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The Story

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced "Next Generation Learning Challenges," grants to improve postsecondary education through technology applications. Organizations can receive between $250,000 and $750,000 for their innovations. The Foundation's white paper describes how technology can achieve educational goals.

Discussion Starters

  • Who is the audience for the Next Generation Learning Challenge? What do we know about them that might help the Gates Foundation communicate this initiative and encourage people to apply for a grant? 
  • What communication media could the Foundation use to reach their audiences?
  • How are the white paper and request for proposal (RFP) organized (download)? In what ways do these reports match the principles discussed in Chapter 10?

Assignment Ideas

  • Write a short article (300-500 words) explaining the grant opportunity. You may use the Foundation's news release as a starting point.
  • Write a letter tailored to one organization that might be interested in applying for a grant. The organization could be your college, a not-for-profit that focuses on education, or an entrpreneurial organization. Be sure to include why this organization was selected to receive a customized RFP.
  • Write a proposal for a grant. Think of an innovative technology tool that would meet the Foundation's goals. Review the request for proposal (RFP) and address the questions as best you can.