Rising Voices Seeks Micro-Grant Proposals for Citizen Media Outreach

Application Deadline: Friday, February 4, 2011 at 11:59 PM GMT

It has been more than three years since Rising Voices began with a simple mandate: to help bring new voices from underrepresented communities to the global conversation through the use of citizen media. We have been accomplishing that by providing microgrant funding, as well as technical and mentoring support to our grantee communities. Ever since the first microgrant competition was announced in May 2007, we have provided seed funding to 24 projects from around the world to help turn their ideas into reality. The diversity of these grantee projects has made Rising Voices a unique place on the web to have a firsthand look at places around the world, such as Tamatave, Madagascar and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, through the first-person accounts of these new bloggers.

risingvoices1.jpgBeginning on January 11th, 2011, Rising Voices is launching the latest round of microgrant funding and is now accepting project proposals from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or individuals for funding of up to $4,000 USD for digital media outreach projects around the world. Ideal applicants will present innovative and detailed proposals to teach citizen media techniques to underrepresented communities that are poorly positioned to discover and take advantage of tools like blogging, video-blogging, or podcasting on their own.

Who is Eligible to Apply

This funding opportunity is open to both NGOs and private individuals. However, if an NGO does not have experienced citizen media trainers on their staff, it is extremely important that they seek collaboration with the local blogging community to find the right trainer(s) with the necessary skills. On the other hand, it would also be highly beneficial for individual applicants to partner with an existing NGO from the communities they plan to serve in order to strengthen the project's impact.

What Kind of Projects May be Funded

Rising Voices seeks project proposals that share our mission of bringing voices from new communities, as well as underrepresented language groups to the online global conversation through the use of citizen media. The projects’ primary activities should be to provide citizen media training workshops to the target community, as well as ongoing support and mentoring to the participants. Please see our roster of current and alumni grantee projects for examples of previously funded projects.

Examples of potential projects include:

  • Distributing flip video cameras to local residents to help map and document environmental issues affecting the area and to propose solutions.
  • Partnering with a local library with a computer lab to train youth how to record and document the history of their local neighborhood by using mp3 recorders to interview local elders.
  • Organizing blogging workshop for local artisans to help them market their work online, but also tell the story and history of their handicrafts.
  • Distributing $10 digital cameras to two different groups in different neighborhoods and create a Flickr group where they interact with each other's photographic perspectives of their city.

Application Process

Interested applicants should complete the online proposal application form (link here), which should also include a detailed budget. If you would like to download the application questions to complete offline in order to upload later, please download the text document here (PDF format). While we welcome and encourage projects from all corners of the global, all applications must be completed in English.

  • Call for Applications Now Closed

Rising Voices outreach grants will range from $2,000-4,000 USD. Please be as thoughtful, specific, and realistic as possible when drafting your budgets. Applicants are encouraged to submit budgets for less than the maximum $4,000 USD as smaller grants allow us to fund more projects.

The application deadline is February 4th, 2011 at 11:59 PM GMT. All applicants will receive a confirmation email indicating that we have received your proposal. The proposals will be reviewed by a committee of Global Voices staff and volunteers, as well as members of previous Rising Voices grantees. We will announce the grant recipients by February 28, 2011.

Expectations of Successful Grantees

Successful projects will be prominently featured on the Global Voices networks. Grantees will be required to sign a grant agreement, which will outline accounting, reporting, and other terms and conditions regarding how funds will be distributed. Grantees will also be required to post regular project updates to the Rising Voices website, be in regular communication with Rising Voices staff, as well as actively participate in the Rising Voices community.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below or by sending an email to eddie [at] globalvoicesonline [dot] org.

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