These technology grants can help boost your nonprofit’s computing infrastructure or help make technology affordable and accessible for your communities.
Raising funds is an essential component to running a successful nonprofit. No matter the goal, it takes money to spread your message and support the daily operations necessary to succeed. That’s why donors play such a crucial role in your fundraising goals. However, depending on your mission, the financial support of donors may not be enough to help you achieve those goals.
Fortunately, grant funding opens the door to new opportunities for established organizations. A grant is an award given to support you in your efforts. It can come from public and private sources, such as individuals, government entities, foundations, or other organizations. It can be in the form of money or products and may be a one-time or multi-year award.
While they won’t fully fund your organization and its mission, grants can provide crucial funds to help research and launch new programs or even prevent programs from being cut entirely or curtailed.
Grants are often narrowed down to specific categories, as is the case with the technology grant.
What is a technology grant?
Technology grants are useful for developing or enhancing your organization’s technological infrastructure. In today’s fast-changing environment, nonprofits rely on data to drive everything from fundraising campaigns to policy decisions. That’s why technology plays such an important role in a nonprofit’s mission. With technology grants, your nonprofit can build or improve upon an existing technological infrastructure and help foster a data-driven culture.
Depending on the mission of the organization that awards the grants, a tech grant can also be useful beyond improving your own technology. Some organizations offer tech grants to nonprofits with a mission to support technology-related initiatives like digital learning or STEM education. If your nonprofit’s mission is focused on making technology more affordable or accessible, technology grants can present an amazing opportunity to help you realize your organization’s vision.
If you want a tech grant, you’ll have to research and apply for them. While some grant foundations are closed to inquiries and will seek out the organizations they’re looking for, many provide an application process that nonprofits go through before being awarded a grant. This involves writing a grant proposal that explains why your nonprofit deserves the grant. You’ll also have to provide detailed information, such as evidence that your organization is eligible for the grant, a history of successfully managing projects, and how you intend to spend the grant funds.
Before you even write the proposals that could help bring in the funds for your projects, you first have to find the grants that fit your needs. To make your research a little easier, here are 16 organizations that provide technology resources and funding for nonprofits.
1. The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation works to ensure artificial intelligence (AI) and data science benefit everyone. That’s why they help nonprofits use data and AI to maximize their impact. In 2021, they doubled their investments in order to commit $40 million in grants to nonprofits focused on numerous areas, including those that work to:
- Protect the planet.
- Foster economic prosperity.
- Ensure healthy communities.
- Strengthen tech education opportunities for young people.
- Create a more equitable, inclusive tech workforce for the future.
- Find new approaches to data dignity, data stewardship, and AI ethics.
Recent recipients include AnnieCannons, Inc., Girls Who Code, Inc., Tech Matters, and the Equality Fund. The foundation does not accept applications and awards grants to preselected charitable organizations.
2. Technology Innovation Awards
Nonprofits with a mission to advance technology projects are eligible for $10,000 tech grants from Tech Forward. Hosted by the Tech Impact nonprofit, the Tech Forward Conference teaches nonprofit organizations how to leverage the power of technology to succeed in their goals. The Technology Innovation Awards grant can be used to help implement innovative technology projects meant to positively impact communities and change lives. The next application process will be in the summer of 2021.
3. Okta for Good
With a goal to invest $10 million in technology infrastructure, Okta for Good offers two nonprofit grants aimed at advancing the goals of tech-focused nonprofits and its leaders. With its Nonprofit Technology Initiative grant, the identity and access management company provides multiyear funding of up to $400,000 for 5-10 eligible nonprofits each year. Meanwhile, the Nonprofit Technology Fellowship awards a $25,000 grant to 6-8 Inaugural Fellows. During the six-month fellowship, each Fellow will produce two articles and a conference/webinar in order to help advance their innovative ideas. If you have a focus in providing digital transformation, security, or equity in nonprofit technology, this might be the grant for you.
4. Microsoft Tech for Social Impact
The tech giant has a passion for making its software available to nonprofits. Microsoft Tech for Social Impact offers grants and discounts on many of its products and services, including Microsoft 365, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. It also provides hours of free training for nonprofit staff members and volunteers to help improve efficient use of its software.
Verizon prioritizes nonprofits seeking to break down digital equity barriers. However, they also focus on climate protection and human prosperity. So even if you’re not focused on digital inclusion, your nonprofit might still be eligible for a grant. And up to 20% of the grant can be used for IT-infrastructure purposes (computer hardware, software, data, networks). Applications are by invitation only. So you’ll have to contact your local community relations manager to see if you’re eligible.
