ICANN has officially launched its Grant Program, making $10 million available to not-for-profit projects this year.
The Org expects to start accepting applications for between $50,000 and $500,000 between March 25 and May 24 and start handing out the cash early next year.
It’s the first phase of a program that currently sees ICANN sitting on a distributable cash pile of $217 million that it raised by auctioning off contested new gTLD registry contracts under the 2012 gTLD application round.
The money is only available to registered charities that in some way support ICANN’s mission in terms of developing internet interoperability or capacity building.
Organizations worldwide will be able to apply, but it seems unlikely anyone from a country currently subject to US government sanctions will be successful. Conflicted organizations — such as those led by somebody involved with the program — are also barred.
Applications for grants will be assessed by ICANN staff, a yet-to-be-named Independent Application Assessment Panel comprising “a diverse collective of subject matter experts”, and ultimately the ICANN board of directors.
More information and the application form can be found here.