Verizon Foundation Offers $45,000 in Grants to South Carolina Nonprofits and Educational Institutions

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Verizon Foundation is seeking grant proposals from nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in South Carolina for innovative projects that support the use of technology in literacy or Internet safety programs. 

Literacy programs may address the areas of family, adult, early childhood or K-12 literacy, including programs that develop English as a second language or basic computer literacy skills.  Verizon is particularly interested in proposals that deliver literacy training via e-learning or use technology to enhance literacy training, such as computer and Web-based training programs. 

Internet safety programs should focus on those that promote online safety for children, senior citizens, families and communities. 

Eligible nonprofit organizations and educational institutions may submit proposals online and compete for individual grants ranging from $1,500 to $10,000 to fund programs that most effectively match the Verizon Foundation's literacy and Internet-safety focus areas.  The foundation will award a total of up to $45,000 in grants. 

"As a technology company, Verizon is committed to supporting innovative initiatives that leverage broadband technology to address the social issues that are critical to the communities we serve," said Stan Bugner, state director of public affairs, policy and communications for Verizon in South Carolina.  "Higher literacy rates result in stronger communities, economic growth and a skilled workforce for today's technology-driven workplace. 

"With regard to Internet safety, the Internet's dynamic features also make it a convenient vehicle for those who intend to take advantage of innocent consumers," Bugner added.  "As one of the principal providers of online services in America, Verizon is educating and encouraging consumers to use safe practices while online.  We hope that this request for proposals will produce great opportunities for Verizon to support."

To qualify for funding, applicants must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a valid Internal Revenue Service tax identification number, or an accredited educational institution that has a current district registration number and is affiliated with the National Center for Education Statistics.

Proposals must be submitted through the Verizon Foundation's Web site, www.verizon.com/foundation, no later than Aug. 29, 2008.  Qualified applicants should click on the "Grant Applications - Apply Online Today" link, then click on the link marked "Ready to apply for a cash grant?  Click here to begin."  Applicants then will need to add the invitation code 486D8JUVUV.

More information about this request for proposals can be found on the Verizon Foundation Web site, under "Foundation News."  Verizon expects to announce grant recipients by Sept. 30.

About the Verizon Foundation:
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, supports the advancement of literacy and K-12 education through its signature program, Thinkfinity.org, and fosters awareness and prevention of domestic violence.  In 2007, the foundation awarded more than $67.4 million in grants to nonprofit agencies in the United States and abroad.  The foundation also matched the charitable donations of Verizon employees and retirees, resulting in $25.1 million in combined contributions. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since Verizon's inception in 2000.  For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

About Verizon Communications:
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 67 million customers nationwide. Verizon's Wireline operations include Verizon Business, which delivers innovative and seamless business solutions to customers around the world, and Verizon Telecom, which brings customers the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services over the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network. A Dow 30 company, Verizon employed a diverse workforce of approximately 232,000 as of the end of first quarter 2008 and last year generated consolidated operating revenues of $93.5 billion. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.