Dream Big Grant Alabama

 

Dream Big Alabama is in its 2nd year and growing. We are encouraging Alabama nonprofits to dream even bigger about what could be possible. Last year was so exciting as we rolled out our inaugural Dream Big Alabama Grant and awarded seven Alabama Nonprofits $50,000 in cumulative services. We again congratulate last year’s recipients:

  • Children’s Aid Society of Alabama
  • Butterfly Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center, Inc.
  • Grace Klein Community
  • Montgomery Area Council On Aging (MACOA)
  • Foundations Early Learning & Family Center
  • Lighthouse Counseling Center, Inc.
  • Collat Jewish Family Services

Timeline?

The 2018 Dream Big Grant will be open for applicants beginning May 31, 2018 and the deadline is July 31, 2018. Grant awards will be announced in early November 2018.

 What is the Target/Goal?

The 2018 TechBridge Alabama Dream Big Technology Grant is made possible by sponsors and supporters of the Alabama Digital Event Series. While the number of grants provided will depend on the level of funding available, our goal for 2018 is to award $100,000 in services to as many nonprofits as possible.

How Do I Apply?

Simply click Dream Big Alabama Application to download the document and follow the steps indicated.

If you have any questions please email award@techbridge.org

Guidelines and FAQs


Please review carefully the services offered by TechBridge to ensure your project falls within our areas of expertise. Ideas for potential projects include, but are not limited to:

1. Better tell your story. Track and report outcomes.
Do you need the ability to make better business decisions? What if you could report on all the individuals you serve and the services you provide at the click of a button? How could technology improve your ability to manage clients, donors, volunteers or the services and programs you provide? Do you need to streamline complicated, overly manual and/or time intensive processes?

2. Collaborate and share information. Improve stakeholder communication.
Can you easily find and securely share current documents with staff and other agencies? Do you have one place to share contacts? Can you see everyone’s schedule? Can you easily conduct surveys? Do you need a central, secured info hub for your staff and another for your board, and another for your volunteers and/or partners? Would you like to have a knowledge base or a home for FAQ’s to resolve customer or internal questions?

3. Expand your reach. Engage with funders and volunteers.
Do you need to extend your capabilities to the field to reach more people to do more good? Do you need a mobile-friendly version of your website to better engage with your funders and volunteers? Do you have an idea for an application that will improve the programs and services you provide to your clients or will help your staff work more efficiently?

If you are not sure if your project can be fulfilled through TechBridge services currently available, please contact award@techbridge.org to verify.

Alabama nonprofits may request a matching grant for up to $30,000 in TechBridge service towards the implementation of a specific technology solution that builds capacity, efficiency or effectiveness for their organization. The application window will open May 31, 2018 and close on July 29, 2018 at 5:00 PM EST. The winners will be announced in early November 2018. Each nonprofit selected will receive a 4x match from TechBridge (up to the award amount), meaning that for every $1,000 requested, the nonprofit would be required to contribute $200 or 20% and TechBridge 80%.
Matching funds can be fulfilled as follows: any portion of the project’s cost, new equipment purchased specifically for this program at the expense of the nonprofit and/ or services donated by a third party. The nonprofit will need to provide appropriate documentation to show the value of equipment and/ or services.
Built into the grant award will be a required Comprehensive Assessment, provided by TechBridge (this will be waived if a nonprofit has received one within the last two years). Please note that the grant will also include a detailed discovery process by TechBridge to understand the organization and the proposed technology project. This discovery process may include, but is not limited to, a Comprehensive Technology & Data Assessment, Solution Design, Process Definition, Functional Requirements and/or Data Strategy. Following this discovery phase, it may be mutually determined and agreed to by TechBridge and the grantee that a different project is the best fit for the awarded funding.

Eligible Organizations
Nonprofits that meet the following requirements are eligible to apply for a grant from the Dream Big Alabama Technology Grant:

  • Must be located and providing services within Alabama;
  • Must be classified by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3) of the I.R.S. code as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, donations to which are deductible as charitable contributions under Section 170 (c)(2), and the I.R.S. determination must be current;
  • Must be registered with the Alabama Secretary of State as a nonprofit (click here to verify: http://arc-sos.state.al.us/cgi/corpname.mbr/input);
  • Must have a minimum two-year operating history after the date of receipt of its 501(c)(3) classification;
  • Must have annual operating expenses greater than $500,000 as reflected in the most recently filed I.R.S. Form 990 (click here for more information on Form 990: https://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-NonProfits/Form-990-Resources-and-Tools);
  • The organization must have at least three (3) full-time paid employees or Full Time Equivalents (FTE), paid minimum wage or more, working at least 35 hours per week or two employees working a combined 35 hours per week, all classified as a W-2 employees for the 12 months prior to submitting an application (please note that contractors or consultants do not count toward this requirement); and
  • Must have filed the end-of-grant report for any previous TechBridge Grant award

Ineligible Organizations
The following organizations are not eligible to apply for funding:

  • Private and publicly funded schools (K-12) and institutions of higher learning. This does not include nonprofit charter schools;
  • Organizations that exclusively raise funds for publicly funded schools (K-12), institutions of higher learning and government agencies;
  • Organizations that require participation in religious services and/or education as a condition of receiving services; and/or
  • Organizations that have discriminatory policies and/or practices on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex/gender, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information or political beliefs.

