Independence Media Accepting Applications for Digital Equity Fund, $20K - $100K Grant Funding



The Independence Public Media Foundation funds and supports creative, community-centered media and media making across Greater Philadelphia. Through grant-making and other programs, the Foundation supports building and strengthening networks of people who are creating and sharing information, ideas, and stories for change and justice.


IPMF is inviting proposals for its 2021 Digital Equity Fund. The pandemic has underscored the urgency of digital equity and its intersections with structural inequality. We are seeking proposals that help communities get and stay connected to the internet and access the information and resources they need to have agency and thrive.


Proposals should address one or more of these three focus areas:

  • Expand broadband internet access (through policy, advocacy, mesh networks, etc.)

  • Expand access to digital technology and hardware

  • Increase knowledge around how to navigate digital technology and content (digital literacy, media literacy)

We will give priority to organizations and projects that meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, women, people who are LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities and people directly impacted by mass incarceration.

  • Serve communities that are directly impacted by systemic racism and other forms of oppression

  • Directly address systemic inequality

  • Feature collaboration between multiple partners

Additionally, we will give preference to organizations with annual operating budgets under $1 million.

We are offering project grants ranging from $20,000 – $100,000 to advance digital equity in the Greater Philadelphia region.

  • We expect many of the grant awards to be one-year grants, but in some cases, we may consider two-year grants (not to exceed $200,000 total over two years). For example, we may give a two-year grant for an existing program or collaboration that needs funds to take it to the next level.

  • If your project is new, we recommend applying for a one year grant.

  • If your proposal is awarded a two-year grant, the full amount will be paid upfront.


GRANT AWARDS

The Digital Equity Fund will award grants in three different ranges, depending on the scope and needs of the work. These ranges are meant to provide helpful guidance, but we will remain flexible as we review applications:

  • $20,000- $45,000 – typically geared toward new or smaller-scale projects, community engagement, or experimentation.

  • $45,000- $75,000 – generally seeks to support larger-scale projects or collaborations that foster innovation and create stronger networks.

  • $75,000-$100,000 – will support established programs and projects to expand, evolve or deepen their work.

HOW TO APPLY/APPLICATION MATERIALS

We aim to keep the process for applying as simple as we can. To apply, you will fill out an online application (made available on May 17) which includes contact information, a demographic survey of your organization and project leader(s), a brief narrative about your project, and a project timeline and budget. You will receive confirmation when your application has been received. We will review all proposals at the same time, after the deadline to apply has passed.


TIMELINE (these may be subject to change)

  • May 17 – Application portal opens

  • June 11 – Deadline for applying

  • July 29-30 – Selected proposals will be notified

  • August 10 – Public announcement of grants awarded

If there is an opportunity to let applicants know earlier if their proposal will not be funded, we will make every effort to do that.


To learn more, click here.