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TODAY IS Friday, June 28 , 2002

Community Involvement: DCANet
DCANet helps groups share information

By BILL HAYDEN
Staff reporter
03/17/2002

Since beginning operations in 1994, DCANet President Keith Duncan has made a point of providing service to Delaware's nonprofit community and arts organizations.

Last year, the Wilmington-based Internet service company went a step further by establishing and maintaining a Web home base for regional community news and organizations at DelawareValley.org.

"Our goal is to make all community groups in the region have an equal opportunity at Internet access," Duncan said. "DelawareValley provides them with an opportunity to make a bigger impact on the region than might be otherwise possible."

He is patterning the operation after the original Philadelphia-based LibertyNet, which three years ago transformed itself into a for-profit general information service. It previously served as a bulletin board of community news with links to various community and cultural Web sites.

"It's not surprising that Keith would do something like this," said Bill Osborne, interim president of the 350-member Delaware Association of Nonprofit Agencies. "Although his is a technology company, he has a doctorate in sociology. He looks at technology as a way to benefit people. With him, it is a means, not the end."

Many of the association's members have Web sites that DCANet helped create and now hosts online. These include OperaDelaware, the Delaware Humane Association, the Wilmington Drama League and the Christina Cultural Arts Center.

It's not just Duncan who gets involved. He encourages staff members to volunteer time - "often during regular working hours" - to design nonprofit Web sites and work on DelawareValley.org.

"It is a companywide project that our employees are honestly interested in," he said. "The site is only at its beginning. It should reach maturity in another six to nine months."

The project is similar, though on a larger scale, to his 7-year-old relationship with the Delaware Division of the Arts. With DCANet providing the technical support, the state agency operates a Web site (http://www.artsdel.org/ that combines art-related news, an events calendar, artist information and links to cultural organizations.

"DCANet is critical to our mission to promote the value of the arts and awareness of art in Delaware," said Laura Scanlan, director of the division.

Reach Bill Hayden at 324-2887 or mailto:bhayden@delawareonline.com


The News Journal/JENNIFER CORBETT
DCANet President Keith Duncan (front) and DelawareValley.org Director Jay Cohen help nonprofits share news online.

PROFILE
Address: 1204 West St., Wilmington

Web site: http://www.dcanet.com/

Full-time employees: 47

What it does: It is a regional communications-services company offering Internet access and Web-related services.

Annual sales: $11 million

What panel members said: "The list of organizations to which DCANet has donated its technical facilities and expertise is not only impressive, it is inclusive - from the arts and education to social services and the environment."

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