Technology Innovation Awards

2023 Technology Innovation Awards

Does your nonprofit have a technology related project idea that will advance your mission? The Technology Innovation Awards recognize nonprofit organizations that have plans to positively impact their communities and change lives, through innovative technology projects. Tech Forward will grant $10,000 to nonprofits to help implement these technologies. From building apps for your community, producing interactive data sets for your funders, or creating programs using predictive analytics, the TIA grant is a catalyst to starting projects that can help you reach your mission.

Could your organization benefit from a $10,000 technology grant? Apply for the Technology Innovation Awards to secure your chance to win!


Eligibility Requirements

Eligible nonprofits must: 

  • Be a 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 charitable organization (as defined by the Internal Revenue Services), other than: churches and organizations whose primary mission is to promote a religion; private schools, colleges, or universities; nonprofit hospitals or cooperative hospital service organizations; and governmental units.
  • Demonstrate fiscal responsibility, which is defined by adherence to general accounting standards.
  • Be inclusive and embrace diversity; does not discriminate in service delivery and employment on any basis including ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or religion.
  • Have an annual operating budget of at least $500,000.
  • Send a representative to the conference to accept the award (travel stipend available).

Application Questions

  1. Part One: Eligibility (must meet all requirements above)
  2. Part Two: Organizational Information
    1. Organization Name
    2. EIN #
    3. Website URL
    4. Primary Contact Information
    5. Annual Budget
  3. Part Three: Organizational Background
    1. Mission
    2. Offered Services
    3. Key Constituents
    4. Additional, Relevant Background (if applicable)
  4. Part Four: Technology Project
    1. Project Name | Project Teaser Description
    2. Full Project Description
    3. Target Timeline & Dates
    4. Draft Project Budget (Attach)
  5. Part Five: Project Impact
    1. Target Impact
      1. Program | Internal Operations Impact
      2. Services | External Constituents Impact
    2. Lifespan of Impact / Measurable Metrics

Questions? Contact with the subject line “TIA Question

Past Winners


ViequesLove –ViequesLove mission is to initiate, support, coordinate and implement sustainable community development programs and to foster collaboration with groups and individuals working to improve the quality of life for residents of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Project: The ViequesLove Emergency Asset Mapping Development Project is a web-based software project designed to provide all Vieques emergency responders and organizations a planning and operational tool to inventory, track, locate, and analyze gaps in a wide range of critical resources required for preparation, response, and relief before, during, and after any emergency. The system is fundamentally a GIS (geographical information system) map integrated database allowing entities to enter (and share) their own data (text, images, & map locations) onto the online platform and access the same with a full range of digital devices from the office or in the field.


FRESHFARM –FRESHFARM is a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture and improves food access, education, and equity in the Mid-Atlantic region. We (1) promote a successful food economy in the Mid-Atlantic, creating market-based solutions that prioritize producers and clients equally, (2) create innovative solutions for the food system to be more equitable for residents, efficient for farmers, and more resilient to climate events, and (3) foster healthy behaviors and preferences for nutritious local food through successful interventions that reach children and youth.

Project: Market Tracker: Technology that streamlines farmers market operations and data collection

FRESHFARM will build capacity and increased use of the “Market Tracker,” an open-source data and financial management tool that tracks, manages, and evaluates farmers markets data including vendor sales, redemption of federal nutrition benefits and matching programs, vendor attendance and more. Funding will provide additional functionality in FRESHFARM’s existing Tracker, and expand the tool to at least two new farmers markets, altogether serving more than 200 farmers and producers, 60,000 market shoppers, and 6,000 low-income customers using federal nutrition benefits.

The Sacred Fire Foundation

The Sacred Fire Foundation –Sacred Fire Foundation supports initiatives seeking to ensure the continuance of Indigenous wisdom traditions worldwide. Since 2012, our Community Partnerships program has provided funding and technical support to Indigenous communities worldwide to ensure that their ancestral wisdom can continue to flourish for generations to come. Our programs have funded 147 grants, totaling nearly $625,000 to Indigenous communities in 27 countries, across 5 continents.

Project: Through the use of digital platforms, the Indigenous Stories of the Land Project (I.S.O.L. Project) will elevate the voices of Indigenous peoples and support Indigenous data sovereignty and community engagement. This project will support Indigenous organizations/ communities to safeguard Indigenous oral histories and cultural geographies, while also encouraging non-Indigenous audiences to better understand Indigenous people, territories, and history.

Nationalities Service Center

Nationalities Service Center –NSC welcomes and empowers immigrants to thrive in our communities and pursue a just future. NSC provides comprehensive services to immigrants and refugees, including legal protections, community integration, access to health and wellness services, and opportunities to achieve English language proficiency. Our dedicated staff are committed to ensuring that each of our clients receives high-quality holistic care and work together to refer clients to internal and external services based on the individual’s needs.

Project: NSC will create the nation’s first Ready to Welcome app, connecting community members to newly arriving refugees to support their initial needs. The app will make it easy for individuals and community to support welcome in their communities.

