City of Seattle announces Digital Equity Grant Funding Opportunities

$620,000 available in Technology Matching Fund Grants; creation of Digital Navigator Cohort Grant increases funds for communities 

The City of Seattle is pleased to announce more digital equity funding opportunities for non-profits who work to close the digital divide in our community. Applications are now being accepted for the 2022 Technology Matching Fund (TMF) grant cycle as well as the newly created Digital Navigator Cohort Grant. 

This year, $620,000 will be available to community organizations digital equity projects through Technology Matching Fund grants. The grant will be awarding up to $25,000 for qualifying non-profit organizations in Seattle. Projects will have to be completed within one year or less and applicants must match at least twenty-five percent of their funding request with cash, time, or other contributions. 

The new Digital Navigator Cohort Grant program serves as the City’s response to the inequities brought about by the pandemic. Through community conversations, digital navigators emerged locally and nationally as trusted guides to assist in technology support and foundational digital skills. To be able to provide services to residents, $250,000 has been funded into a cohort of community organizations to be able to offer the digital navigator program.  

As a part of the Digital Navigator Cohort Grant, the City of Seattle will award grants up to $50,000. Projects under the Digital Navigator Cohort Grant must be completed within 18 months or less. Although, unlike the Technology Matching Fund, the Digital Navigator Cohort Grant does not require a community match.  

“The Technology Matching Fund and the new Digital Navigator Cohort Grant allow our community to continue to flourish with their creativity and innovation. Digital equity is central to my vision for One Seattle where everyone can access the tools and opportunities that ensure no one is left behind,” said Mayor Bruce Harrell. “New technology and resources help people grow, prosper, and in many cases, support their families and further their education. Together, we can rebuild our neighborhoods and restore Seattle to a more vibrant, thriving community than before the pandemic.” 

With the Digital Navigator Cohort Grant, city and community resources will be leveraged to help residents achieve personal, educational, workforce and community goals. 

“We must do more to address the disparities the COVID crisis laid bare in our communities and that includes bridging the digital divide, as called for by our City’s bold Internet for All Action Plan,” said Councilmember Alex Pedersen, who led efforts to have City Hall increase funding for internet access for low-income residents. “Thanks to the groundwork of community groups and Seattle’s IT Department, we can leverage additional funding so that more vulnerable residents have reliable and affordable technology that connects them to education, jobs, health care, and hope.” 

“We need digital equity now more than ever. These grants strengthen our community and expand opportunities,” said Councilmember Sara Nelson. “Above all, they plant the seeds for tomorrow’s leaders, fostering the creativity and innovation inherit in all of us.” 

“This year we’re thrilled to announce another funding opportunity through the new Digital Navigator Cohort Grant. The success we’ve seen from the Technology Matching Fund grants has been inspiring these past 20 years of the program. We’re eager to see how the community will continue to work together to close the digital divide – one we’ve sadly seen grown these past two years due to the pandemic,” said Interim Chief Technology Officer Jim Loter. 

This year, applicants will find a new easy-to-use online application system to apply for the digital equity opportunities. Grant leads will also be hosting a series of virtual meetings to answer questions about the new applications system, and digital equity opportunities from the City of Seattle. Applicants do not need to attend a meeting to apply for either the Technology Matching Fund or the Digital Navigator Cohort Grant. Meetings will be held throughout March and April. The deadline to apply for both funding opportunities is May 13, 2022. Winners will be notified June with projects set to begin in July. 

Past winners and applicants are eligible to apply for all digital equity opportunities they qualify for. To learn more about the Technology Matching Fund, Digital Navigator Cohort, or the new applications system, visit the City of Seattle Digital Equity Funding Opportunities site

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