I am currently a member of the Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee. This will be my last year.
The Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee and The Minneapolis Foundation have called an RFP from eligible 501 (c)(3) nonprofits. Approximately $100,000 will be available for single-year grants in 2010. The Fund will make grants of various sizes, however the maximum grant size is $10,000 for this cycle.
Proposals must be received by 4:30 p.m. friday, September 10, 2010.
The Digital Inclusion Fund is a donor advised fund of The Minneapolis Foundation. It was established through a provision of the Community Benefits Agreement that was a part of the contract between the City of Minneapolis and U.S. Internet Wireless. USIW is the vendor responsible for establishing a wireless network in the City of Minneapolis.
See the RFP below the fold.
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In the 2006 negotiations with US Internet (USI) to implement a mesh wireless (802.11) network over Minneapolis, the City was able to negotiate a Community Benefits Agreement that included $500,000 in payments to a Digital Inclusion Fund (along with 5% of pre-tax income after the network was up and running). (See page C-1 of the contract.) The money is granted to support non-profit digital inclusion projects in Minneapolis.
So far the Minneapolis Digital Inclusion Fund Advisory Committee (DIFAC) has disbursed $400,000 of that $500,000—$200,000 over 2007
and another $200,000 in 2008
. We (I am a member of DIFAC) plan on requesting proposals this year and disbursing at least some of the remaining $100,000.
During 2009, DIFAC finally drafted its rules for governance which includes terms for advisors and a plan to rotate off the current advisors over the next few years. Two advisers will be finishing their terms this year. (I’m one of them.)
We are beginning the application process for new advisors.
If you are interested in forwarding the cause of digital inclusion in Minneapolis, consider applying and download the description and application and send them in by June 1. Details are in the documents.
DIF Advisors DescriptionDIF Advisor Application (PDF)DIF Advisor Application (MS Word)
Update: The application doesn’t include contact information. You can send your completed application to Valerie Lee or contact her if you have questions:
Valerie C. Lee
Community Philanthropy Officer
The Minneapolis Foundation
800 IDS Center
80 South Eighth Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
tel: (612) 672-3849
fax: (612) 672-3846