Call for Breakout Proposals: TechNow 2018 Conference

TechNow: A technology conference for nonprofits

Share your technology knowledge or “lessons learned” story with other nonprofits at a TechNow 2018 breakout session!

We are looking for leading edge, well-designed and interactive breakout sessions.  The content and format must fit into a 60-minute session. Vendors and consultants are permitted to propose sessions, but we prefer that a nonprofit co-presenter be included. (We can help you find one, if needed.)

To complete the breakout session proposal form easily, you’ll want to have the following information ready:

  • Working title for session
  • Session description (100 words max)
  • Three key takeaways
  • Name, contact information (including address, email and phone) and a bio (100 words max) for at least one speaker

Propose a Breakout Session now!
Session proposals are due by the close of business on Friday, June 2, 2017.

Contact Cindy Leonard at the Bayer Center if you have any questions – – or visit the conference website for more information.


Save the Date: TechNow 2018 Conference is Wednesday, October 3, 2018

TechNow: A technology conference for nonprofitsAbout TechNow

Join us on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, for the 15th anniversary of the TechNow Conference, organized by The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University.  Anyone who has an interest or stake in his or her nonprofit’s technology management or usage is encouraged to attend.  TechNow has something for everyone!

TechNow 2018 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Registration opens July 1. Visit the conference website,, for more information.

Our Keynote Speaker

Lucy Bernholz, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scholar, Stanford University

Lucy Bernholz

Bernholz is a Senior Research Scholar at Stanford University’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and Director of the Digital Civil Society Lab. She has been a Visiting Scholar at The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and a Fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, the Hybrid Reality Institute, and the New America Foundation. She is the author of numerous articles and books, including the annual Blueprint Series on Philanthropy and the Social Economy, the 2010 publication Disrupting Philanthropy, and her 2004 book Creating Philanthropic Capital Markets: The Deliberate Evolution. She is a co-editor of Philanthropy in Democratic Societies, published in 2016 by the University of Chicago Press. She writes extensively on philanthropy, technology, and policy on her award winning blog,

She studied history and has a B.A. from Yale University, where she played field hockey and captained the lacrosse team, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.

Follow Lucy on Twitter: @p2173

April 2018 Technology Classes at the Bayer Center

Tech Wizard - this could be you!Taking a tech class at the Bayer Center is an affordable way to sharpen your skills in a user-friendly, comfortable environment!

To register for any of these classes:

SERIES: Work Smarter Not Harder – Technology Integration for any Size Organization

Social media, email, marketing, accounting – everything has a system. Does it feel like managing a circus? Don’t throw your hands up! This fast-paced, practical course will demystify systems and teach you how to pull the pieces together effectively and efficiently. Integrating your technology saves time, money, headaches, and expedites growth. You’ll leave with a solid understanding of how digital systems work together, an integration plan for your organization, and a toolbox of resources to help you learn more and implement your plan.

Intro to Integration:What it Means, How It Works and Why It Matters 
Monday, April 9 from 1– 4 p.m.

Discover why integrating technology is essential to the growth of your organization and how to keep your sanity during the process. Learn commonly-used technical terms and techniques, and what it means to integrate technology. We will also explore why technology integration is a mindset and leadership issue, and how to foster collaboration.

Doing Your Homework: Creating a Technology Plan That Grows with Your Organization
Monday, April 16 from 1– 4 p.m.

Learn how to identify the technology needs of your organization now, while keeping an eye on the future. We will discuss how to evaluate systems like Mailchimp, Quickbooks, etc., to create ease-of-use and compatibility for your organization. Additionally, you’ll learn how systems can help you identify new opportunities.

Organizing and Using Your Data
Monday, April 23 from 1– 4 p.m.

Discuss different data metrics, what they mean, and how to decide which metrics matter for your organization. You’ll learn how to use data to tell your story and we’ll cover data visualization as well – what it means and how to do it.

Instructor: Connie Capiotis, Digital Bridges Pittsburgh
Fee: $65 ($55 if paid online) per session OR $150 for all three classes in the series

Writing for the Web and Social Media
Tuesday, April 17 from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.

Writing content for your website or social media is very different from writing for other types of communications because of the way people read and use the Web. Learn how to improve your written website and social media content, increase your site’s usability as well as readability and improve the effectiveness of your online communication channels.

Instructor: Cindy Leonard, Bayer Center
Fee: $125 ($115 if paid online)

Advanced Excel
Thursday, April 19 from 9 a.m.– 4 p.m.

The deeper you go into Excel, the more directions you can pursue. In this full-day class, we’ll have plenty of time to go beyond the typical functions and into more magic, time-saving techniques you may not have used before. We’ll cover creating links between sheets, text manipulation, pivot tables, advanced formulas and customizing charts beyond the wizard. This session will combine context for techniques, guided practice and ample time for questions.

