ALIA is working with the Department of Social Services, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, the Be Connected National Network Manager (the Good Things Foundation), and libraries across Australia to ensure that libraries are taking advantage of $20 million-worth of Be Connected grants to support digital inclusion programs for older Australians. There are currently two grants available, Digital Literacy Grants (up to $15K) and Activation Grants of $1,500 per organisation. They will be awarded based on applications at regular intervals from October 2017 and May 2018. See the activation grant timetable here.
What the organisers say about Be Connected:
"The Be Connected program is now live with a range of high quality online learning courses and downloadable tip sheets. The Be Connected Network is also up and running with over 300 organisations who have already joined up. Some of the benefits of being part of the Network includes: your own data about the people you’ve supported and the online learning they have done; a marketing pack for you to use locally, this will be sent to you at your venue, it includes leaflets, posters, a small booklets for your users, and other items; a dedicated Network Coordinator for you to contact; free webinars including digital mentor training for your staff and volunteers; and much more including high profile marketing campaigns in 2018, and access to grants to support digital inclusion.
"Be Connected will also include a broader range of support to participating community organisations, including access to small grants, and increased communications and marketing activities to raise awareness among older Australians, their families and friends. Organisations that are interested in delivering these services and becoming part of the Be Connected Network will be encouraged to contact the Be Connected National Network Manager, Good Things Foundation.
"For those library managers that have a number of libraries under their management if you have 50 or fewer libraries in the network you can apply for an activation grant for each of these libraries. If you have between 50 – 150 libraries in the network you can apply for an activation grant for them on a tapering system up to a maximum of 100 organisations. This means a maximum of 100 separate grants for your library authority. If you have more than 150 organisations then do get in touch to discuss it with one of our Be Connected team. This will be reviewed this in 2018."
Now live, $1,500 per organisation. Can be spent on (more or less) anything that helps you to support older people to learn how to use the web such as devices, broadband, furniture, leaflets, staff costs. Requirement is to help 30 new people over the first 10 months of grant delivery (or 15 people if you are working in a remote or very remote area). The online application form is intentionally simple and straightforward to encourage any Network Partner who needs this grant to apply. If you want to do a bulk application do get in touch.
Digital Literacy Grants:
For larger organisations who can support more people, there are grants of $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000; for these grants each Network Partner needs to be able to support 100, 200 or 300 older Australians (per year), respectively for each of the three grant sizes. (For remote or very remote locations the grants should help support 50, 100, or 150 older people respectively.) To be able to apply for a Digital Literacy Grant you must have received an Activation Grant already and have already supported 30 (or 15 if remote) new older people to gain basic digital skills using that grant.