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Digital Equity Fund

The 2021 round of the Digital Equity Fund will support 19 organizations with nearly $500,000. 

Thank you to all of the organizations that applied for the Digital Equity Fund. We are excited to announce that 19 Boston nonprofit organizations will receive $478,900 in grants. Learn more about the programs being funded:

Digital Equity Fund update

Have questions? Contact us:

Please email our team with any questions about the Digital Equity Fund and the application process:

About the Fund

Over the past year, it has become increasingly more important to have the digital skills and technology access needed to succeed in a virtual world. The City of Boston is excited to launch the third round of the Digital Equity Fund, which will support the Boston community through $250,000 in mini-grants. This work is being funded in partnership with:

  • the Age Strong Commission ($150,000), and
  • the Department of Innovation and Technology ($100,000).

Mini-grants will go towards solving three major technology challenges:

1. Equipment:

We hope to support the community by providing the technology equipment required to keep you connected. This can include:

  • smartphones
  • tablets
  • laptops, and
  • any other technology devices that would support your cause.
2. Access:

Internet access is essential to staying connected to the world. These mini-grants can go towards hotspots, WiFi, and any other connectivity essentials. It can also support organizations working with residents who are eligible for the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program (EBB).

3. Training:

We know technology can change by the day. These mini-grants can support the training you need to empower your organization or residents you serve with the tools they need to utilize technology. 

We encourage nonprofits focused on serving the following populations to apply: 

  • Older adults 
  • Persons with disabilities 
  • English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) or English Language Learner (ELL) students
  • Residents of Public Housing or rental voucher holders
  • Adult residents who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Finally, organizations focused on neighborhoods disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 will be prioritized. These neighborhoods include:

  • East Boston
  • Dorchester
  • Roxbury
  • Mattapan, and
  • Hyde Park.

See the map of neighborhood impact.  

How to apply

The City expects to award grants ranging from $5,000 to $35,000. These are one-time one-year grants. All grant funds must be spent within one year. 

To qualify for a grant, organizations must:

  • have nonprofit status (or have a fiscal sponsor)
  • be Boston-based, and
  • serve Boston residents. 

The application deadline for 2021 was April 30 at 5 p.m. You can preview a word document of the application.

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Fund background

We support projects that:
  • help people use the Internet, digital skills, and digital tools to pursue life goals
  • allow communities to work, play, learn, and engage in civic life on the Internet safely and securely
  • make decisions based on the needs of their community, and
  • work to help households who don’t subscribe to broadband get access to this service.
History

In 2017, the City of Boston used $35,000 to offer grants to local community organizations. We administered the fund through a selective application process. The first grant was awarded to the Castle Square Tenants Organization to fund its work with local students. Through our grant, the nonprofit was able to provide paid internships to more than a dozen students. They also offered an audio/visual college course, in partnership with the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology. In 2019, three Boston nonprofits received the grants — La Alianza Hispana, Mujeres Unidas Avanzando, and South End Technology Center. These groups received $100,000 in grants combined through the fund. Learn more about the 2019 recipients

Watch: Castle Square Tenants Organization
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