Since the founding of the program in 2015, PowerOn has adapted alongside the ever-changing need for technology by the LGBTQ+ community, while continuing to expand its reach. In 2020, PowerOn launched its first Mini Grant, which supported LGBTQ+ centers’ pivot to providing virtual services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as the world transitioned back into in-person and hybrid interactions, PowerOn partner centers continued to express a need for staff and in-center use technology.
PowerOn, like all of LGBT Tech’s programs, prides itself on regularly collecting and implementing feedback and impact data from grantees to ensure the ever-changing needs of the LGBTQ+ community are heard, considered, and addressed. Throughout the course of previous grant cycles, PowerOn saw how much centers were relying on the granted technology, not only for services that were specific to the pandemic but also for basic day-to-day operations. In 2022, centers reported that approximately 61% of case loads were managed and over 287 social events or support groups were held by centers using granted technology.
In late 2022, LGBT Tech surveyed previous PowerOn grantees to better understand their current needs. LGBTQ+ centers overwhelmingly reported that they not only see a growing need for technology in their communities, but that often the centers themselves lack basic access to the technology needed to run their day-to-day operations. The survey results confirmed that devices for staff and in-center use continue to be a longstanding and urgent need.
Based on their feedback, LGBT Tech introduced the PowerOn Community Tech Grant. This grant provides the technology most needed to support community centers and their staff in their work serving the LGBTQ+ community. Through computers, tablets, smartphones, and printers, the Community Tech Grant ensures LGBTQ+ organizations have devices available on their premises for clients to use as well as devices allowing their front-line staff and case managers to perform their jobs and serve their communities efficiently and effectively.
With a record number of applications submitted for the program, 40 LGBTQ+ centers were selected to receive technology grants, 28 of which are new partner centers and have not received a grant from PowerOn in the past. With these additions, the program will now be serving LGBTQ+ individuals through 107 organizations in 37 states and territories across the United States. PowerOn plans to distribute an estimated $120,406 of technology to these centers in 2023.
This year’s grant opportunity has been made possible by PowerOn’s generous supporters including T-Mobile, Comcast NBCUniversal, Meta, AT&T, Verizon, Google, Charter, Spectrum Community Impact, Sony, Apple, Hogan Lovells, CTIA, and NCTA.
The PowerOn Community Tech Grant partner centers are:
Arkansas Black Gay Men's Forum (Little Rock, AR),
Borderland Rainbow Center (El Paso, TX),
Bridges United Inc. (Manitowoc, WI),
Brooklyn Community Pride Center, Inc. (Brooklyn, NY),
Coastal Bend Pride Center (Corpus Christi, TX),
Diversity Center of Oklahoma Inc. (Oklahoma City, OK),
Diversity Collective Ventura County (Ventura, CA),
Family Connections Center Inc (Rapid City, SD),
Four Corners Rainbow Youth Center (Durango, CO),
Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center (Greensboro, NC),
Hetrick-Martin Institute (New York, NY),
Holiday Wish Foundation (Charlotte, NC),
Jersey City Connections DBA Hudson Pride Center (Jersey City, NJ),
LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin (Racine, WI),
LGBT Detroit (Detroit, MI),
Montgomery Pride United (Montgomery, AL),
Nashville Launch Pad (Nashville, TN),
Oasis Youth Center (Tacoma, WA),
Our Center Reno (Reno, NV),
Our Spot KC (Kansas City, KS),
Out in the Open (Brattleboro, VT),
OUT MetroWest (Framingham, MA),
Pacific Northwest Black Pride (Seattle, WA),
Pizza Klatch (PK) (Olympia, WA),
Pride Link (Greenville, SC),
Prism United (Mobile, AL),
Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa (Concord, CA),
Rainbow Rose Center (York, PA),
San Diego Black LGBTQ Coalition (San Diego, CA),
Shenandoah LGBTQ Center (Staunton, VA),
Shoals Diversity Center (Florence, AL)
The Knights and Orchids Society (Selma, AL),
The McKenzie Project, Inc (Miami, FL),
The Milwaukee LGBT Community Center (Milwaukee, WI),
The Sacramento LGBT Community Center (Sacramento, CA),
The Transformation Project, Inc (Sioux Falls, SD),
TransTech Social (Detroit, MI),
WAVES AHEAD CORP (San Juan, PR),
We Are Family (North Charleston, SC), and
Youth OUTright (Asheville, NC).
“We are thrilled to expand our network of PowerOn partner centers and to support LGBTQ+ organizations across the country, each providing unique services to meet the needs of their local communities. We understand that access to technology is not only crucial to our community members but also to the organizations and individuals that work hard to support and empower our community every day,” said LGBT Tech’s Director of Programs, Kristen Kelley.
PowerOn is proud to welcome new and returning LGBTQ+ partner centers to the program. The program continues its commitment to assessing and implementing strategic program updates to continue meeting the ever-changing needs of the LGBTQ+ community and those who work hard to support and uplift it.
For more information about the Community Tech Grant visit www.poweronlgbt.org/community-tech-grant.