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The Entertainment Software Assocation said it is now taking applications for 2018 tech-based programs that use video games to help America’s youth.

The Washington, D.C.-based game industry’s trade association is accepting letters of inquiry for its 2018 round of grant funding, which supports nonprofit organizations that foster youth development and education through engagement with video games and technology.

This is the first time eligible organizations can submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) before a full proposal and grant application to the ESA Foundation.

“ESA Foundation grants have empowered organizations that improve the lives of millions of American children through the boundless potential of video games for almost 20 years,” said ESA Foundation executive director Anastasia Staten,  the U.S. video game industry’s charitable organization, in a statement. “The ESA Foundation – and the American entertainment software industry as a whole – wants to empower more of these innovative organizations, especially those focused on expanding opportunities for female and minority students. By adding an LOI phase to our application process, it is easier for organizations to take the first step in applying. We hope those who did not previously apply will do so now.”

Since 2000, the ESA Foundation has raised more than $20 million for organizations utilizing video games and technology to tackle social challenges and build stronger communities across the US.

Brown University’s Bootstrap, The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Extra Life, iCivics, the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum, and VisionQuest 20/20 received grants from the ESA Foundation in 2017.

For more information or to apply for an ESA Foundation grant, visit the ESA Foundation grant application website here. Eligible organizations should submit a letter of inquiry to the ESA Foundation by May 15, 2017, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern for 2018 calendar-year projects. Selected organizations will then submit a full proposal by July 10, 2017. First-time awardees can request grants of up to $50,000.

Created by the American entertainment software industry, the ESA Foundation works to make a positive difference in the lives of America’s youth by providing scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supporting charitable organizations and schools that leverage entertainment software and technology. The ESA Foundation receives its primary funding proceeds from the signature annual fundraiser Nite to Unite and other charitable initiatives.

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