We had a great meeting again at Grow Pittsburgh! Thank you again to Rebekah and GP staff for hosting us! (We will be back at GP for the April meeting on 4/5, then we go to the Frick Art & Historical Center in May.)
Here are the notes and resources from the meeting. Note that we concentrated very specifically this month on questions and issues raised by group members.
Data security audits for nonprofits
- Assume banking standards because of donor-related info?
- HIPAA compliance required for health care orgs
- PCI-DSS – annual certification needed if accepting credit cards – there’s a 120 page document used to verify compliance on various systems
- Trustwave – scans monthly for testing purposes
- TransArmor – a security solution from First Data
- Think about all security systems by going through PCI certification doc
- PCI-DSS – limited where info is stored, who has access, etc.
- If keep paper copies of credit card data, only liable for that – must keep locked up and have procedures in places for storage and destruction
- If using 3rd party online service, compliance is on them
- In PA, if a single record in the database is compromised, the organization is liable for $60-70 fine per person for a mandatory three years of a monitoring service
- Idea: take risk analysis to executive director for org (to prove need to take action and/or make case for changes)
- Many nonprofits are already in a crisis state and don’t need additional problems added to that
- PNC Bank does not do merchant services – they resell for First Data
- In terms of credit card processing, there are really only three processors, with everyone else being resellers: First Data, World Link and ______ (group couldn’t think of third company)
Phone systems, vendors, best practices for implementations
- If don’t want cloud-based system, what are options? (Want phones that work when Internet goes down)
- Also want to depreciate as capital expenditure
- Avaya vendor – Advent Communications (pricey for support, but don’t have to call often – very stable)
- Can use a broker to do your telecom research and pricing negotiation for you – Connectel, Opticom Consulting
- Full Service Network – phone vendor, cloud-based retailer – not good for Internet service, only phones
- Computer Reach – has put in phones, vendor in California
- Internet configuration – suggest Internet router separate from phones so heavy network traffic doesn’t knock out phone system
- Prime Communications – sell MyTel system
- Guardian – owned by Armstrong Cable
OneDrive for Business if no Office 365 or Sharepoint
- OneDrive is integrated with Windows 10
- Hotmail is also integrated into OneDrive now
- Can now simultaneous work in docs on OneDrive
- TechSoup has Office 365 for $0, but need to purchase other things for it to be fully functional
- Tech Impact provides migration services for eligible organizations via TechSoup (it’s a partnership – there’s a $10 fee for an assessment first)
If leaving your tech job, what should you document and share with the incoming person?
- Keep a list of your daily activities for one month
- Make other lists for weekly/monthly tasks
- Propose that your org hires you as an independent consultant for a month or two
- Refer to job description, then list all possible jobs the person might need to do under each heading
- Get the info out of your head and onto paper
- Think about the spinning plates act on the Ed Sullivan show – china plates spin most easily but are hard to replace, so are more important (critical tasks). Paper plates are harder to spin but easy to replace, so are less important (busy work).
- Verbal only – give them the political read on people and relationships – but watch what you say because it’s a small nonprofit world in this geographical area
Thank you to everyone who attended our first meeting of the new year at Grow Pittsburgh, and a big thank you to Rebekah and the Grow Pittsburgh team for hosting us!
Our next meetup will take place at the same location on Wednesday, March 1 from 8:30-10 am.
Here are the notes and resources from the meeting:
Affordable wi-fi hotspots available from Mobile Citizen, a division of Sprint
- Up to 10 people can connect to it
- 25 MB encryption
- Available to any nonprofit or household
- You pay for the Franklin R450 hotspot (~$79 + $9 shipping), then $120 for a year of service
- Visit MobileCitizen.com and submit NPO information
- Have to re-certify annually
- Coverage is anywhere Sprint has coverage (Sprint owns most of the cellphone infrastructure in the U.S.)
