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Kansas Digital Equity and Inclusion Collaborative Request for Proposals


Broadband is essential infrastructure and lack of access is an equity issue that must be addressed because its wide-ranging applications touch every social determinant of health. While the digital divide has been recognized for some time, the pandemic has elevated its depth and impact, especially in low-income neighborhoods, communities of color, rural and other under-resourced areas of the state. To help Kansas families attain the best possible educational, economic and health outcomes, digital access and literacy is a necessity. This request for proposals (RFP) focuses on engaging collaborative partners to advance equitable digital access and literacy among families of color, low-wage worker households and others experiencing greater systemic barriers that contribute to the wealth gap.

To this end, the Kansas Health Foundation (KHF) will engage four organizations to co-create and implement a shared strategic agenda to advocate for greater digital access, literacy and broadband adoption to support long-term goals of improving equitable educational and economic outcomes. Awarded organizations will each receive up to $250,000 over three years (up to $83,333/year), beginning Aug. 1, 2021, and ending July 31, 2024.

Who Can Apply?

Eligible organizations are Kansas nonprofits classified as:

  • Tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code – sub-sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2)
  • Government entity with a Federal Employer Identification number
  • Church with a Group Ruling Letter

Organizations that do not meet this eligibility criteria may work with an eligible fiscal sponsor to submit a proposal. Questions about eligibility can be directed to Gina Hess, KHF Grants Associate, at

KHF anticipates funding eligible organizations whose leadership is ready to think in bold new ways, using a two-generation, equity-focused approach to advance policies that create digital equity and opportunity for low-wage worker households and Kansans of color. KHF is interested in reaching organizations who have authentic connections to these households/families experiencing digital inequities and who are ready to create and implement a digital equity plan in conjunction with a network of stakeholders. If you have content questions regarding this RFP, please reach out to KHF Program Officer Chan Brown at

What will the work look like?

We are asking funded organizations to engage in a strategic planning process and policy and advocacy efforts to:

  • Develop a framework unique to the local context to advocate for policies, programs and services that promote digital inclusion, provide increased access to a stable, robust internet connection and appropriate devices, and identify/connect communities experiencing the greatest inequities to resources to learn digital literacy skills;
  • Educate community members about the disparities in home service usage and build local capacity necessary for more widespread broadband adoption and digital education;
  • Create a business case for greater adoption to encourage Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to explore how to extend services to communities with lower home adoption rates;
  • Ensure that “Smart City” or other city-wide technology initiatives build equity into the planning process to avoid worsening the digital divide; and
  • Closely track and leverage sources of federal funding being made available to ensure consumers facing the greatest barriers benefit. Managing and coordinating resources as they become available will be an ongoing part of the strategic planning process.

Central to this process is involving those most affected by these issues to participate in crafting solutions and creating a structure within the collaborative that creates opportunities for meaningful engagement.

Further details about this initiative can be found on pages two and three of the RFP document.

Application Process

All proposals must be submitted through KHF’s online portal between 8 a.m. CST on April 28, 2021, and 5 p.m. CST on June 4, 2021. To access the portal and submit a proposal, applicants must have a current user account. If an applicant does not have a current user account, one may be created from the online portal’s login page.

Please note, KHF updated our online portal in January 2021. If you had a user account prior to this date, you should have received an email from KHF alerting you of the changes, including an updated username. If this applies to you and you did not receive the email mentioned above, please contact

To assist interested applicants with the submission process, KHF made a PDF version of the Digital Equity and Inclusion Collaborative grant application here. This is document is not to be submitted in lieu of the online application. It is only to be used as a resource to help potential applicants plan ahead for their actual submission in the online portal.

Informational Webinar

An informational webinar was held on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 for interested applicants to learn more and ask questions about this initiative and application process. For those who couldn’t attend, a recording and transcript of the webinar can be viewed by clicking here.


Further details about the Kansas Digital Equity and Inclusion Collaborative Initiative can be found in the RFP document. You can also view a shorter, one-page overview. And, we encourage everyone to review the Frequently Asked Questions document before applying.

If you have further questions, please contact us at You may also call us at 316-262-7676.


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