The Internet Society Foundation has launched a new grant programme that aims to expand economic growth, improve health outcomes, and increase educational opportunities by supporting individuals and communities to more knowledgeably and skillfully use the Internet.

The Internet Society Foundation’s Strengthening Communities, Improving Lives and Livelihoods (SCILLS) programme is open to eligible organizations in Bangladesh, Colombia, and Senegal; with expansion to additional countries planned in coming years. Grants of up to $150,000 will be awarded to organizations for projects lasting up to 24 months.

Focus Areas

The Foundation is committed to working with organizations that focus in one (or all) of the following three areas:  Economic Growth, Health and Education.

Economic Growth

The Foundation is seeking projects that help communities leverage Internet access to build financial opportunities, increase economic independence, and create sustainable income sources. Such projects could include:

  • Entrepreneurship: Increasing digital literacy among girls in order to help them become small business owners. 
  • Agriculture: Using the Internet to increase agricultural yields by better understanding demand and market changes.
  • Climate change: Adapting a local business to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly or more resilient to climate change.
  • Innovation: Creating tech hubs or makerspaces that allow rural populations to create innovative solutions to local problems.


The Foundation is seeking projects that support communities to leverage Internet access to improve health outcomes, facilitate patient care and upskill local healthcare providers. Such projects could include:

  • Telemedicine: Providing online preventative care to underserved rural and remote communities. 
  • Digitizing records: Simplifying patient record keeping and care through electronically preserving records.
  • Connecting health facilities: Enabling better sharing of information among healthcare facilities.
  • Innovation: Supporting innovative solutions to healthcare provision that can easily be implemented in low-bandwidth environments. 


The Foundation is seeking projects that support communities to leverage Internet access to increase entry to basic education, improve learning outcomes and increase teaching skills. Such projects could include:

  • Remote education: Enabling communities to access culturally relevant educational opportunities, such as learning materials in local languages.
  • Teacher education: Supporting teachers to leverage the Internet to upskill themselves or to further increase the educational opportunities for their classrooms.
  • Innovation: Creating unique learning opportunities that can be replicated across similar contexts.

Aligned with the above focus areas, the Foundation will be seeking projects that address the following cross-cutting issues:

  • Digital literary, inclusion and hygiene
  • Relevant content, that is localized and tailored to the needs and languages of target communities
  • Concrete incentives to Internet adoption 

These are not to be considered as stand-alone goals of a project, but rather a means by which proposed programmes may expand economic growth, improve health outcomes and increase educational opportunities.

Given the exceptional situation created by the spread of COVID-19, the Foundation will also accept applications that leverage the Internet to address the impact of this pandemic on the above three focus areas.

Eligible Countries

In Year One, the Foundation will target its efforts in one country in each of three distinct regions: Asia Pacific, LAC and Africa. The target countries for our first launch for applications are Bangladesh, Colombia and Senegal.


The basic eligibility requirements for all Foundation grants are outlined here. All applicants must ensure that they meet these basic requirements.

Selection Criteria

The selection criteria against which the Independent Review Panel (IRP) will review eligible applications is:

  • The proposed project supports the overall goal of the SCILLS funding programme
  • The proposed project effectively responds to a clearly identified need
  • The proposed project provides a creative solution for the presented problem, that is well tailored to the local environment
  • The applicant has a plan to ensure the project will be sustainable beyond this funding
  • The applicant demonstrates the necessary knowledge and experience to accomplish the project goals
  • The applicant has identified relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and established reasonable targets


Grants of up to $150,000 USD will be awarded for projects lasting up to 24 months.


The 2020 SCILLS cycle will take place as follows:

  • Statements of Interest accepted: Week of 8 June to 3 July 2020
  • Initial pre-screen by Foundation staff: 6 July to 10 July 2020
  • Screened applicants invited to submit full proposals: 13 July to 21 August 2020
  • Independent Review Panel evaluation: 22 August to 4 September 2020
  • Decisions will be shared: Beginning September 7, 2020

Deadline:  3 July 2020

Apply Here: