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.