Ineligible Requests
The following application requests are not eligible to apply for funding:

  • Applications for consulting services that take place outside the grant period.
  • Applications for equipment or hardware, website design, services by others; and/or
  • Applications requesting cash grants to pay for staff salaries or expenses associated with infrastructure challenges

When will the application be available?

  • The application opens annually in February and will remain available until the stated deadline.
  • Can I get an extension on the application deadline?
  • No, to be equitable to all applicants and to meet our timeline for the judging process all applications must be submitted online by the stated deadline.

I submitted my online application form but didn’t get a confirmation – did you receive it?

  • If you did not receive a confirmation email, please first check your spam/junk folder for an email from award@techbridge.org. If no confirmation is there, please email us at award@techbridge.org and we can verify receipt.

I submitted my application but now realize I omitted important information – how do I edit it?

  • You may resubmit your application in its entirety prior to the deadline and we will put forward the application with the latest submission date/time for judging consideration.

I completed my application in Word – who can I email it to? 

  • You must submit your application online here. If you have any issues using the online form, simply email award@techbridge.org.

We’d like to supplement our application with our brochure – how can I send that to you?

  • To ensure we are equitable to all applicants we base judging decisions solely on the content of the online application form and do not accept additional documents as part of the application.

Regarding the nominator contact information, must this person be outside of the nominee’s organization? 

  • No, having a nominator is optional and that individual may be a paid staff member or an individual from outside of your organization.

What specifically will you require from our organization by way of financial documentation to show that we practice financial responsibility?

  • We require all applicants to verify that they demonstrate fiscal responsibility, the appropriate use of funds and accounting standards. While we do not require documentation to substantiate this claim, relevant proof of sound financial practices could include:
  • Maintaining a complete and accurate set of accounting records;
  • Making available upon request audited financial statements;
  • Having a treasurer/finance committee at the board level involved in reviewing financial results;
  • Completing all IRS filings, including Form 990; and/or
  • Producing a public annual financial report which discloses the source and use of funds received.

I received feedback on my application form, but I don’t have time to revise my application – will our project still be considered? 

  • You are not required to revise your application if you receive suggested feedback. We will simply submit your original application for judging considering.

 

If I’m not selected as a finalist, can I get feedback on how we might be able to improve our application? 

  • During the judging process you may receive feedback, based on a QA review completed by volunteers from TechBridge’s corporate partners. Further judging is completed by a quantitative analysis based on the predefined categories and allotted points – we do not share those point totals with applicants. However, after the winning nonprofit is announced in May, we would be glad to meet with any nonprofit applicant to discuss their proposed technology project and potential avenues for alternate funding.


How do I apply?
On May 31, 2018, the application will be available online to download as a WORD file for nonprofits to take the necessary time to fully complete a thoughtful application. Once nonprofits are ready to submit their responses, they should revisit the online application, enter their answers and submit the application online. Once submitted, nonprofits will receive a copy of their application via email and a confirmation screen appears upon submitting.

How are organizations evaluated?
The Dream Big Alabama Technology Grant will give priority to organizations whose applications reflect:

  • Organization-wide planning and decision-making in requesting support;
  • Clarity of mission and vision; and
  • A readiness to embark on the solutions to issues and/or challenges.

How will the winners be chosen?

  • Applications will be reviewed by TechBridge to ensure requests meet the requirements of the Grant.
  • A team of technical volunteers will provide feedback to the nonprofits with requests that meet the Grant criteria and give them an opportunity to revise their application.
  • The TechBridge Alabama Dream Big Judges will choose the Grant recipients based on the information included in the application.

If awarded, how will it work?

  • Following the notification of the funding decision by TechBridge, grantees are contacted by TechBridge staff who explain the process and what to expect throughout the grant. When an organization receives a Dream Big Alabama Technology Grant award, the grantee will work with staff from TechBridge.
  • A Project Manager will be assigned and a project plan and timeline agreed upon with specific outcomes stated in the award and a declaration of time commitment by all parties. If the project cost is greater than the award, the organization may have to supplement the Dream Big Alabama Technology Grant award with funding of their own in order to make up the difference in cost.
  • Dream Big Alabama Technology Grant projects are considered completed when the identified project outcomes are met and evaluated. Depending on the project, it may take one (1) to six (6) months to complete the work.

How do I know if my project is eligible for this grant?
The following requests are not eligible for this grant and should not apply for funding:

  • The following requests are not eligible for this grant and should not apply for funding:
  • Applications for consulting services that take place outside the grant period;
  • Applications for equipment or hardware, website design, services by other companies; and/or
  • Applications requesting cash grants to pay for staff salaries or expenses associated with infrastructure challenges.