HTG Peer Groups, as expected, today launched Hands That Give -- an emergency fund and support network that helps member managed services providers (MSPs) during times of business or personal crisis. At first glance, Hands That Give is an emergency insurance policy for HTG's members. But take a closer look, and you'll discover Hands That Give involves MSPs and several IT vendors giving time and support to peers, notes Arlin Sorensen (pictured), founder of HTG. Sorensen unveiled the program during the HTG Peer Groups Spring Conference in Dallas, Texas, this morning.

The Hands That Give plan covers a range of emergencies such as:
  • Natural disasters;
  • personal crisis;
  • the need for additional emergency resources; and
  • an emergency that impacts customers.
In the event of a crisis, the Hands That Give fund will cover expenses such as:
  • Travel, lodging and food
  • emergency supplies; and
  • emergency equipment (i.e., generates, technology and other tools).
Sorensen conceded that the Hands That Give effort is a work in progress that may evolve because the fund is uncharted territory for HTG. To qualify for the Hands That Give program, MSPs have to be active members of HTG; their legacy members need to be complete; their business continuity and disaster recovery plans need to be complete; and the MSPs must participate in the Hands That Give program.

Participation in the program costs $250 per member location (with a maximum $1,000 per HTG member company) and $100 per owner/executive (and a maximum of $500 HTG member company). Also, several vendors -- including ConnectWise, Hewlett-Packard, Level Platforms and Xilocore -- have pledged to support Hands That Give with various resources, ranging from financial support to equipment donations and personnel support.

Perhaps most notably: The Hands That Give program is optional to HTG members. That sounds like unspoken confidence from Sorensen that the program will gain critical mass without forcing the hand of HTG members.

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