United Way awards nonprofit grants to help close digital divide

The United Way of Greater Cincinnati has awarded 13 grants to Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky nonprofits focused on increasing programming focused on enhancing local digital equity and inclusion efforts.

The Digital Equity Grant program offered grants of $25,000 to $50,000 to fund innovative programs focused on closing the digital divide in priority populations and communities. The main focus is helping traditionally marginalized populations become more comfortable with technology and web-based tools.

Awarded projects range from job training to bringing greater internet access to rural parts of Southwest Ohio.

Grantees were eligible for $25,000 to $50,000 based on what UWGC described as their “impressive commitment to digital equity and their capacity to expand digital skills programming quickly.”

A full list of grant recipients is below. Specific grant values weren’t made available.

“We are encouraged by the innovation and commitment to digital inclusion demonstrated by these grantees,” said Moira Weir, UWGC president and CEO. “Bridging the digital divide requires a truly collaborative effort, so we are proud to support programs and initiatives that help all people in our community build the digital skills necessary to thrive in a modern, connected world.”

Photo provided by United Way of Greater Cincinnati

The Digital Equity Grant was open to nonprofits across UWGC’s nine-county. The program is part of the organization’s effort to increase regional digital access by 5% in 2025 and 8% by 2030. United Way is also administering a $1.5 million grant on behalf of Hamilton County that aims to increase local public broadband infrastructure.

“UWGC extends its thanks to all organizations that applied for this opportunity,” United Way wrote in a release. “We appreciate your commitment to empowering diverse populations to navigate the digital landscape with confidence and competence.”

Digital Equity Grant Awardees

  • Adams Brown Counties Economic Opportunities Inc.: Expanding its Digital Literacy Program, creating individualized plans to give families access to skills, devices and the internet.
  • Bluebird Bus Of Hope: Bringing digital skills, devices and internet access into rural Eastern communities in Southwest Ohio.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati: Expanding its digital skills-building work to kids in its Kenton County Club.
  • CincySmiles Foundation: Expanding its existing Connecting the Community Program.
  • Center for Employment Opportunities Inc.: Existing programming that adds digital skills-building into job readiness training for justice-impacted people. 
  • Forever Kings Inc.: Providing the Forever Kings Hub with devices for their digital skills-building program aimed at boys and young men of color.
  • Found Village: Ensuring young people in the child welfare system have access to a device and learn critical safety lessons about online privacy.
  • Heartfelt Tidbits: Funding its Family Tech Learning program that creates holistic plans for families, including adult ESL, job/computer training, and children literacy training. 
  • IKRON Corporation: Expanding its T.E.C.H.S. (Teaching Everyone Computer Habits and Skills) program, aimed at providing digital navigators to historically marginalized families.
  • Recovery Center of Hamilton County; Queen City Clubhouse Program: Bringing devices and skill-building to people with a history of serious mental illness working on their recovery. 
  • Revive Black: Funding its existing Digital Leap Accelerator – eight weeks of live, in-depth sessions to bridge the digital divide and empower historically underrepresented populations with essential digital skills.
  • Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses: Providing digital skills and device access in the West End.
  • Meals on Wheels of Southwest OH & Northern KY: Expanding its existing Digital Connect Program that links Digital Connect Coordinators with older adults at or below 200% of the poverty line.

UWGC’s Digital Equity

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