Internet provider gives nonprofits a cyber boost
By PATRICIA TALORICO
Keith Duncan has seen Internet companies both soar and plummet.
But the president and chief executive officer of DCANet, a regional Internet services provider, is not worried about his company's longevity.
"We predate the dot-coms," said Duncan, who founded his company in 1994 when the Internet was still in its infancy. "We were around before the dot-com boom and bust and we're still around."
The Wilmington-based company that provides off-campus Internet access for such clients as Drexel and Temple universities and the University of Pennsylvania has seen its revenue grow 400 percent during the past seven years.
"Here is a company that has found a niche in our labor market providing high-tech service," said Ed Simon, a Delaware Labor Department analyst. "They've been very successful and have been able to expand their employment base considerably."
As DCANet prepares to expand its operation and move into a new 10,000-square-foot building in Wilmington, it is not just merely interested in its own profits. The 45-worker company also contributes to the community by helping nonprofit organizations expand into cyberspace.
The involvement dates back several years to when Duncan formed a relationship with the Delaware State Division of the Arts. For the past five years, DCANet has helped create and maintain the agency's Web site that publishes arts and calendar information.
The company also donates services to other organizations including OperaDelaware, the Wilmington Drama League and the Christina Cultural Arts Center.
The Delaware Sierra Club and the Delaware Humane Association, to which DCANet donated a Web site it has maintained for the organization for four years, are of special interest to Duncan's brother David, vice president of operations, and his wife, Muriel, manager of accounts.
"The staff of DCANet live and work within these communities and we certainly try to do our part," Duncan said.
Drew Hastings, executive director of the Delaware Association of Nonprofit Agencies, said Web sites are crucial for agencies.
"Five years from now every charity is going to say, 'How did I live without a Web site?' " he said.
And Hastings said Duncan's company has helped expand the reach of Delaware charities.
"The thing about Keith is that he seems to have a genuine and sincere interest in helping nonprofit organizations," Hastings said. "It's not lip service."
Reach Patricia Talorico at 324-2861 or send an e-mail.