Beginning October 1, 501 Commons is offering the technology services previously provided by NPower Northwest. We are excited to welcome NPower clients to 501 Commons. You can learn more about this change and what it will mean for nonprofits in Washington State through these FAQs.
What is happening to NPower?
As you may know, NPower was born in Seattle and grew into a national network. Part of NPower’s legacy is its national footprint. There are NPowers in cities around the country, all offering nonprofit-focused tech support. 501 Commons will continue to fly the NPower flag though its collaboration with these organizations and with other national nonprofit technology leaders, such as NTEN and TechSoup.
NPower Northwest is closing up shop after raising a toast to a much more tech savvy nonprofit sector. We at 501 Commons are extremely grateful to Alison Carl White, the former NPower executive director, the NPower board, and the very dedicated NPower staff for having the vision of better serving Washington State nonprofits by integrating technology into 501 Commons’ services, instead of continuing as a stand-alone, tech-only entity.
For those that love the nitty gritty, here’s the deal from a legal perspective: What’s happening is referred to as "an acquisition of assets." It’s not a merger. 501 Commons has purchased many of the assets that NPower used to deliver its technology services. Most of the NPower staff have joined the 501 Commons team. Alison is getting off the capacity-building train, but is keeping her talents focused on building community as the executive director at Within Reach.
Why are you adding technology to your suite of services?
Our friends at NPower always said that their mission would be accomplished once technology had become a nonprofit friend rather than a foe. Thirteen years after opening their doors – mission accomplished! The sector has advanced far enough for NPower to be able to close their doors as an independent technology provider.
Now, technology is part of every aspect of a nonprofit’s work—how we raise money, communicate to clients and supporters, influence public policy, and change the world on shoestring budgets. It makes sense to have technology services integrated alongside governance, planning, and communication services offered by 501 Commons.
What technology services will you offer?
We are offering all of the services that NPower Northwest has been providing and planning to add more. The popular Managed Services IT support subscription and growing Flex-it Database Support solution will compliment 501 Commons' suite of management support services. Now you can contract with 501 Commons expert staff for short term or ongoing HR support, financial services, and tech services. Our consultants include people who previously provided these services at NPower, along with new staff and contracted service partners. Services will be provided both remotely and in-person to keep your systems stable and secure.
Technology strategy and planning join the array of strategy and planning services offered by 501 Commons. We are excited that in addition to the trusted advisor role our consultants play with clients of our support services, we'll be continuing consulting projects in an array of vital technology areas, such as website development, database/CRM design and development, and other online services through these staff experts and carefully-selected contractors who understand the needs of nonprofits.
And watch for the continuation of the well-received Brown Bags offered by the Tech Corps. Tech Corps, the HandsOn AmeriCorps program, has joined our 501 Commons AmeriCorps team. The Tech Corps also provides tech assessments and plans to poverty-alleviation organizations throughout the Puget Sound.
What do I do if I need technology services?
If you are an NPower support client already, you know how to get the fastest service--by calling the support line at 206.957.7722 or emailing email@example.com. If you are not a client yet and need services, please fill out our Request for Assistance form to ask for help — whether for tech or something else— or give us a call at 206-682-6704.