- Cannot tether with it
- Tech support is reportedly very good
- If you have questions, email Dave Sevick at Computer Reach, email@example.com
- Cradlepoint – can plug old Verizon connectivity stick into it; will act like a landline router
- Salesforce Users Group
- Next meeting is Feb. 15
- Trailhead.salesforce.com for learning (user/admin/developer)
- Local Salesforce consultants include:
- LISC – grant through Neighborhood Allies, has been used in the past for Salesforce assistance by one of the attendees
- Tell them how to do it
- Show them how to do it
- Have them do it
- Ransomware – story about Italian hotel computer system held for ransom by hackers
- What are nonprofits doing about cryptoware and ransomware?
- Education is important – educating your staff and volunteers not to fall for scams in emails
- AV software only does so much good to guard against this
- Don Rowe and his colleagues are working on a few scripts to help guard against this (for example, one script would unmount the hard drive so it couldn’t be hijacked)
- Most NPOs don’t seem to be creating disaster recovery plans – we need to get better about this
- It’s important to check your ability to restore backups on a regular basis
- Crashplan – online data backup
- If ransomware were to take over your computer, the best thing you can do is shut it down, disconnect from the Internet and call someone for help
- Software tools
- A small office needs, at a minimum:
- Spam filtering appliance
- Management will always make the argument of convenience vs. risk – IT is sometimes forced into poor practices (If you are an IT worker in this boat, document everything to CYA)
- NPOs or government agencies can submit a challenge to be worked on during the event
- Deadline to submit is Valentine’s Day
- Developer groups/teams can also sign up
- Visit the website to submit a challenge
We had a great time at our Bagels & Bytes Holiday Party last Friday! Thank you to everyone who came out for the meeting/party. We chose to keep the meeting over lunch informal and to leave note-taking for another time. Therefore, photos are the only content available from this particular meeting.
Please note, there is no January meeting for the Allegheny group. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 1 from 8:30 – 10 am at Grow Pittsburgh. Happy holidays!!
We thought posing in front of the Star Trek machine would be fun and geekily appropriate!
Our annual ski-ball competition! First round winner (Katie) received an NTEN shirt.
The second round winner was Katie again (who declined the prize), so Nicole and Joe faced off for a copy of “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr (which Joe won).
We held our last regular meetup of 2016 at ACHIEVA in the South Side. Thank you to Nicole, Steve, Dave and the rest of their staff for hosting us!
Our next meetup will be the Bagels & Bytes Holiday Party at Dave & Buster’s on Friday, 12/9 from 1-4 pm. As in the past, we will have our regular meeting in the dining area (each person buys his or her own meal and Cindy will get some appetizers for all), have a “techie white elephant” gift exchange and then go play some games. A reminder email will be coming out within a week or so.
Here are the notes from November’s meetup:
- Backups are critical
- There’s typically a time period of 120 days from the time something happens until the time it is discovered
- Backups should not by attached or kept close to the main data server or source – need to store copies off-site
- Have a social media policy to combat potential info security compromises in that area – nothing is truly private on social tools
Programs Related to Technology that Employ (or Engage as Volunteers) People with Disabilities & Veterans
- Dave Tinker mentioned a program that ACHIEVA is doing in conjunction with CMU for their residents to perform microjobs online
- Cycle Point (part of Source America and partners with Goodwill of SWPA) employs people with disabilities and veterans (located in DC)
- Computer Reach particularly is interested in finding veterans to volunteer at their org
Salesforce Database Conversions (What to Expect)
- All data gets put into spreadsheets and is then cleaned (usually by the organization not the vendor)
- Lot of effort to go through an implementation like this, but well worth it in the long run
- Best to keep the same vendor contact during the entire implementation process if possible
- There is a learning curve involved but it’s great once everyone is trained and things are up and running properly
- Cool plugin for Salesforce is Gridbuddy – it makes the database display data in spreadsheet format
- There’s an annual conference called Dreamforce
- Katie Gascoine shared a local Salesforce-related event called Dreamforce Comes to You (#DFC2U) that happened on Nov. 14 (sorry I didn’t post this in time!)
