Grant Management

Project Overview

Keystone Initiative for Network-Based Education & Research (KINBER) — Pennsylvania’s only statewide research, education, and community network — partnered with the PA Department of Education, Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL) on the administration of two grants designed to increase network connectivity, IT resources, and related skillbuilding at libraries currently deemed unserved or underserved by broadband. 

Facing an urgent need for experienced and detail-oriented project, grant, and stakeholder management bandwidth to ensure both projects remained on schedule and in compliance, KINBER turned to M:7 Agency’s Growth Marketing services

Strategy & Execution

With tight deadlines and a number of other challenges in play, we needed to steady the ship by taking immediate control of both grant projects already in progress by carefully developing and executing an action plan for spending activities underway to be brought to a successful conclusion. 

Due to the abbreviated timeline, this meant a focus on strategic planning with both KINBER leadership and state administrators to enable a drawdown of nearly $1 million in remaining grant funds. 

This required daily operational support for KINBER project staff as well as effective engagement with key stakeholders and ensuring compliance of all grant activities and the meeting of deadlines and reporting requirements. Additionally, we partnered with leading library consultant Carson Block to facilitate a series of virtual skillbuilding workshops for participating libraries.


M:7 oversaw the drawdown and allocation of nearly


in grant funding to support project-related activities.

  • Almost 100% of funds allocated to the grant programs were utilized.
  • Over $750,000 in grant funds were allocated to the procurement of IT resources, including more than 200 desktops, laptops, Chromebooks, and Chromeboxes for participating libraries.
  • Over 70 libraries and 6 library systems from over two-dozen PA counties were impacted.
  • 15 Library Network Assessment Reports and 19 Library Fiber Feasibility & Community Impact Studies were delivered to libraries across 17 PA counties.
  • Fiber builds were completed at 9 libraries in 3 PA counties.
  • 28 library staff stipends were issued to support ongoing stakeholder engagement activities.
  • 12 local/regional IT firms were engaged and contracted to support ongoing IT needs at participating libraries.
  • M:7 also facilitated a series of skillbuilding workshops including a five-part course on stakeholder engagement training in collaboration with Carson Block Consulting

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