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What is Grant for the Web?

Grant for the Web is a $100M fund to boost open, fair, and inclusive standards and innovation in web monetization.

Who’s behind Grant for the Web?

Grant for the Web is funded and led by Coil, working in collaboration with founding collaborators Mozilla and Creative Commons. (Additional collaborators may be added in the future.) A Program Team, led by Loup Design & Innovation, manages the day-to-day operations of the program.

How is Grant for the Web governed?

Grant for the Web operates as an independent program, funded by Coil and guided by the Grant for the Web Charter. Representatives from Coil and the program’s two founding collaborators — Mozilla and Creative Commons — make up the initial Grant for the Web Advisory Council, which governs all programmatic activities. 

In addition to the Advisory Council, Mozilla, Creative Commons, and Coil have each designated an advisor to serve on a Technical Advisory Group. The purpose of this group is to judge, vet, and make recommendations to guide the direction and strategic aspects of the program, and to review grant applications from a technical perspective and in turn provide recommendations to the Advisory Council.

What kinds of projects will Grant for the Web support?

Grant for the Web will fund individuals, projects, and global communities that contribute to a privacy-centric, open, and accessible web monetization ecosystem. It will prioritize innovative ideas that incorporate or build upon the Web Monetization standard and protocols. Funds will support projects, content, experimentation, and learning around natively integrating monetization into the web using open protocols and standards. 

Special consideration will be given to projects that reflect the Collaborators’ values of: 

• Promoting a vibrant commons on the internet of shareable content

• Increasing users’ autonomy, privacy, and control over their own data

• Promoting diversity and inclusion on the internet

• Increasing access to the full capacity of the internet, both for content consumption and content creation, for communities and individuals that have historically been marginalized, disadvantaged, or are without such access

What won’t the grant support?

We seek to support a safe, respectful, and inclusive community dedicated to building a better, healthier internet. Grant for the Web will not fund projects that endorse bullying, harassment, threats, hate speech, doxing, or harmful or illegal activities. Nor will the grant fund the production or distribution of adult content, spam, or activities in violation of applicable laws. Read our Participation Guidelines to learn more.

How do I apply for a grant?

We will release our first formal call for proposals in early 2020. Follow our blog and join our Community Forum to connect with us before then. Our grant application process will include the following aspects: 

• Iterative by design —  We seek to learn from our early grantees and apply those learnings later on to ensure the program is responsive and opportunistic.

• Public, time-bound calls for proposals — Calls for proposals will open for limited times on a rotating basis. Applicants will be asked to submit applications according to published guidelines.

• Criteria rooted in values — Judging criteria will be established by the Advisory Council, and rooted in the shared values of the collaborating organizations.

• Promoting open licensing — Grant for the Web will award no less than 50% of all grant dollars each year to content and software projects that are openly licensed. These grants will support developers, individuals, and organizations seeking to monetize openly-licensed works.

Who can apply?

Anyone 18 years and older, anywhere in the world, can apply for a grant. Individuals, groups, companies, and non-profit organizations are also eligible to apply. Initially, all applications will need to be submitted in English. Awards are subject to compliance with all applicable laws, including those enforced by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

When can I apply?

Grant for the Web will open the first call for proposals in early 2020. Read our blog, follow us on Twitter, and join our Community Forum where we will be announcing more details.

What is web monetization?

Web monetization, in the broadest sense, is the conversion of web traffic into revenue. There are currently many business models in place to monetize the web, including advertising, paywalls, subscriptions, and data mining. At best, these models are inconvenient. At worst, they violate our privacy, expose us to malware, needlessly increase our data charges, and are nearly impossible to track.

We envision a healthier ecosystem that builds monetization natively into the web using open protocols (the Interledger protocol) and standards (the Web Monetization standard), which will give people more independence and control over how they distribute and monetize content, and generate better, more privacy-centric business models for the web.

What is the Web Monetization standard?

Web Monetization is a JavaScript browser API that provides an open, native, efficient, and automatic way to compensate creators, pay for API calls, and support crucial web infrastructure. Coil has proposed the Web Monetization API as an open web standard to the W3C Web Incubator Community Group.

Web Monetization allows websites to earn revenue from users without:

• Requiring users to sign-up to a subscription
• Needing to deliver content/services through 3rd-party platforms
• Advertising

For a more detailed description, see the GitHub Explainer or visit webmonetization.org.

What is the Interledger protocol?

The Web Monetization API utilizes Interledger, which provides a simple, ledger-agnostic and currency-agnostic method for the transfer of very small quantities of money, such as $0,0001 (one hundredth of one cent). This opens up the possibility to pay websites continuously in real-time as you are browsing, which is very useful for Web Monetization.

How can I experiment with the existing technology?

Today, there are a handful of available technologies to explore.

To monetize your site, you can use the Web Monetization JavaScript API in combination with a payment pointer. Set up an account with a service provider capable of receiving payments, then add a <meta> tag to your website header. When a user visits the page with a supported browser, the <meta> tag will announce that the page is monetized, and indicate the payment pointer to begin the stream of payments. Learn more with this Quick Start Guide.

To stream money to content providers using the open standard, Coil is currently the only available technology. Grant for the Web aims to fund the development of competing platforms to encourage a healthy ecosystem of tools and products. Sign up for a Coil account and install the Coil add-ons/extensions in your browser (currently supported by Firefox and Chrome). The mobile web browser Puma has web monetization included in its code and with a Coil sign-in, no other add-ons or extensions are needed. Similarly, the video platform Cinnamon is monetized using Coil.

What’s your privacy policy?

View Grant for the Web’s website privacy policy.

I have more questions

Please join our Community Forum. Here, you can ask questions and learn from others in the community.