Innovation Grant Guidelines

Dear GV Community –

Do you have an idea for a project or tool that would help enhance Global Voices’ work or mission? Do you need support in making that idea become a reality?

The four-year grant we received from Omidyar Network in 2010 includes funding to support innovative ideas coming from our community members that could advance the mission of Global Voices. We launched our first round of internal innovation awards to support this innovation in January 2012, and invite members of the GV community once again to propose projects as part of our 2013 round. As in the first round, we expect to award three or four grants. Each award will be for a maximum of US$5,000.

We know that there are many brilliant ideas in our community that could enhance the way we do our work. The innovation awards are a tool to help us to find those projects, and to help implement the best of them.

We are looking for ideas for projects that have practical application in our community. Projects should fall within the broad mission of Global Voices, and could either support existing work or suggest entirely new directions.

For those who haven’t looked in a while, the Global Voices manifesto captures our mission nicely.

What are some examples? Some of GV’s most successful projects have come about because people have simply started working on something they love. For instance, Lingua began when a young Taiwanese man named Portnoy started translating GV into Chinese, and encouraged his friends to join him. Portnoy’s example, in turn, inspired translators in the GV community to begin doing the same for other languages.

We should emphasise that we’re looking for fresh ideas that help GV move beyond where it is currently. Proposals that might not make the cut would be anything that is more of the same regarding what GV does, such as a new special coverage page, or a new language for Lingua. So we encourage you to think expansively.

The application guidelines are at the end of this message. We’re really looking forward to seeing the brilliant projects you come up with!

Ivan and Georgia

Who can enter:

Any member of the Global Voices community, including GV in English, Lingua and GV Advocacy, who has written or translated at least one post, and all Rising Voices grantees. Proposals may be submitted by teams or individuals.

We welcome proposals for projects that:
– Are the result of collaboration among teams of GV community members. However, individuals are welcome to apply, and all proposals will be judged on their merit
– Advance or refine GV processes and goals and help us to think about our work, and GV’s mission, in new ways
– Have a good chance of being realized

What funding is for:

We welcome projects that require financial resources, though the purpose of the funding should be to support the project’s operations, not simply to pay a salary for given period. Applications should include a budget. We would be happy to work with successful applicants on refining project plans and budgets.

What we’re looking for:

– Visionary ideas that have the potential to change the way we work
– Projects that help us to enhance how we currently work
– Projects that help us to understand our community, our impact, and how we engage the world
– Open source code, Creative Commons content
– Projects that facilitate collaboration and participation from the GV community

What is not likely to be supported:

Projects that are very similar in kind to current GV work, for example:
– another Lingua language
– another Rising voices project
– projects that propose to blog on a given subject, e.g. blogging on global development.

Projects that don’t meet eligibility guidelines will not not be included in the judging process.


Entry deadline: Entries can be submitted until 12 midnight EDT on March 18, 2013.
Selection of shortlisted projects: March 19 – March 27, 2013.
Community voting: March 28 – April 3, 2013.
Winners Announced: April 5, 2013. Up to four winning projects will be selected and will each receive a cash prize of a maximum of US $5,000.

How to apply:

To submit your proposal, please complete the application form at


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