After giving $103,000 worth of grants to local non-profit organizations last year, Facebook’s Altoona data center is taking applications for 2016 grants.
Last Feb. 25 local organizations received grants.
“Last year was our maiden voyage and we weren’t sure exactly what to expect, but our hope was to give grants to groups that were connecting people whether that be online or off but it didn’t have to be technology related,” said Melissa Wilder of the data center. “We are hoping for more applicants this year and possibly more specific programs to help with.”
Facebook officials say they hope that applicants are not frightened away by the word grant. It is a simple application process and it is done that way on purpose.
“We really want people to think big so when it comes to connecting people online and off. When it comes economic development or quality of life in the community we really want people to think big about the ideas they bring to us,” Wilder said. “There were definitely some interesting projects we were able to help with in 2015 and looking to do the same in 2016 as well.”
Facebook’s Donation History
A large portion of last year’s grants were given to the area’s school districts. Southeast Polk received $38,000. The grants also helped multiple groups in the emergency and public services of surrounding communities.
“From the beginning we made a promise to be good stewards for Altoona and the surrounding community and this is one way we can do that,” Wilder said. “We use the term ‘we work globally, but live locally’ and so helping with that is very important to us.”
Facebook asks that the projects address critical community needs by using technology for community benefit, connecting online or off, improving education or promoting local economic development.
Some guidelines include that the group is required to have a Facebook page and that the group should be able to show proof of use of the funds.