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 & 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 – 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, jamis@landslide.com, phone 781-325-4880 x1012, cell 617-543-1550)
  • Idealware.org 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!”