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Rising Voices Seeks Micro-grant Proposals for Blog Outreach

Application Deadline: June 15, 2007

risingvoices1.jpgRising Voices, the outreach arm of Global Voices, is now accepting project proposals for the first round of microgrant funding of up to $5,000 for new media outreach projects. Ideal applicants will present innovative and detailed proposals to teach citizen media techniques to communities that are poorly positioned to discover and take advantage of tools like blogging, video-blogging, and podcasting on their own.

As the internet becomes more accessible to more people, as computers become cheaper, and as software applications move from the desktop to the web, the so-called digital divide seems to be narrowing. In its place, however, we see a participation gap in which the vast majority of blogs, podcasts, and online video are being produced in middle-class neighborhoods in major cities around the world.

Rising Voices aims to help bring new voices from new communities and speaking new languages to the conversational web, by providing resources and funding to local groups reaching out to underrepresented communities. Examples of potential projects include:

  • Purchasing an affordable digital video camera and teaching a group of rural students how to produce an ongoing video-blog documentary about the lives of their grandparents.
  • Organizing a regular workshop on blogging and photography at a local orphanage. Portions of the budget could be used on cheap digital cameras and internet cafe costs so that participants could describe their local neighborhoods to a global audience with text and photos.
  • Working with a local NGO or social entrepreneur so that their challenges, successes, and stories are told to a global audience.
  • Translating our new media curriculum to an indigenous language, like Quechua or Wolof, that is currently not represented in the blogosphere or “podosphere.” Then use the learning modules to encourage bloggers to write in those languages.

The sky is the limit, but unfortunately funding is not. Rising Voices outreach grants will range from $1,000 to $5,000. Please be as thoughtful, specific, and realistic as possible when drafting your budgets.

Successful projects will be prominently featured on Global Voices.

Completed applications will be accepted no later than Friday, June 15. Please email them to

Download grant application in .DOC format
Download grant application in .RTF format

Feel free to ask questions in the comments section below or by sending an email to


  • M,

    Our hope is that this initial microgrant will be enough to get your project up and running and that its content will be sustained by your targeted participants from there on out. With that said, if you will be seeking other sources of funding to keep your outreach efforts going, feel free to specify your own expected time span for the Rising Voices grant on your application.


    In order to support as many projects around the globe as possible, we’ll only be able to offer one microgrant to each project. However, if you need more than the maximum $5,000, I’d be happy to point you to other possible sources of funding.

  • Hi David,

    Thanks for this post. Would you please clarify the following?

    1.)How many proposals will you accept from each individual? For example if an individual in involved in more than one project that may qualify would they be able to submit separate proposals for each one?

    2.)Are we allowed to submit individual proposals for a project if the organisation we work for is submitting a proposal for another completely separate project?

    3.)May we submit proposals that would only be part funded by the Rising Project grant or will you only accept projects that can be funded entirely by your grant?

    Thank you for all your help.

  • I learned about from the Berkman Center Bulletin. I think is a wonderful way of initiating projects on communities with a desire to engage in citizen journalism but without the resources to pull their first efforts. Congratulations David and you all people on GVO

  • Hi Mentalacrobatics,

    1.) There is no limit to the amount of proposals that one individual can submit though it is unlikely that we will fund two or more projects led by the same person. In other words, feel free to submit two proposals, but don’t expect both to get funding – at least not in the short term.

    2.) Yes, definitely.

    3.) Diversifying your funding is more than acceptable, it’s encouraged. Several other applicants are counting on contributions from other groups, which is great.

    Looking forward to your proposals.

  • Hi David,

    Are there any restrictions to this grant? Could a religious group be included in a program? Thank you.

  • Hi Kathleen,

    I believe the only restriction is that applicants can not be members of a terrorist organization as defined by the State Department. Religious groups are encouraged to apply.

  • Luihamu

    Hi David.

    My name is Luihamu sometimes people call me Lui,iam from Tanzania and my proposal is on the way.

  • Barnabas Bett

    Dear David,
    Am I allowed to ask for funds a project which is being supported already by other donors in America.

  • […] pia kuwakumbusha kuwa tarehe ya mwisho ya kuomba fedha za miradi ya uandishi wa rais, Rising Voices, toka Global Voices Online ni tarehe 15 mwezi huu. Nilisema kuwa wanaoomba kama watapenda […]

  • antoaneta

    june 15 is the deadline but according to what time zone? if that means that the projects should be submitted during the 11:59 pm in June 15,but according what time zone?
    I’m living in Europe.


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