Editor’s Note: This is last year’s meeting in JRS’s space. I forgot to take a photo from our recent meetup! – CL
We are back from our summer hiatus! We met on Wednesday, August 1 at Jewish Residential Services, which is located inside of the Rodef Shalom building on Fifth Ave. Thank you to Paula and the JRS staff for permitting us the use of their lovely meeting room space!
A quick reminder: TechNow 2018 conference registration is open and we have tiered pricing this year, so nonprofit attendees are charged between $25 and $100 to attend, based on annual budget size. Learn more and register at: www.technowconference.org. (TechNow is October 3, 2018.)
Here are the notes and resources from the meeting:
- Where to find someone to do an IT audit
- Depends on what you need to have done
- Bayer Center does strategic and comprehensive tech assessments
- Hardware/network vendor will focus on the network and items attached to it, plus security
- Financial auditor will have a completely different set of checkpoints and controls
- Veterans Leadership Program has several job openings
- To look up nonprofit information including 990 tax filings
- Video streaming issues
- Having trouble streaming over cloud-based network
- Otherwise a good experience being in the cloud
- JENLOR is a good vendor for cloud networks
- Board portals
- Google for Nonprofits Group
- Paper paychecks vs. direct deposit
- 90 cents more per check for paper
- Can do ACH through your bank for free
- Kind of like thin client machines – limited functionality if they are offline
- Best for accessing Internet based apps and websites
- Can do much less with them if not connected to the Internet
- You have to become a member, but it’s free to join
- Pay nominal admin fee for software
- Can add external IT representative to account so can purchase for the org
- Be careful to read all of the eligibility and purchasing rules and requirements for each software vendor – all have different policies
About the meetup
We had lovely weather for our meetup at the Frick Pittsburgh on May 2! The grounds at the Frick are so gorgeous at this time of year. We thank Lynn, Linda and the Frick staff for hosting us!
Our meetup group will take a break for June and July, and resume meeting on August 1 at Jewish Residential Services in Rodef Shalom Congregation in Shadyside. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!
Joe and Rosemary won this month’s giveaways – an NTEN t-shirt and NTEN shoestrings!
Here are the notes and resources from the meetup:
- Website security
- Cloudflare – flexible SSL and has “I’m under attack mode” in case too many bot hits or hacking attempts
- Wordfence for WordPress sites
- Encrypted Emails
- Can attach an SSL certificate to Exchange Server (for Outlook)
- Barracuda – hardware device that is put on the network behind the firewall to scan for spam, viruses, etc.; has an annual renewal and replacement fee associated with it
- RPC over HTTPS – encryption over public wi-fi; also lets devices attach and connect to Exchange Server without using a virtual private network (VPN)
- YouTube Video: How to Encrypt Mail in Outlook (Thanks, Johna!)
- Microsoft article on how to get a Digital ID or certificate (for MS Office Suite) (Thanks, Johna!)
- Penetration Testing
- Companies that do vulnerability testing
- Is fairly expensive
- Office Phone Systems
- Handsets vs. wireless?
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) – phone calls go over the Internet connection; server not required
- Google Voice as an alternative
- Vendors who provide this service
- Phone systems
- Tadiran (phone system – can forward to cell phones, has greeting/voicemail)
- 7-10 years is typical phone system lifecycle
- Vendors can typically work on phone systems remotely and securely
- Converting Apple software files to PC format
- CRM Upgrade
- Google Admin for G-Suite
- WordPress Gutenberg Upgrade
- No exact date set yet, but supposed to be coming soon
- Watch make.wordpress.org for details and announcements
- Can install the Gutenberg plugin to test drive the new block level editing functionality
About the Meetup
We had our first of two meetups at the Frick Pittsburgh on April 4. We will be back at the Frick one more time on May 2. Thank you to Lynn, Linda and the Frick team for hosting us!
Following are the notes and resources discussed during the meetup.
Security Surveillance Cameras (vendors don’t say “security” but surveillance these days)
- NEST – backs up to cloud, can see who’s at door instead of just having a buzzer
- Also has smoke detectors and the like
- Lorex – phone app so you can see all cameras
- Axis Companion – integraIVMStes with phone system
- Vector – company that does comprehensive security
- Ccure – security company
- What to do with technology is the last thing to receive attention (sometimes caused by older board members who don’t get it)
- Sometimes scaring board and leadership by pointing out risk can work
- Need to get people on the board who are technology advocates
- Donated software and hardware isn’t usually “free”
- NTEN technology staffing and investments survey – to see how much your org should be spending
- Plan more than you think you need to
- TechSoup – low cost software and hardware; have to watch for license expirations
- Other free software for NPOs
- Ask merchant account providers about nonprofit rates
- Northland Public Library lends out Internet hotspots
Social Media Policy Template
- Look online for templates
- Hard to enforce – need to make sure legal looks at it before deploying
- Policy for staff is good, but also want to consider other stakeholders, like volunteers, board members, etc.
