Techquity is a new initiative of United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County (UWGMWC), launched in 2020, to bridge the digital divide in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington counties. To accomplish this, Techquity strives to ensure students, adults, and families in our community have access to the digital tools and skills they need to succeed in their education and/or employment. Techquity uses four strategies to promote digital equity and inclusion:
- Access: Advocating & organizing for access to reliable, affordable broadband internet service.
- Devices: Securing digital devices for priority populations without access to them.
- Skills: Developing & promoting partnerships, trainings, and resources to improve digital skills & literacy, & encourage advancement in tech-sector careers for priority populations.
- Advocacy: Developing a network of local advocates who can raise awareness about the digital divide in our region, & leverage their expertise & organization(s) to foster digital equity & inclusion.
The Techquity Digital Device & Skills Grant Fund application process is part of Techquity’s first, second, and third strategies, Access, Devices, or Skills. There are two different application tracks for the Techquity Digital Device & Skills Grant Fund: one for a request to fund the purchase of digital devices (Option 1), and another for a request to fund digital skills and literacy training (Option 2). Funds received from either grant must be used to serve one or more of Techquity’s priority populations. Organizations can submit applications for one or both options with a grant request for up to $10,000 per application and an annual cap of $20,000 per oganization, from UWGMWC’s Techquity initiative. If your organization’s access, device, or skills needs exceed $10,000 per request, please email David Berka using the form below, to discuss further.
OPTION 1: Techquity Digital Devices Grant. Eligible devices on which to spend Techquity Digital Devices Grant funding include:
- laptop and/or desktop computers/Chromebooks;
- routers, modems, and/or coaxial cables;
- WiFi hotspots and associated data plans;
- keyboards and mouses;
- cellphones or smartphones and associated data plans;
- broadband internet bill by month or year;
- other relevant tech-related items.
OPTION 2: Techquity Digital Skills Grant. Eligible digital skills training on which to spend Techquity Digital Skills Grant funds include:
- costs for hiring digital skills/literacy instructors for priority populations;
- enrolling clients in digital skills/upskilling classes, seminars, or conferences;
- educational resources or materials to aid or enhance the digital skills and literacy of clients;
- other relevant skills and training-related items or resources.
All Techquity Digital Devices & Skills Grant Fund recipients must use their received funding to serve clients from one or more of Techquity’s designated priority populations, which include but are not limited to:
- Households with school-aged children;
- Under-resourced schools and other education-focused community organizations;
- Community-based organizations in “broadband deserts,” or areas of limited broadband connectivity;
- Seniors in need of digital devices and/or digital skills training;
- Persons seeking employment, especially employment requiring moderate to high digital skills and/or “upskilling”;
- Vulnerable populations, such as those experiencing domestic violence or homelessness;
- Other priority populations as relevant.
Each organization applying for Techquity Digital Device grants must select "yes" to the following questions to be eligible.
- Is your agency a registered 501(c)3 in good financial standing?
- Does your agency serve Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha, and/or Washington County residents?
- Can your agency provide a 25% cash or in-kind match?
- Does your agency provide direct service to clients without access to digital tools necessary to learn or work effectively, especially those who must work remotely/from their home, shelter, etc.?
- Can your agency demonstrate need for requested digital devices and the uses to which they will be put?
- Can the agency commit to spending grant awards within three months of grant approval and providing a post-award report on the use of funds within six months of grant approval?
2022 Application Details and Deadlines
2022 Application Timeline
March 1, 2022 – First quarter applications due
June 1, 2022 – 2nd quarter applications due
*Applicants will be notified of award status within 30 days of the application due date.
This application is now closed.
Please sign up to be notified of new funding opportunities on our Funding Opportunities Page.
Grantees will be required to submit a grant-end report which includes:
- documentation of when, how, and to whom digital devices/digital literacy training services are distributed and/or administered;
- anonymous, basic demographic data of device and/or skills training recipients (age, gender, race, ethnicity, annual household income, education level, dependents);
- an itemized list of how the grant funds were spent;
- a narrative description of how the digital devices and/or skills training have benefited the clients of our organization's program.
Awarded organizations must manage the purchase of digital devices and/or training services themselves, as well as manage any contracts associated with the devices/trainings. If needed, Techquity can provide contact information for, and/or broker a meeting with, reputable vendors of both digital devices and their associated data plans (e.g. 25 hotspots and the monthly/yearly data plans required for them), or for digital skills training vendors. UWGMWC and/or Techquity is not able to manage the device contracts or data plans for any organization awarded a Digital Devices Grant. However, Techquity can recommend reputable vendors for professionally recycled and refurbished devices like laptop and desktop computers.