Verizon Foundation Offers Grant Opportunities to Northwest Nonprofit Groups

EVERETT, Wash. - Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications, is seeking grant proposals for literacy, technology development and work force development projects that will help improve the Northwest's lagging economy.

Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and the Crescent City, Calif. area, especially those in communities where Verizon provides local telephone service, are invited to apply.

Verizon and its area predecessor, GTE, have conducted a philanthropic giving program in the Northwest for many years, but 2003 marks the first time it has focused on the region's economy. The foundation will provide more than $900,000 to nonprofit organizations and educational organizations in the Northwest this year. Thousands of additional dollars will be provided to match employees' cash contributions to nonprofits.

"The single most important social issue facing the Northwest is high unemployment and economic uncertainty," said John Gustafson, Verizon director of external affairs. "Verizon has invested billions of dollars in the region, and cares deeply about the communities it serves. During this challenging economic period, we can make the most impact by supporting projects that bolster economic improvement and spur growth."

Verizon is seeking proposals that support job retraining, school-to-work programs, teacher preparedness, welfare-to-work programs, economic development, vocational and disability programs, and other projects. Literacy proposals designed to create a better-educated work force are also sought.

The deadlines for proposals vary according to the type of proposal:

  • Literacy proposals are due March 14,
  • Technology development proposals are due June 13, and
  • Work force development proposals are due Sept. 12.

Proposals must be submitted through Verizon Foundation's Web site, www.verizon.com/foundation. Individual grants will range from $5,000 to $10,000, although some could surpass $25,000.

To qualify for funding, applicants must be classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization with a valid Internal Revenue Service tax ID. Schools must have a current National Center for Education Statistics school and district registration to qualify.

Verizon Foundation also offers small "eTraining" grants for nonprofit groups that seek staff training in a variety of computer programs. In addition, organizations may apply for "eGrants," which provide $240 toward first-time Internet access for nonprofits. Organizations must submit applications for funding consideration.

Verizon Foundation is committed to helping people and communities make progress every day. The foundation supports a variety of programs that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, bridging the digital divide, enriching communities through technology and creating a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that encourages Verizon employees to volunteer in their communities and provides matching gifts to nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to 33 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.