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Community technology grant proposal

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Proposal Information

Please give a 2-3 sentence summary of request:

Non-profit, neighborhood, and community groups need access to powerful yet low cost software for two-way organizational communication and engagement with stakeholders. E-Democracy.Org uses the new open source GroupServer platform for our dynamic Issues Forums. By engaging other non-profit/NGO potential users, a suite of feature enhancements that meet the needs of this group of users can be made available to all.


Population served: Non-profit/Non-governmental organizations, neighborhood, and community groups


Geographic area served: Global, or involvement can be focused on users within a target geographic area like Minnesota based on funder priorities


Funds are being request for (check one):

____ General operating support

_X___ Project/program support

____ Start-up costs

_X___ Technical assistance

____ Capital

____ Other (list)


Project dates (if applicable):

One year development process

Fiscal year end:

December 31


Budget - $100,000

Dollar amount requested: $100,000 (or $20,000+ for Minnesota specific effort)

Total annual organization budget: $

Total project budget (for support other than general operating): $100,000

Proposal Narrative

I. Organization Information:

Leave empty for now ... will draft common base.


II. Purpose of Grant

1. Situation

a. The opportunity, challenges, issue or need and the community that your proposal addresses.

For over a decade, E-Democracy.Org has pragmatically used information technology and the Internet to do our civic work. The we are a fundamentally online non-profit organization from the online public spaces we create (Issues Forums) to the communication of our Board and manhy volunteers. We also know the limits of technology and meet face-to-face as well.

In the last few years, online community, blogging, and content syndication standards and technology have advanced to a new point of opportunity. Some refer to this as Web 2.0. There is a mismatch between normally proprietary web-based online group systems and the reality of individual use of e-mail. GroupServer is the first open source integrated tool that allows equitable group communication via e-mail or the web in the same virtual space. It is ideal for non-profit organizations, particularly smaller groups with extensive communication over the Internet as well as for larger non-profits when communicating with stakeholder outside of their local area network.

With modest funding from the UK Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (under $10,000), Minnesota-based E-Democracy.Org helped promote the open source release of the New Zealand developed GroupServer platform for online groups in March 2005. Open source (GPL in this case) means that the source code may be freely examined, downloaded and used.

The business model for iOpen and Groupsense, the New Zealand leaders of GroupServer, is to build feature enhancements and host online groups for those not interested in using their own servers (which they can) and staff resources. As a primary user of GroupServer, E-Democracy.Org would like to lead the creation and funding of a set of additional features with the input of other non-profit organizations.

We would spend grant resources on engagement processes to identify priority GroupServer feature enhancements with interested non-profit and community organizations and fund the development of those features. Features would be developed in part by GroupServer lead developers, other developers, and potentially other open source oriented non-profits with technical proficiency in the tools used by GroupServer. The key advantage of GroupServer as an open source tool is that developments sponsored by this grant (and by other organizations) can be made available to all potential users. This raises by a significant magnitude the benefits achieved through the expansion of this tool.



b. How that focus was determined and who was involved in that decision-making process.

2. Activities

a. Overall goal(s) regarding the situation described above.

b. Objectives or ways in which you will meet the goal(s).

c. Specific activities for which you are seeking funding.

d. Who will carry out those activities.

e. Time frame in which this will take place.

f. How the proposed activities will benefit the community in which they will occur, being as clear as you can about the impact you expect to have.

g. Long-term strategies (if applicable) for sustaining this effort.


III. EVALUATION

A. Please describe your criteria for success. What do you want to happen as a result of your activities?

B. How will you measure these changes?

C. Who will be involved in evaluating this work (staff, board, constituents, community, consultants)?

D. What will you do with your evaluation results?

Project Budget

Here is a project budget worksheet.

INCOME

Source Amount

Support

  • Government grants $
  • Foundations $
  • Corporations $
  • United Way or other federated campaigns $
  • Individual contributions $
  • Fundraising events and products $
  • Membership income $
  • In-kind support $
  • Investment income $

Revenue

  • Government Contracts $
  • Earned Income $
  • Other (specify) $
  • $

Total Income $


EXPENSES

Item Amount $FT/PT

  • Salaries and wages (breakdown by individual position and indicate full- or part-time.)
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • $
    • SUBTOTAL: $
  • Insurance, benefits and other related taxes $
  • Consultants and professional fees $
  • Travel $
  • Equipment $
  • Supplies $
  • Printing and copying $
  • Telephone and fax $
  • Postage and delivery $
  • Rent and utilities $
  • In-kind expenses $
  • Depreciation $
  • Other (specify) $
  • $
  • Total Expense $

DIFFERENCE (Income less Expense) $

 

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