The City of Seattle recently held three workshops to help understand how to apply for the Technology Matching Fund Grant program. Missed one of the workshops? No problem! Here’s some information designed to get you up-to-speed on the application process.
So, what is the Technology Matching Fund?
Technology Matching Fund (TMF) grants up to $50,000 will be awarded to organizations with projects that support digital equity. These public funds have accrued from fees cable companies are required to pay the City of Seattle. Winning projects must be matched by volunteer hours or cash. Applicants must be working towards fulfilling the top goals of the program including:
- Providing devices and technical support. This could include anything from smart phones to laptops. For example, many computer labs have been financially supported by TMF grants, but all device-driven projects are encouraged to apply.
- Connectivity. Having citywide access to the internet is a major factor in improving digital equity.
- Digital Skills Training. Knowledge is power in the world of technology. Projects that work to improve computer literacy by offering training and instruction are qualities considered favorable in the application process.
Cool! Is my group eligible?
To qualify for a TMF grant, groups must have the following requirements:
- Be Seattle based
- Be a non-profit or community group
- Have a project that can be completed within one year
- Have the ability to leverage existing relationships, resources, and expertise.
Frequently Asked Questions from the Workshops
My organization is not a 501 (c) 3. Can we still apply?
Yes, you can apply without a 501 (C) 3 status, but you will need to secure a fiscal sponsor by the time of contracting, which is usually in September or October.
We are working with a Fiscal Sponsor on our project. What is the going rate for those services?
Fiscal sponsors typically charge 3%-15%, to fiscally manage a project. You can include this as an expense on your project. If your Fiscal Sponsor waives their fee, you can count the value of the services as match.
My organization received a Technology Matching Fund grant last year. Can I apply again this year?
Yes, you may apply each year for a new project or an expansion of an existing project. We will not fund ongoing operations for an organization.
My project will benefit Seattle residents, but my organization is not located in the City of Seattle. Can we apply?
No, an organization must be located in the City of Seattle to receive funds. You may be a partner in the project, but you cannot receive the funds directly.
My organization is a school. Can we apply for funding?
Yes, with a few limitations. The project must be for an after-school program or it should clearly involve community members besides the students. The application has to come from a PTSA or other non-profit organization that you partner with.
We currently have a computer lab. Can we use the value of the computers as match?
No, you cannot count existing equipment currently used by your organization as a match. You can, however, count any new contributions that will be used specifically for the project as a match.
We received a Neighborhood Matching Fund grant? Can we use this as match?
No, you cannot match City funds with other City funds. You can list it as “sources not counted as match” in your budget.
How are projects selected for funding?
An external review panel rates your proposal using the following criteria:
- Meets program goals (20 points)
- Budget (20 points)
- Project Clarity (20 points)
- Community Partnerships (15 points)
- Community Benefit (15 points)
- Evaluation (10 points)
We need to upgrade our staff computers. Can we include this in our budget?
No, the program funds equipment that will help to achieve client outcomes, not to upgrade internal operational capacity.
We are developing an online application that will benefit our clients. Can we apply for development costs to support this?
No, unless the project includes digital skills training and/or technology access for clients to use the application.
Technology Matching Fund grants 2019 timeline:
- TMF Outreach and education: January-March
- Application deadline: Tuesday, March 26, 5 p.m.
- Award notification: Mid-May
- City Council Approval: July-August
- Contracting: September-October
- Project Implementation: Fall 2019-November 2020
Ready to apply? Visit http://www.seattle.gov/tech/initiatives/digital-equity/technology-matching-fund to apply and learn more about the program and past winners!
Have questions? Please feel free to reach out to one of the Community Technology team members: