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Offer: Rising Voices Microgrants for Citizen Media and Digital Participation - USD $2,000-2,500

Do you have an idea for a project to help your local community use citizen media to tell their story? Do you need funding and support for it to become a reality? Do you want to be part of a network that helps bridge the digital participation gap worldwide?

If you answer “yes” to all three questions, then we invite you to take part in the 2014 Rising Voices Microgrant Competition.

Rising Voices supports people in sharing knowledge and skills about citizen media for digital storytelling and citizen participation. Since 2007, we have supported 40 small-scale citizen media projects with funding and mentoring and welcomed them to the Global Voices community.

These projects have helped local leaders introduce new and underrepresented voices to the global digital conversation, shining a light on issues that are important to their own communities.

Over the past three years of holding microgrant competitions, we have seen how awareness of digital tools and communication has spread exponentially. We have received thousands of applications from more than 100 countries. With this in mind, we are increasing the number of grants we will award this year, even though they will be slightly smaller than in the past.

In 2014, we will be awarding up to 10 micro-grants of between USD $2,000-2,500 to projects with a strong and clear idea for how to provide training and ongoing support to a local community. New grantees will join the Rising Voices network and will be featured on Global Voices.

Rising Voices seeks proposals that share our mission of using online citizen media as a tool for self-empowerment, understanding between people, and social change.

Please see our roster of current and alumni grantees for examples of previously funded projects.

We are looking for projects that:

1. Actively engage members of a local community that is “underrepresented” online, either demographically, linguistically, or geographically. We are especially looking to support leaders who themselves belong to these communities and know how and why citizen media could benefit community members. If the applicant is not a member of the community, local residents or community members must be a part of developing and implementing the project.

2. Provide training, mentoring and leadership. We want project leaders who are eager to share their knowledge and skills with others. Through hands-on training in citizen media production and storytelling techniques, participants will feel equipped and confident to take full advantage of the tools. Ongoing support is essential in the formation of a productive digital storytelling community.

3. Tell digital stories about issues important to the community. After participants take part in training workshops they are ready to share their voices with the world. We are looking for stories that give insight to the community, their challenges or successes, told from a uniquely personal perspective.

4. Use free and widely available citizen media tools and social media platforms. This may include blogs, microblogs like Twitter, free software like Audacity for editing audio, SoundCloud, Audioboo, or Radioteca. Video sites like YouTube and Vimeo, or mapping with OpenStreetMaps. You might also consider using social networking sites like Facebook to distribute your content.

We encourage you to be creative and ambitious, yet realistic in your proposals. See the Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.

To apply, please visit the “Submit a Proposal” page, where you will find short questions that will help you outline your project plan. We encourage concise answers (with specific character limits) to help you organize your thoughts into what matters most.

We encourage you to share your applications publicly on our online platform. Our hope is that communities working near each other, or on similar issues, can connect and collaborate.

Last year's proposals are still visible online and most include a way for you to contact the applicants through Twitter or Facebook. Please review proposals that may based in your same locality or deal with similar issues and explore whether a collaboration might be possible.

We will give special consideration to applications that make an effort to build partnerships with other applicants. There is a question in the submission form that asks you to describe your partnerships, please include the information there.

If you are not able to share your application openly for security reasons, you have the option to submit privately.


The competition will follow the following timeline process:

Open for Applications: Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Applicants submit their initial proposal via the online platform in English. Once the proposal has been published online, we invite applicants to share their proposal with their networks, to solicit comments and receive input from others.

All proposals will be reviewed by a committee of individuals from the Global Voices community, including former Rising Voices micro-grant recipients.

Application deadline: Wednesday, April 9, extended to Monday, April 14, 2014 at 23:59 GMT

Winners will be announced: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 (subject to change based on the number of proposals to be reviewed).

Please feel free to ask questions by leaving a comment or by sending an email through our Contact Form.

Good luck!


Though I only saw this for the first time today, I heard from another WP member in Cameroon this morning who is seeking help building a website for her nonprofit. I sent her a message with the link to this post in hopes that she can pull together a last-minute application in time. Thank you so much for sharing this!

THis is really nice to see the offer.. this microgrant support for citizen media dn digital participation will definately create a huge impact. THis will really help grassroot Ngos who have huge plans to bring success on their ways..

Rosemary Abbo Wendo's picture

Just seen this grant

Just seen this grant today.What a miss! Anyway next time.

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