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Technology Initiative - Planning and Implementation Grants

Grants to New York and Massachusetts Nonprofits and Schools
that Serve Youth with Disabilities for Technology Strategies

GrantWatch ID#: 180806
Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

09/08/17 11:59 PM Receipt

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Grants to New York and Massachusetts nonprofit organizations serving young people with intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, substance abuse disorders, and mental illness. Applicants must register online no later than September 1. Funding is available for the planning of long-term strategic technology plans, as well as the implementation of technology-based strategies.

Eligible organizations are located in Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, and Nantucket Counties in Massachusetts; and Erie and Niagara Counties in New York.

The Technology Initiative assists not-for-profit agencies in obtaining the technical expertise and equipment required to develop and implement a strategic technology plan. The Technology Initiative focuses exclusively on “back office” technology (i.e., technology used by staff) rather than on technology used by clients (e.g., computer labs).

This initiative comprises two types of grants:

1) Technology Planning Grants

Technology Planning grants provide up to $50,000 for not-for-profit agencies to hire a technology consultant to conduct a technology inventory and needs assessment; and to develop a two- or three-year technology plan that is explicitly aligned with the agency’s strategic or business plan.

The Tower Foundation will provide funds for costs associated with hiring an outside technology consultant to assist with this project. Grant funds will be used for outside consultants to:

-Conduct a comprehensive hardware and software inventory;
-Develop a technology needs assessment; and
-Produce a technology plan with a one-to-three year time line that makes explicit reference to the
organization’s strategic or business plan.

2) Technology Implementation Grants

Technology Implementation grants provide up to $125,000 (requiring a dollar-for-dollar cash match) for not-for-profit agencies wishing to implement an existing technology plan that is explicitly aligned with an existing strategic/business plan.

The Tower Foundation will provide dollar-for-dollar matching funds for costs associated with purchasing equipment, software, training, and services necessary for implementing the agency’s technology plan.

$233,000

Technology Planning grants provide up to $50,000.

Technology Implementation grants provide up to $125,000.

Organizations currently providing services to one or more of the populations the Tower Foundation serves within the following regions are eligible to apply for Tower Foundation grants:

-Massachusetts: Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, and Nantucket Counties

-New York: Erie and Niagara Counties

Applicants must be:
-Not-for-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) designation that are not private foundations, or
-Not-for-profit public benefit corporations, or
-Public or diocesan school districts, or
-Private or charter schools.

The Foundation gives preference in its Small Grants Program to organizations with annual budgets of $3 million or less.

Populations Served by the Foundation:

The Tower Foundation supports programs intended to improve the lives of young people age zero to 26 affected by intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental illness, and/or substance use disorders as defined here:

An Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability originates before the age of 18. Intellectual functioning refers to general mental capacity, such as learning, reasoning, and problem solving.

Adaptive behavior comprises three skill types:
-Conceptual skills (e.g., language and literacy; money; time; number concepts; self-direction)
-Social skills (e.g., interpersonal skills, social responsibility; self-esteem, gullibility, naïveté, social problem-solving; ability to follow rules/obey laws and avoid being victimized)
-Practical skills (e.g., personal care, occupational skills; healthcare; travel/transportation; schedules/routines; safety use of money use of telephone. (American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2011)

A learning disability is a lifelong condition which interferes with the ability to learn. It is a neurological disorder that affects the ability of the brain to process, store and respond to information. There are different types of learning disabilities that can affect different areas of processing, such as learning to read, reading comprehension, writing and spelling, organizing written and spoken language, mathematical operations, decision making, and the development of fine motor skills. Individuals with LD may be particularly gifted in other skills and are typically of normal intelligence. (American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus)

Mental illness includes medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.
Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

The Foundation does not fund programs or projects that:
-Provide private benefits for any grant recipient or affiliated person,
-Attempt to influence legislation or intervene in any political campaign,
-Contribute to capital campaigns
-Consist of scholarships, services, or treatment for specific individuals,
-Consist largely of general operating support.

Technology planning grants do not cover costs associated with:
-Staff time spent working on technology planning or implementation
-Developing an agency’s strategic plan
-Purchasing technology equipment, software, licenses, or maintenance
-Technology planning related to client-facing technology (e.g., computer labs).

Technology Implementation grants do not cover costs associated with:
-Staff time spent working on technology planning or implementation
-Developing an agency’s strategic plan
-Developing a technology plan
-Developing custom software applications or web-based information portals
-Advanced information technology training (e.g., certifications)
-Software licensing or subscriptions to cloud-based services beyond the first year of implementation
-Service/maintenance contracts beyond the first year of implementation

The anticipated allocation for the Technology Initiative is $700,000 for planning and implementation grants combined. Again, these funds will be divided evenly across the three grant cycles (approximately $233,000 per cycle).

To ensure that requests are submitted on time, applicants must create an account in the online portal at least one week prior to the preliminary grant request deadline. Individuals who have registered previously do NOT need to re-register; please log in using your existing account.

Organizations funded through the Technology Implementation initiative are required to provide a dollar-for-dollar cash match for the Tower Foundation’s award. The match is applied on a line-by-line basis, so the Foundation and grantee split all costs evenly.

Matching funds may be obtained through any source of unrestricted funds (e.g., operating funds, unrestricted reserves) or awards designated for the technology implementation project specifically. For multi-year awards, funds will be disbursed each year, not as a single lump sum.

The first step to apply for a Technology Planning or Implementation grant is to submit a preliminary grant request via the Foundation’s online portal. Once received, the Foundation will review each submission to determine whether to invite a more detailed proposal. Foundation staff may ask some applicants to provide additional information by way of a brief phone call.

Applicants will be notified by email within three weeks of the preliminary grant request submission as to whether the Foundation will invite a full proposal. Invited applicants will then work with Foundation staff to develop a full proposal.

Application Cycles:

January:
-Applicants Create Grant Portal Accounts: January 6
-Applications Due: January 13
-Proposal Invitations Sent: February 3
-Proposal Decisions Sent: April 7

May:
-Applicants Create Grant Portal Accounts: May 12
-Applications Due: May 19
-Proposal Invitations Sent: June 9
-Proposal Decisions Sent: August 11

September:
-Applicants Create Grant Portal Accounts: September 1
-Applications Due: September 8
-Proposal Invitations Sent: September 29
-Proposal Decisions Sent: December 1

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

All grant requests must be submitted through the Foundation’s online portal:
http://thetowerfoundation.fluxx.io

Chuck Colston, Program Officer
716-689-0370 x206
cec@thetowerfoundation.org

Don Matteson, Chief Program Officer
716-906-8903
dwm@thetowerfoundation.org

See the full text of this grant

USA: Massachusetts: Barnstable, Dukes, Essex, and Nantucket Counties;   New York: Erie and Niagara Counties

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