Frequently Asked Questions

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 uses Submittable as an online grants management system to manage the grantmaking and reporting process. Instructions on creating a log-in and accessing the application can be found in the Application Platform Guidance that is part of the Applicant Guide. Only applications submitted through this system will be considered.  

Who do I contact about technical issues with the online application?

For technical support about using the application platform, please contact the Submittable Help Desk. Website Address: 

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 ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet 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.


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