Application process

Application process

We are currently OPEN for applications. While we finish some updates to our grant platform, please write to our Programme Officer, Thomas at grants@digitalfreedomfund.org to request a form to start your application.

Current call for applications:

  • Open 22 November 2022 to 28 February 2023.

Another call for applications will likely open around mid-2023.

Join an “Ask us anything” call:

Our Programme Officer will open a zoom room for anyone to join and ask about our grants at the following times (Central European Time):

  • Wednesday, 7 December, 11:00
  • Wednesday, 18 January, 11:00

Contact us at grants@digitalfreedomfund.org if you are interested in attending on of these sessions. Alternatively, we would also be happy to set up a 1-1 call to talk through any application ideas in advance of preparing an application.

Important note: during the period between 17 December and 15 January we will only be responding to urgent and application related emails, and our response may be delayed. In case you send a request to join a call but don’t hear from us, do not worry. Your request will be noted and the call link will be shared in advance of the call.

To prepare ahead of time for when the next call for applications opens or to help write your application in advance, check out the application guides here and see examples of the digital rights work we are supporting on our case studies page.

The application process consists of the following steps:
An icon of a pencil writing on a page.

Step 1: Concept note

The first step in applying for DFF support is submitting a concept note.

An icon of a document with a paper clip attached.

Step 2: Full application

Upon evaluation of the concept note, applicants will be given feedback on their submission and invited to submit a full application if the evaluation is favourable.
A graphic displaying a clip board with a check mark.

Step 3: Evaluation by Panel of Experts

The full application will be evaluated with the assistance of our Panel of Experts, on the basis of which a recommendation will be made to the DFF Board.

A graphic displaying a document and an official seal.

Step 4: Decision by DFF Board

The DFF Board makes the final decision on all applications.

An icon of a pencil writing on a page.

Step 1: Concept note

The first step in applying for DFF support is submitting a concept note.

An icon of a pencil writing on a page.

Step 1: Eligibility check

The first step in applying for DFF support is completing an eligibility check. DFF offers two kinds of grant support: litigation track and pre-litigation research. Please write to our Programme Officer, Thomas at grants@digitalfreedomfund.org to request the eligibility check form.

An eligibility check can be submitted at any time while a call for applications is open, but we recommend submitting your eligibility check as early in the call period as possible so you have more time to work on your application. DFF aims to respond to eligibility checks within three working days.

An icon of a document with a paper clip attached.

Step 2: Full application

Upon evaluation of the concept note, applicants will be given feedback on their submission and invited to submit a full application if the evaluation is favourable.

An icon of a document with a paper clip attached.

Step 2: Full application

If your request meets the eligibility criteria you will be given access to the full application form. Applications must be submitted through the DFF grant platform by the call for applications deadline. Any applications submitted outside of the given timeframe will not be considered.

Make sure you complete Step 1 as early as possible so that you have plenty of time for Step 2.

A graphic displaying a clip board with a check mark.

Step 3: Evaluation by Panel of Experts

The full application will be evaluated with the assistance of our Panel of Experts, on the basis of which a recommendation will be made to the DFF Board.
A graphic displaying a clip board with a check mark.

Step 3: Evaluation by Panel of Experts

Applications clearly falling outside the scope of DFF’s grantmaking criteria will not go through to the next step. Applications that meet the grantmaking criteria will be fully evaluated with the assistance of our Panel of Experts, on the basis of which a recommendation will be made to the DFF Board.

A graphic displaying a document and an official seal.

Step 4: Decision by DFF Board

The DFF Board makes the final decision on all applications.
A graphic displaying a document and an official seal.

Step 4: Decision by DFF Board

The DFF Board makes the final decision on all applications.

Timing

An icon representing a calendar.
Assessment

We strive to complete the assessment of concept notes in 3 weeks’ time.

An icon representing a calendar.

Regular application

The turnaround time for the subsequent application process is estimated at 2 months for a regular application.

An icon representing a calendar.
Emergency support

The turnaround time for the subsequent application process is at 3 weeks for emergency support.

An icon representing a calendar.
Application and assessment process

The overall duration of the application review process is around three months from the deadline of the call for applications until the final decision by the DFF Board. For example, if the application deadline is 1 March, you can expect a final decision in June. This estimate assumes all application materials are complete and there are no complicating factors. While DFF strives to adhere to this timing, it does not reflect any formal obligation of DFF towards applicants.

Contact

For questions concerning the application process, please see our FAQ page or contact grants@digitalfreedomfund.org