AWS Imagine Grants offer up to $100,000 in cloud services to nonprofits

The company wants to support organizations that prioritize technology as a mission-critical component of their work.

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Nonprofits that need help with cloud computing have a chance to win technical services and project support from AWS. The cloud provider's Imagine Grant is looking for proposals for pilot projects, proofs of concept, strategic technology planning, or existing programs that utilize technology in a new or expanded way.

Winners of the AWS grant may receive some combination of the following services:

  • Up to $100,000 in unrestricted financial support
  • Up to $100,000 USD in AWS promotional credit
  • Project kickoff workshop and implementation support from AWS technical specialists
  • Up to five AWS Training Services Vouchers
  • AWS marketing support

AWS is looking for projects with clearly defined milestones and outcomes, viable sustainability plans, and a clear explanation of how AWS services fit within the project scope. Dave Levy, vice president, US government and nonprofits of the worldwide public sector at AWS, said in a press release that the company wants to support nonprofits that prioritize technology as a mission-critical component of their work. 

"As nonprofits design their Imagine Grant projects, we encourage them to think about who their customers are – the beneficiaries of their missions and services – and how they can use cloud technology to address their customers' key concerns," Levy said. "This process clarifies thinking before applicants develop their big ideas."

AWS has several services designed for charitable organizations, including a credit program for researchers, consulting services, and an online donation platform. Nonprofits also can submit technical questions that are answered during the company's online office hours

Nonprofits with 501(c) status based in the US can apply via a six-page proposal due by 11:59 PM EST on Sept. 30, 2020. The proposal submission portal opens on Sept. 15. The application process includes a written description of the project, a sample press release that describes the launch of the effort, and an architecture diagram that explains the design, deployment, and topology of the technical component of the project.  

The 2019 Imagine grant winners included:

  • Alex's Lemonade Stand - Support for refine.io product, which gives childhood cancer researchers access to more than 900,000 genomic samples.
  • Code of Support Foundation - Support for the PATROITlink database that matches veterans to legal, mental health, and financial services.
  • Creative Commons - Support for a project that uses image recognition and machine learning to improve metadata in search algorithms to improve search results of public domain works.
  • Kiva - Support for services for individuals who do not qualify for traditional banking services.
  • SkyTruth - Support for machine learning algorithms to analyze images that detect bilge computation from ships at sea.
  • Breastcancer.org - Support for a decision-making tool to simplify information from pathology reports.

"The process of applying for the Imagine Grant helped our teams think about our solution to meet the needs of breast cancer patients in a new way, and ultimately emerge with clearer thinking," Hope Wohl, CEO of Breastcancer.org, said in a press release.

Winners will be notified in November 2020 and the grants begin January 2021.

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