AFP National Philanthropy Day
- Example/question given was about an organization moving from paper forms being entered in database to direct entry of data (and the resistance being encountered by staff and volunteers)
- Training is essential
- Important to get buy-in from staff and volunteers, preferably before rolling out a change
- Need support from management – they have to have your back and hold staff/volunteer accountable for making the necessary changes
- Can also gamify or incentivize the change – figure out a way to make it fun
Other Items of Interest
We met this month at ACHIEVA in the South Side. Thank you to Steve, Nicole and Dave for hosting us! We’ll be back at ACHIEVA for November’s meetup.
Here are the notes from this month’s meetup:
- Schneider Downs – does security updates via email
- Cars can be hacked
- Cybersecurity insurance
- Cybersecurity conferences
- Website hacking / security – how do you secure your website from hackers?
- MS Office – no more clipart
- Get images from Bing.com now
- Have to watch for viruses when getting images off the web
Databases for nonprofits
Mobile Internet Hardware
- How to get Internet when working in places without it or when travelling abroad?
- Mobile hotspots or devices that provide wi-fi
- Verizon Jetpack (can get global plans)
- Connect 10 users to one and devices can talk to each other
- Data plan required
- Verizon has nonprofit flat rate for NPOs, unlimited data, domestic only
- Can buy SIM card, swap out, use that country’s domestic plan while traveling
- T-Mobile 2G (unlimited international data)
- Satelite wi-fi
- When build websites
- Have to consider slow internet
- Consider audience
- Google Fiber – setting up in cities where city owns infrastructure
We held our September meetup at Jewish Residential Services again this month. We appreciate Paula and the JRS staff for hosting us! Next month we go to ACHIEVA in the South Side, Oct. 5, 8:30 am start time.
A quick reminder that TechNow conference registration is still in Early Bird mode until September 30. If you need to register, be sure to do it in the upcoming week to get the best price!
Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meeting:
- Going rate for content updates $50-150 – depends on speed of person and hourly rate
- For DIY updates, try free Easy Updates Manager plugin
- We discussed best practices for finding a developer
- Response time
- Price point
- Ongoing costs
- SNOM phone system – full service network, nice phones, less admin features than you’d expect
- Brokers (for usage analysis and recommendations, can generally get your costs reduced)
- VoIP Phones (fairly standard these days)
- UX5000 by Advanced Communication
- Google Grants – Need to be a 501(c)(3) with valid website
- Give you access to:
- Google Apps
- $10K/month in Adwords (don’t have to use it all)
- Some requirements for ads (no video, for example) (can’t just ask for money)
- Promote events, etc
- Have to login quarterly to make sure till active (& ads still relevant)
- Can use keywords/targeted words
We held our August meetup in the sunny conference room at Jewish Residential Services. Thank you to Paula, Harold and the rest of the JRS staff for hosting us! We will return to JRS for our September 7 meetup, then it’s off to ACHIEVA for October and November.
P.S. TechNow 2016 Conference registration is open and early bird rates are active! Register by September 30 to get the best rate!
Here are the notes from this month’s meetup:
Adding Search to Website
Technology Challenges Faced by New Nonprofits (and Some Suggested Solutions)
NP Tech Skill Set
Custom Software vs. Off-The-Shelf Software
- Hybrid is best- off the shelf that can be customized
- Example: want to process volunteer applications via the web
- Upload PDFs/scans, etc.
- Portal on website
- WordPress Visual Form Builder plugin
- If WordPress site, turn off Google indexing of PDFs in media library by editing robots.txt file
- Spiceworks – network monitoring, management, help desk ticketing and inventory – has concierge service and is free
Finding Nonprofit Tech Jobs
Additional Resources (Shared by Attendees Post-meeting)