Chapter 3: Knowing What You Have|
Look for traditional funding sources within your organization as well as other sources of funding and assistance.
What Financial Resources Are Available?
Perhaps you've earned a grant, received an appropriation, or recently had a bond issue passed. If so, financial considerations may not be important. If, on the other hand, you have decided to develop a new computer system or upgrade or revamp an old one without such support, funding for purchases, training and maintenance may be problematic.
There are ways other than winning the lottery to get funds to support your technology dreams. One way is to evaluate how funds are currently being spent to see if there are more efficient ways to use your money. Some school districts, libraries and universities have found that working together on a cooperative basis has enabled them to share expertise and build a community-wide case for networking.
There are many sources of help in this area. Many state education agencies and federal agencies and programs provide support for computer technology development. In addition, many corporations and foundations will also provide financial and/or technical assistance in response to written grant applications. If you are part of a K-12 educational organization, or a public library, you may take advantage of the E-Rate program. The E-Rate is a federal program that permits discounts up to 90% on telecommunication services, Internet access, network wiring within school and library buildings, and other associated costs as described by program regulations. The discount rate is based on the number of students eligible for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. The goal of the E-rate program is to get all classrooms connected to the Internet. Currently, $2.25 billion is available each year (paid for through the Universal Service Fund collected on all of our telephone bills). The E-Rate program is quite complex, but can be well worth your time and effort. Be certain to involve your purchasing and contracting personnel as you plan to participate. At the end of this book, links are provided for more information.
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