Increasing Digital Access May be a Grant Away

From broadband access to computers and training, there are grants out there to get everyone logged into the digital world.

In rural places like Mille Lacs County, Minn. and in pockets of cities like Kansas City, Mo., the world and its opportunities can feel a little out of reach for residents that don’t have Internet access.

According to the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, people “are excluded from the economic, education, health, social, and cultural benefits of the digital age” because they can’t get online. But grants like the Kansas City Digital Inclusion Fund are available. They provide broadband access and computers and increase people's digital skills.

The Foundation provides one-year grants ranging $15,000 to $100,000, without a matching requirement. The next deadline for eligible communities in Kansas and Missouri is September 25th.

In Mille Lacs County, the Blandin Foundation has provided $94,000 in grants over the last few years for everything from providing Internet access to studying broadband feasibility and training businesses on how to increase their online presence1. The next deadline for eligible Minnesota applicants is June 15th.

For communities in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine will award $7,000 Emerging Technology Award Grants, with no matching requirement. These grants are designed to assist public libraries with technology that promotes health, such as increasing access to high-quality health information, 3D printing, and more. The deadline for South Central Region states to apply is October 15th.



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