Charter Communications said Monday that it has begun to accept applications for its 2020 Spectrum Digital Education grant program, part of a $6 million, four-year cash and in-kind commitment to educate consumers on the benefits of broadband and how to use it in their everyday lives.
Applications are available here and will be accepted until June 26, at 5 p.m. EST. Grants will be announced in August and awarded in September.
Charter said it opened the application portal two months earlier than planned to meet the needs of nonprofit organizations focused on providing broadband training and education in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a broadband provider, Charter’s connectivity services provide a vital link within the communities we serve, more so than ever in this challenging time,” said Charter vice president of community impact Rahman Khan in a press release. “We have heard from many organizations struggling to keep up with the demand in their communities for broadband education, training and technology. We are proud to support these nonprofits through Spectrum Digital Education grants and to help meet their evolving needs by accelerating the application process.”
Charter launched the Spectrum Digital Education program in 2017. Prior awards have allowed local beneficiaries to set up technology labs, provide online education to senior centers, and distribute laptops, impacting 28,845 individuals across 17 states and Washington, D.C., through 2019. To be eligible for a Spectrum Digital Education grant, organizations must serve communities located within Charter’s 41-state service area and have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. More information on how to apply is available here.
In addition to Spectrum Digital Education, Charter’s Community Impact team has developed several programs to improve local communities. In 2015, it launched Spectrum Housing Assist, with the goal of improving 50,000 homes and to date has reached more than 41,000 homes. In 2019, the Spectrum Employee Community Grants program was created to support employees’ volunteer work at local social and human services nonprofits. Last year, the company donated to 140 organizations across 24 states for this program. In February, Charter announced the launch of the Spectrum Community Investment Loan Fund which will invest $10 million in capital by the end of 2021, making loans up to $1 million to community development financial institutions (CDFIs) in the company’s footprint. Most recently, Charter launched Spectrum Scholars, a two-year educational program for eligible rising juniors in financial need, which will award a total of $400,000 in scholarships.