Editor’s Note: This is last year’s meeting in JRS’s space. I forgot to take a photo from our recent meetup! – CL
We are back from our summer hiatus! We met on Wednesday, August 1 at Jewish Residential Services, which is located inside of the Rodef Shalom building on Fifth Ave. Thank you to Paula and the JRS staff for permitting us the use of their lovely meeting room space!
A quick reminder: TechNow 2018 conference registration is open and we have tiered pricing this year, so nonprofit attendees are charged between $25 and $100 to attend, based on annual budget size. Learn more and register at: www.technowconference.org. (TechNow is October 3, 2018.)
Here are the notes and resources from the meeting:
- Where to find someone to do an IT audit
- Depends on what you need to have done
- Bayer Center does strategic and comprehensive tech assessments
- Hardware/network vendor will focus on the network and items attached to it, plus security
- Financial auditor will have a completely different set of checkpoints and controls
- Veterans Leadership Program has several job openings
- To look up nonprofit information including 990 tax filings
- Video streaming issues
- Having trouble streaming over cloud-based network
- Otherwise a good experience being in the cloud
- JENLOR is a good vendor for cloud networks
- Board portals
- Google for Nonprofits Group
- Paper paychecks vs. direct deposit
- 90 cents more per check for paper
- Can do ACH through your bank for free
- Kind of like thin client machines – limited functionality if they are offline
- Best for accessing Internet based apps and websites
- Can do much less with them if not connected to the Internet
- You have to become a member, but it’s free to join
- Pay nominal admin fee for software
- Can add external IT representative to account so can purchase for the org
- Be careful to read all of the eligibility and purchasing rules and requirements for each software vendor – all have different policies
About the Meetup
This was our last visit to Jewish Residential Services for this year. (A big thank you to Paula and the JRS staff for hosting us!!) Next month, we will be back at ACHIEVA in the South Side on Oct. 4.
If you’ve not signed up for the 2017 TechNow conference yet, be sure to do it within the next 2 weeks, before the price goes up! www.technowconference.org
Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meeting:
Expense report software
- Concur – $1,000/month; need web connector
- Expensify – cannot bill against grants, but does have a QuickBooks connector available; $9/user/month
- Lots of people are still processing expense reports via spreadsheets
- Unit4 – variety of functions, payroll, expenses, etc.
- ADP – has an expense report module called RUN
- MITC tracks payroll and HR related items
Phone conferencing/bridge tools
- One attendee looking at Zoom; less expensive than GotoMeeting; saves meetings to the cloud; price based on # of participants
- Skype is another option, but sometimes board and staff struggle with using it
- WebEx – similar package; stores all meetings so anyone can login and view them
- Recommend regardless of software choice – set up some “practice” meetings prior to any important meetings (like staff or board meetings) to let people join the online meeting and work out tech bugs, get accustomed to the interface, etc.
- Another recommendation is to mute participants on really large meetings so less background noise.
Rolling Out a New Database
- Training is crucial
- Walkthough all aspects of the database
- In the first training session, go over the basics; then go deeper in subsequent sessions
- List of procedures is a good idea – someone said “list the chapters of the book you’re going to write” meaning at least establish the headings you will need for your training/documentation/manual
- Roll out training to power users first
- Consider who will be doing the training – not everyone is a trainer, even if they are savvy about the software
- Have trainees help write the user manual
- Build the training manual as if the person reading it know nothing about the software
- For Salesforce in particular, you can set up a practice sandbox that is a replica of the exact real database
Billing to Allegheny County
- An interest was expressed by multiple people for batch billing software that works with Allegheny County’s billing system
- None exists that anyone can think of
Google for Nonprofits
Photo credit: Frick Art & Historical Center
This month, we are grateful to Linda Buker and the Frick Art & Historical Center for hosting us in the Frick’s new Community Room just off the Car & Carriage Museum!
I totally forgot to take photos at the meeting (the discussion was engaging!), so here’s an outside photo of the building taken from the museum’s corporate rentals brochure.
Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meetup. We’ll be back at the Frick on May 4 for our next meetup.
Age affecting tech usage in nonprofits
- Younger folks “get” the concepts (ex: cloud computing) more easily because they are digital natives
- There are notable social differences – not unusual to see two young people sitting four feet away from each other and chatting on their phones instead of talking
- Younger generation also:
- tends to have a faster response time
- mixes personal and work
- wants work-at-home and flexible scheduling
Time tracking and the upcoming changes to FLSA law regarding exempt/non-exempt staff
- The question: how does your organization currently track staff time (if at all)?
