In this section of the Guide we describe the various stages of our decision-making process for reviewing Open Call applications.
Our approach to Open Calls gives us the ability to make a wide range of non-profit and for-profit investments in the organisations and people working on projects that align with our Goals & objectives. Each awarded project will operate in one or more of the Areas of work that we support and further support and reinforce our Principles & values by addressing either the perils posed by Our vision's most pressing threat (surveillance capitalism) or one of the Other harms, challenges, & obstacles outlined in this Guide.
We always aim to be upfront about how we invest because transparency is one of our core values. Given this, we’ve outlined below the eight stages we typically follow when deciding whether or not to fund a project. We're also aware, however, that these stages will necessarily change and evolve over time because we also believe in strategy as an iterative design process. Your feedback, which we're constantly seeking, will help us improve the process.
Applications for all Open Calls are accepted on a rolling basis, and there will always be at least one Open Call that is accepting applications. You can choose to submit an application at any time throughout the year, with “round” deadlines occurring every other month (January 1, March 1, May 1, July 1, September 1, and November 1).
Note: Applications must be submitted no later than 23:59 (11:59PM) GMT on the date of the deadline in order to be considered as part of that round. If a submission is received after that time, it will be reviewed in the next round. We review applications at the end of each round.
- 1.You apply: It begins with you.
- 2.Team review: We review your application.
- 3.Initial determination: We will have questions.
- 4.Additional information: You have the answers.
- 5.Review panel: We get other's thoughts.
- 6.Final approval: All final decisions made.
- 7.Legal review: Agreements and lawyers.
- 8.Oversight: What happens after approval.
After the application round deadline closes, we will begin our internal review process of all applications submitted during the round.
During this initial "screening" process, we will conduct an assessment of the application. This may include speaking to partners, other investors or funders, staff, and any other relevant third parties. Depending on the number of applications we receive, this may take two or three weeks, or two or three months. By the end, we will be able to apply a screening status designation to each application (e.g., "Out of Scope," "In Scope/Not Competitive," or "In Scope/Competitive").
Once we have had a chance to review your application, we will come to our initial determination.
If we decline your application, we will provide you with feedback on why your application was not considered to move forward. We strongly encourage applicants to use this feedback as a means strengthen their application and re-apply to a subsequent round.
If we are continuing to consider your application, you will receive an initial determination message from our submission system with next steps for us to gather additional information from you. In limited cases, we may ask narrow clarifying questions to make our initial determination.
At this stage in the process, we will need more information from you. The scope, risk, and amount requested in the application will determine how much or how little additional information is required. We may ask you to participate on an audio/video call to help us learn more, or you may be asked to submit further information or even a complete another application for due diligence purposes. We will specify a date by which you will be expected to respond.
You can expect us to have follow-up questions or comments to solicit additional clarifying information; we do this for just about every project we end up supporting. Ideal applicants are specific and cost-conscious in these areas, while drilling down on details that will help make their big-picture idea come to life (for reviewers, and then ultimately the public).
Once our questions have been addressed, we will make another determination. Again, if we decline your application, we will provide feedback on why your concept was not considered to move forward. We very much encourage people to use this feedback to re-apply with a stronger application. If we continue to consider your application at this stage, we will present your application to our review panel for their thoughts.
Our review panels are made up of a diverse array of subject-matter experts who understand various relevant fields and issues as they relate to our Goals & objectives. These individuals have a vested interest in Reset funding decisions and are uniquely positioned to bolster our project oversight capacity, expertise, perspective, and accountability. At least two reviews from Advisory Council members are required before an application can move forward.
Once we have reviews from the panel, we will make another determination. Again, if we decline your application, we will provide you with feedback on why your concept was not considered to move forward. As always, we very much encourage applicants to use this feedback to re-apply with a stronger application. If we continue to consider your application at this stage, your application will move on to final approval.
Before formal approval of your application, we will consult our finance and legal teams, as well as any other relevant experts. Depending on the requested amount of funding and risk involved, we may also consult our steering committee. For-profit investments often require more extensive structuring discussions at this stage, which may be an iterative process.
Upon completion of this stage, we will inform you whether your application has been accepted or declined and why.
In preparing the project agreements, the following will occur:
- The performance-based contract or funding agreement, as applicable, will be drafted by our legal team;
- The performance-based contract or funding agreement, as applicable, will be sent to you for your review and signature;
- Upon review and signing, the project will begin.
Once we have finalised approvals and the terms of the contract or funding agreement, including agreeing to structure and reporting requirements with the organisation, documentation will be drafted by our legal team and, if necessary, external counsel. It will then be sent for your review and signature. After that, the project can begin!
Once the project begins, we look forward to working closely with the organisation or individual and providing ongoing support. A Reset team member will be assigned to assist you for the duration of your work with us. We encourage open communication, will schedule regular catch-ups, and will agree on a regular reporting structure.
Just a quick reminder: Approval is not guaranteed at any stage of the process. Given the high number of applications Reset receives for each Open Call, the likelihood of success for any particular application is low. If your application is not approved, know that we will always explain why and provide clear and constructive feedback (and you can always choose to re-apply based on this feedback).