Collaborative Community Crisis Response Platform

Lighthouse MI–Lighthouse’s strategy is to address the immediate needs of people in crisis, provide long-term housing and economic solutions for households, and create systems change largely by addressing affordable housing gaps throughout Oakland County. Operating one of Oakland County’s two emergency shelters and Oakland County’s largest food pantry, Lighthouse immediately adjusted our operations to respond to the increased need caused by COVID-19. Both programs have instituted program contingencies to continue to serve while protecting clients, volunteers, and staff from contracting and spreading COVID-19. Contingencies include moving our emergency shelter from a congregant model relying heavily on volunteers, to sheltering within hotels to allow guests to safely stay in place, decrease volunteer dependency, and increase capacity to shelter more people. Partnering with the My COVID Response Network, Lighthouse has relocated our food packing and distribution from our Pontiac office to an offsite warehouse. With more storage and space, we can secure bulk food and serve more people with more food while limiting risks of exposure. These program contingencies have allowed us to safely expand operations to ensure the most vulnerable within Oakland County get their basic needs to and weather through this crisis.

Forced to operate like never before, COIVD-19 has created the opportunity for Oakland County agencies to rapidly partner to respond to the increasing needs in our community. This collaboration has been made possible by Collaborative Community Crisis Response Platform (CCCRP) – a technological solution that allows community organizations and individual volunteers to collaboratively share and distribute resources to community members in crisis situations. CCCRP creates one touchpoint for households in need to communicate with dozens of community organizations who work collaboratively to efficiently and respectfully meet their needs.

Foundation for Learning Equality

Learning Equality –Learning Equality creates and supports tools to enable equitable access to quality education, with an emphasis in communities with low connectivity. Our work emerged out of the recognition that the same global populations who have the least access to quality education also have the least access to online learning resources. We aggregate and help align open educational content, provide a toolkit of training materials, and develop open-source software to support blended learning. Jointly, these public goods constitute the Kolibri ecosystem, which can be used to achieve a variety of learning outcomes (both academic and non-academic) within diverse learning contexts and approaches (e.g. blended learning vs self-directed learning).

The Kolibri ecosystem encompasses a set of interacting products: the offline Kolibri Learning Platform, the online Kolibri Studio curricular tool, the Kolibri Content Library of aggregated educational resources for offline use, the Kolibri Content Pipeline to import content for use in Kolibri, the Kolibri Edtech Toolkit of resources to support training of trainers and implementation of Kolibri, and the Kolibri Data Portal for centralized aggregation and exploration of Kolibri Learning Data.

Project: Especially with a move towards distance learning during COVID-19, learners with limited or no Internet connectivity either in school or at home are unable to access the wealth of materials available online. To remove barriers faced by these learners at home, the “Kolibri USB Project” will support a portable Kolibri distribution which can run off a USB key without being installed. This will enable learners with more limited digital literacy skills to use Kolibri and more readily access its platform and relevant content.


Strategic Actions for a Just Economy–SAJE builds community power and leadership for economic justice. Since 1996 SAJE has been a force for economic justice in South Los Angeles focusing on tenant rights, healthy housing, and equitable development. SAJE has taken many notorious slumlords to court, has established a community land trust, and helped implement innovative popular education programs. We run a regular tenant clinic, help connect local residents to jobs, and fight for community benefits regarding future development through private agreements and public policies.

Project: The OWN IT! suite of tools makes public data accessible through interactive visualizations and maps to anyone with a phone or computer. The public iteration was launched June 2019 and is accessible through .

In the rapidly changing housing market of Los Angeles, low-income residents are vulnerable to housing instability and displacement.. While large corporate landlords use algorithms to crunch massive amounts of data, tenants are often the last to know that their building owner has changed and that they are being displaced from their homes. With OWN IT!, the tools are built around a core database compiling public records and data from various sources to paint a picture for community members to see how real estate transactions, land use planning, evictions and code enforcement can affect their housing situation. The data is democratized, making it accessible to everyone and be easily understood, equipping families with information so they can take action to protect their housing. In subsequent iterations, OWN IT! will be able to connect users directly to community organizations who can help educate tenants of their rights and take action to protect their homes.

Community Food Share

Community Food Share– To eliminate hunger in Boulder and Broomfield counties through engagement, collaboration and leadership.

Project: Community Food Share will build a comprehensive, map-based analytics tool – the Food Security Mapping Platform (FSMP) – to understand the dynamics of where people live, the services they do or do not access, demographic characteristics and food insecurity. We will identify gaps in food access service; collaborate with community partners to direct new/improved services to the demographic/geographic areas of need, and leverage Feeding America’s food insecurity data by census tract and the reporting capabilities of Boulder County Connect (BCC) – a new participant-centric database that tracks household characteristics and social and human services programs utilization. The FSMP will create metrics that will inform stakeholders of the geographical and service provision gaps in food access programming.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there geographical restrictions?

Application is open to all US based organizations, or international organizations with US presence. International organization that are registered through a US-based nonprofit or parent organization are also eligible.

When will winners be announced?

Winners will be notified in August and announced at the Tech Forward Conference in September. Winners are expected to send at least one representative to the conference to accept award.

Are winners required to attend Tech Forward?

Yes, winners should agree to send at least one representative to the Tech Forward Conference in September. Travel stipend will be provided.

Are there reporting requirements for winners?

Winners are asked to provide six month updates to Tech Impact for assistance and promotional purposes only.