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).”  Thanks, Deb!


The 2012 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar is here.


Allegheny B&B – August 2011 Meeting

Our August meeting took place in Jewish Residential Services’ lovely meeting room at Rodef Shalom in Shadyside.  A big thanks to Paula and JRS staff for hosting us!  Our next meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 7 at the same location from 8:30-10 a.m.  Visit the 2011 Bagels & Bytes Meeting Calendar for more information.

We had a great turnout!  Topics and resources from the meeting include:

Webinar Software

Fundraising Software

  • DonorPro (noted: get an actual person on phone in support calls, smooth data conversion process, integrates with Constant Contact and OpenOffice)
  • Raiser’s Edge (noted: pricey, but cost can be brought down if you need a large # of licenses)
  • Landslide CRM (noted: Johna L. provided contact info – Jami Strangio, Senior Sales Advisor, Landslide Technologies,, phone 781-325-4880 x1012, cell 617-543-1550)
  • has report on low-cost donor management software available for download

Data Record Retention

  • How long to keep?
  • On employees, 7 years by law
  • On donors, generally kept forever
  • There’s a balance to be struck between being too strict about data entered and too loose – the goal is good, but clean data.

Server Cleanup

  • How to keep enough file space and backup space?
  • Nose around, look at files, give notice to staff, delete.
  • Keep adding space, not ideal?
  • Can get external hard drives.
  • Set space limits (file space and email accounts).
  • Need to do more tech training/education with staff. Behavioral issue.
  • Address with policy?
  • Photo storage – cloud? Flickr?
  • MosyPro – online backups.
  • Network area storage – cloud, getting cheaper, easier to manage.

Upgrading to Windows 7

  • Need to upgrade RAM first.
  • Driver issues here and there, but not as many as when Win7 was first released.

Post-meeting, Michelle H. shared the following free webinar from Idealware on August 30:

“Ask the Expert: Low Cost Donor Management Tools

In partnership with Idealware, we recently published a detailed report comparing 29 different low cost donor management systems. The report provides an overview of what donor management systems do, recommendations for systems based on particular needs, comparison charts, and an index that provides summaries of all 29 systems.

This month’s Ask the Expert will offer members the chance to discuss and ask questions about selecting the right low cost donor database to the report’s authors: Andrea Berry and Jay Leslie. Moderating the Q&A discussion will be Robert Weiner, an expert on helping nonprofit organizations navigate the sea of donor databases. Join the live discussion on August 30th at 11 am PST/2 pm EST.  Register today, it’s free!”

Allegheny B&B – March 2010 Meeting

Bagels and Bytes in February 2010Our March meeting was held once again at Amani International Coffee House on the North Side. Note that the pic to the right is from last month, but…and correct me if I’m wrong…I believe that Katie, Norm, and Rose all sat in the exact same positions (different table) this month too.  How interesting and random!

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

Upgrading to Office 2007 and/or Windows 7

Other resources mentioned during our meeting

Our next meeting will be held at UCP/CLASS in Oakland, on April 7, 2010. Please note that we are now holding our meeting from 8:30 – 10 am each month.

The Bagels & Bytes 2010 Calendar is here.

Allegheny B&B – December 2009 Meeting Notes

This was our last month meeting at ACHIEVA on the South Side.  There are no Bagels & Bytes meetings in January (except for the Westmoreland group).  For the 2010 schedule, visit The Bagels & Bytes Calendar (including directions).

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

  • Google Wave beta – several of us are playing around with this new social media/communications tool
  • Keeping equipment inventory
    • Built-in software if available
    • Need to get accounting involved at some point
    • Simple Access database and assign tracking tags/numbers to pieces of equipment
    • Some attempting in SharePoint
    • Might use interns
    • Have to stay on top of it
    • – has inventory & help desk functionality – free version or pay if don’t like advertisements
  • DonorPro fundraising software by TowerCare Technologies
    • Several B&B people moving to it soon
    • Reasonable cost (about half the monthly cost of Razor’s Edge)
    • DonorPro does data conversion too
  • Talked about NPOs’ reluctance to do cloud computing
  • Email archiving
  • Google software/products
    • Can now set up Gmail with organization’s own domain name
    • Lots of other Google collaboration tools besides email and calendar
    • Google now has shared folders – can set permissions user-by-user
  • How to track time when employees start working from home
    • Some allow exempt employees to work remotely but not non-exempt
    • Time tracking is a mgmt. and HR issue, not a tech issue
  • Have to prioritize tech projects and focus on the most important first – so don’t do all of them half-ways

Our next meeting will be held at Amani International Coffee House on the North Side, on February 3, 2010.  Please note that we are now holding our meeting from 8:30 – 10 am each month.

Allegheny B&B – November 2009 Meeting

We met again this month at ACHIEVA on the South Side. We will be at this location for the rest of 2009.

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

Our next meeting will be held at ACHIEVA on the South Side, on December 2. Please note that we are now holding our meeting from 8:30 – 10 am each month.

holiday lights
Join us for the Bagels & Bytes Holiday Party on Friday, December 4, from 1-4 p.m. at the Carnegie Science Center!

We will eat lunch in the cafe (each attendee pays for his or her own meal), receive a tour of RoboWorld led by our very own B&B-er Joe McLaughlin (who helped build the exhibit), and otherwise check out the rest of the exhibits and have fun!

The cost to attend is $6 per person (lunch not included) and RSVPs are required.  Call or email Cindy Leonard – 412-397-6007 or – to register.  Attendees from all Bagels & Bytes group are welcome to attend!

holiday lights

The Bagels & Bytes 2009 Calendar (including directions) is here.

Allegheny B&B – August 2009 Meeting Notes

This was our first of two months at Easter Seals Western Pennsylvania in the Strip District.  We used their lovely (albeit rather large!) board room for our meeting.

Our discussion centered around online donation tools and fundraising software.  We found that the two frequently cross each other and might be had as a complete package.  Here are some resources from the meeting and a few I’ve found since then:

In addition we discussed the impact of the upcoming G20 Summit (not a tech topic, but on everyone’s minds nonetheless).  Randy Strothman has created a a semi-permanent page on his company’s blog on which he will post relevant Summit updates as they are made available. (Love the page title, Randy! lol!)

Our next meeting will be held at the same location, Easter Seals Western Pennsylvania, on September 2.  Please note that we are meeting from 8:30 – 10 am starting this month.

The Bagels & Bytes 2009 Calendar (including directions) is here.