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 – March 2015

This month we met again at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. Once again, a big “thank you” to George, Luke and the CMP staff for hosting us and providing a lovely breakfast spread!

Our next meeting is Wednesday, April 1, 8:30-9 am at the Frick Art & Historical Center in the East End.

Bagels & Bytes attendees happily discuss tech!

At the end of the meeting, we had a drawing for two prizes: a set of ear buds from Constant Contact and a Paypal card reader.  (Cindy L. picked up these items as swag from the Nonprofit Technology Conference last week.)  The winners were George Brzezinski and John Ingram.

George Brzezinski and John Ingram holding their prizes.

Here are the meeting notes for this month:

Bagels & Bytes Meeting Notes – May 2014

Haller House on the Frick campus

Haller House at the Frick Art & Historical Center.

This month was our final meeting at the Frick Art & Historical Center this year.  Thank you once again to Linda and the Frick staff for hosting us! Join us next month for Bagels & Bytes on a Boat, located on the RiverQuest boat Explorer near the Carnegie Science Center!

Here are the meeting notes for May:

For the Reading List

Social Media

  • What is the shelf-life of a social media channel?
  • As long as the company is making money, will probably stick around.
  • Look at what teens are using to see what’s up-and-coming

Zero Day Vulnerability

  • Discussion about which orgs have applied the IE patch to date.
  • Most are communicating instructions to staff via email.
  • Also need to deal with the Windows XP security patch, which we suspect many orgs are still using, including government entities.
  • Can probably keep using XP machines if stay unconnected from the Internet.
  • Several people reported having good experiences with upgrading older PCs from XP to 7.

Hosted Raiser’s Edge

  • Costs extra for this version, but is nice to have Blackbaud worry about data backups, security, etc.
  • It is good to have a redundant Internet connection (multiple ISPs), particularly if using a lot of apps in the cloud.

Phone Service/ISP Providers

If you could tell your board anything about technology at nonprofit, what would you say?

  • Even though technology isn’t splashy (doesn’t get your org’s name in the paper), it’s still important and it needs to be funded, even if it’s not causing problems.
  • Need to make the investment in infrastructure.
  • Tech touches every piece of what every staff member is doing – it’s critical.
  • You can’t assume it’s working well just because it appears to be working.
  • Tech isn’t like a utility – you can’t flip a switch and it magically works.
  • Technology evolves. An org has to stay on top of it, keep evolving with it and investing in it.
  • The board shouldn’t micromanage the tech function.
  • The board should/could look at technology investing as part of its legacy to the org.
  • Board members can be champions for technology – advocating for it.
  • Techies push the wave, need to be the board thinking about tech.
  • Organizations should have a technology committee.
  • Have to find balance between budget oversight and over-scrutiny.
  • Reporting tech-related outcomes to the board at least once per year might be beneficial.
  • Sometimes tech staff sees something that could be done with existing tech, but needs backup / tech plan / support from the E.D. and board.
  • Tech should be given a seat at the table, not be housed under the CFO or finance department.
  • An organization can have the grandest program ideas in the world but still need tech infrastructure to make anything work.
  • An org can never sit still with technology – it evolves too quickly. Orgs constantly have to be scanning and looking ahead.
  • Best to chip away a little each year at tech needs and projects, rather than let them pile up and overwhelm the org and its budget.
  • Never assume that your org is “done” with tech.
  • IT has to be allowed to take risks in order to move the organization forward.  Failures can sometimes happen and boards can be risk-averse, but risk is part and parcel of IT otherwise stagnation can result.
  • An org should never do tech for its own sake.  Always look at the business needs first.

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.

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!”

Allegheny B&B – March 2011 Meeting

This month we met for the second and final time for this year at the Frick Art & Historical Center‘s Haller House.

Here are notes and resources from the meeting:

CRM / Databases

  • Raiser’s Edge (noted as expensive, complex, and training intensive)
  • DonorPro (noted as integrates w/Constant Contact, has lots of modules including silent auction and event management, and good support and training is provided)
  • Aplicor CRM software (based in Florida)
  • Sage ACT! CRM software

Social Media Policy

After the meeting, Johna Lingelbach from Allegheny Conference shared a resource for free videoconferencing/social networking called Concert-oh!.  I’ll try to get a demo of this for a near-future meeting if I can.

We will meet next month at UCP/CLASS, 4638 Centre Ave., Pittsburgh, on Wednesday, April 6, 2011.  Please join us!


Get 2011 B&B meeting info and location/directions here.