ALIVE! was awarded a TechGrant to enable the organization to purchase the necessary technological infrastructure to get the new warehouse up and running: laptop and desktop computers, printers, IT support, and copiers. ALIVE! (ALexandrians InVolved Ecumenically!) is a nonprofit organization of 43 faith-based congregations and diverse community members, together constituting the largest private safety net for the needy in Alexandria, Virginia. ALIVE! works to address short-term and long-term needs for the less fortunate in its community. ALIVE!’s cornerstone program is the Food and Family Emergency Program, which supplies groceries, including produce, meat, and eggs, to financially struggling families. In order to better serve its constituents, ALIVE! is expanding its warehouse and operations space to accommodate more food storage, refrigeration, and storage.
HFLS was awarded a TechGrant for a much-needed upgrade, and will replace their old system in its entirety with Cloud Lending, a scalable, cloud-based software. In so doing, HFLS will improve security, increase organizational capacity, track lending more efficiently, and produce valuable data for program evaluation. The Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS) is the oldest microfinance organization in New York City, providing interest-free loans, on a non-sectarian basis, to help people help themselves. HFLS currently has more than $10.8 million dollars outstanding to more than 1,800 borrowers, and yet was using an outdated, inefficient loan management system to track and organize their loans.
Machine Science will use its TechGrant funds to launch a Mobile Robotics Club, which will provide robotics afterschool programming to three schools each spring. The TechGrant funds will be used to purchase materials to launch four robotics teams, allowing students to build and code robots for participation in Machine Science’s annual Robot Sumo Tournament. Machine Science supports hands-on engineering education for underserved and underrepresented young people. Based in Cambridge, MA, Machine Science works with schools across the Boston area, supplying the schools with robot kits, curriculum materials, and software resources, and offering after-school, vacation week, and summer engineering programs for students in grades 6 to 12.
Main Street Project’s TechGrant will be used for hardware, software, and training to enable Main Street Project to collect and analyze data across the farms in real-time. Main Street Project’s mission is to build a socially, economically, and ecologically resilient food system. Main Street Project has been developing a system of poultry-centered regenerative agriculture, in which farmers use a diversified approach to their farming by integrating livestock, perennial and annual crops, thus reducing chemical inputs and creating an energy-efficient and productive farm. Main Street Project is expanding from its prototype facilities to three demonstration farms in three different ecological settings (Northfield, MN, Pine Ridge, SD, and San Migeul de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico).
Math is My Friend, Inc.’s (MIMF) 2016 TechGrant will be used to support the cost of netbooks for thirty-two students who participate in the “It’s Elementary” and “Middle to the Top” math programs. These two programs, which run the length of the school year, consist of a two-hour in-person small group tutorial, and two-and-one-half hours a week of on-line training and additional assignments. The netbooks supplied by virtue of the TechFoundation TechGrant are integral to the students’ participation in this program. MIMF in Atlanta, GA is dedicated to helping at-risk students increase their math knowledge, confidence and focus. MIMF students achieve measurable results in standardized testing, overall math knowledge, and overall confidence in themselves as scholars.
The Museum of Northern Arizona (“MNA”) has been awarded a TechGrant to update the audio visual equipment in its exhibit building. This equipment is used in support of most of the MNA’s public programs, including scientific and art lectures and forums, the annual Heritage Festivals of Art & Culture celebrating native tribes, and is also used in MNA’s partnerships with community organizations (many of whom use MNA space for events). MNA is located in Flagstaff, AZ, and is dedicated to collecting, studying, interpreting, and preserving the natural and cultural heritage of the Colorado Plateau.
The Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) will use its 2016 TechGrant to enhance its technological hardware, purchasing a sophisticated and integrated back-up system for its data; a Geographical Information System (GIS) workstation; and high-quality cameras for use in the field. VCE will also use TechGrant funds towards the salary of a full-time house IT specialist, who will serve as a programmer, web developer, database expert, and general IT specialist. VCE seeks to advance wildlife conservation through the combined efforts of professional scientists and citizen-scientist observers. VCE combines its body of knowledge into publically available databases that can expand and enhance our understanding of the natural world, and inform public policy. VCE’s wildlife conservation work relies increasingly on sophisticated technology, spanning field research, data analytics, and communications.
Vermont Land Trust’s (VLT) TechGrant will be used to purchase ten new additional “mapping grade” Global Positioning System (GPS) mapping units. These GPS units will collect high accuracy coordinates, and beam them via Bluetooth to paired VLT devices. VLT works to protect and conserve farms, forests, community lands, and associated natural systems throughout the state of Vermont. In the course of its work, VLT must map property boundaries, delineate excluded parcels, and monitor ecological protection zones. The devices will achieve the required accuracy for VLT’s important work, and eliminate inefficiencies from old and outdated methods, thus enhancing VLT’s ability to achieve its mission.