JUNE 2020 – PRESENT
Digital Access for All
Digital technology affords people an evolving assortment of avenues to connect with one another and the world around us, creating pathways to the resources and relationships we all depend on to maintain our well-being and laying the bedrock for a more inclusive society. While our digital evolution holds boundless possibilities for the future, access to technology is a prerequisite each one of us must have to unlock them. Strengthening digital access among people of all ages and backgrounds — especially those from asset-limited families — helps ensure that everyone is included in our journey toward these new realities and benefiting from the many advancements.
Strengthening the Impact
What is Digital Access for All?
Digital Access for All explores the efforts of multiple sectors working to enhance access to technology that connects people in ways that foster inclusion and well-being. This initiative aspires to discover how individuals, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media are moving the needle on access to digital technology. This knowledge will inform opportunities to strengthen these efforts collaboratively.
Why is The Patterson Foundation supporting this initiative?
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation. For more than a decade, The Patterson Foundation’s initiatives have emphasized embracing technology and maximizing its benefits to strengthen their work. With the COVID-19 pandemic, digital access has emerged as a basic necessity to connect to a variety of vital services that have increasingly shifted to an online format, including those related to education, health, and employment — a necessity that many asset-limited families and communities struggle to acquire. Discovering efforts and entities that are moving the needle on this issue and how each of them are working on it creates an opportunity to strengthen efforts to overcome the common obstacles to digital access.
How has COVID-19 affected digital access?
Digital access has steadily grown in importance over the last several years as multiple sectors embrace and utilize online technology. Amidst COVID-19, which has forced people and institutions to quickly adapt their services and methods of communication, digital access has become even more important. With education, social services, medical visits, and many other vital services increasingly shifting to online formats, access to broadband internet, online devices, and software is critical to obtaining the resources one needs to maintain their well-being. Furthermore, COVID-19 has highlighted the long-standing barriers to digital access and support many asset-limited families and communities face.
How will Aspirations Journalism contribute to this initiative?
Aspirations Journalism is a partnership between The Patterson Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group to inform, educate, and galvanize the community to build movements around sustainable community networks. Within Digital Access for All, Aspirations Journalism will focus on stories that build empathy and strengthen our understanding of what digital access entails, the ways it affects our daily lives, common barriers, and why it’s important while discovering who is working on it and how.
How will The Patterson Foundation invest in this initiative?
Foundations fulfill their missions in a variety of ways, from funding individual programs to entire organizations. The Patterson Foundation aspires to strengthen the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by working in ways that foster wide participation. Digital Access for All is an exploration into the why, what, and how of concurrent efforts to strengthen digital access for all citizens, especially those who are asset-limited or do not currently enjoy the benefits of full digital access in their daily lives. It focuses on discovering the approaches local, regional and national organizations are employing to address the needs of our communities around digital access and explores ways to align strategies and facilitate efforts to vault hurdles and advance progress toward this aspiration.
How can I secure funding from The Patterson Foundation?
Rather than making grants to individual organizations or programs, The Patterson Foundation invests in identified collaborative efforts that incorporate proven practices, data and wide participation. While The Patterson Foundation is not accepting unsolicited proposals for funding, it values the dedicated efforts underway to help asset-limited families join the digital landscape.