Verizon Launches 'Cyber-Foundation'

NEW YORK -- The newly created Verizon Foundation hopes to help transform the nonprofit community through the use of technology and innovative e-solutions. The foundation is the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications - the telecommunications company formed June 30 through the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE.

This year, the Verizon Foundation and its predecessors, the Bell Atlantic and GTE Foundations, will provide grants totaling $70 million, placing the foundation among the nation's top 10 corporate foundations in monies distributed annually.

"We intend to focus on information technology since we believe it is an important tool in enhancing programs, services, operations and communications for the nonprofit community," said Suzanne DuBose, president of the Verizon Foundation. "We hope many individuals, educational institutions and community-based organizations will turn to our interactive Web site (www.verizon.com/foundation) as a portal for technology information and resources."

While Verizon Foundation's grantmaking is highly competitive, DuBose said that eligible nonprofits also will be able to apply online for in-kind donations, volunteers, Internet training and Web hosting services.

"The use and integration of technology in support of educational initiatives - particularly in the areas of literacy, mathematics and science -- is a top priority for our new foundation," said DuBose. "The Verizon Foundation intends to build upon the leadership role that GTE has played in regional and national literacy efforts over the years, with a major push in the area of computer literacy to help bridge the digital divide. We plan to link literacy experts across our nation as we work collectively to help create a more literate America."

The new foundation also will draw on the success of the Bell Atlantic Foundation which "used technology to enhance relations with the nonprofit community while prompting educational institutions and other nonprofit organizations to see the benefits of using the Internet," DuBose said. "Verizon Foundation will strive to help provide an online philanthropic community network to support nonprofits across the country."

In addition, visitors to the Verizon Foundation's bilingual (English and Spanish) Web site will find information on e-training and e-partners, a series of 'best-in-class' technology success stories, and a comprehensive technology resource guide with links to more than 350 online resources supporting technology applications. Links to other Web portals will address such issues as the digital divide and literacy.
The Verizon Foundation Web site also includes grant guidelines, an online grant eligibility quiz and a technology needs assessment section to help nonprofits in applying for grants online, which is the only way applications may be submitted.
The Verizon Foundation is committed to supporting programs and projects that create innovative e-solutions, help bridge the digital divide, foster basic and computer literacy and help enrich our communities, educate our citizens and create a skilled workforce. The Verizon Foundation looks to forge and maintain partnerships around technology initiatives with local, regional, national and international organizations serving the needs of racial and ethnic communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged. For more information on the Verizon foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation on the Internet.

Verizon Communications

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, 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 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com .