MICROGRANTS IN GENERAL
What exactly is “Citizen Media Outreach”?
It is a term we use to describe activities seeking to provide direct support to underrepresented communities, helping them to use citizen media to share their own stories or issues important to them. The idea is to reach out these populations and help provide training opportunities in the use of these digital tools.
What should be the primary activities in the project proposal?
Projects should provide citizen media training activities with the target population, either through workshops or individual instruction. The project should also include ongoing mentoring for follow-up with the participants.
What are some of the expenses Rising Voices can fund?
You may choose to use the project funds to purchase of equipment such as digital audio recorders or compact video cameras. You might also need funding to help pay for local transport to trainings for project participants, or refreshments for the activities. We prefer the majority of the funds be used to pay the costs for project implementation.
What project components are likely not to be funded?
We will not fund a filmmaker to shoot a documentary about a particular subject. We prefer that you teach local residents how to film their own stories.
We will not fund international travel to pay for a trainer to come from abroad. We prefer that you find local resources to help provide workshops for local residents.
We will not pay you a salary to create and write a personal blog. Although we do allow for a modest honorarium for project coordinators, we prefer that the majority of the funds be used towards operating costs or the equipment purchase
It is unlikely that we will pay for software licenses. We prefer that you utilize free software as much as possible, and instead direct these funds towards other needs.
Why did Rising Voices create the microgrant platform?
Based on the high volume of applications received over the past three years, we feel that there is an incredible opportunity to facilitate connections between individuals and organizations that sharing same goals, and located in similar geographic locations, or working in similar topic area. Building upon the success of last year when we launched the new platform, we hope that it will also provide the opportunity for feedback from the general public, to help applicants improve their ideas or incorporate new elements to the proposal. By mapping the proposals according to country, topic issue, and digital media tools, we can help begin a process of peer learning and exchange.
I would like to collaborate in a project with others in my city, how do I go about doing that?
We encourage collaboration and cooperation especially among individuals and organizations that share the same interests. Take a look at last year's microgrant platform to see who else is based in the same geographic area or shares the same interest. Many proposals have contact information for Twitter or Facebook. That would be a great place to start.
Where does funding for the Rising Voices microgrants come from?
Rising Voices is the outreach arm of Stichting Global Voices, an organization incorporated in the Netherlands. Current core funding for Rising Voices, including funds for microgrants comes from Omidyar Network.
What should be the duration of my project?
We are firm believers that projects need not last indefinitely. As long as the core objectives outlined in the project are met, then the project can run as long as it needs to. However, we do ask that the project last for a minimum of one year in order to account for any new challenges that may arise throughout the implementation.
Some projects have approached the microgrants as seed funding to implement a pilot project, with the idea of expanding this work. Others have also helped the project participants develop into trainers and mentors themselves.
When should the project begin?
We ask that the projects begin no later than June 1, 2014 in order to allow for much of the project to be completed during the calendar year of 2014.
Who can apply?
This funding opportunity is open to private individuals, groups, networks, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We encourage partnerships between individuals and organizations. For example, if an NGO does not have experienced citizen media trainers on staff, it would be extremely important that it seeks collaboration with the local blogging community to find the right trainer(s) with the necessary skills. Individual applicants might also find it highly beneficial to partner with organizations from the communities they plan to serve in order to strengthen the project's impact and to have access to potential project participants or facilities.
I do not work for an organization, can I still apply?
Yes, our microgrants can be awarded to individuals and they do not need to work or be officially affiliated with an organization. However, we do encourage partnerships with existing groups.
Our project is not registered as a non-profit organization, can I still apply?
There is no requirement for an organization to be legally registered, but we do require selected projects to have access to an individual or organizational bank account that is able to receive international bank transfers.
I submitted a proposal last year, can I apply again?
Yes, you may apply again. We encourage applicants to review their past proposals and seek additional feedback to improve upon the idea. Or, you may submit an entirely new proposal for a fresh idea.
I am currently working with a group that I have already trained. Can the microgrant support the continuation of this work?
We prefer that applicants submit proposals for a new project or a project that incorporates new elements to an existing project. We do not fund existing project or to replicate the same project in another community.
May I download the questions to work on my application offline?
Yes, if you would like to download the application questions to complete offline in order to upload later, please view or download the text document here (Google Doc format). However, all applications must be submitted online, and we cannot accept any additional attachments
Can I attach supplemental materials to my application?
Unfortunately, we cannot accept any additional materials during this first round, such as text documents or spreadsheets, though you may include hyperlinks in your proposal.
What if I do not want my proposal to be made public?
We fully understand that there are some communities where security issues may be of concern, and sharing too much information may put some individuals at risk or danger. If this is the case, please make sure to mark the box indicating that you do not want the proposal to be published.
However, if security is not a concern for you, we do encourage everyone to share their proposal in the spirit of openness, and as a way to facilitate the creation of new networks.
Do I need to submit my proposal in English?
Yes, due to the common language of our selection committee, we require all proposals to be submitted in English. However, applicants with less than perfect English will not be penalized, but we do encourage you to seek additional proofreading assistance before submitting.
Do you have any additional tips for a good application?
Please be as clear and concise as possible in your answers. Ask a friend or colleague to review your application before submitting to make sure that your idea is easy to understand. It is also a good idea to save a copy of your application offline in case you lose your internet connection while uploading your proposal.
Who selects the winners of the microgrants?
Members of the Global Voices community, (including Rising Voices staff), as well as past recipients of RV microgrants will take part in both rounds of selection.
How will the money be distributed?
The funds will be distributed in two installments through bank transfers to individual or organizational bank accounts. The first installment will be made upon signature of the grant agreement. The second and final installment will be made upon successful completion of milestones set in the grant agreement, as well as proper accounting documentation.
Who will receive the money?
If it is an organization that applied for the microgrant, then the money will be wired to the organizational bank account. If an individual or a team of individuals are the winning application, then the money will be sent to the individual who signs the grant agreement with Rising Voices.
What will be my responsibilities and expectations as a RV grantee?
We expect the grantee to be active in the Rising Voices community, including regular updating of a project blog and regular communication with RV staff regarding the project’s progress. We are especially interested in the process of implementing a citizen media outreach project, helping others within the community draw from your experiences, challenges, and successes.