Technology Grant Guidelines

The Technology Grant Program is designed to help nonprofit organizations pursue their missions more efficiently through the acquisition of new technology. Along with the Awards of Achievement, it reflects our interest in building and recognizing excellence in nonprofit management.

In 2017 the Foundation awarded $499,663 in technology grants to 125 organizations. The grants ranged from $300 to $10,000 and averaged $3,700. Click here to view a detailed list of grants awarded in 2017.


This program is intended primarily for Nashville-based nonprofit organizations. If based outside of Nashville, the agency must be able to demonstrate a significant direct impact on Nashvillians. In keeping with the Foundation's general funding guidelines, grants will not be awarded to hospitals, nursing homes or retirement homes, nor will grants be considered for schools below the college level except for programs that promise to benefit the broader community.

Organizations of all sizes may apply, though funding preference will be given to smaller organizations – those with annual revenues of less than $500,000. The typical range for grants is $500 to $7,500. The maximum grant is $10,000.

In making grant determinations, the Foundation will give special consideration to proposed technology expenditures that are critical to the short or long-term viability of an organization. In cases where technology is urgently needed because of failing systems or critical need, the Foundation may accelerate the ordinary grant timetable. In those cases, agencies are encouraged to contact the Foundation staff with a detailed explanation as to why the grant is needed sooner.

Types of Proposals

Funding preference will be given to applications that best demonstrate how new technology would improve overall agency productivity, efficiency or service to clients. Practical and immediate applications will have a better chance of receiving funding than those that are theoretical, long-range or exotic.

Technology utilized by staff will receive funding priority over technology used by clients. Technology involving agency management will receive priority over technology used in service delivery.

In developing a funding proposal, agencies must give consideration to details involving installation, usage and maintenance, including provisions for training and day-to-day operation of the technology.

Below are some examples of technology eligible for funding consideration, though grants will not be limited to these purposes:

  • Consulting fees for evaluation of system needs, up to a maximum of $1,000.
  • Desktop, laptop or tablet computers (such as iPads) costing up to $750. Grants exceeding that amount are authorized only if needed for a special purpose.
  • Printers appropriate for the job. These may include inkjet, laser, multifunction and color.
  • Upgrades to existing hardware.
  • Non-recurring charges of up to $5,000 for web-based software and data conversion expenses.
  • Phone systems, including installation costs of dedicated lines, but not monthly charges for lines.
  • Communications software and voice mail systems.
  • Software and software upgrades for accounting, word-processing, etc. For web-based software, data conversion expenses may be considered, along with monthly fees immediately following the conversion for up to one year.
  • Training in the use of particular hardware and/or software.
  • Video cameras and video display technology.

Some examples of expenditures that would not be eligible for funding include:

  • Monthly charges for phone bills or Internet access.
  • Maintenance contracts.
  • Extended warranties.
  • Staff time to evaluate needs or implement technology.
  • Copy machines.
  • Reimbursement for technology that is already in place.

Selection Criteria

In evaluating proposals, the following questions will be posed:

  • Does the applicant have a good record of service to a significant segment of the community?
  • Will the proposed project generate immediate, practical benefits?
  • Has the organization made adequate provision for training in the use of the technology and for its maintenance?
  • How will the expenditure of funds on technology save money, improve service or increase productivity in the long run?
  • Will there be a continuing need for funds once The Frist Foundation grant is expended? If so, has the agency made adequate plans to provide for this?