Technology grants available for civic engagement and broadband adoption

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Technology grants available for civic engagement and broadband adoption
Free workshops offered for applicants

SEATTLE – The city of Seattle is enlisting community organizations in the effort to help close the digital divide in Seattle, especially for vulnerable residents. Technology Matching Fund grants up to $20,000 are available for projects that meet goals for increasing online civic engagement, technology access and adoption, internet and digital media skills, or community building.  

“This grant program exists to support the strong and diverse community of people in Seattle who use technology to help others,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “I look forward to seeing the work that this fund will help make possible.”

Applications will be accepted online from February 29 through April 3, 2012.

“The Technology Matching Fund grant program is an inclusive program exemplifying the City’s commitment to Race and Social Justice by providing resources and technology access to all of our residents.  2012 will be the fifteenth year of the program and it continues to be a critical partnership with the community by empowering residents with technology skills to find jobs and helping neighborhoods develop online public safety networks,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell.

Two free workshops will help applicants learn more about the application process, grant requirements and what makes a successful application. Meetings will be held on Thursday, March 1, 10:30 a.m. to noon, at Solid Ground, 1501 N. 45th St. in Seattle and on Saturday, March 3, 10:30 a.m. to noon, at Delridge Community Center, 4501 Delridge Way SW. Interested groups may download grant applications and guidelines at or contact Delia Burke at (206) 233-2751 or

Last year 23 organizations received a total of $320,000 in grant funds, which are being matched with in community contributions, including volunteer labor, professional services and donated equipment and software. A list of grantees and a map of their locations is available online.

Grant applicants must state whether their project will meet technology literacy and access goals or civic engagement goals. The Ethiopian Community Mutual Association received a $17,000 grant to improve technology literacy by upgrading their resource center with state-of-the art desktop and laptop computers and software that provided Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans with English and Amharic learning resources, homework help, job and Internet skills. The Rainier Beach Community Empowerment Coalition received $10,000 to teach young people like sophomore Christen Blackwell how to blog, text and shoot photos to cover community forums on a wide range of issues, from schools to safety to environment, and to encourage others to get involved.

Every four years the city of Seattle conducts a survey and reports on technology access and adoption among Seattle residents. The most recent survey was done in 2009 and can be found at