Web-based tech tools – Seattle pilot, national market

By Todd Cohen

Microsoft-backed NPower, which provides tech help to nonprofits, plans to pilot in its hometown of Seattle, and then expand nationally, an initiative that will lease software designed to meet a broad range of nonprofit needs.

The changes, which parallel a $25 million Microsoft initiative to franchise NPower in up to 12 other U.S. cities over the next five years, further NPower’s goal of serving as a model that other communities can adopt to deliver tech services to local nonprofits.

NPower is looking for financial support to launch its leased-software initiative – an “application service provider,” or ASP, to be called ChangeFrame.

ChangeFrame, which will be launched early in 2000 as an NPower program but will become a separate nonprofit in about a year, will work with software developers to “to assemble a suite of software tools that would meet all the core needs of a nonprofit,” says Michael Beneke, NPower’s director of communications and resource development.

Software, which nonprofits would lease rather than buy from ChangeFrame, would range from productivity tools — such as word processing, spread sheets, databases, presentations and desktop publishing – to evaluation tools and applications for managing relationships with donors and communicating with them.

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