Grants

What You Need to Know About Pursuing Telecommunications Grants

Cameron Smith
February 23, 2017

One thing all industries can agree on is having a bit more money in the budget is a good thing. And for industries that rely largely on public funding (like education) receiving more money can be a complicated and difficult process.

Even when new processes are urgently needed, a lack of funding can prevent cutting-edge technology and innovations from being accessed. This can lead to schools, hospitals, nonprofits and other industries relying on outmoded ways of doing things – something that doesn’t bode well for students, patients and others.

One way to supplement a standard budget is by applying for grants. Like college students applying for scholarships, organizations and businesses can apply for grants from various agencies offering them in an effort to provide support to deserving (but often underfunded) industries.

Of course, there’s more to grants than just free money. The money given by the government and other agencies has to be spent in highly specific ways that meet stringent requirements. And not every group will prove eligible – only those with appropriate need and a chance to realize value are considered for most grants.

So, how do you know if your organization can qualify for technology grants? And what could the money be used for? The answer could be as simple as video conferencing from Polycom.

What You Can Expect When Pursuing Grants

Before anything else, it’s important to dispel the notion that receiving a grant is like getting free money. It’s not – while the funding isn’t like a loan you’d have to pay interest on, it’s not quite a gift either.

Most grants are hyper specific, and location-dependent, meaning your organization will have best luck pursuing grants based in and near your area. But even if a grant is in your location, it doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily qualify.

Thankfully, plenty of grants are technology focused, and with the enormous innovations happening in the telecommunications industry, there are increasing opportunities for industries like healthcare and education to pursue this additional funding.

Fundingsmaller

There’s one thing these industries have in common – the need for technology that facilitates distant education and training. As video conferencing becomes increasingly powerful, convenient and ubiquitous, distance education is becoming more viable and effective than ever before.

One such grant are the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants offered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Rural Development. Addressing some of the obstacles posed by the isolation of many rural communities, the USDA is offering grants to organizations who show a keen interest in augmenting their collaboration platforms to improve communication, education and training between professionals.

For your organization to qualify for this grant, you’ll need to come prepared with a strategy to prove your commitment to spending the money on technology that will foster distance learning, training and information exchange. Many other grants have similar requirements.

In summary, grants vary enormously across industries and geographical regions. One thing they have in common, however, is a focus on innovation and improvement. By leveraging telecommunication advances from Polycom, you can position your organization well to qualify for the USDA grant, and others like it.

Getting Assistance When Pursuing a Grant

It’s no secret that the grant application process can be a headache. Anyone with experience navigating government sites can attest to the fact it’s not always a fluid and seamless process, and unfortunately that’s where information and applications for many grants can be found.

Additionally, grants can be enormously competitive with organizations bringing a lot to the table in order to qualify.

Thankfully, this is well known to large technology providers like Polycom, who have grant assistance programs to aid the navigation of the sometimes-convoluted application process. Polycom offers help with proposal preparation, funding selection, and submission of grant applications, in addition to other consultation you might need.

With Polycom’s assistance, communications technology grants will be easier than ever to come by, as implementing Polycom infrastructure as a video conferencing solution is just the type of communication innovation grant committees like to see.

Conclusion

For industries like healthcare and education, which are perennially underfunded, grants can act as an essential source of supplementary funding.

However, the process is far less simple than some suppose, and grants are anything but “free money.” They’re very specific and difficult to navigate and require a comprehensive application process.

One common area grants are offered for is telecommunications and technology innovation. Leveraging video conferencing from Polycom is an excellent way to position your organization to qualify for such telecommunication grants, and can act as an amazing new resource for connecting educators and healthcare professionals with essential training.

Thankfully, in spite of the difficulties involved in the grant application process, companies like Polycom offer assistance programs to help your organization prepare for grant applications.

There is funding out there, and it can make a huge difference in how your organization communicates – and it starts with Polycom.