Computer Grant Initiative
The Computer Grant Program was the first initiative of the Foundation. At the start of Foundation operations, numerous focus group meetings were held with representatives of area nonprofits to determine the primary needs of the community. Lack of adequate computer resources was frequently mentioned as a limitation in a nonprofit’s ability to provide timely client services and conduct program evaluations. The Foundation staff and Distribution Committee determined that providing a computer-based infrastructure will help modernize nonprofits and their ability to leverage resources and increase efficiency. The Foundation was also in a better position to negotiate with vendors and obtained volume discounts. Grants would be awarded for computer hardware, software, and training.
The Initiative was announced in May 1998 and grant proposals were accepted through July of that year. Between September 1998 and July 1999 the Foundation awarded 321 grants to 199 organizations totaling $1,979,728.