPF focuses on providing short-term seed funding. Funding up to $6,000 USD will be available for a maximum duration of 12 weeks for CPF projects.

The CPF features an idea pool populated with ideas sourced from the wider Internet freedom community.

Technologists can then view these ideas and apply to build them. Alternatively, if you have an idea and want to build it yourself, you can also apply to do that.

When to Apply

CPF applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Ideas can also be submitted at any time. Apply here: https://www.opentech.fund/funds/community-prototype-fund/.

Review Process

  1. View Ideas or Submit Your Own: If you are a technologist (maker) looking for project ideas, you can view them in the CPF idea pool. Alternatively, if you have an idea and want to build it yourself, you can also apply to do that.

  2. Concept Note Review: For the CPF, ideas are reviewed by the wider OTF community consisting of current and former fellows and projects, the Advisory Council, and the OTF team.

  3. Concept Note Determination: Once we’ve had the chance to review your idea and ask clarifying questions if needed, we’ll contact you and let you know whether your idea has been invited to submit a proposal or declined. If invited to proposal, we’ll specify a date by which you’ll need to submit that. If we’ve declined your idea, we’ll provide you with feedback on why your concept was not approved.

  4. Proposal Review and Determination: All CPF proposals are reviewed by the OTF team as well as by OTF's independent Advisory Council. Upon review of your proposal, we will inform you whether your proposal has been declined or accepted. If your idea is declined, we'll provide feedback around why it was not approved.

  5. Legal Review: Approved proposals are reviewed by our executive, legal and financial departments. If you reach this stage, an OTF Program Manager will be assigned to work with you on completing this step.

  6. Contract Issued: Once a contract has been approved, it will be issued to the applicant to sign and return. Note that each contract includes standard provisions for U.S. Government funded agreements. A sample contract can be viewed here.

  7. Project Oversight: Your assigned OTF Program Manager will be available to assist you for the duration of your contract. All OTF-issued contracts provision for consistent and diligent oversight that go beyond the minimum accountability safeguards and requirements. Please note that payments are only made once OTF determines that contract deliverables have been satisfactorily completed.