Foundations Partner to Build a Stronger Digital Society

An initiative to help us identitfy the biggest challenges of our digital future.

The NetGain Challenge

jointly address the challenges and opportunities of the digital age—including ensuring the Internet is open, secure and accessible to all at NetGain: Working Together for a Stronger Digital Society. The new partnership supported by the Ford Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Knight Foundation, Open Society Foundations and Mozilla Foundation, marks the first time a group of major foundations will work together to strengthen digital society, guided by a set of principles acknowledging the role of the Internet and technology in advancing the public interest.

At the heart of the initiative is a set of “Technology Principles” that will guide the group’s work in the digital space, including on privacy and transparency, free speech, and equal access to information online. The Internet, Philanthropy and Progress: Principles for Future Work, includes six philanthropic commitments to: make the Internet an open, secure and equitable space that everyone can access and afford; support the opportunities created by a networked public sphere while guarding against potential harm; transform learning to ensure that young people have the skills they need to succeed in a connected world; cultivate leaders in business, government and civil society to fulfill the promise of the Internet; enhance data security and protect individual privacy; and ensure that philanthropy leads in digital security and data ethics in its own practices.

The initiative also launches a series of new, aligned commitments by the five foundations—in addition to their ongoing grant making in the field—to realize the potential of a digital society. The “NetGain Challenges,” will support novel ideas and finance new research for the development of cutting-edge innovations and digital technologies to improve lives.


  • MacArthur Foundation

    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is...

  • John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

    United States | Staff size: 101-250

    Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. The foundation invests in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight...

  • Ford Foundation

    Foundation, Advocacy NGO
    United States | Staff size: 251-500

    The Ford Foundation supports visionary leaders and organizations on the frontlines of social change worldwide. They believe all people should have the opportunity to reach their full potential,...

  • Open Society Foundations (OSF)

    United States | Staff size: 1001-5000

    The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens. To achieve this mission, the Foundations seek to shape public...

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Key Information

  • Start Date 2015