- Random audits / time samplings
- “Lawyer’s Timekeeper” software if need minute by minute tracking
- Sage/Schneider Downs software
- Sentric software
- RescueTime software
- ADP app – clock in through cellphone app, which is connected to GPS so you can’t fib
- Is there a trust issue at play here? Outside of the new law requirements, should we be tracking time or watching the levels of staff productivity?
- It’s important to be consistent with policies on remote working and work flexibility
Other items discussed
This month we held our “summer outing” meetup at Animal Rescue League, in the East End of Pittsburgh. Thank you so much to Dan Rossi and the ARL staff for hosting our meeting as well as giving us a fun and informative tour of their facility at the end of the meeting!
Here are the notes from the meeting (which are not as thorough as usual, because I was holding a kitten during most of the meeting):
We will have no meeting in July and will resume our regular monthly meetups on Wednesday, August 5, at Jewish Residential Services in Shadyside. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
We were at ACHIEVA on the South Side this month and will return on November 6 for our next meeting. A big “thank you” to Steve McDonell and the ACHIEVA staff for hosting us!
Topics (and interspersed random notes) we covered in this month’s meeting included:
- Technology in nonprofits – increasing effective usage
- culture change
- expectations for staff
- management buy-in
- It’s important to take a break once in a while and breathe.
- Cloud-based apps:
- Unicentric (case management software)
- ADP (payroll)
- Sage (financial)
- Google Drive (for files)
- Gmail / Google Calendar
- Cloud-based software, updates automatically pushed out, mostly okay when happens, once in a while a glitchy update gets pushed out, but usually fixed pretty quickly
- Board management or portal tools – boards want space for documents, minutes, collaboration
- IT workload
- there’s been a shift to project management, process improvement (more soft skills needed).
- Verizon hotspots
- Shop/view here
- up to 8 users ($39-59.99/month)
- portable 4G wi-fi (better than aircard b/c only one person can use that and doesn’t always work properly)
- Medicaid funded agencies get discount from Verizon
- Trend moving towards paying stipends for BYOD phones and devices instead of providing devices
- For BYOD, critical part is the on-boarding and off-boarding processes.
- Permissions being set properly are very important as well – people should only have as much access as they need to do their jobs.
- IT isn’t always told someone has been hired (or fired) until after it’s already happened
- Ultipro – is an ADP competitor (Ultimate Software) – started all cloud-based, where ADP moved to the cloud a few years back
- Ultipro lets you manage hiring/separation functions online, ADP does too, but it’s a third-party provider (with multiple sign-ons)
- Can build in automated alerts to be notified when someone hired or leaves
- Iron Stratus (look this up)
- Document management
- CompuCom – local vendor for ApplicationXtender document management software
- Unicentric case management – has a built in way to scan and upload things in one shot
- If have no high speed scanner, try to get volunteers or interns to help with scanning
- Indexing is the hard port (some agencies use barcodes and standardized hand-filled out fields)
Hope to see you in November! And mark your calendar now for the B&B Holiday Party at Dave & Buster’s in the Waterfront from 1-4 pm on December 6!
This was our final month at UCP/CLASS in Regent Square! Once again, thank you to Michelle Hines and the UCP/CLASS staff for permitting us to use their space.
NOTE: There is no *regular* B&B meeting in June. Instead we have Bagels & Bytes on a Boat, our “summer outing,” on June 13. As in the past, we will hold our meeting on RiverQuest’s boat Explorer. Get more information and find out how to RSVP here.
Resources and Notes from our May Meeting
- Sharepoint (general discussion)
- Makes document “versioning” easier
- Saves file space and allows for better document management
- Can start with the free edition and add capacity gradually or later
- If you have a lot of docs, you should probably install Sharepoint on its own server
- Windows 7 search is not as compatible with these files
- Helps to decrease duplicate saved files across a network
- Physical relocation of an organization’s office
- Import to pull in tech and other departments
- Planning for tech is crucial from early on
- Case Management software
- Remote PC access
- Getting tech support from large companies
- Best time to call seems to be ~ 10 a.m. EST
- Seems like one is less likely to be sent to off-shore representatives at this time of morning
- Payroll solutions
The 2012 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.
In Febuary, we were graciously hosted again by the Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze. Thank you to Linda, Chris and the Frick staff for hosting us! Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 7 at the same location from 8:30-10 a.m. Visit the 2011 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar for more information.
Topics and resources from the meeting include: