TECHNOLOGY GRANTS VS. IMPACT PROJECTS

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Technology Grants vs. Impact Projects

Qualifying nonprofit organizations serving the Chicagoland area are able to apply for two different grant programs with the Thierer Family Foundation - Technology Grants and Impact Projects.


Technology Grants are one-time grants made to fund organizational technology projects with the goal of making the grantee organization more effective, efficient, and/or sustainable. These invite-only grants run on a yearly cycle from March through July and follow a more traditional grant process.


Impact Projects are innovative technology projects that have the potential to make a significant, long-term impact on the target population. These projects are generally also able to be scaled in size, reach or functionality. Impact Projects are accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis throughout the year using a venture capital style approach that includes an in-depth due diligence process and a phased funding structure.

TECHNOLOGY GRANTS & IMPACT PROJECTS

PROJECT CHARACTERISTICS

Below are some general characteristics of Technology Grant projects and Impact Projects. These are intended to help you select the appropriate grant program for your project. Actual project characteristics may vary from the ones outlined below.

TECHNOLOGY GRANTS

IMPACT PROJECTS

Project Type

Straight-forward technology implementations/developmentsInnovative technology developments

Expected Impact

Significant impact on organizational operations by making the organization more effective, efficient, and/or sustainableSignificant impact on the organization’s target population

Solution Status

A proven solution is available and will be implemented with minimal to moderate amount of customization OR no current solution is available, but the organization has a clear plan and vendor to bring project to life Organization is looking to develop a new solution or advance an existing solution

Resources Needed

Project funding and light to moderate technical guidanceProject funding and technical support ranging from technical guidance to active project participation

Scalability Potential

Unlikely to be able to be reused or replicated for scalable impactAble to be scaled to other organizations, geographies, or use cases

Timeline

Project will likely be completed in one yearProject will likely be completed in a number of phases

TECHNOLOGY GRANTS & IMPACT PROJECTS

PROJECT CHARACTERISTICS

Below are some general characteristics of Technology Grant projects and Impact Projects. These are intended to help you select the appropriate grant program for your project. Actual project characteristics may vary from the ones outlined below.

TECHNOLOGY GRANTS

IMPACT PROJECTS

Project Type

Straight-forward technology implementations/developmentsInnovative technology developments

Expected Impact

Significant impact on organizational operations by making the organization more effective, efficient, and/or sustainableSignificant impact on the organization’s target population

Solution Status

A proven solution is available and will be implemented with minimal to moderate amount of customization OR no current solution is available, but the organization has a clear plan and vendor to bring project to life Organization is looking to develop a new solution or advance an existing solution

Resources Needed

Project funding and light to moderate technical guidanceProject funding and technical support ranging from technical guidance to active project participation

Scalability Potential

Unlikely to be able to be reused or replicated for scalable impactAble to be scaled to other organizations, geographies, or use cases

Timeline

Project will likely be completed in one yearProject will likely be completed in a number of phases

APPLICATION PROCESS

TECHNOLOGY GRANTS

Technology grants run on a yearly cycle from March through July and follow a traditional grant process. Participation in this process is by invitation only.

During the application process, we require all organizations to complete a concept letter that provides an overview of your organization, audience, challenge and proposed project. These concept letters will be used to select semi-finalists. The semi-finalists will be asked to complete the Technology Grant application which will be sent with the concept letter response. Finalists will be selected and invited to present their project proposal in person to the Foundation.

APPLICATION PROCESS

TECHNOLOGY GRANTS

Technology grants run on a yearly cycle from March through July and follow a traditional grant process. Participation in this process is by invitation only.

During the application process, we require all organizations to complete a concept letter that provides an overview of your organization, audience, challenge and proposed project. These concept letters will be used to select semi-finalists. The semi-finalists will be asked to complete the Technology Grant application which will be sent with the concept letter response. Finalists will be selected and invited to present their project proposal in person to the Foundation.

APPLICATION PROCESS

IMPACT PROJECTS

Impact Projects are accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis throughout the year using a venture capital style approach that includes an in-depth due diligence process and a phased funding structure.

During the application process, we require all organizations to complete a concept letter that provides an overview of your organization, audience, challenge and proposed project. If selected to move forward, you will be invited to pitch your project to the Thierer Family Foundation grants committee. If the project is of interest to the committee, your organization will move into the due diligence stage and will be asked to complete the Impact Project application and submit a business plan, resource request summary, a letter of board support, and a list of references. The Foundation will also conduct stakeholder interviews and a technology review with members of your organization. After that, you will work with the Foundation to define the project phases and key performance indicators.


Impact Projects are committed to on a phase-by-phase basis. Once the first phase is complete, you will work with the foundation to evaluate the initial phase and scope the following phase. Please note that commitment to prior phases does not guarantee commitment to future phases.

APPLICATION PROCESS

IMPACT PROJECTS

Impact Projects are accepted and evaluated on a rolling basis throughout the year using a venture capital style approach that includes an in-depth due diligence process and a phased funding structure.

During the application process, we require all organizations to complete a concept letter that provides an overview of your organization, audience, challenge and proposed project. If selected to move forward, you will be invited to pitch your project to the Thierer Family Foundation grants committee. If the project is of interest to the committee, your organization will move into the due diligence stage and will be asked to complete the Impact Project application and submit a business plan, resource request summary, a letter of board support, and a list of references. The Foundation will also conduct stakeholder interviews and a technology review with members of your organization. After that, you will work with the Foundation to define the project phases and key performance indicators.


Impact Projects are committed to on a phase-by-phase basis. Once the first phase is complete, you will work with the foundation to evaluate the initial phase and scope the following phase. Please note that commitment to prior phases does not guarantee commitment to future phases.