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Making Dane County the most connected place for everyone is the vision of DANEnet. DANEnet is a nonprofit that has been providing affordable, professional IT/tech services to other nonprofits and low-income households since 1996. They assist in technology repair, free technology-related clinics and classes, affordable home internet options, and much more. Much like an IT department at a given company, DANEnet can be described as traveling technical support for many nonprofit organizations and individuals. They believe in digital equality, meaning that professional tech support is accessible for everyone.

Shawn Steen is the Executive Director of DANEnet, holding over 20 years of experience working and volunteering for nonprofits. Shawn provides support for their team of Technical Consultants. She started with DANEnet in 2020 during the COVID pandemic, where everyone got a first look at the digital divide: the gap between those who have access to digital technology and those who do not.

DANEnet's Digital Equity Project does work in the community to ensure that individuals in low-income households have technical support and access. One of their monthly initiatives involves delivering around 20 donated laptops to those who qualified. By reaching out to businesses and donors to contribute their old laptops and computers, the DANEnet team can repair and process each item of technology to ensure that the system is working properly and is still useable for others. Without the help of donors and business partners, this initiative would not be possible. DANEnet also offers free classes and free tech repair clinics at several Madison Public Library locations.

With over 100 clients in Dane County, DANEnet can provide IT/tech support to any nonprofit agency in the area, but also helps a few outside of Dane County with remote tech support and website work. DANEnet's technicians travel to different organizations as needed throughout the day or provide remote tech support from home. Some of the support consists of helping with staff computers, mounting conduit to set up Wi-Fi grids, installing computer labs, configuring servers, or whatever else may be needed.

Donald, a technology consultant, provides technical support for Big Brothers and Big Sisters every week, as well as assisting other organizations in the community like Centro Hispano and Capitol Lakes. He helps with technical services involving smart phones, laptops, and computers. Anything a professional IT support department might provide, Donald can also do for any organization at any location. His services also include remote assistance and a help line those individuals can call.

Shawn is working on a new initiative called "Zoomers for Boomers," where she, along with tech support volunteers, offer free online tech advice and support via Zoom for a few hours every week. Some of the questions she receives involve configuring a smartphone, knowing whether an email is a scam, listening to podcasts, using Facebook, or setting up an Etsy shop. Individuals can jump on Zoom and share their screen to explain their question, no matter how simple or difficult.

DANEnet's team is staffed with associates like Donald and Shawn who are committed to providing technical support to nonprofit agencies, as well as individuals in need. DANEnet's services and resources aim to close the digital divide while also making a difference in the community. Learn more about DANEnet here.