- Social media task force can possibly help
Social Tools/Channels Most Used by Younger Generations
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 September meetup at Jewish Residential Services again this month. We appreciate Paula and the JRS staff for hosting us! Next month we go to ACHIEVA in the South Side, Oct. 5, 8:30 am start time.
A quick reminder that TechNow conference registration is still in Early Bird mode until September 30. If you need to register, be sure to do it in the upcoming week to get the best price!
Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meeting:
- Going rate for content updates $50-150 – depends on speed of person and hourly rate
- For DIY updates, try free Easy Updates Manager plugin
- We discussed best practices for finding a developer
- Response time
- Price point
- Ongoing costs
- SNOM phone system – full service network, nice phones, less admin features than you’d expect
- Brokers (for usage analysis and recommendations, can generally get your costs reduced)
- VoIP Phones (fairly standard these days)
- UX5000 by Advanced Communication
- Google Grants – Need to be a 501(c)(3) with valid website
- Give you access to:
- Google Apps
- $10K/month in Adwords (don’t have to use it all)
- Some requirements for ads (no video, for example) (can’t just ask for money)
- Promote events, etc
- Have to login quarterly to make sure till active (& ads still relevant)
- Can use keywords/targeted words
For the first meetup of the new year, we went to a new location: Grow Pittsburgh in the East End. A big “thank you” to Rebekkah and the GP staff for hosting us this month!
Here are the notes and resources from this month’s meetup:
Random resources and links
This month’s winners of NTEN swag!
- Other local tech meetup groups
- Recent Apple press release – working on long range wireless charging for devices
- KDKA story about devices, including a suitcase that will power all of your devices (the story has been removed, but here’s a link to bluesmart, the maker of “the most powerful carry-on in the world”)
- What to use for selling items and service online (integrations)
Fair Market Value
- Got into a discussion about deducting FMV from tickets or auctioned items
- Some software assists with this process and generates the proper receipts and some does not
- Can get fined for not giving FMV receipts
- Learn more about FMV at IRS.gov
Sources of Data About Nonprofits
- How long should you hold onto old equipment in order to retrieve older data from it (example: SCSI drives and servers that can handle them)?
- Sometimes, if you really need the backup, you have to purchase duplicates of the equipment in question and keep in the closet “just in case”
- Better to migrate data to a newer and/or cloud-based system
- Communication between IT and end users is crucial when considering upgrades
Where to Find Technology Help
Our meetup is back from its July break! We met on August 5 at Jewish Residential Services in the Rodef Shalom Congregation building in Shadyside. Thank you so much to Paula and the JRS staff for hosting us!
We will be back at JRS for our September 2 meeting. Remember to join our new Meetup.com group to get meeting reminders and easily RSVP each month!
Laptop Borrowing Policy
- Who should be responsible for damages if incurred?
- Is there a difference between using the org-owned equipment for work or personal, at home vs. office, when damage incurred?
- Generally agreed that insurance should cover equipment
- Some orgs require staff to pay for damaged equipment. We discussed the legality of this and there are many aspects of labor law to consider before implementing such a policy (read this article)
- Always have your organization’s solicitor review policies before implementing
- A Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy is also a good idea these days and every organization should have a general Acceptable Use of Technology policy
- Rather than issuing laptops, might a tablet computer work for staff working in the field?
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) software can provide protection against data loss or violation, frequently giving encryption capabilities, keeping data from being stored directly on the device and/or ability to reset or “wipe” a device if lost or stolen
- Managing through designer or in-house?
- What to do when designer not very responsive to needs or requests?
- Sometimes it’s a control issue, developer won’t let organization do updates, even if a possibility
- A content management system (CMS) helps, like WordPress or Drupal – something with permissions/roles
- If want to bring duties in-house, WordPress is widely used and easily learned
- Good tutorials at www.wpbeginner.com
Making case for getting reimbursed for cellphones from organization
- How to convince management to reimburse for personal cell phone usage when used for work (how to make case)?
- Track usage
- Document what other organizations doing
- Rally co-workers to cause before approaching management
- Could do virtual PBX or Google Voice to provide Single number instead of giving out cell
How to provide wi-fi to staff working in the field or travelling
- Tether phone as hotspot
- Get a personal hotspot (mi-fi)
- If at a regular location in the field, see if can get a cable modem or DSL account from a local provider and run it to a nearby building (may have to find and negotiate with a local building owner)
- Probably need to make case to management for data usage requirements vs. cost
New meetup group: Google Apps for Nonprofits
- Spearheaded by several local people, including Ben Weaver, Kevin Driscoll
- Email Kevin Driscoll for details