6. Cisco Product Grant Program
Cisco accepts applications year-round for its program, which donates networking technology to help improve productivity, scalability, and cost efficiency. If your organization focuses on a social investment area, such as critical human needs, access to education, and economic empowerment, the Cisco Product Grant Program may be a perfect fit for you.
7. Cisco Global Impact Cash Grants
Cisco’s cash grants are not normally to be used for computer hardware or software purchases. However, if you’re not having any luck securing funds to improve your technological infrastructure, you may be able to use the Cisco Global Impact Cash Grant for those purposes. You will have to show that these purchases will have a greater impact beyond everyday/staff use.
8. Computers for Learning Program
In order for every child to achieve their full potential, the Computers for Learning Program wants to put modern computer technology in every classroom. To that end, educational nonprofit organizations are eligible for excess computer equipment from federal agencies. You’ll be responsible for shipping and refurbishing costs, but this is still a great option for nonprofits working to advance technology to children in underrepresented populations.
9. HP Technology for Community Grant Initiative
Through its HP Foundation and employee community giving, the computer and printer maker has a lofty goal to donate $100 million by 2025. To that end, the HP Technology for Community Grant Initiative provides grants to nonprofits to help integrate new technology into your organization. They have a strategic plan in place, so they don’t take requests. Instead, they partner with schools and organizations who help ensure nonprofits who receive grants act responsibly. This is still a great opportunity for nonprofits that focus on the following sectors:
- Health and human services
- Workforce development
- Community and economic development
- Arts and technology
10. Salesforce Power of Us Program
This cloud-based software company has a foundation that offers invitation-only grants to nonprofits that focus on education, workforce development, and thriving communities. However, you don’t need an invitation to take advantage of their Power of Us Program. All nonprofits are eligible to receive free and discounted access to its products and resources. This includes 10 donated Enterprise Edition Sales or Service Cloud subscriptions.
11. Twilio.org Impact Fund
Through its Twilio.org Impact Fund, the cloud communication company works to help nonprofits with a mission to provide easier access to services, engage with communities, or use technology to address urgent communications needs. Eligible organizations can receive up to $150,000 in funding. Funds can be used to support building software application, technical staff, and other communications efforts. In order to be directly informed of its next annual grant cycle, you’ll need to fill out their contact form.
12. American Honda Foundation
The American Honda Foundation awards grants of up to $75,000 to nonprofits focused on youth education. Advancing STEM education is one of the specific areas it looks for in an organization. The foundation accepts applications three times per year and has averaged approximately 27 grants annually.
13. Mazda Foundation
Every year, the Mazda Foundation awards funding to nonprofits in a number of areas, including education and literacy, social welfare, and scientific research. Recent awards have gone on to support equal access to the building blocks of education as well as STEM coursework for underserved middle schools. Applications are open from May 1 to June 1 and are focused on the six regions of the United States where they have offices.
14. Change Happens Foundation
One of the main areas the Change Happens Foundation focuses on is science and technology. They are known for assisting innovative charities that show a history of having a successful impact on social change. Past recipients of their grants have been nonprofits that focus on increasing interest and proficiency in STEM programs. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
15. Tomberg Family Philanthropies
The Tomberg Family Philanthropies awards up to $15,000 to nonprofits focused on education and the environment, as well as health and poverty alleviation. In the past, they have supported nonprofits with STEM initiatives as well as those with goals to bring technology to children of color. The next round of applications opens in the summer of 2021.
16. The Westinghouse Charitable Giving Program
The Westinghouse Charitable Giving Program has grants for organizations that seek to improve STEM-related knowledge and literacy in children and the general public. In addition to STEM initiatives, the program also awards grants to nonprofits looking to advance technology that can enhance environmental sustainability. Westinghouse has more than 20 regional offices, and organizations must be within 50 miles of one of these locations.
Plan ahead before you apply for technology grants
Bringing about change takes funds. A grant will not cover all of your expenses, but it can play an important role in helping your nonprofit continue to serve the community. Before you begin applying, it’s a good idea to do your research and ensure you’ve found grants that fit your nonprofit’s mission. You’ll also want to make sure you’re aware of all the terms and conditions of the grant before you begin.
There are a lot of funding opportunities for organizations looking to improve their technological resources or advance their cause. This list is just the start of all the tech grants you’ll discover in your fundraising journey. Good luck!