Previously Live: GitHub & Open Technology Fund

Previously Live: GitHub & Open Technology Fund

Open Technology Fund (OTF) Sustainability Fund

  • OTF launched the Fost Sustainability Fund to address insufficient maintenance funding for open-source projects crucial to internet freedom.
  • The fund aims to challenge the myth that open-source technologies are inherently sustainable and emphasizes the importance of valuing maintenance and support.
  • Private and federal funding sources provide flexibility in funding different aspects of projects and meeting their specific needs.
  • The fund employs practical mechanisms like deliverables and prioritizes foundational technologies to maximize impact.
  • OTF collaborates with its learning lab to document and share project outcomes, challenges, and lessons learned to encourage other donors and lower barriers to entry.
  • The fund currently has $1.5 million annually, supporting a handful of projects on a two-year cycle to establish longer-term sustainability initiatives.
  • Funding amounts vary based on project needs and can range from $150,000 to $400,000 for a two-year period.
  • Projects must demonstrate how they advance internet freedom in repressive environments, but the fund recognizes that some projects may be several steps removed from direct end-user impact.
  • The application process involves a lighter-weight concept note followed by a more detailed proposal for selected projects.
  • The F Sustainability Fund welcomes global applicants, and applicants can be individuals, organizations, or groups without a formal structure.
  • OTF provides flexible contracting based on project needs and can assist with finding a fiscal sponsor if needed.
  • Funding is based on a project roadmap and budget, and projects are paid upon completion of deliverables.
  • The funding period can vary, and OTF works with projects to define achievable milestones.
  • OTF does not require specific licenses and does not own the software produced by funded projects.
  • Applicants can be for-profit companies, non-profits, or individuals.
  • OTF aims to make the application process accessible, with a two-stage process to minimize the time investment for unsuccessful applicants.
  • The application deadline for the F Sustainability Fund is May 17th, 2023.
  • Applicants who are invited to the proposal stage will have a month to submit a full proposal, which will then undergo a review process lasting a couple of months.
  • Successful applicants can expect funding to start in mid-2023.

Other OTF Support Mechanisms

  • OTF provides various funding opportunities and resources beyond the False Alarm Sustainability Fund, including the Internet Freedom Fund and in-kind services through resource labs.
  • OTF supports convening, which is crucial for building trust in the open-source and internet freedom community.
  • OTF has various support mechanisms to address maintenance and sustainability needs in the community.

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