Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Microsoft: Elevate America Community Initiative

Microsoft recently announced the availability of a request for proposals (RFP) for the Microsoft Elevate America community initiative. Microsoft will contribute $4 million in cash and up to $6 million in software, plus technology skills training curriculum, over the next two years to support nonprofit organizations providing IT skills training in their communities to help people improve their skills and find employment.

Organizations may request between $100,000 and $250,000 cash, not to exceed 50 percent of the program’s total cash budget. Additionally, software and curriculum can be requested as part of this process. The grant request should be commensurate with the proposed program design and scale.

Since 2003, Microsoft has been committed to providing IT skills training to individuals across the country. In partnership with thousands of nonprofit organizations, they’ve reached more than 27 million people. Through the Elevate America community initiative Microsoft will continue to expand and deepen their IT skills training investments in the U.S. by working with organizations that seek to grow their reach with programs that have the ability to scale and leverage partnerships at the local, regional and national level.

For this request for proposal process, Microsoft wants to partner with organizations who serve people in underserved communities - individuals with limited or less than average (compared to the relevant broader population) access to the education and training resources required to meet the needs of local labor market demands. Microsoft has a particular, but not exclusive, interest in working with partners who are focused on the needs of women and young workers (ages 18-25) who are at an even greater risk within the broader population.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) encourages you to review the RFP and eligibility criteria on the Elevate America website.

Interested organizations have until October 8, 2010 to apply to this initiative and successful applicants will be announced in January, 2011.

Microsoft is doing some important work in communities across the country and around the world and I hope that BDPA can make the connection with them this year!

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