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Technology Matching Fund grant applications open for 2021

City of Seattle grants will again be offered to organizations working to close the digital divide; applications due Jan. 12, 2021

The City of Seattle is opening the 2021 round of applications for the Technology Matching Fund (TMF) grants. Community organizations and nonprofits are encouraged to apply for grants of up to $25,000 each. Funding will be awarded to projects that work to improve digital literacy, provide affordable devices, and increase access to free or low-cost internet. These grants are given out annually to uphold the commitment by the City of Seattle as outlined in the Internet For All and Digital Equity Initiatives. The goal of these initiatives is to improve connectivity, digital skills training, and provide devices, and technology support to communities that might not have equitable access.

“This year has underscored the critical importance of digital access and inclusion. During a year where we have been asking residents to stay physically distant, work from home, and limit in-person gatherings, it’s vital that all our communities have the access and ability to get online to learn, work, and thrive,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. “The Technology Matching Fund is another way the City of Seattle is assisting residents and community groups to not only bridge the digital divide, but empower our community with the digital tools they need to succeed in a truly unprecedented year.”

Technology Matching Fund awards dollars to projects that work directly with underrepresented communities. These projects must be able to match City funds half to one through volunteer labor hours, materials, professional services, or additional funding. Organizations that have won in previous years are welcome to reapply, as well as new organizations that have not received a grant in previous years.

“Seattle prides itself on its world-class technology, but the COVID crisis has laid bare the remaining inequities and injustices of the Digital Divide,” said Councilmember Alex Pedersen. “This is why our City Council and Mayor Durkan adopted the Internet for All Resolution to lift up and expand the digital equity work of our city government so that, together, we can close any remaining gaps and connect everyone to the technology they need. The City’s Technology Matching Fund continues to serve as a foundational program for digital equity throughout Seattle and, as Chair of the City Council Committee that oversees technology, I’m pleased we are making available another round of grants. When our City’s strong track record with the Technology Matching Fund is combined with the new strategies to achieve Internet for All, we can finally ensure everyone in Seattle has reliable and affordable access to the internet to reach our goals of social justice, educational achievement, and economic opportunity.”

“Now more than ever we are living in an online, virtual world. Giving people and groups the opportunity to help them teach and empower themselves and others to take charge of their own future through the power of technology is a rewarding aspect to the work we do at the City of Seattle,” said Saad Bashir, City of Seattle Chief Technology Officer.

Two online workshops are scheduled to guide applicants through the Technology Matching Fund grant process. The workshops are free and will provide an overview of the grant program, explain how to apply, and guide attendees to submitting a successful application. The classes are not required for an application to be submitted or a grant to be awarded. First time applicants are encouraged to attend one of the two scheduled classes: