Catalytic Grants Q&A: May 2018


(Michael Downey) #1

We’ve announced our next round of the OSC’s Catalytic Grant program, and applications are due at the end of May.

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.


(Via e-mail) Q: Is it possible for funds for our single open source project to be distributed across multiple entities?

A: Yes, this is possible but will require additional time and effort to set up. If at all possible, please identify a single person or organization to receive funds in a more timely manner. Regardless of outcome, please be sure to specify the individual’s legal identity or legal organization name(s), in the application at the time you submit the form. We will follow up with accepted applicants (to discuss next steps for disbursement of funds) in June.


We’ve confirmed there are no external deadlines for the project plan & duration, so applicants should write their proposals based on how long they anticipate the work to take – no need to make unrealistic timelines!

However, we will consider each submissions’ project plan when evaluating those proposals. We generally hope to see rapid impact of the funding, especially since we plan to do another round toward the end of this year, and past recipients are able to apply again in future rounds! (We plan to run the program every 6 months.)

So any advice here would be to be realistic in time estimates, but be aggressive where it makes sense – if you can accomplish work faster by bringing in more resources/people, for example, offer that up as an alternative! (Subject to the overall $25,000 USD spending cap for this round, of course.)


(Via e-mail) Q: Is it possible to contract some sorts of professional services through this grant program? For example, documentation/training people, security audit, penetration testing, etc.

A: Yes, this is possible. In your proposal, you should focus on the services provided and the value & impact of those services to your project. You need not go into detail about who would be providing the services, especially if you have not yet identified a service provider. The OSC team can help you to identify people, organizations, or other resources as part of the grant implementation if helpful.


A: Yes, you may provide a URL to additional supplemental information you think may be helpful for reviewers … especially if your project has already prepared material about your needs or proposed work! However, applicants should do their best to provide a short, clear response for each of the questions on the form. The important thing to remember is that we’re trying to keep the proposal process as simple & easy as possible, so no one should feel like they have to provide an abundance of information to rationalize your proposal.

TLDR, the most important things to share: Tell us why your project is relevant to our mission, why you need to get the work done you’re proposing, and why it will make a difference to your project and the world.


(Via online chat) Q: Is there any intention that these catalytic grants will lead to further, potentially larger, sources of funding? Another larger grant from DIAL or other opportunities?

A: Proposals for this round don’t have to be part of a larger funding plan for your project, but they can be! If you have a large-scale plan and would like for this round of catalytic grants to fund “phase one” – and if the work for that phase aligns with our mission and themes previously described – you should apply!

While there is no guarantee of future funding from DIAL (the funder for this round of catalytic grants) or other partners, showing a completed (or in-process) grant can be a great way to approach both DIAL and other funders in the future and show them your project’s ability to deliver on investments.


A: A line-item budget is not necessary with the proposal, only a top (bottom?) line total. You may describe major expense categories in your submission, if desired and/or helpful. Selected recipients may be asked to provide additional budget details.


(Tenly Snow) #2

Question regarding the timeline for spending a grant: How soon after receiving a grant does the organization need to begin spending it and is there a set period within which the money needs to be spent (ie. 6 months, 1 year, etc.)


(Michael Downey) #3

Hi Tenly. See the top post of this topic above, for the answer to your question!


(Tenly Snow) #4

Thanks @downey, very helpful.


(Michael Downey) #5

We received a question via e-mail, which is now answered above in the top post:

Q: Is it possible to contract some sorts of professional services through this grant program? For example, documentation/training people, security audit, penetration testing, etc.


(Jeffrey Warren) #6

Hi, hope you’re well! Is it possible to submit some additional implementation details and background with our proposal, perhaps via email? We didn’t realize the character limits in the form, and have a slightly longer text than fits in the provided space. We can certainly submit just the shorter amounts but feel that the extra background is especially relevant to the proposal’s fit with both PL and OSC’s mission. Thanks!


(Michael Downey) #7

Thanks for your question Jeff. See the top post in this topic for a full reply, but:


(Michael Downey) #8

We received a question via online chat, which is now answered above in the top post:

Q: Is there any intention that these catalytic grants will lead to further, potentially larger, sources of funding? Another larger grant from DIAL or other opportunities?


(Jan Flowers) #9

Do we need to submit a line-item budget with the proposal? I don’t see a spot for it, but wondered if it was expected as a supplemental document?


(Michael Downey) #10

No, it’s not necessary at this time. See the top post of Catalytic Grants Q&A: May 2018 for additional details. Thanks for your question!


(Michael Downey) #11

Just a reminder that only around 36 hours remain to submit your proposals for this round of catalytic grants! Proposals must be received on or before June 15 in the time zone where submitted.

Best of luck!


(Michael Downey) #12

Applications have closed for this round. Thank you to all who have submitted! Applicants should hear additional information in the next couple weeks.