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Nonprofit making Tech Impact in lives

Tech Impact also partners with nonprofits to provide them with technology products and services including hardware, software, networking and strategic planning.

Patrick Callihan, executive director of Tech Impact, helps at-risk urban youth move into IT careers.
Patrick Callihan, executive director of Tech Impact, helps at-risk urban youth move into IT careers.Read moreMichael Hinkelman / Daily News Staff

PATRICK CALLIHAN, 49, of Landenberg, Chester County, is executive director of Tech Impact, a North Philly-based nonprofit that helps nonprofit clients make sense of large-scale technology projects and provides tech maintenance and support services. The firm also helps young, at-risk urban adults move into IT careers.

Q: How'd you come up with the idea?

A: The company started in 2003 as NPower Pennsylvania, a nonprofit formed to help other nonprofits with tech. In 2012, NPower broke up and we rebranded as Tech Impact. I started with NPower in 2008, and when we rebranded we became a national organization headquartered here.

Q: What do you do?

A: We work with nonprofits and operate like a social enterprise. That includes everything from migrating small nonprofits to cloud computing platforms, telecommunications systems and total outsourcing of IT managed services. The other major part of the business is IT Works, where we fundraise. It's a free 16-week program for at-risk youth, ages 18 to 26, out of work with no college degree. We teach fundamentals of hardware, software and networking and help them get industry certifications.

Q: The biz model?

A: The IT-services part is a fee-for-service model and the fee could be several hundred to several thousand dollars a month, but it's typically 30 to 40 percent below market rate. We fundraise through donors to underwrite IT Works. Some major donors are Pew Charitable Trusts, Capital One, Barclays and JP Morgan Chase.

Q: The value prop?

A: We understand how the nonprofit business model works, that organizations need to get grants and don't have the same level of resources as for-profit companies. We also manage IT systems that are specific to nonprofits, such as donor or volunteer management systems.

Q: Your customers?

A: We have customers all across the country. Local clients include MANNA, the African-American Museum of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Zoo.

Q: Biggest challenge?

A: Finding qualified people and keeping them. Our mission resonates with some technologists. We're changing lives with IT Works. Since we started it five years ago, we've graduated more than 200 people, and 70 percent are working full-time in IT within six months of graduation and earning two to three times what they earned before enrolling.

Q: How big a biz?

A: IT Services is the largest revenue component, at $2 million. Zipcode, a school for coding, generates about $1 million. IT Works represents another $1 million in revenue. We have 37 employees, most based here. We also have offices in Wilmington, Silicon Valley and Las Vegas.

On Twitter: @MHinkelman