A project of the Michigan Nonprofit Association
NPower Michigan, NPower Network
Highway T, a nonprofit organization associated with the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA), provided technology services to nonprofits at a reduced cost (now delivered by MNA Technology Services). Highway T was dedicated to empowering local nonprofits to take advantage of new technologies to better serve their clients and communities and fulfill their missions. They helped filter the “huge volume of technology offerings and alternatives to customize a relevant IT solution for each nonprofit.” Services that Highway T offered included infrastructure consulting, hands-on technology service support, assessment and planning, technology assistant grants, and professional training for nonprofit staff, board members, and volunteers.
Highway T originally started in 2001 as an independent nonprofit called NPower Michigan, which was one of the first affiliates of the NPower national network. The original NPower network and affiliates was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1999 with funding from the Microsoft and Puget Sound foundations (Mills-Groninger, 2011). The organization rapidly grew to become a national network that focused on connecting nonprofits with the best and most affordable information technology. In January 2007, NPower Michigan became an affiliate of MNA (see merger agreement in related historical documents below), and was tasked with providing technology support to MNA members and Michigan-based nonprofits, which helped drive the nonprofit sector in Michigan. Despite this shift, they remained involved in NPower’s national network for several more years. In February 2010, NPower Michigan decided to formally separate from the NPower national network and rebranded itself as Highway T.
The decision to separate from the NPower network marked a split in strategic direction. Whereas the national organization and some of its larger affiliates continued to focus on developing national tools and initiatives, Highway T concentrated on supporting small to mid-sized organizations based locally in Michigan and Ohio, and continued to serve the needs of MNA members. In a 2010 news release, Kyle Caldwell, president and CEO of Michigan Nonprofit Association, remarked, “by providing Highway T’s services and resources to our members and the nonprofit community, we are creating an environment where nonprofits can function more proficiently, allowing them to focus on their core missions.”
Mills-Groninger, T. (2011, May 15). Disconnecting from the network. The NonProfit Times. https://www.thenonprofittimes.com/npt_articles/disconnecting-from-the-network/