Strengthening Partners - Technology Planning and Implementation Grants & Small Grants Program

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation

Grant amount: Up to US $125,000

Next deadline: Aug 22, 2018 8:59pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Later deadlines: Jan 17, 2019 8:59pm PST (Pre proposal), May 9, 2019 8:59pm PDT (Pre proposal)

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Applied Project / Program, General Operating Expense

Location of project: Counties in Massachusetts: Barnstable County, Dukes County, Essex County, Nantucket County, Counties in New York: Erie County Expand all

Location of residency: Counties in Massachusetts: Barnstable County, Dukes County, Essex County, Nantucket County, Counties in New York: Erie County Expand all

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NOTE: To ensure that requests are submitted on time, applicants must create an account in the online portal at least one week prior to the preliminary grant request deadline. 

Our Mission

The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation supports community programming that results in children, adolescents, and young adults affected by substance use disorders, learning disabilities, mental illness, and intellectual disabilities achieving their full potential. The Foundation is dedicated to societal impact through healthy communities and capacity building. We work diligently to foster a sense of empowerment and an environment of collaboration. 

What Does the Foundation Mean by "Strengthening Partners"
In broad terms, the Foundation's Strengthening Partners portfolio supports organizational capacity building activities. The Foundation recognizes the importance of strong organizational infrastructure to deliver high-quality, effective programming efficiently and to promote organizational sustainability.

What Populations Does the Foundation Serve?
The Tower Foundation supports programs intended to improve the lives of young people age zero to 26  affected by intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, mental illness, and/or substance use disorders as  defined here:

Intellectual Disabilities
An Intellectual disability is a disability characterized by significant limitations both in intellectual  functioning and adaptive behavior, which covers many everyday social and practical skills. This disability  originates before the age of 18. Intellectual functioning refers to general mental capacity, such as learning,  reasoning, and problem solving.

Adaptive behavior comprises three skill types:
  • Conceptual skills (e.g., language and literacy; money; time; number concepts; selfdirection) 
  • Social skills (e.g., interpersonal skills, social responsibility; self-esteem, gullibility, naïveté, social problem-solving; ability to follow rules/obey laws and avoid being victimized)
  • Practical skills (e.g., personal care, occupational skills; healthcare; travel/transportation;  schedules/routines; safety use of money use of telephone. 
(American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2011)

Learning Disabilities
A learning disability is a lifelong condition which interferes with the ability to learn. It is a neurological disorder that affects the ability of the brain to process, store and respond to  information. There are different types of learning disabilities that can affect different areas of  processing, such as learning to read, reading comprehension, writing and spelling, organizing written and spoken language, mathematical operations, decision making, and the development of  fine motor skills. Individuals with LD may be particularly gifted in other skills and are typically of  normal intelligence. (American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus)

Mental Illness
Mental illness includes medical conditions that disrupt a person's thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. (National Alliance on Mental Illness)

Substance Abuse Disorders
Substance use disorders occur when the recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs causes clinically and  functionally significant impairment, such as health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)

What Types of Projects Will the Foundation Consider?

Small Grants Program

The Small Grants Program provides up to $30,000 for projects or purchases that do not involve service delivery. The Small Grants Program focuses on short-term (one year or less)  projects that:

  • help organizations pursue their missions more efficiently;
  • consist of practical  applications requiring little or no customization; or
  • that are critical to an organization’s  viability.

These can include:

  • Capital/Equipment: Small purchases requiring one-time (i.e., non-recurring) capital or  equipment purchases.
  • Capacity Building: Specific activities or projects aimed at strengthening an organization’s  governance, leadership, programmatic, or administrative capacity.
    • Examples of allowable capacity building activities include: organizational assessment, an agency’s first audit, strategic and board planning, executive coaching and consulting, and staff participation in professional development.
  • Program Development: Support for program development, program planning, or  enhancement (but NOT service delivery).

The Technology Initiative

The Technology Initiative assists not-for-profit agencies in obtaining the technical expertise and equipment required to develop and implement a strategic technology plan. The Technology Initiative focuses exclusively on “back office” technology (i.e., technology used by staff) rather than on technology used by clients (e.g., computer labs). This initiative comprises two types of grants:

  • Technology Planning grants provide up to $50,000 for not-for-profit agencies to hire a  technology consultant to conduct a technology inventory and needs assessment; and to develop a two- or three-year technology plan that is explicitly aligned with the agency’s strategic or business plan.
  • Technology Implementation grants provide up to $125,000 (requiring a dollar-for-dollar  cash match) for not-for-profit agencies wishing to implement an existing technology plan that is explicitly aligned with an existing strategic/business plan. 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Organizations located in and currently providing services to one or more of the populations the Tower Foundation serves (see Overview) within the following regions are eligible to apply for Tower Foundation grants:
    • Massachusetts
      • Barnstable County
      • Dukes County
      • Essex County
      • Nantucket County
    • New York
      • Erie County
      • Niagara County
  • Additionally, applicants must be:
    • not-for-profit organizations with a 501(c)(3) designation that are not private foundations, or
    • not-for-profit public benefit corporations, or
    • public or diocesan school districts, or
    • private or charter schools.


  • The Foundation does not fund programs or projects that:
    • provide private benefits for any grant recipient or affiliated person,
    • attempt to influence legislation or intervene in any political campaign,
    • contribute to capital campaigns
    • consist of scholarships, services, or treatment for specific individuals,
    • consist largely of general operating support.

About this funder:

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