If your nonprofit is committed to helping people connect to the internet, you know that technology can have a high-cost barrier to entry. As the internet becomes more and more important in day-to-day life, lowering this cost is key to keeping underserved communities in step with advantaged communities. Here are some programs you can use to help bridge the digital divide for the people and communities you serve.
There are a number of programs that refurbish and recycle used computers and other digital devices. Depending on the program, these devices can be certified by technicians to operate properly. Even better, some devices come with several years’ worth of warranty. These refurbished devices are significantly cheaper than retail prices. If your nonprofit provides internet capable devices to individuals, then finding a program that refurbishes technological devices can help stretch your dollar to help more people. Some of these programs even donate these refurbished devices to nonprofits that provide computers, laptops, and even mobile hotspots for schools struggling to connect to the internet.
Low-Cost Wireless Internet
Connecting to the internet is increasingly important for individuals and organizations. There are many educational opportunities offered online that can help individuals living in underserved communities reach their educational goals. Programs that offer discounted internet service for nonprofit organizations help connect people to the internet at discounted rates, which again means more of a nonprofit’s budget can go to getting people access to the resources they need. Some of these providers will even offer mobile hotspots for schools so that students can connect to the internet using devices on the school’s mobile network. This is especially valuable for students who live in rural areas where wired internet isn’t available to every household. By connecting these students to the internet, your nonprofit or program can equip students with educational tools that might otherwise be unavailable to them.
There are several government programs that nonprofits can use to their technological advantage. For example, if you operate an educational nonprofit, the Computers for Learning program allows federal agencies to donate their extra computers and technology to educational nonprofits. Programs that are eligible to receive these donations can actually see and request the specific equipment they need. Using this program, nonprofits looking for a specific piece of technology can be sure their needs are met. There are a few government programs that actually supply internet service for nonprofit organizations based on financial qualifications. Helping these individuals connect to the internet may be what they need to pursue opportunities they might not otherwise have access to.
Running a nonprofit is about serving a community. By capitalizing on these programs, you can make the most of your nonprofit’s budget and help even more individuals improve their lives.