1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 405, Portland, OR 97204
The City of Portland, through the Office for Community Technology (OCT), is launching a funding initiative in response to community identified solutions to addressing digital adoption barriers experienced by community members disproportionately impacted by the digital divide and the COVID pandemic: Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), individuals with disabilities, seniors, and other community members in isolation and at high risk of exclusion.
The Community Digital Navigator Pilot Program is designed to build or scale Digital Navigator services in the community to help individuals find and apply for affordable connectivity, obtain low-cost or free computing devices, complete online tasks, and connect to digital skills training and technical support.
There are three goals for this pilot grant program:
Goal 1: To ensure people, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color, People with disabilities, and Seniors, receive on-demand support and relevant information to secure internet access and devices, as well as the opportunity to build foundational digital skills that improve a person’s economic, health, and social wellbeing. All from a trusted, local source.
Goal 2: To ensure trusted community-based organizations are building capacity—by sustaining existing services or innovating new services—to serve the digital adoption needs of people disproportionately affected by the digital divide.
Goal 3: To learn from the Digital Navigators about persistent digital adoption barriers and to document the types of services and supports people affected by the digital divide need that could potentially be supported by the Digital Inclusion Fund.
OCT is pleased to issue notice of availability of grant funds for projects that scale or build Digital Navigator services in the community and invites Portland-based community non-profit organizations to apply.
OCT’s Digital Inclusion Fund has $175,000 available in the 2021-2022 fiscal year and anticipates granting $87,500 each to no more than two (2) community-based organizations in this funding round.
OCT’s Digital Inclusion Fund is expected to receive another $175,000 in the 2022-2023 fiscal year budget and these funds may or may not be used to continue funding under this pilot. OCT will continue to rely on community direction, through engagement with the Digital Inclusion Network, grantees, and others, to determine the funding programs supported by the Digital Inclusion Fund. Being awarded grant funds using FY2021-22 funding does not imply or guarantee future funding.
Deadline for Applications is April 11