The Atlanta-based Alliance for Digital Equality (ADE), the vendor that is paying Mayor John Marks approximately $20,000 a year and was included in a City of Tallahassee (COT) federal grant application, has had little luck in securing federal grant monies in the past. However, sources from inside the city tell Tallahassee Reports that one of the reasons city leadership chose to partner with ADE was because of their past success in receiving such grants.
At the time that the City of Tallahassee chose to partner with the Atlanta-based vendor in a federal grant application, ADE had applied for federal grant money through the Broad Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) five times, and each time the request for funding was denied.
Tallahassee Reports could not find any grants awarded to ADE from the federal government through BTOP. A review of ADE’s tax returns for 2008 and 2009 show that the organization received no government grant money, only donations.
A federal database of grant awards for the BTOP shows that ADE has submitted four grant applications on their own to the federal government and all were rejected. The four grants totaled approximately $5,000,000 in requests for projects in Miami, Houston and in two locations in the Atlanta area.
In addition, the BTOP database shows that ADE has partnered with three organizations seeking grants for projects totaling over $23 million in Ohio, Kentucky and South Carolina. All three grants were not funded by the federal government.
It appears that the only federal grant monies ADE will receive through BTOP will be with the partnership with the City of Tallahassee.
The ADE tax returns for 2008 — the tax returns available for review before the COT grant application was submitted in March of 2010 — show that ADE collected $2.7 million in donations. The document shows that of the $2.7 million in donations, over $960,000 (over 30%) went to board salaries, consulting fees and accounting bills.