Our Model

  • Tabitha Sasser at her home in East Carroll, Lousianna
    Identify underserved communities
  • Digital navigators work with community in East Carroll Parish
    Engage with communities to understand their digital needs
  • Woman using a design pad
    Develop digital equity connectivity plans
  • Photograph of Juan Castilla, Hawk Networks Construction Manager in Atlanta, with reel of fiber.
    Fund community-led broadband solutions
  • Two people shake hands
    Support communities to achieve digital equity over time

While community connectivity providers have demonstrated how to deliver affordable access, these models frequently lack access to capital. We blend philanthropic grants and impact investments to offer communities the right type and size of capital they need, while providing guidance and technical assistance to support them on their journey to digital equity.

Philanthropic Fund

We offer grants to fund digital equity connectivity plans; to help communities pay for infrastructure development and create strong business models for sustainable networks; and to fund policy, research and advocacy.

Impact Investment Fund

We tailor financing to meet the digital equity needs of a project, offering capital at the sizes and terms that set communities up for long-term success. We can be flexible and innovative, including financing needs beyond connectivity infrastructure, such as device access.

Organizations and projects seeking support

We want to learn about your work and find ways to support you. Let’s start the conversation!

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Community connectivity providers in action

Asked to pay almost $100 a month for connectivity too slow to qualify as ‘broadband’, many families in the rural community of Enfield, North Carolina lived without home internet. To change this, LaShawn Williamson and the Wave 7 team built a network with speeds 3x faster than existing service, at prices residents can afford. Our investment is helping Wave 7 scale in Enfield and beyond.
Residents in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana fought for years for better broadband. But just as they secured state funds to build a fiber network, an incumbent launched a campaign to stop the build. Residents fought back, organizing through church group Delta Interfaith and partnering with Connect Humanity, Consumer Reports, and others — and they won! The build is now underway and we’ll continue to work with Delta Interfaith to advance digital equity in East Carroll.
The Economic Development Authority in Macon County, Alabama (MCEDA) understood that expanding reliable internet access was vital to promote development in the county. So it created a Public Private Partnership to structure the ‘blended finance’ package needed to build a $3+ million fiber network. A Connect Humanity loan was able to unlock grants and private capital to secure the build and deliver fast, affordable broadband to 1,400 families and businesses.

Community connectivity providers like these need financial support to sustainably scale and meet the digital equity needs in their communities.

Connect Humanity can provide that critical, missing support, de-risking investments with our decades of experience in connectivity policy, technology, and funding.


Digital Equity

  • Infrastructure
  • Affordability
  • Digital Skills
  • Content
  • Policy


Scaling community connectivity providers and means of expanding device access

Our approach centers on supporting, catalyzing, and scaling community connectivity providers to meet the needs of underserved communities, reducing the cost of backhaul, and expanding access to devices. Because most connectivity organizations can only absorb small-scale increments of capital, Connect Humanity operates as a critical missing link in the ecosystem — investing manageable amounts in proven models to help local organizations sustainably scale over time. We focus the bulk of our efforts on this foundational step in the path to digital equity.
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Catalyzing new business & financing models to reduce the cost of connecting

Even where the internet is available, affordability remains a major challenge to access. Connect Humanity tackles this through research that can de-risk financing and business models to connect the unconnected; by building complex capital stacks to bring more sources of funding together to bear the cost of financing network builds; and investing in technology at key points in the connectivity stack. Together, these efforts can reduce the cost of access which is essential to achieving digital equity.
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Digital Skills

Developing the workforce that can build the internet and supporting digital literacy initiatives at scale

In order to achieve digital equity, communities must have the skills to use the internet and the knowledge to build it. We’re focusing on supporting both digital literacy at scale (e.g., in schools, on devices, and at points of sale) while also increasing the pipeline of network engineers working in the public interest. This two-pronged process ensures people gain access to the internet and skills to utilize its wealth of resources and protect themselves from new threats like mis- and disinformation or identity theft. In turn, investment in the pipeline and community of network engineers enables communities to build and maintain the internet themselves.
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Increasing incentives to use the internet by expanding locally relevant content

Locally relevant content is a critical incentive for getting people across the globe to use and pay for the internet. Sharing and supporting best practices in scaling the production of locally relevant content is a powerful way to help more people to use the internet to improve their lives. Moreover, the current lack of localized content for the majority of communities around the world not only excludes their members from participating in digital society, but also perpetuates the cycle of unaffordable connectivity as few people are willing to pay for access to content that fails to speak to their experience. Expanding locally relevant content encourages more diverse users to access and pay for internet services themselves, starting a new cycle in which the online realm begins to more accurately resemble and serve the world in whole.
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Advocating for changes to accelerate the rate at which people are connecting

Providing regulator training programs and advocating for policies — like “dig once” or increased access to spectrum — will accelerate the rate at which people are connecting. By building broad-based grassroots partnerships between better-informed local and regional leaders, we can foster coalitions and support the community of organizations already hard at work in this area. The right type of policy environment allows for much-needed innovation to flourish. The wrong kind perpetuates digital redlining and related inequities.
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Learn more about our funds and apply for support:

Our Funds

Invest in our work accelerating digital equity:

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