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T4T TechLaunch Program
Sponsored by IBM
The distribution of computer hardware on behalf of IBM was one of the main reasons for creation of Teaming for Technology programs across the country. IBM had been giving computers to nonprofits for years, but found that, in many cases, these computers were being underused due to a lack of training and support. This grant was reformatted into the T4T TechLaunch program to not only give computers to nonprofits, but also to ensure that the proper training and support are offered to best employ the donated technology.
Teaming for Technology Colorado has given approximately $70,000 worth of new hardware each year to Colorado 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. The hardware available consists of desktop computers, laptop computers and printers. This is all IBM/Lenovo equipment and is obtained at no cost. (No software is given in this grant beyond the operating system (Windows) preloaded on each machine.) Typically, T4T is able to enroll 6-10 organizations each year into the TechLaunch grant program. A list of previous participants in the TechLaunch Program can be found on the T4T website. Organizations are chosen for the program based on need, and are selected by a committee comprised of members of the nonprofit technology community, former recipients, and other stakeholders.
The T4T TechLaunch program provides selected organizations computing hardware to fill gaps in their technology needs, but more importantly, it gives them the tools to build their organization’s technological capacity. The program is not meant to completely meet the technology needs an organization may have, but rather serves as a “jumpstart” for the organization to apply the skills acquired in the program to better use the technology equipment they already possess. The program also imparts organizations with the skills necessary to obtain technology grants from other funders.
Organization Eligibility Criteria
The following criteria must be met in order to be considered for the program:
- Must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit within Colorado
- Organization must not be in violation of any of the IBM Grant Application guidelines
In addition to the above requirements, Teaming for Technology’s preference in working with organizations for the TechLaunch Program is that the organizations have one or more of the following traits:
- Work primarily with underserved populations as defined by the Federal Government’s Poverty Guidelines
- Will use the donated computers for direct service (a community lab, for example)*
- Have a K-12 educational focus
- Plan innovative ways of incorporating granted computers into the organization’s programming
Failure to meet the above four criteria does not, however, eliminate organizations from consideration. Organizations that have applied previously, but were not chosen, are eligible to apply again in the following year. Organizations who have been accepted into the program may not reapply for three years following the completion of the program.
2008 TechLaunch Timeline
- February 29: Applications available
- April 15: Application deadline (midnight)
- Late April/early May: Site visits to TechLaunch finalists
- June: TechLaunch 2008 recipients announced
- August - November: TechLaunch seminars and workshops
- Late fall: Hardware delivery
*Organizations seeking to use the computers for direct service have priority for consideration. Direct services are services that directly involve an organization's participants. Computers used mainly by staff for accounting, fundraising, human resources, and facilities management are not considered as being used for direct service. Donated computers may be used by staff for multiple purposes including direct service and general operating activities; however, organizations that successfully apply to receive IBM computers usually use the equipment for a majority of time to benefit their organization's clients/participants.