Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – August 2017

This month…

…we met at Jewish Residential Services in the Rodef Shalom Congregation building. A big “thank you” to Paula and the JRS team for hosting us!!

We will meet there once again on Wednesday, September 6 from 8:30 – 10 am. See the sidebar to the right for ways to register.

Here are the topics and resources discussed during this month’s meeting:

  • CRM for Nonprofits (Constituent/Client/Customer Relationship Management)
  • Sharing Documents with People External to Your Organization
  • Salesforce Resources
  • Migrating to Google Drive
  • Outlook + Sharepoint Desktop Version vs. 365
    • Permissions have been a persistent issue for some
    • Training is a constant issue
    • User acceptance can be slow
      • 365 is more difficult to understand – the cloud and file sharing aspects of it
      • Files get saved over if don’t change file names from version to version
    • Can embed a Google Calendar inside of Sharepoint
    • Are we pushing older workers out by all these upgrades in tech?
    • What about outsourcing to the cloud completely?
      • Internet bandwidth must be sufficient to do true virtualization
      • Off-site hosting is more $ for service, less $ for backups, maintenance, licensing
      • JENLOR is one local company that does virtualization
    • Office 365 is on TechSoup
  • LaserJet 401 Troubleshooting
    • Old printer, but hates to get rid of it because has been a workhorse till now
    • Won’t print graphics, only text
      • Maybe is an issue with Windows security?
      • Perhaps an issue with a recent Windows update?
    • Where to e-cycle if decide to ditch it?
  • Listserv Usage
    • Reminds us of VCR tapes and DOS
    • Mass email marketing tools if wanting to do one-to-many messaging (like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp)
    • Group tools if want members to message each other and the group at large (Facebook, Google or Linked group)
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Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – October 2016

Bagels & Bytes attendees sitting around a conference table discussing tech for nonprofitsWe 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:

Cybersecurity

MS Office

  • 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
        • ~$85/250mb
        • 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

Other Topics

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – August 2016

Bagels & Bytes attendees discussing tech around a tableWe 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

Telephone Systems

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

CRM Software

Finding Nonprofit Tech Jobs

Additional Resources (Shared by Attendees Post-meeting)

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – September 2015

Bagels & Bytes attendees sitting around a table chatting with one another.This was our final month at Jewish Residential Services lovely sunlit conference room!  Thank you once again to Paula and the JRS staff for hosting us!  We will re-convene on October 7, 8:30-10 am, at ACHIEVA in the South Side.

In the meantime, remember to get registered for the 2015 TechNow Conference (Oct. 29) before the early bird pricing ends on Sept. 30!  🙂

Winners of door prize swag smiling and holding up their prizes!Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meeting:

  • Volunteer database software
  • Windows 10 upgrade?
    • Better than 8.
    • New Horizons just had a free Windows 10 workshop, covered a lot of server-side info for using 10 on your network.
    • Has interesting applications for remote desktop.
    • Speed and ease of use is better than 10 there – how it mirrors the drives – is faster.
    • Word on the street is, Windows 10 is to be the last version of Windows ever, going to just be 10.1, 10.2, etc.
    • Alex has been upgrading old XP machines to 10 – going well – also upgraded a win 2003 server recently to 10 with good results.
    • All Win 8 licenses from TechSoup automatically get upgrades to Win 10.
    • Edge browser is of interest (only comes with Win 10).
  • Issues with sending to AOL email addresses
    • Web forms in WP sending to AOL accounts tend to fail more often.
  • What to do with older thin client boxes?
  • Network filters
    • If have sites or keywords blacklisted across the network, doesn’t matter what device you use for access, will still be blocked on that network.
    • Best practice to have a central policy for what sites or keywords get blacklisted.
    • We didn’t take away watercoolers when back in the day when that was how time-wasters goofed off at work, we shouldn’t necessarily block everyone because of one employee. Better to deal with the issues with that employee.
    • Some organizations take the opposite approach, having a more open, lenient policy on network usage, addressing performance issues rather than cutting privileges.
    • SonicWall – has an add on, a virtual machine, SonicWall Firewall Analyzer, that records network/internet activity, great if have a situation arises, records for about a month at a time, when have a performance issue come up, then can check it as evidence or documentation.
  • Productivity tools
    • IFTTT.com (if this, then that) – let’s you create “recipes” (aka scripts) that let apps interact that normally don’t.
    • Todoist.com – also links disparate software tools, for example, if someone sends you an email with a task in it, Todoist has a plugin, where you can send the email to your to-do list in one click.  Can also send tasks marked completed to a google spreadsheet.  They have channels on their website where people have created “recipes” that you can use, tweak, etc. to accomplish your workflows.

