Dream Big Grant Info


What is Dream Big?

The TechBridge Dream Big Grant is an exciting matching grant opportunity which encourages nonprofits to dream big about implementing a technology solution with the power to transform their operation in a way that increases their impact and ability to accomplish their mission. The Dream Big Grant significantly increases the capacity of nonprofits to positively impact the lives of vulnerable individuals, families, and children.

Why It Is Needed? Nonprofits invest everything into accomplishing their missions, but many do not have remaining resources for investing in technology improvement for more efficient/effective mission delivery. TechBridge is aware of several large-scale technology nonprofit projects that are currently in need of funding due to lack of fiscal resources.

How Does It Work?

Nonprofits are invited to apply for TechBridge services to implement a transformative technology solution. In the Dream Big program, they complete an application explaining how a technology transformation could lead to increased efficiency (fewer dollars to deliver programs), increased reach (serving more individuals and families in need) or increase sustainability (stabilizing the organization to continue delivering services). Their submissions go through a review process before selections are made by judges.

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

Online Q&A Session

Missed our July Q&A? Listen to the recording of the Dream Big Technology Grant Q&A session here.

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 up to $10,000 from the fund in TechBridge services towards the implementation of a specific technology solution that builds capacity, efficiency or effectiveness for their organization. The application window will open online on June 1, 2017 and close on August 1st at 5:00 PM, CST. The winners will be announced in September 2017. A match of 16.7% from the nonprofits chosen will be required, meaning for every $1,000 requested from the fund, the nonprofit would be required to contribute $200.

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.

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 $250,000 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

How do I apply?
On June 1, 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 Leadership Board 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.

Grantees are required to submit an end-of-grant report immediately following the completion of the Dream Big Alabama Technology Grant project; a link to the report will be provided to the grantee by TechBridge. The electronic report is utilized in assessing the immediate impact of the grant and the effectiveness of the Dream Big Alabama Technology Grant program and consultants.

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:

  • 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.