ConvergeUS Awarded $100K From W.K. Kellogg Foundation to Create Nonprofit Innovation Fund
Funding will help benefit military families and low-income urban residents
WASHINGTON, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — ConvergeUS, the nonprofit arm of TechNet, whose mission is to accelerate technology-based social innovation, today announced it has received a $100,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to help fulfill its mission of using innovation to help some of the nation’s most pressing challenges.
“ConvergeUS is pleased to join the family of W. K. Kellogg Foundation grantees,” said Patrick Gusman, Executive Director, ConvergeUS, “We view this grant as a recognition of our growing success and expanding relationships.”
ConvergeUS will use the grant to establish an innovation fund to benefit military families and low-income urban residents across the country. Each year, ConvergeUS identifies social challenges and creates “technology innovation blueprints” that focus on purposeful applications of technology to address these issues. For 2012, ConvergeUS is working with the following partners to achieve breakthroughs:
- Student App and Digital Portfolio for Military Connected Children–Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC): MCEC is developing a student mobile app and digital portfolio tool that will allow the 1.2 million children of military parents to access resources and track their academic progress to improve outcomes and quality of education in hopes that the tool can be ready for implementation in other organizations that could benefit from a similar prototype.
- Online Self-Help Resource Tool for Military Families–National Military Family Association (the Association): The Association is seeking support to create a user-generated rating system (application programming interface) to complement the online resource tool that the Association is launching (MiMapp). MiMapp will deliver vital information to military spouses and family members when the families need it. The “Yelp” like rating system is an important added feature to support our nation’s military families.
- Data-powered, Proactive Management of Local Government–Living Cities: Living Cities wants to implement a system of municipal analytics and data tracking. The goal is to introduce efficiency and competency in preventing problems in government and business establishments. Living Cities seeks to transform systemic operations of government and business to help eliminate inefficiency that costs society greatly and specifically seeks to assist people with lower incomes. Living Cities plans a pilot in New York, but this tool’s success would benefit society as a whole.
The fund will help provide technical assistance, recruitment of resources, and sub-grants for enhanced organizational capacity to ConvergeUS’s partners. With this support, the partners will be able to plan more effectively and thus optimize their development of the game-changing technology for the military families and low-income constituents they are serving.
“We believe that technology and innovation can be great accelerators in the search for better outcomes for people facing difficult challenges,” said Rey Ramsey, Co-Chair of ConvergeUS and President and CEO of TechNet. “ConvergeUS Innovation Fund will allow our partners to demonstrate the power of technology and innovation to positively impact lives.”
“Nonprofits that serve military families; that’s a big deal, really important, and ConvergeUS is really helping out with its innovation fund,” said Craig Newmark, Founder and Customer Service Representative for Craigslist. “There’s a lot of things that families need getting done.”
About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation:
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life. The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Mich., and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.
ConvergeUS is the 501(c) (3) non-profit arm of TechNet and its mission is to drive technology-enabled breakthroughs for critical social concerns. When TechNet was founded in 1997, the founders made it a priority to concentrate on improving education in the United States and established the high-tech industry’s credentials as good corporate citizens. In keeping with the core objectives of TechNet, ConvergeUS annually selects a maximum of three non-profit partners to accelerate social innovation. We concentrate our efforts on either specific social issues or geographic areas in need of rapid improvement and sustainable momentum for meaningful change. In our selection process, we prioritize difficult and seemingly intractable problems and regions left behind by the innovation economy. ConvergeUS drives the innovation required through convening and strategic support. ConvergeUS works with a sense of urgency by encouraging entrepreneurship and bringing together the public and private sector to determine how best to deploy technology address the problems ConvergeUS identifies.