“Bagels & Bytes & Critters” Meeting Notes – June 2015

Front facade of Animal Rescue LeagueThis 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!

Winners of prizes at the meeting

Prize winners!

Attendees pose for a group photo

 

Bagels & Bytes Meetings Notes – February 2014

Bagels & Bytes attendees sitting around a conference table having a lively discussion about technology.We held B&B-Allegheny at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh this month. Thank you to George, Mercy and the CMP staff for hosting us!

We will return to the Children’s Museum for next month’s meeting on Wednesday, March 5 (8:30-10 am).

Windows XP Migration / Upgrading to Windows 8.1

  • Support to be ending for XP in April 2014
  • Some not wanting to go to Win8
    • Desktop vs. main screen
    • 8.1 upgrades sometimes fail
    • Still feel like Win 8 is buggy
    • Can revert – make 8 look like 7
  • TechSoup has Windows 7 upgrades available (32 and 64 bit)
    • TechSoup also has the Software Assurance program – a 2 year window where you can obtain licenses for updated versions of software you’ve purchased through TS
  • What about giving old Win XP PCs away to staff or otherwise?
    • Recommend sign off a hold harmless agreement
    • Make sure wipe hard drive properly
  • RAM mostly going to be issue – many times can upgrade
  • Win 7 wipes old operating systems, does a fresh install
  • Window Easy Transfer tool is helpful
  • Don’t see value for 8 if no touch screen
  • Can add a program called Classic Shell to revert Win 8 to older look and feel
  • general consensus that IT staff are still getting numerous help desk calls about Win 7 – there is concern that upgrading to Win 8 will only increase help desk calls
  • Win 8 seems more geared to personal users
    • Win 8 has a different method for connecting to a network – Map Drives no longer there
    • No more file paths, have to search
    • Geared more toward the non-techie, it seems

File Transfer & Cloud Storage

Donor Management Databases

Social Media

  • Should/does it fall under Marketing or Tech?
    • Content support – marketing function
    • IT – for integration w/ website etc.
    • If small shop, sometimes have to do both
    • Different skill set for each side, content and technical
    • Facebook and other Ads – should come from marketing’s budget
  • Social media policies are a good idea (sample policies available here)
  • Social media committee also useful way to manage it
  • Google places – have to get verified
    • Can “claim” address etc. & include logo & keywords

Office 365

  • Desktop component
  • Online component
  • Office 365 info sheet for nonprofits (thanks, Johna!)
  • 2013 “Cartoonish” looking
  • Exchange 2013 lacks public folders (mailboxes instead)
  • NPOs get discount ($4.50/user per monthly)
  • Can access apps offline
  • Get bigger exchange mailbox
  • Better collaboration included in 365, but easier for tech savvy folks
  • Capital vs. operating expenditures (Always a concern)

Backups

Document Management Systems / Board Portals

Allegheny B&B Meeting – September 2012

This month was our final meeting at Jewish Residential Services’ office in Rodef Shalom, Shadyside.  Once again, we are grateful to Paula Pagnotta and JRS for hosting!  Next month (Oct. 3, same time as usual) we will be at ACHIEVA on Bingham Street in the South Side.

Resources and Notes from our September Meeting

  • Discussed Michelle’s SharePoint class that she’s teaching at the Bayer Center the morning of Oct. 30.  (See our online catalog for details if you are interested.)
  • Talked about TechNow (Oct. 25)
  • Board portals – can create a simple one using WordPress’s private pages function
  • Dreamhost has free WordPress hosting for nonprofits
  • Windows 2012 server available now
  • Windows 8 coming soon  – supposedly the day after TechNow (Oct. 26)
  • IE vs. Firefox vs. Chrome?
    • Depends on applications you are running at org
    • Introducing different browsers means supporting different browsers
    • Don’t always see an error message…sometimes just blank screen
  • Rose having monthly staff tech tips meeting.
    • Tries to do a few tips each month that everyone relates to.
    • Very quick less than half hour
      • YouTube is a good source for tech tutorials
      • Idea – Searching for the text of the error message
      • Idea – Summer searching videos released by google…was a class
      • Idea – Alt+f for finding specific words on a page, for example
  • Dual monitors are slowly becoming more popular…can increase productivity
  • Fundraising database question – what else is out there besides Sage?
  • For mass emails, Vertical Response offers a nonprofit account with 10K free emails per month.  MailChimp also has a free plan.  (Both similar to Constant Contact, but generally less expensive.)

Finally, Deb Cherry sent this resource after the meeting – “This might be useful resource for folks looking into mobile deployments and/or BYOD. Especially the iPhone Configurator Utility (iPad too).”
https://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/  Thanks, Deb!

 

The 2012 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.