Entering the Digital Age: How the Michigan Nonprofit Association Tech Team Helped A Nonprofit Update Systems Crucial To Their Mission
"I like to joke that we’re still operating in the 1990s, but until recently that was not actually a joke,” said LAAN’s operations manager, Katie McKay.
The Lansing Area AIDS Network serves people living with HIV and AIDS in the mid-Michigan area and has for decades, provided invaluable services to a vulnerable population. They had a failing server, old and mismatched computers, and inadequate cyber security.
LAAN applied for a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, which reached out to the Michigan Nonprofit Association Tech team. They contract with the endowment every year to upgrade systems and provide a help desk with an 800 number, as well as remote maintenance and monitoring, strategic planning with nonprofit leadership, cyber security audits, and software. The help desk is fee-for-service, and currently supports about forty nonprofit organizations and their technological needs.
“With nonprofits, you don’t either have a dedicated person or it's just an add-on to someone’s job or you don’t have the money. You know without the money that the health fund gave to the nonprofit association, we weren’t going to be able to do this. We knew it needed to be done but we were not going to be able to do it on our own,” said LAAN executive director Kristina Schmidgall.