Grants

Grants

The Digital Freedom Fund supports strategic litigation on digital rights in Europe that contributes to advancing human rights in the digital context. See answers to our frequently asked questions here. Check out examples of the digital rights work we are supporting on the case studies page.

DFF is currently not accepting grant applications. Our next call for applications will run from 24 January 2022 until 1 March 2022 at 23:59 CET.

We will host consultation calls at the following times. If you would like to join to hear more about the application process and ask questions, please email grants@digitalfreedomfund.org to sign up.

  • Thursday 27 January 11:00 CET
  • Tuesday 8 February 14:00 CET

Read about our grant criteria below, scroll to the bottom of the page to see more about our application process.

Types of grants

You can submit applications for two types of activities:
Litigation

Litigation track support
Support for litigation of a case through multiple instances, from first instance through a final appeal.
Example: a challenge to the European Court of Human Rights against police use of facial recognition technology

Research

Pre-litigation research
Support for preparation required before planned litigation can begin. This could include legal research, evidence gathering, forum selection or finding claimants and partners. Example: a comparative study between EU jurisdictions to determine which one offers the best options to address a specific issue.

Litigation
Litigation track support

Support for litigation of a case through multiple instances, from first instance through to the final appeal. Example: a challenge before the European Court of Human Rights against police use of facial recognition technology.

Research
Pre-litigation research

Support for activities to prepare for litigation. This could include legal research, evidence gathering, forum selection or identifying claimants and project partners. Example: a comparative study between three EU jurisdictions to determine which one offers the best options to address a specific issue under an EU Directive.

Thematic focus areas

We are particularly interested in receiving applications for strategic cases that:

1.

Advance individuals' ability to exercise their right to privacy

1. Advance individuals' ability to exercise their right to privacy

Examples are cases that:

2.

Protect and promote the free flow of information online

2. Protect and promote the free flow of information online

Examples are cases that:

3.

Ensure accountability, transparency and the adherence to human rights standards in the use and design of technology

3. Ensure accountability, transparency and the adherence to human rights standards in the use and design of technology

Examples are cases that:

We also welcome applications for projects that fall outside these general thematic focus areas if they can contribute to advancing the respect for human rights in the digital sphere. Cases need to have the potential for impact extending beyond the parties directly involved in the case and for bringing about legislative, policy or social change.

Check out examples of the cases we are supporting on our case studies page.

See below under: What does DFF consider “strategic” litigation?

Digital rights

What does DFF consider "digital rights"?

DFF works with a broad definition of digital rights. We consider digital rights to be human rights as applicable in the digital sphere. The digital sphere covers both physically constructed spaces, such as infrastructure and devices, and spaces that are virtually constructed, such as online identities and communities.

Geographical scope

Geographical scope

DFF accepts grant applications concerning all Council of Europe Member States.

A graphic displaying a document with a paper clip attached.

Grant size

As litigators work with different operational models and each case has different dimensions and complexities, grant amounts requested vary. Rather than working with a fixed case support fee, DFF will evaluate each case on its own merits in light of both the general grantmaking criteria and the principle of cost-efficiency. Please note that DFF does not approve many grants of more than EUR 100,000. Applications exceeding that amount should show evidence of co-financing to improve the chances of a grant being awarded.

Strategic litigation

What does DFF consider “strategic” litigation?

In order to be considered strategic, litigation must have the potential to:

For further reading, see our three part blog series about strategic litigation.

A ribbon with a check mark.

What does a successful application look like?

In your application, you must demonstrate to have carefully considered and be able to motivate: