2020 will be the first year that the OSM Foundation operates the new microgrants project. In the coming weeks, we hope to hear from you about a bold, community-driven, and impactive OpenStreetMap project idea that will benefit from a microgrant of up to 5000 euros. We welcome a broad range of projects, with the minimum requirement being a clear connection to OpenStreetMap.
What is a microgrant? In our case, it is a modest amount of funds awarded to applicants in order to fund direct expenses of a project. For an idea of successful projects, you can take a look at the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team’s 2019 microgrant awardees. Keep in mind that the OSM Foundation (OSMF) has a wider focus than the humanitarian sector, spanning our global community, and welcomes applications with any focus that relates to OpenStreetMap. We particularly encourage applicants to consider the core values from the OSMF’s mission statement and how any microgrant work can incorporate them.
The OSMF Microgrant Program focuses on simple grant proposals, and we will swiftly decide on what to fund. Our goal is to avoid a complicated and long application and decision process. You should submit a brief and concise proposal, and we plan to quickly announce the awardees.
We encourage submissions from individuals, groups, and organizations who have a clear idea they want to pursue. Each project should be completed within 12 months of the microgrant being awarded this spring. Microgrants are open to all OSMF members, and can be submitted in any language. If you are not yet a member of OSMF then you can apply to join up until the time you submit a microgrant application, and be eligible for an award. Please note there is an active contributor program that may allow you to join the OSMF at no cost.
In light of the ongoing health crisis regarding COVID19, we will not be awarding microgrants for projects which require offline group gatherings and in person meetings, although these ideas are certainly valuable for future rounds.
Funding can be used for a variety of purposes. You may need tools and supplies for mapping activity, funds for training materials, technology expenses for a series of virtual mapathons, prizes for an online coding, mapping, or writing contest, and many more examples. Please embrace your own creativity and not feel limited by the range of examples.
We encourage you to consult with your local OpenStreetMap community when planning a microgrant application, and make sure you adhere to community guidelines in the scope of the project. If accepted for a microgrant, you will be responsible for reporting progress, signing a grant agreement, and making sure to follow the detailed microgrant rules. It is strongly suggested that your project uses the funding to enable volunteer work to have a wider and stronger impact than it would without funding.
The call for microgrants will open on April 19th, 2020 and we will continue to accept applications through May 10th, 2020. In order to submit, visit the OSM Wiki page and click on “Start your application” to enter the template. When this is complete, send a message to microgrants at osmfoundation.org. We also encourage sharing your application on osmf-talk when it is submitted. If you need help with the submission process, please feel free to contact the Microgrants Committee for help. If you don’t have enough time to prepare your plan and application, please consider submitting it in a possible future round of microgrants.
Once the submission period closes on May 10th, we invite the community to review the complete list of submissions and provide feedback on the wiki page. We also will accept feedback by email to microgrants at osmfoundation.org and via osmf-talk.
- April 19: call for microgrant applications opens
- May 10: final date for submission (23:59 Pacific Time Zone, USA).
- May 10-TBD: community feedback period
- Late May: announcement of awards
For more details, see the complete rules and guidelines on the OSM wiki and contact us at microgrants at osmfoundation.org with any questions. This is the first time the OSMF is sponsoring such an activity, and we look forward to learning together about how this benefits our community and how to build a transparent, effective, and inclusive microgrants program for everyone involved. We are grateful for the opportunity to make funds available to the community and hope to hear your ideas in the coming weeks.
Chris Beddow, OSMF Microgrants Committee Chair
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