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Description and Procedure

Creative Commons Grant Program Procedural Draft

Purpose of Grant Program.

The Creative Commons Grant Program provides funding in support of CC-related programs, activities and events around the world, enabling the development and growth of communities that use and benefit from Creative Commons' legal and technical tools.

Application Criteria

Applicants may seek funding for activities that positively impact Creative Commons' mission of "increasing the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, scientific and other content) in the commons, to promote understanding and adoption of CC's tools, licenses and technologies, and to support the building and work of communities that use or benefit from CC licenses and technologies". Some funding may be ear-marked to address particular issues, programs or activities, geographies or other specified objectives or criteria, all as may be indicated by Creative Commons in the relevant Call for Grant Proposals.

Example projects might include:

  1. Offsetting costs to organize mission-specific, outcome oriented meetings with national CC jurisdictions
  2. Convening a workshop on best/recommended practices for developing and publishing Open Educational Resources
  3. Publishing an academic article comparing multiple jurisdictions' laws on copyright exceptions and limitations
  4. Establishing metrics for and measuring the impact of CC-licensed works within a particular field or discipline, such as education or science
  5. Documenting novel business models that are enabled by Creative Commons licenses and technologies, including commercial ventures
  6. Studying the benefits and challenges associated with incorporating CC licenses and technologies within libraries, museums and other cultural institutions
  7. Preparing a white paper on the negative effects of license proliferation, or documenting case studies involving license incompatibilities
  8. Supporting a local team to implement a CC technology challenge, eg adding license support to a specific CMS.
  9. Examining the effects the licensing of databases and data have on scientific research and discovery
  10. Creating a database of projects that have adopted the CC0 waiver (placing works in the public domain) for content and/or data they publish, and how such content and data is thereafter used by others and with what effects.

Funding will not be available for lobbying activities, license porting activities (launch events, legal review of the licenses, etc.), or for Salons or similar activities and events, among other things, all as determined by CC in its discretion.

Applications from or endorsed by CC affiliates will receive preference. Joint applications from official CC affiliate institutions and their partners are also welcomed. Applicants wishing to establish an official CC jurisdiction project in their country are encouraged to apply as well. Applications from non-OCED countries will be given special consideration.

Application Process

Grants will be awarded in an amount from USD 1000 to USD 10,000.

  • Pre-requisite: Applicants must be affiliated with a legal entity that can receive, process, and distribute the funds. Grants will not be awarded to individuals.
  • All applications must be submitted in English and will be made public on the Creative Commons wiki.
  • Successful applicants will be expected to sign a grant agreement with Creative Commons.
  • Funding may not be used for lobbying activities.

Creative Commons will publish one or more Calls for Grant Applications, which will detail application processes and deadlines, as well as any additional application criteria.

  • Sample application form, see below, and proposed budget.

Successful applicants will be required to sign a Grant Agreement with Creative Commons as a condition of receiving funds, which agreement will specify reporting, accounting and other terms and conditions governing receipt and use of the funds. Among other things, all Grant Agreement will provide that:

  • All original material produced within the scope of the grant program must be made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license or CC0.
  • Grant recipients will report on and document the project and use of funds as described by Creative Commons in the Grant Agreement, and they will participate in communication with the grant committee and coordinators, and also with fellow grantees, CC staff, and CC jurisdictions, all as may be reasonably requested.


Following initial screening by CC for completeness and appropriateness of subject matter, proposals will be published online for a period of public review and comment. By submitting a grant application, Applicant agrees to such publication, and further agrees not to reveal any confidential or other information that the Applicant is restricted from disclosing publicly, to Creative Commons, or otherwise.

A Grant Committee will be established by Creative Commons to review the grant applications and make recommendations to Creative Commons for final action. The committee will consist of CC staff as well as a single representative from each of the following regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East/Arab world, and North America. Official CC affiliate institutions within each jurisdiction should establish a process for selecting a single regional representative to serve on the Grant Committee; however, if no regional representative is selected or if a process is not established for any reason prior to the commencement of the Grant Committee's work, then Creative Commons may select a representative for the region. Regional representatives will serve for a period of one year, and are expected to make themselves available for conference calls and meetings to review and establish recommendations for review and action by Creative Commons.

Creative Commons reserves the right to amend or modify these terms at any time in its sole discretion, and to discontinue the Grant Program at any time.

Application Form

Creative Commons Grant Application (on Google Forms)

You might want to first compose your questions using a simple text editor and then copy and paste your answers into each of the fields below. Please make sure all of the form boxes are filled out before pressing submit.

Applications with two or more partners organizations should submit only one form.

By submitting this form, you agree to license the text under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. Your responses will be published on the Creative Commons website and may be used to promote the grant program.

Application Questions

  1. Project Title
  2. Contact person(s)
  3. Coordinating person, if other
  4. Email
  5. Organization(s)
  6. Website(s)
  7. Phone/Skype
  8. Mailing Address
  9. Endorsement from / Affiliation with official CC affiliate institution: Yes / No
  10. If endorsement, please provide letter from an authorized person at the affiliate institution
  11. Start date
  12. Project completion date
  13. Describe the project you are proposing as clearly as possible in just five sentences. (100 words)
  14. Detail the tangible project output (e.g., paper, blog post, written materials, video/film, etc.; this would be in addition to the final written report that successful grant recipients will be expected to deliver to CC at the conclusion of the project). (100 words)
  15. Describe the community you are targeting. How would the project benefit the community? (100 words)
  16. What is your relationship with the community you are targeting? Why are you the best individual/organization to lead this project? Do you have prior experience in related projects? (100 words)
  17. How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact – on your main participants? other contributors? on the larger community? (200 words)
  18. How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement? (200 words)
  19. Describe how your project will benefit Creative Commons' mission to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in “the commons”. (200 words)
  20. Describe what technologies and tools your project will use. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs? (150 words)
  21. What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them? (200 words)
  22. How do you plan to sustain your project after the Creative Commons funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future? (200 words)
  23. What resources and support do you expect Creative Commons to provide to your project to ensure its success (if any)? (200 words)
  24. Describe how your organization currently communicates with its community members and network partners. (100 words)
  25. Provide a detailed budget of up to $10,000 for the project. Applicants are encouraged to submit budgets for less than the maximum $10,000 as smaller grants allow us to fund more projects. Internet hosting fees can be provided by Creative Commons and therefore need not be included as budget expenses. Potential costs to include in your budget might include hardware, internet access, translation, travel, workshop, and coordinator expenses.