Hear from funders and learn ways to win funding for your nonprofit’s technology needs, in this three-part online course.

Imagine doing your job without a computer or any software. Ridiculous, right? Yet many funders overlook technology. The result is a nonprofit sector that is slowed down by outdated and ineffective tools. But there’s hope. Funders aren’t against technology—they just want to know that investing in your technology needs will lead to better outcomes. That’s why we’re offering this three-part course. We want to show you how to convince funders that your tech projects matter so that you have the tools you need to do your best work.

During this course, you’ll hear directly from funders about what they look for in a technology proposal and what it takes to make your technology needs stand out. We’ll start out by helping you set the stage for funding your project by zeroing in on your potential funders. Then you’ll get the chance to ask our panel of grantmakers your own questions during a moderated discussion. And we’ll wrap up by talking about the practical steps for moving forward and getting the funding you deserve, including how to contextualize your project to show how important it is to your organization, how to budget for future technology and additional details that go into writing a strong proposal.


Session 1: Setting the Stage for Funding

We’ll start by helping you sort out your funding options to identify the best opportunities for technology funding. Would your current foundation funders be a good fit? Would corporations? What about other major donors?

Session 2: Ask a Funder

Through a moderated discussion, you’ll get a chance to hear from several grantmaking professionals who frequently evaluate technology proposals. 

Our Panel will include:

Anna Lindgren from the Campbell Foundation, Assistant to the President and Author
Susan Choe from the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation, Deputy Director and General Counsel

Session 3: Defining the Details for a Strong Proposal

Once you’ve gotten advice from grantmakers, how should you proactively move forward? We’ll talk about what details need to be included in a strong proposal with a technology component, including how to frame your project, how to connect your project to your larger mission, how to draft a budget, and how to think through where this project fits within your larger technology ecosystem.

Joel Barker will join Laura for this session.

Joel is Chief Strategy Officer at Washburn Center for Children where he oversees development, marketing, and strategic initiatives.

About Our Expert

Laura Quinn, Expert Trainer and Panel Moderator

Laura Quinn is an independent consultant, specializing in research for the philanthropic sector and building the capacity of nonprofit networks.  Prior to her consulting work, Laura founded Idealware and served as the Executive Director for nine years. Under her leadership, Idealware partnered with dozens of national organizations, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Legal Services Corporation, and many more to conduct research into technology topics, from tactical interview based articles to rigorously researched software comparisons to ecosystem level infrastructural analyses.  She has also created internet strategy, selected software, designed interfaces, and conducted user research for multimillion dollar software and website implementations with such companies as Accenture, iXL and L.L.Bean. Laura is a frequent speaker and writer on nonprofit technology topics.

 Joel Barker, Chief Strategy Officer at Washburn Center for Children
Joel is Chief Strategy Officer at Washburn Center for Children where he oversees development, marketing, and strategic initiatives. Washburn serves children with mental health conditions. Joel is also the co-founder of Brave North Technology, a Minnesota-based technology firm that has worked with over 200 nonprofits to develop technology systems that support their missions. Joel has over 10 years of nonprofit experience, including serving as a VP/CDO for Fraser, a $72 million dollar healthcare organization, and as a nonprofit consultant where he provided strategic counsel to over 50 nonprofits throughout the Midwest. Joel serves on the board for Missions Inc. and grant review board for Shavlik Family Foundation and is a frequent speaker at nonprofit events and conferences.

About Idealware

Idealware is a program of the nonprofit Tech Impact. We are the authoritative source for independent, thoroughly-researched technology resources for the social sector. Our publications, assessments, and training can save you time and money by providing impartial guidance that gives you the knowledge and confidence you need to decide what’s best for your organization. Browse our archives, sign up for our mailing list, or learn more at