As autumn turns the corner, Facebook once again announces the new cycle of its Community Action Grants program.
This annual grant program addresses local needs by making grants available to nonprofit organizations and schools for projects that address critical community needs by meeting specific criteria in one or more of several areas. These criteria include putting the power of technology to use for community benefit, connecting people online or off, and improving local science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
Grant applications will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16 ("Grant Cycle"). Facebook's goal is to announce grant recipients by the end of March 2021.
In a recent news release by Facebook, the following statement was made, "At Facebook, community is everything. While we work globally, we live locally and are dedicated to strengthening our communities. The Facebook Community Action Grants program invests in the long-term vitality of Crook County and its residents by supporting groups that meet community needs."
Eighteen nonprofits and schools received grants for 2020 to support their work. In the news release, Facebook indicated that the recipients included SMART Reading, helping the children's literacy program purchase more than 850 digital books for students in Crook County's highest-need areas, and Crook County School District, supporting its STEAM education program by adding technology to its arts education program.
"SMART Reading was honored to be a 2020 Community Action Grant recipient," reflected Jennifer Zardinejad, Central Area Manager for SMART Program. "Last year, SMART served 130 kids with 56 community volunteers at Ochoco Head Start, Prineville Head Start, and Crooked River Elementary. The funds from this grant helped provide one-on-one reading time and over 1,500 books for kids to take home and keep."
Among the other recipients, Crook County School District received more than $94,000 to provide technology support to students across the district. Other recipients included Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon, Central Oregon STEM Hub at the High Desert Education Service District, Central Oregon Youth Development, ChickTech Central Oregon Chapter, Crook County Kids, Heart of Oregon Corps, MountainStar Family Relief Nursery, Powell Butte Community Charter School, Pursuit Global, Redemption House Ministries, and Rimrock Trails Treatment Services in addition to SMART Reading.
The grant program includes other eligibility requirements that center on the types of organizations that can apply and what sorts of projects they can request funding to benefit them. For example, the applicant must be a registered charitable organization, which includes 501(c)(3) public charities, public schools, government entities and municipalities.
Organizations are permitted to submit one application per grant cycle, with the exception of schools, which may apply for multiple grants within the organization. Also, the organizations should have a Facebook page.
The funds allocated are intended to be used during the Grant Cycle in which they are awarded. Facebook requires that the project requesting funding must have demonstrable metrics that can be publicly reported. They ask that an annual report be provided on how the funds are being used and their impact in the community.
The program launched in 2011, and earlier this year, Facebook also distributed $967,500 in COVID-19 relief grants locally.
The Facebook Prineville Data Center is working with Charities Aid Foundation of America ("CAF America") to award grants to successful applicants. Applications may be submitted via the CyberGrants, LLC ("CyberGrants") platform.
Organizations wishing to apply are asked to go to www.facebook.com/PrinevilleDataCenter, where they can find eligibility guidelines as well as an online application link. Facebook plans to announce grant recipients by end of March 2021.
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