SAN ANTONIO, TX–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–September 23, 2003–The SBC Foundation – the philanthropic arm of SBC Communications Inc. – awarded $9 million to nonprofit organizations through the 2003 SBC Excelerator competitive technology grants program. SBC Excelerator, the signature giving program of the SBC Foundation, funds projects that use technology to build stronger communities. This year, more than 680 nonprofit organizations throughout the SBC 13-state region and in Washington, D.C. received SBC Excelerator grants. Among the organizations receiving funds this year, 98 are dedicated to primarily serving the Hispanic community. Eighteen percent of the total SBC Excelerator funds disbursed this year benefit the Hispanic population.
“SBC Excelerator is the largest special grants program ever undertaken by the SBC Foundation. These grants provide critical funding to hundreds of organizations that are interested in more fully integrating technology into their ongoing operations and community outreach efforts,” said William Daley, president, SBC Communications.
Introduced in 2002, SBC Excelerator was founded on the idea that technology access and resources can improve the lives of people in communities across the nation. To qualify for an SBC Excelerator grant, an organization’s major focus and project must be in one of the following areas: education, community development, health and human services or arts and culture. The 2003 SBC Excelerator grants were awarded to organizations helping connect some of the nation’s neediest residents, including at-risk youth, and underserved urban families, to important community resources, such as Internet access, hands-on computer training, math and reading classes, and job skills programs.
With help from 2003 SBC Excelerator grants, nonprofit organizations in communities across the United States are improving operations and their ability to serve neighborhoods through:
— Interactive, Web-based applications that support activities such as service delivery, volunteer recruiting and e-fundraising
— Technology training programs for nonprofit staff members
— High speed access to the Internet and email
— Network connectivity enabling easy sharing of database applications and information systems
For example, the Latino Learning Center organization in Texas received funds destined to support current technology infrastructure upgrades, provide agency wide technology training to staff, and assist other nonprofits in developing a technology program of their own to include staff training in an underserved area of Houston. In California, the Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos organization will use the funds to support the Mobile Technology Center that will provide computer training in computer literacy, digital management, multimedia and other applications for staff, youth constituents, local social service organizations, and non-profits seeking support. In Washington, D.C., the National Puerto Rican Coalition will use the funds to support the creation of a web-based curriculum to provide bilingual on-line training services in financial literacy, home buying, and credit counseling services to the Hispanic community.
Since the introduction of SBC Excelerator, the SBC Foundation has allocated a total of $19 million to community-based organizations through national and local grants. In March 2003, the SBC Foundation announced that the NPower Network was the 2003 SBC Excelerator national grant recipient. NPower, a nonprofit organization that provides technology support services to other nonprofits, is using its $500,000 SBC Excelerator grant to provide ongoing technology training, tools and resources for nonprofits, thereby helping those organizations use technology to increase vital services in local communities.
A primary goal of SBC Excelerator is to connect people and help develop digital opportunities in local communities. Business Week Online recently reported that the digital divide is narrowing, citing research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and Nielson/Net Ratings that shows Internet audiences have become more demographically representative of the overall population since 2001.
“Programs like SBC Excelerator fund technology resources and training that work to eliminate the digital divide,” said Laura Sanford, president of the SBC Foundation. “SBC Excelerator is designed specifically to help nonprofits where there is still great need. The program is a great example of how technology can improve nonprofits’ ability to meet their missions and increase their organizational effectiveness.”
Individual organizations received grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000. Collaborations by two or more organizations were considered for grants up to $50,000. SBC Excelerator grants are for one year in length. A complete listing of the 2003 SBC Excelerator grant recipients is available at http://www.sbc.com/foundation.
The SBC Foundation is the charitable giving arm of SBC Communications Inc. The SBC Foundation supports efforts that enrich and strengthen diverse communities nationwide, particularly those with an emphasis on education and technology and those that benefit underserved populations. SBC Foundation-backed programs are designed to increase access to information technologies, broaden technology training and professional skills development, and effectively integrate new technologies to enhance education and economic development. The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The Foundation Center have consistently ranked the SBC Foundation among the nation’s top five corporate foundations. In 2002, the SBC Foundation launched SBC Excelerator, a multi-million dollar competitive grants program that funds nonprofit organizations in their efforts to digitally connect communities.
SBC Communications Inc. (http://www.sbc.com) is one of the world’s leading data, voice and Internet services providers. Through its world-class networks, SBC companies provide a full range of voice, data, networking and e-business services, as well as directory advertising and publishing. A Fortune 30 company, SBC is America’s leading provider of high-speed DSL Internet Access services and one of the nation’s leading Internet Service Providers. SBC companies currently serve 56 million access lines nationwide. In addition, SBC companies own 60 percent of America’s second-largest wireless company, Cingular Wireless, which serves 23 million wireless customers. Internationally, SBC companies have telecommunications investments in 25 countries.