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
We 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:
- Schneider Downs – does security updates via email
- Cars can be hacked
- Cybersecurity insurance
- Cybersecurity conferences
- Website hacking / security – how do you secure your website from hackers?
- 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
- 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
We 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
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
Finding Nonprofit Tech Jobs
Additional Resources (Shared by Attendees Post-meeting)
This month we met at the lovely Frick Art & Historical Center, which now boasts an awesome new visitor center! Our deepest thanks to Linda and the Frick staff for hosting us! We will be back at the Frick for our next meeting on May 6.
Here are the notes from this month’s meeting:
- Upon asking attendees to reflect on their organization’s greatest present tech challenge, received these answers:
- Doing things the same way all the time – always reactionary
- Issues with proprietary content management system
- Running remote meetings with board or staff
- Social media usage – how to do it more effectively
- Budgetary issues
- No seat at the table
- No tech plan
- Need more buy in from staff, leadership and board
- Utilization of volunteers for tech (what’s appropriate to let a volunteer handle vs. a staff member or vendor)
- Managing tech volunteers
- File storage, backup and recovery
- Social media tips
- Always use a photo when posting
- Use shorter URLs (convert with Bit.ly or similar tool)
- Great for training videos on a wide variety of topics
- Microlending/microfinance orgs online
- Event registration tools
- Books on tech planning
- Managing technology using volunteers
- Always good to create a job description with specific skills and duties spelled out
- Know what’s appropriate for a volunteer vs. a staff member vs. a vendor
- Recognize when you really need to make the jump from tech volunteer to paid tech staffer
- NTEN Staffing and Investments Report 2014
- Technology culture
- Is a big challenge for many organizations
- Sometimes fresh leadership causes a positive shift in a stale tech culture
- How do you get people to realize the value of technology and that they really can’t do their jobs without adequate access to computing resources and data?
- UpPrize content
- TechNow 2015 Conference
- Leaked news of the big speakers, not yet announced to public
- Afternoon keynote will be Cody Switzer, Senior Editor at the Chronicle of Philanthropy
- Opening plenary will be Kenya Boswell, President at BNY Mellon Foundation and Matt Zieger, Executive in Residence, Innovation, Forbes Funds
This month, we are grateful to Steve and Nicole from ACHIEVA for hosting us in their comfortable board room! We will be back at ACHIEVA next month, when Steve will be giving us a Google Apps demonstration.
(Oh, and I know you’re all tired of hearing me say this – but don’t forget to register for TechNow if you haven’t done so already! 🙂
Here are the notes from this month’s meeting.
iOS 8 Upgrade
- iOS 8 on older devices
- Battery issue
- 5s already has issues with battery on some models
- Takes ~ 5GB of memory
- Keeping some app updates from installing (want iOS update 1st)
- Pay if more than 5 GB
- Choose what to backup via iTunes
Cell Phone, Providers and BYOD
- Most orgs that provide phones to staff standardize & give out one kind of phone
- Some do BYOD & put on network
- BYOD policies (could also put in regular acceptable use)
- Lookout security app – backs up device & takes photo of person if tries to unlock more than 3 times (phone and iPad)
- Need to put in policy if require that type of app for employees
- Verizon – recently came down in pricing but have to ask
The Future of Technology
- Talked about pace of change in tech, last 15 years
- Minority Report movie has cool tech that we might see in real life someday (also check out the 2012 version of Total Recall)
Learning Management Systems
- Websites & internet access generally required for learning (K-12 and higher ed)
- Electronic textbooks as a standard would be great
- Blackboard is still in use
- Google has an app called Google Classroom
- Aquos Board (Sharp product – Wilson Group may have info at TechNow)
- Possible SMARTboard uses
- Skyping (if camera)
Place to Get Tech Deals
We were small but mighty again today. 🙂 Here were our topics of discussion.
- October 24, 2013
- Breakouts and speakers have been posted to the website.
Deep Freeze software
- For computer labs or visitor computers
- Vendor is Faronics
Speaking of TechSoup, B&B is now a NetSquared affiliate group!
Dependence on cloud technology
- Pros and Cons, definitely
- Great when working
- Crippling when goes down (or lose network connectivity or electricity)
Discussion of social networking
- Some people’s constant need to post updates and photos (self-validation? self-esteem?) – collectively, we don’t really “get” this.
- Can a person truly multi-task? Or do we just think we can do it?
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.