Old Hardware Grants Howto

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NOTE: This is deprecated. For the most recent information regarding Hardware Grants, go to Hardware Grants.

Quick Guide:

I would think this Quick Guide could be removed, since the Wiki's auto-generated Table of Contents does the same thing, only better. But, the original document's "Quick Guide" did not quite match the structure of the "Detailed Instructions." So I'm leaving this task to someone more knowledgeable. --Pete 22:12, 26 Dec 2005 (PST)

Most grants are for computers. This is a rough overview of the process. The process is still in development and we will try to streamline it, but as people learn it, we will be able to get a current status of all our outstanding requests easily.

  • The application process
  • Grant arrives: RT hygeine and application-checking
  • Is it an instagrant?
  • Grant meeting: the grants and their shepherds
  • Denying a grant
  • Filling a grant

Detailed Instructions

Application Process

An organization (the "Requestor") can only request a grant via the web form. This both creates a ticket in the Request Tracker (RT) and sends an email to the grants list. Requestors get no confirmation of receipt.

When the grant arrives

Everyone working on the grant committee should be on the list and have a HardwareGrants RT account as well. Anyone on the grants group may perform the following grant-application processing.

RT hygiene

When a grant arrives, it needs some massaging. Someone needs to go to the ticket tracker, and:

  1. The Subject should be changed to the organization name.
    • Add a suffix to the name "-- local" for local grants or "--" plus the name of the location for non-local grants.
  2. The Requestor should be changed to the requestor's email address (and the existing one removed).
  3. Change its initial GrantStatus to "Requested"

Application checking

Anyone in the Harware Grants group should feel welcome to preview the grants in order to make things run more smoothly.

The application should be checked to see if all important questions are answered and if it's a valid grant request.

  • If it's not a valid request (It's for an individual, a for-profit business, it's a request for money or a copy of Win2k):
    1. Take the ticket
    2. Change ticket GrantStatus to Denied
    3. Post a reply stating the reason for denial to the ticket in RT. (This will email the requestor and the list).
    4. Change ticket Status to Resolved.

Grants and their Shepherds

  • A request needs a "shepherd" to go anywhere. If you want to shepherd a grant thorugh the process, you should go to the ticket tracker and "Take" the ticket. This makes you the shepherd. Once you are a shepherd, you are committing to getting the grant through to approval and disbursion (or denial).
  • The shepherd (or someone else if there is no shepherd yet) needs to read the grant and determine if we have all the information we need to proceed.
    • If you find that information is lacking, you should reply to the requestor and change the GrantStatus to "NeedsClarification" in the ticket tracker.
    • If you find that all the information is there, change the GrantStatus to "Pending" in the ticket tracker.
  • The grants group meets monthly to determine the fate of all pending grants. After this meeting, anyone shepherding a grant request may:
    • Change its GrantStatus in the ticket tracker to "Denied", and the Status to "Resolved", if the request has been denied.
    • Set its GrantStatus to "Approved", if the request has been "Approved." (Do not "Resolve" the ticket at this point.)
    • Contact the requestor and inform them of the decision.

Shepherd Duties

  • When a grantee comes and gets an approved grant, the shepherd needs to:
    • Give them their equipment
    • Give the grantee outreach documents (located near the finished grantboxen). These will most likely include: brochures, tear-off sheets, FAQs, and contact sheets for how to contact us if the organization's staff would like a 10-minute talk on how Free Geek can help them and their clients. Feel free to verbally offer this presentation as well.
    • change the GrantStatus in the ticket tracker to "Finished"
    • change the basic ticket status to "Resolved" the ticket (this way, we can say that all requests with a GrantStatus of "Approved" are still in limbo and need to be picked up)
    • complete the associated Quality Control (QC) Sheet (for systems), or note gizmo numbers for data entry (for other hardware)
    • if necessary, assign a "Recipient ID" to the Grantee in the FGDB


InstaGrants happen between meetings. If an instagrant happens, it should be entered into the ticket tracker with a GrantStatus of "InstaGranted." When the equipment is disbursed change the GrantStatus to "Finished," "Resolve" the ticket, assign a "Recipient ID" if necessary, and provide for updating the status of the granted equipment in the FGDB, as above.


If a shepherd moves on to other pastures and leaves his requests behind, someone needs to go through his tickets and change all their GrantStatuses to "Orphaned".

Non-Computer Grants

Non-computer grants can be treated just like computer grants. If, for some reason, the web form doesn't serve the purpose, a new ticket can be made in one of two other ways:

  • Send an email to hardware-grants@freegeek.org . The subject of your email will become the title of the request.
  • Go to the ticket tracker and enter it using the web interface.

Care and Feeding

During the course of a request's lifespan, it is often good to comment on the request, adding a note that contains information about how the request needs to be implemented for instance. This can be done in one of two ways:

  • Through the web interface
  • By sending an email to hardware-grants@freegeek.org with a subject that contains a string like "[freegeek.org #123]" (where 123 is the ticket number).

Grant Statuses defined

There are several GrantStatuses a grant might have at any given point:

Grant submitted but not yet reviewed.
We are missing crucial information and need clarity to proceed.
We have all information necessary, but have not yet decided.
We have denied the grant request.
We have approved the grant request and assigned it a shepherd.
We have approved the grant request, but there is no shepherd yet.
We have given the hardware out before the next meeting (after consulting another member of the Hardware Grants group).
The equipment has been disbursed.
The shepherd for this grant has abandoned it.