Thursday, May 4, 2023

City of Austin Grant for Technology Opportunities Program Core Grant Recipients Named

Ten Local Non-profits Will Use Award to Promote Digital Literacy and Inclusion

The City of Austin awarded funding to 10 local non-profit organizations through its Grant for Technology Opportunities Program (GTOP) Core pathway. This year’s Core grants, ranging from $17,449 to $33,000, promote digital skills and inclusion. Four GTOP recipients are new Core pathway grantees*.
“We were impressed with the unique and creative ways these grant recipients found to encourage, inspire and connect residents with new digital skills,” said Rondella Hawkins, the City of Austin’s Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs Officer. “The GTOP awards are an extension of the City’s commitment to support our community organizations that provide digital inclusion work. The matching funds allow community groups to reach and teach so many community members in different innovative ways.”
The 10 non-profit organizations receiving a GTOP Core award found innovative ways to serve the community through technology. Many recipients offer hands-on training for job skills such as: how to edit music, generate artificial intelligence or design video games. The focus for Austin Speech Labs is improving communication for stroke survivors. All the recipients have a focus on helping economically disadvantaged community members from youth to seniors.
The recipients and the grants amounts are:

American Youth Works $17,449
Anthropos Arts$33,097
Austin Speech Labs                $20,842
*Austin Urban Technology Movement AUTMHQ$32,075
*Building Promise$31,794
*Changing Expectations$30,262
Latinitas  $31,335
*Non Pareil Institute$32,393
 Texas Folklife Resources Inc.$31,970
The Museum of Human Achievement$31,934

Austin Urban Technology Movement (AUTMHQ) President and CEO Michael Ward Jr. said, “AUTMHQ is honored to have the support of the City of Austin’s GTOP program. This financial contribution will provide scholarships to cover unlimited certifications to folks enrolled in our program, as well as laptops, dedicated support and job placement assistance for a year. All of this support will help our AUTMites land jobs paying more than $50,000 a year.”

The four grant pathways are:

  • GTOP Core – total annual funding of more than $275,000 with individual grants between $10,000 and $35,000 per organization. It is geared towards larger organizations working on a new program or intensive project. The Core grant application deadline was Feb. 12. 
  • GTOP Mini – total annual funding up to $50,000 with individual grants between $5,000 and $10,000 a year. It is designed to support smaller organizations working on a shorter-term project. The applications process is now open and applications will be accepted until May 14.
  • GTOP Capacity – total annual funding of $25,000 a year includes individual awards of between $150 and $2500. It helps non-profits build capacity by funding technology infrastructure, staff training and development opportunities. Interested local nonprofits can begin applying now.
  • GTOP Connect – awards one $31,849 grant to an organization helping individuals and families eligible for Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) benefits. This support can be monthly internet costs, devices, or for ACP sign-up events. June 23 is the first date that applications can be submitted.

 Additional information and help, including a video with grant writing tips, is available at Grant for Technology Opportunities Program |
The Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission (CTTC) appointed a volunteer grant review committee comprised of six qualified community representatives. This independent citizens grant review committee works alongside staff to review and rank the GTOP grant applications. Their recommendations are voted on at the first CTTC meeting after scoring is finalized.
Since its inception in 2001, the City of Austin has awarded more than $3 million in matching GTOP grants to 197 organizations. The GTOP community investments were combined with other matching  funds of $13 million to invest in unique initiatives and projects for expanding digital inclusion in Austin. These include workforce development programs, creative media training, computer labs, STEM programming and technology training programs for people with learning challenges.