Getting To Know Grant For The Web

May 5, 2021

Here at the Interledger Foundation, we’re focused on building pathways to financial access and opportunity around the world. At the center of this is how we use the internet to connect and share our work, and how the world’s creators are compensated for that work. To that end, we’re so proud to have Grant for the Web as a featured program under the Interledger Foundation umbrella. In a nutshell, Grant for the Web is a fund dedicated to boosting open, fair and inclusive standards and innovation in Web Monetization. The program awards millions of dollars to grantees who are working to further a privacy-centric, open and accessible Web Monetization ecosystem. We’re excited to introduce you to Grant for the Web and shed some light on some of our most commonly asked questions.

How did Grant for the Web come to be and how did the Interledger relationship develop?  

The idea for Grant for the Web actually predates the Interledger Foundation by about a year and a half. We first started working with Coil as creative consultants in July 2019, with a focus on providing the design and program support needed to help get Grant for the Web up and running. The program officially launched in September 2019, and we started giving away grants in the Spring of 2020. Not long after, plans for launching the Interledger Foundation started to take shape, with the idea that Grant for the Web would move under its stewardship. At that point, we onboarded fully to the Interledger Foundation and started working full time to help shape the Foundation and further the work of Grant for the Web as a program under its scope. Today, all Grant for the Web activities are Interledger Foundation activities.

What are the requirements to be considered for a grant and how can I get involved?

Grant for the Web funds individuals, projects and global communities that contribute to a privacy-centric, open and accessible Web Monetization ecosystem. It prioritizes innovative ideas that incorporate or build upon the Web Monetization proposed standard and protocols. Grantees must either use the Interledger protocol or the Web Monetization standard, or both, to qualify. In 2021, we’re focusing on supporting projects that have a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) component, which can manifest itself in one of two ways:

  • The lead applicant is a person of color or the team represents a diverse group of people.
  • The output of the team benefits communities that have been historically underrepresented.

In terms of timing, the first public call for proposals wrapped in September, and those grantees came on board. Since then, we opened up a “second chance” call for proposals, in which those who didn’t receive funding on their initial submissions were invited to incorporate our feedback and resubmit. We are in the process of opening the next public call for submissions in the second half of 2021, so stay tuned for more there!

How are grantees selected from the open calls?

Grantees are selected by a panel of independent judges from the tech, philanthropy, arts and cultures sectors. Submissions are judged on project goals and design, openness, creativity, inclusivity and feasibility of the proposed budget and timeline. Only those projects meeting the award criteria will be reviewed, and all proposed award decisions are subject to a legal review to confirm an applicant’s eligibility.

What kinds of submissions have received grants so far?

The breadth and depth of our submission pool are truly astounding. The diversity of projects and applicants we’ve seen to date is inspiring and just goes to show the wide range of impact that can be made by advancing Web Monetization standards. There’s truly something for everyone, from those drilled into the tech and writing code on GitHub, to ballet dancers, to game developers, to authors working on children’s stories – and that’s just the beginning. Check out our full list of grantees and their projects here.

What is the Technical Scholars Program and how can I get involved?

We kicked off the Technical Scholars program last year to fund talented independent browser engineers who are experimenting and integrating Web Monetization into browsers in order to get closer to native browser support. If you’re interested in building Web Monetization into the web platform, you could be a great candidate for this program. Follow this link to read more about the program, meet our first technical scholar and apply.

We hope the above helped spark your interest in Grant for the Web! Got other pressing questions? Check out our FAQ and consider joining our Community Forum, where you can ask questions and learn from the community.

To stay up to date on all things Interledger, join our mailing list and follow the Interledger Foundation on Twitter and LinkedIn.

By Chris Lawrence and Erika Drushka, Senior Program Managers for Grant for the Web, Interledger Foundation