$6 Million in SBC Foundation Technology Funding to Help More Than 500 Nonprofits Serve Local Communities
SBC Excelerator Program Delivers Technology Access to Underserved Communities, Addressing Infrastructure and Outreach Needs Among Nonprofits
San Antonio, Texas, October 11, 2005
To aid nonprofit organizations in strengthening the communities and empowering the people they serve, the SBC Foundation — the philanthropic arm of SBC Communications Inc. — is helping nonprofits achieve their technology goals with $6 million in competitive SBC Excelerator technology grants benefiting 513 organizations across the United States.
SBC Excelerator is a major philanthropic initiative that connects the nation’s neediest residents, including at-risk youth and underserved urban families, to important technology resources, such as Internet access and training. The program also assists nonprofits in using technology to expand the reach of services and to heighten the impact those services have on people in the community. The competitive grant program is part of an overall $7 million 2005 SBC Excelerator initiative. Now in its fourth year, SBC Excelerator has provided more than $33 million to more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations around the country to build stronger communities and improve lives through improved technology infrastructure and service enhancements.
With the development of new applications, nonprofits are finding innovative ways to employ technology to meet their missions, such as distance learning, the digitization of museum collections and telemedicine. But ideas often outpace resources, with many of these organizations facing technological limitations on a daily basis.
SBC Excelerator technology grants are designed to provide the funding they need for critical infrastructure, such as communications systems, computer networks, client management databases and Internet access.
“Nonprofit organizations make a profound difference in our communities and in the lives of people across the country,” said Forrest Miller, chairman of the SBC Foundation. “Technology capacity continues to emerge as a key factor in the day-to-day operations and outreach of nonprofits, and we will continue our commitment to helping meet their technology needs.”
The stability of a nonprofit’s technology infrastructure can make a dramatic difference in the quality of service that they are able to provide, according to Scott Schaffer, executive director of NPower, a national network of nonprofit organizations that helps other nonprofits use technology to better serve their communities.
“As nonprofits become more familiar with the possibilities that technology offers them, we are seeing more creative ways of using it as a service delivery tool across all sectors,” Schaffer said. “One idea tends to lead to another.”
To further spur ideas, NPower has produced a series of white papers highlighting technology innovation in four nonprofit sectors: arts and culture, health and human services, education and community development. Available for downloading, at www.sbc.com/foundation, each Technology Guide for Nonprofits explains the possibilities of technology and provides nonprofit leaders with real-world examples demonstrating that potential.
Several 2005 SBC Excelerator recipients illustrate the variety of uses of technology applications across the following program areas:
* Communities in Schools, Columbus, Ohio, is using its SBC Excelerator grant to equip its caseworkers with laptop computers to manage student case files remotely and to access centralized student-performance data, community resources related to specific learning issues and other centralized resources necessary for comprehensive student support.
* Marshall Saline Development Corporation, Marshall, Mo., received an SBC Excelerator grant to support expansion of the Central Missouri Technology Skills Training Center. The center teaches computer skills to unemployed and underemployed adults.
Health and Human Services
* Family Health Center of San Diego, Inc., San Diego, Calif., received an SBC Excelerator grant to implement wireless data communications to allow the doctor in the neighborhood mobile medical unit electronic access to patient records residing on the center’s centralized server.
Arts and Culture
* The Mystic River Historical Society, Mystic, Conn., will use its SBC Excelerator grant to support electronic programs and displays of the history of Mystic, Conn., expanding their reach to additional sites.
Overall in 2005, the SBC Foundation distributed more than $7 million in SBC Excelerator grants to community-based organizations. Earlier this year, the SBC Foundation announced two $500,000 national SBC Excelerator grants to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and to The OASIS Institute.
* The USHCC Foundation received a $500,000 SBC Excelerator grant to support the creation of 20 Casa Cyber Community Technology Centers — community-based small-business incubation centers operated in conjunction with local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.
* The OASIS Institute received $500,000 in SBC Excelerator funds to support a new project for mature adults who want or need to continue working in productive roles beyond the traditional retirement age. In 13 cities across the United States, adults will be able to update their technology skills for the workplace, as well as to update their job-search skills in order to take advantage of the many employment resources available online and in the community.
The SBC Excelerator program is the largest special grants program ever undertaken by the SBC Foundation, one of the top corporate foundations in the nation, according to The Foundation Center. Since 1984, SBC Communications and the SBC Foundation have contributed more than $1 billion to nonprofit organizations across the country.
The SBC Foundation is the charitable giving arm of SBC Communications Inc. The SBC Foundation supports efforts that enrich and strengthen diverse communities nationwide, particularly those with an emphasis on education and technology and those that benefit underserved populations. SBC Foundation-backed programs are designed to increase access to information technologies, broaden technology training and professional skills development, and effectively integrate new technologies to enhance education and economic development. The Foundation Center has consistently ranked the SBC Foundation among the nation’s top fifteen corporate foundations. In 2002, the SBC Foundation launched SBC Excelerator, a multimillion dollar competitive grants program that funds nonprofit organizations in their efforts to digitally connect communities. For more information, visit www.sbc.com/foundation.
SBC Communications Inc. is a Fortune 50 company whose subsidiaries, operating under the SBC brand, provide a full range of voice, data, networking, e-business, directory publishing and advertising, and related services to businesses, consumers and other telecommunications providers. SBC holds a 60 percent ownership interest in Cingular Wireless, which serves more than 51 million wireless customers. SBC companies provide high-speed DSL Internet access lines to more American consumers than any other provider and are among the nation’s leading providers of Internet services. SBC companies also offer satellite TV service. Additional information about SBC and SBC products and services is available at www.sbc.com
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