We’ve announced our first round of the OSC’s Strategic Grant program, and applications are due at the end of July.
Please share your questions about the program, themes, or logistics by replying to this topic. We’ll update this top post with answers to all your questions.
A: That’s correct. The entire amount available is $900,000 USD. While the average number mentioned above is accurate, the intention was to leave some flexibility for larger or smaller projects that meet strategic goals for open source projects, aligned with the themes mentioned in the overview document. It is anticipated that there will be 5 different grants with different recipients.
A: In the case or multiple recipients for a single application, DIAL (the grant sponsor) prefers to issue direct agreements to each recipient, but will negotiate the best grant mechanism based on the application and risk assessment.
A: As the grant sponsor, DIAL & UNF are committed to supporting smaller organizations. The questionnaire does not present minimums and/or limitations on the organizations or projects to be funded, and will not preclude recipients from receiving funds. The questionnaire is meant as a benchmark to better understand the capacity of a recipient to handle United States Government (USG) funds. It is part of the USG regulations that this type of assessment be conducted to ensure DIAL/UNF issues public funds responsibly.
A: If your proposal is focused on developing/improving/changing the software that runs the library & learning tools, improving the community that maintains the platform, or working with the users to better understand their needs & adjusting the tools to meet those needs … then yes. Our mandate is specifically to focus on technology projects, so unfortunately that can’t include proposals whose primary focus is around developing content and/or community educational activities. Good luck!
A: Please coordinate to submit one proposal per open source software project/community. Multiple tasks/projects may be listed within a single proposal, keeping in mind that per http://www.osc.dial.community/grants.html, “Eligible proposals will involve one or more of the … activity categories”. (So your proposal should address at least one if not more of the 5 themes.)
A: Grants will be selected per proposal. The funder has some flexibility as to allocation of funds and recipient organization(s), so please do not let worries about qualifications or coordination of funds block your submission. DIAL/UNF will work with selected recipients to disburse funds in the most effective way possible.
We received this question via e-mail…
Q: Are the funds for this grant connected to the United States Government?
A: Yes, receiving other awards in the past does not disqualify a project from submitting an application. Reviewers may consider past efforts, results, and outcomes from previous grant activity, however.
(Someone probably wouldn’t want to request funding for the same work twice! That said, we believe the themes between the smaller catalytic grant program and this larger strategic grant program are unique enough so that is unlikely to happen.)
Q: Can projects with proprietary software apply for this grant?
A: No, we will not be providing grants for work on projects that are not open source.
Q: Can projects with proprietary software apply for this grant, if the scope of work includes releasing this software as open source?
A: We would invite these projects to apply, provided they can include a detailed roadmap as to when and how the code would be re-licensed. However, please refer to the merit criteria for this grant, and consider the scoring implications for projects that are currently proprietary.
A: We agree! Our Catalytic Grants Program is designed for just these projects. The most recent round of catalytic grants has just closed, but stay tuned in the fall for the next round.
A: In most cases, this would be the applicant, or the organization doing the work. Once we have selected finalists, we will work with each applicant and project individually to understand how best to allocate funds in a way that will be effective to achieve the work and in compliance with UN Foundation policy.
A: Correct, proposals will not be rejected solely on appearing to be too cost prohibitive. However, cost effectiveness is ten precent of the merit criteria so applicants should strive to provide as realistic a budget as possible in their initial proposals.
A: If this information is relatively easy to provide, yes! This would provide useful information should the application advance to the next round and requires any negotiation.
A: We don’t currently have a template, applicants should apply in whatever format they choose that will best address the scope of work, as well as the eligibility and merit criteria.
A: We encourage proposals from all organizations around the world, including UN agencies. We will work any selected grant recipients to understand their specific needs for subcontracting, if any, and structure our funds accordingly. Sub-recipients may be allowed, subject to specific terms.
Anyone concerned about these or related issues should still apply, as we’ll do our best to work with recipients to provide as flexible funding as is allowed.
Any supplemental information, including tax forms, will be requested of applicants only after the grant has been selected as an awardee. It is not necessary to provide the United States IRS Form W-9 at this time.
A: The 10 page limit includes all information to complete the Merit Criteria listed at http://www.osc.dial.community/grants.html – with the exception of any external documents such as the Risk Assessment and W-9 or other tax forms.
A: We are happy to discuss disbursement plans & work toward a mutually agreeable schedule with selected recipients.
A: As described under “Additional Eligibility Criteria” at http://www.osc.dial.community/platform-building-generalization.html the target product(s) must already have multiple stakeholders, therefore it must already be an existing work. Additionally, the main “Eligibility Criteria” for the overall grant program at http://www.osc.dial.community/grants.html state that “Proposal extends, integrates, or improves one or more existing open source project(s) that is no longer in a conceptual phase, and has existing published code.”
A: Upstream projects or dependencies are not counted as the same project as the downstream or derivative software product, unless both are produced by the same open source community and the downstream/derivative work is simply extending the base product.
For example, the Linux Kernel Project, the GNOME Project, and the Fedora Community could both all independently apply for grants, provided each of their proposals were relevant and otherwise eligible.
A: As described in the Merit Criteria, CV’s or other biographical information should be provided on 1-3 individuals to proposed to perform the work, demonstrating experience and capabilities necessary to achieve the proposed activities. The roles provided in a submitted proposal would depend on the work proposed.
A: A fiscally-sponsored project would apply on behalf of the project, but would list the fiscal sponsor as recipients of funds. Therefore the Risk Assessment should refer to the fiscal sponsor’s activities & background.
A: Please submit the risk assessment form along with your proposal.
A: As listed under “Merit Review Criteria” at http://www.osc.dial.community/grants.html, 10 points are assigned to the “Technical Capacity” section, namely:
The applicant must provide CV’s or other biographical information on 1-3 individuals to proposed to perform the work, demonstrating experience and capabilities necessary to achieve the proposed activities.