We get asked all the time, “My organization wants to do this really important/ cool/ necessary technology project — where can I find a technology funder to give me a grant for it?”
Unfortunately, there’s no such beast. I’m not aware of any funder that looks to fund technology projects specifically. (This probably saddens us as much, or more, than it does you, as pretty much every project we’re trying to fund is a technology project).
Instead of looking for the mythical technology funder, look to those who support your cause, and talk to them about how the project will help you better fulfill your mission. For instance, consider:
- Can you make the case to a current funder that the technology will help you do the things they already care about, either better or more effectively?
- Do you have major donors who would consider funding a technology project? It’s a nice, tangible thing to support, especially for donors out of the business world who generally understand just how important technology is.
- Can you include it as a piece of a bigger proposal — for instance, that your website redesign is part of a new advocacy project, as it will help you to reach out?
- Can you interest local banks or corporate consulting firms? Local firms like to support local nonprofits, so they might be a source for small grants or volunteer experts.
Be creative and be persistant. Funding for technology isn’t a lost cause, but seaching for an ideal “technology funder” is likely to lead you down the wrong path.