Instructor: Cindy Leonard, Bayer Center
Fee: $125 ($115 if paid online)

How Hackable is Your Password?

While information security can be a challenge for nonprofits in general (e.g., lack of resources, lack of knowledge, lack of in-house technology staff, etc.) – there is one simple thing that everyone working at a nonprofit can do to improve security:


Most of us have either made or heard the usual excuse (“That’s too hard, I’ll never remember it!”) and some of us even use the same weak password for multiple accounts. Even if your face is turning beet red right now with shame, keep reading…it might save your life someday.

But…I’m not a target for hackers

If you are reading this and thinking “oh, why would anyone want to hack my stuff?” – consider that hackers don’t actively sit there at their computers and look for attractive targets. Hackers use software apps that let them scan hundreds or thousands of sites and accounts automatically, looking for flaws and ways into a system. They also have apps that let them try “brute force” attacks, which essentially means trying password after password (computer generated as well) until something works.

What’s a “strong” password these days?

A strong password contains a combination of letters, numbers and special characters like @, #, %. However, that’s not enough. The length of your password also makes a difference:

Amount of time to crack passwords

How are you feeling about your password strength now?

Other ways to improve password strength

Some of these may be obvious, but they are worth repeating here because, after all of the news we hear about hacking and compromised accounts, many people are still kinda lazy about passwords.

  • Don’t use a common word or a dictionary word. You can use a phrase, but even then you’ll want to mix it up a bit.
  • Use 2-step verification if it’s an option. Yes, 2-step verification is a pain in the behind that gets no love from anybody. It sure beats all the work you have to do to clean up identity theft though.
  • Change your password regularly. If you are the person responsible for your nonprofit’s technology, set password policies that enforce regular password changes.
  • Don’t give your password to anyone else. Regardless of the situation or need.

As a final thought, here’s a great infographic on creating strong passwords:

Creating strong passwords


Tech Chats for Nonprofits in January 2018

Steel City Codefest Tech Chats 2018

As part of Steel City Codefest’s commitment to assisting local government and nonprofit organizations in finding tech solutions to their tech challenges, they will be hosting six Tech Chats in January 2018.

These Tech Chats will provide an opportunity for local government and nonprofits to meet with a panel of tech experts to discuss their technical questions one-on-one (Cindy Leonard of the Bayer Center will be a panelist at the January 22 Tech Chat). Participants are encouraged to come prepared with technical questions/challenges to discuss. The experts will provide potential technology solutions to your issues, focusing on tools that are free or low cost.

Register today! The dates, times and locations of the Tech Chats are listed below.

January 16th
Google Pittsburgh
5 PM – 6:30 PM

January 17th
The Millvale Moose
9 AM – 10:30 AM

January 18th
The Braddock Carnegie Library
5 PM – 6:30 PM

January 19th
Google Pittsburgh
9 AM – 10:30 AM

January 22nd
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Downtown
4:30 PM – 6:00 PM

January 23rd
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Downtown
9 AM – 10:30 AM

Poll: Your Nonprofit’s New Year Technology Resolution

What does your organization want to accomplish with technology in the coming year?  Tell us about it!

Get answers to your tech questions at Bagels & Bytes Meetups

Bagels & Bytes meeting at the Frick Art & Historical Center

Why come to a nonprofit technology meetup?

If you are managing technology at your nonprofit, whether intentionally or accidentally, it’s useful and healthy to connect with other people doing similar work. The Bayer Center organizes the Bagels & Bytes meetups to provide space for the #NPtech community to connect and communicate.

About Bagels & Bytes meetups

If you’ve never attended Bagels & Bytes, we welcome you to check us out! If you used to attend, but haven’t in a while, make 2018 your year to come back. Everyone needs to take time out for “sharpening the saw” – we all need to build in time for stepping back, reflecting and getting our creative juices flowing again. Bagels & Bytes is just one way to do this.

2018 meetup dates

Check out the Bagels & Bytes blog to see past meeting notes or join us on for easy reminders and meeting RSVPs! Here are the B&B dates and locations booked so far for 2018:

Bagels & Bytes – Allegheny group

The first Wednesday of each month except for January and July from 8:30-10 AM.

  • January – No meetup this month
  • February 7 – Grow Pittsburgh
  • March 7 – Grow Pittsburgh
  • April 4 – Frick Art & Historical Center
  • May 2 – Frick Art & Historical Center
  • June 6 – TBD
  • July – No meetup this month
  • August 1 – Jewish Residential Services
  • September 5 – Jewish Residential Services
  • October 3 – ACHIEVA
  • November 7 – ACHIEVA
  • December 14 (1-4 pm) – Dave & Busters (“Bagels & Bytes Holiday Meetup”)

Bagels & Bytes – Westmoreland group

The third Tuesday of every other month, January/March/May/July/September/November, from 8:00-9:30 AM, typically at King’s Restaurant on Rte. 30, west of Greensburg.