Chapterthon 2019

Connecting the Unconnected

2019 Chapterthon Winners

1st Prize 
US New York Chapter

First Annual NYC Mesh Installathon: This project aims to mobilize a large team of volunteers on a single day to expand the NYC Mesh community network to at least six new locations, and connect underserved areas of New York City.

2nd Prize
South Africa Chapter

Qokolweni Wi-fi Hotspots: This project will provide hotspots for small underprivileged communities that require an Internet connection to communicate and to learn.

3rd Prize
Ghana Chapter

RADIONET: This project aims to create an information access system for local communities, in their own language, by providing an FM broadcast system where rural communities cannot get access.

A big thank you to our Chapters for your important strides towards connecting the world – one community at a time!

The Chapterthon is a global Internet Society Chapters marathon, where all Internet Society Chapters can participate by developing a project within a timeline and budget to achieve a common goal for the development of the Internet. Each project will present a 3-minute video that includes project specifics and benefits for the community. Winning projects receive a prize.

For 2019, Chapter projects will help Connect the Unconnected — Because every last person on the planet is part of having an Internet for “everyone”, and we won’t rest until each person has the option of choosing to be connected. 

Our world is more digitally connected than ever before – yet barriers still remain for half of the world’s population who are unconnected.

To address this, we’re working with communities around the world to bring some of the hardest-to-reach places online.

The 2019 Internet Society Chapterthon

We are looking for creative, innovative and impactful short-term projects from our Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that are “for the community, with the community, by the community”.

To be eligible for 2019 Chapterthon funding, your ‘Connecting the Unconnected’ project must fall under one of the following categories:

  • Provide access to underserved rural, remote, and urban areas,
  • Enhance existing community networks platforms by providing better access to information and services,
  • Improve the development of digital skills for greater inclusion of the entire community,
  • Promote community networks that offer opportunities for economic and social development, and
  • Innovate! Help build new ways to provide Internet connectivity.

Eligibility Requirements 

  • Internet Society Chapters and SIGs in good standing (incl. pre-rejuvenation) are eligible to apply, and must meet the minimum Chapter standards as outlined in the Chapter’s Charter Letter.
  • Applications from Chapters undergoing a rejuvenation process cannot be considered.
  • SIGs may apply for projects, ideally in collaboration with a local Chapter, and define the roles and responsibilities via a Memorandum of Understanding, submitted together with the Chapter’s application. If approved, the Chapter is responsible for the funds and reporting on project development and achievements.
  • To be eligible for this year’s grants, Chapters and SIGs must have submitted required funding reports from previous years.
  • Only Chapters with an official bank account in their name can receive Internet Society funds.
  • Chapterthon is a Chapter funding programme. Chapter members must work with their Chapter’s leadership to develop their projects.


Each project will receive funding up to 2,000 USD and participants will have 2 months to complete the project.

Application Deadline

Applications are now closed.

How to Participate

All Chapter members are encouraged to:

  1. Think about a project that fits under the topics noted above.
  2. Contact other Chapter members and form a team.
  3. Make sure the community you want to help is interested in joining you on the project.
  4. Consider local sponsorship opportunities.
  5. Send your project idea and an estimated budget to the Chapter Board.
  6. To help prepare your application, download the questionnaire.

The Chapter Board is responsible for the selection of the project that will represent the Chapter in the Chapterthon competition and for submitting the application. Only one project can be presented per Chapter.


Activity Timeline Deadline
Application call 19 June 5 August
Information session 27 June 27 June
Evaluation, approvals, payments 5 to 30 August  30 August
Project implementation 1 September to 31 October  31 October
Submission of videos and reports 1 to 15 November  15 November

Upload videos to the website

Compile project outcomes and impact

18 to 22 November 22 November

Panel of experts review

Community voting

25 November to 6 December 6 December
Winner announcement 11 December at Community Forum: Presenting the Internet Society 2020 Action Plan 11 December

Application Review Process

Applications are reviewed by Internet Society staff to determine whether the activities fit the programme eligibility and guidelines, in a manner that reflects the values and mission of the Internet Society. During this period, staff may reach out to applicants for additional information.

The Chapterthon Panel of Experts in conjunction with the Internet Society member community will select the best project.

Successful Applicants

Chapters and SIGs awarded grants from the Internet Society are required to sign a Grant Agreement to allow the disbursement of funding. They must also:



  1. Implement the project according to the programme timeline (table above).
  2. Create a 3-minute video following the guidelines:
    Easy guide to video making
    The five phases of video production
  3. Complete a final report (as indicated in the above timeline). Instructions on how to provide this information can be found on the Membership portal.

Prize and Recognition

  • The Chapterthon Panel of Experts in conjunction with the Internet Society member community will select the best project.
  • The best three projects will receive an award.
  • Each participant will receive a Certificate of Participation, following the submission of the project report and video.
  • All project videos will be uploaded to the Internet Society website and YouTube channel.
  • The winner will be announced via mailing lists, social media, and the Community Projects blog.

More Information



Image credit: Internet Society / Nyani Quarmyne / Panos Pictures