Summer Technology Classes at the Bayer Center

Technology is the new magicLearn something new this summer! Classes include Writing for the Web & Social Media and Telling an Impactful Story with Data!

Register online or email if you have questions (or want to register 3 or more people for a discount).

Writing for the Web and Social Media
Wednesday, June 28 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)

Telling an Impactful Story with Data
Friday, June 30 from 9 a.m. – noon

Finding stories in data can be a challenge. Where should you turn for sources? How can you confidently report them? This workshop will introduce the typical kinds of stories that can be found in data, provide an introduction to economic impact and the types of data used in an analysis, and give you practice in finding your own data stories. You’ll feel more confident “reading” datasets to uncover the stories they contain. A great resource for grant writers, project evaluators, strategic planning, or anyone interested in learning more about the communities you serve.

Come and learn how to access and extract community data, hone your data-storytelling skills, and understand how economic impact
reporting can benefit your organization!

Instructor: David Primm, IMPLAN
Fee: $65 ($55 if paid online)

April Technology Classes at the Bayer Center

Technology is the new magicLearn something new in April! Classes include Writing for the Web & Social Media, DIY Websites with WordPress and Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits!

Register online or email if you have questions (or want to register 3 or more people for a discount).

Writing for the Web and Social Media
Thursday, April 6 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)

DIY Websites with WordPress
Thursday, April 13 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Are you a website novice who needs to know how to design a basic website that is easy to update and has room for future expansion? WordPress is a website content management system that is great for building and managing websites, even for beginners. Nonprofit staff without previous web design experience and experienced web designers who want to learn WordPress are welcome.

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

Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits
Thursday, April 27 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Using social media for your organization requires planning, strategy and management. Learn what you should consider before getting your nonprofit started in the social media realm, what to expect afterwards and how to keep the ball rolling. You will have the opportunity to work on a draft strategic plan for your organization’s social media that you can take back to your office and refine. Basic social media concepts and terminology are recommended but not necessary for attending this class. We will focus on planning and strategy rather than on “how to” use the social media tools.

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

Save the Date: Cody Switzer of The Chronicle of Philanthropy to keynote TechNow 2015 Conference

TechNow: A technology conference for nonprofitsAbout TechNow

Join us on Thursday, October 29, 2015, for the 12th annual 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 2015 will be held at Regional Learning Alliance in Cranberry Township, PA.

Visit the conference website,, for more information.

Cody SwitzerCody Switzer
Senior Editor, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Cody Switzer is senior editor at The Chronicle of Philanthropy, where he oversees all online and social media efforts. He led the Chronicle’s recent website relaunch and the creation of its online resource section, which offers practical, how-to information for nonprofit professionals.

He speaks regularly on the ways technology is changing nonprofit communications, marketing, storytelling and fundraising. He has written about those topics as well, covering everything from basic social media tactics to how Silicon Valley entrepreneurs have embraced philanthropy. He is also a regular host of the Chronicle’s webinar series.

Before joining the Chronicle, he worked in online marketing and communications with Goodwill Industries International. There he was part of a team that won the Excellence in New Communications Award from the Society for New Communications Research. He also served as online reporter for the Erie Times-News in Erie, Pennsylvania, while that publication was Pennsylvania Newspaper of the Year in 2009. He is a graduate of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

Keynote Session:  Telling Your Organization’s Story Online

A good story is a powerful thing.

After all, stories are the way we share ideas. They help us make sense of the world. They drive our decisions. From selecting photos to posting on social media, the design of your website, the content of your appeals, and even communicating within your organization, you are telling stories everyday. But are you telling the right stories?

In this session we’ll discuss the basics of story — conflict, rising and falling action, connecting with an audience – and how they apply to your online and internal communications. Plus, we’ll look at great examples of nonprofit storytelling online and discuss how to identify and develop stories within your organization.

What stories will you tell?

Follow Cody:

Call for Breakout Session Proposals: TechNow 2015 Conference

TechNow: A technology conference for nonprofits

We are currently seeking breakout session proposals for the 2015 TechNow conference. You are free to submit a session on any topic you like, however, preference will be given to sessions designed around these topics:

  • Utilization of cloud technologies and/or virtualization
  • Emerging technology trends
  • Big data and database management
  • Cyber security
  • Responsive website and email design
  • Mobile technologies and usage in programs

TechNow draws a broad audience, so we slot the sessions into four tracks:

  • Online / Cloud
  • IT Management
  • Leadership
  • Marketing / Fundraising

We are looking for leading edge, well-designed and interactive sessions.  The content and format must fit into a 75-minute session.  Vendors are permitted to propose sessions, but we prefer that a nonprofit co-presenter be included.  (We can help you find one, if needed.)

Propose a Breakout Session now!
Session proposals are due by the close of business on Friday, June 12, 2015.

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

Woof! Meow! It’s Time for Bagels & Bytes & Critters!

A cute dog and catIt’s time for our June B&B outing meeting!  This year, we will hold our summer meeting at Animal Rescue League on June 3.

As usual, bring your tech questions, ideas, and issues. Join our fellowship of nonprofit techies (professional and “accidental” are equally welcome) as we brainstorm, share ideas and solutions, and support each other.

Additionally, we will receive a tour of ARL’s facility during the last half hour of our meeting!

Bagels & Bytes & Critters

  • Animal Rescue League, Shelter & Wildlife CenterWednesday, June 3, 2015
  • 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Animal Rescue League, 6620 Hamilton Avenue (East End), Pittsburgh, PA 15206
  • Street parking is available. Please do not park in the ARL lot.
  • The meeting is FREE to attend, but you must register online or by emailing Shelby Gracey at

A sneak peak on fall classes

We’re gearing up for an amazing season of classes here at the Bayer Center. You can expect the brandy new catalog to hit digitally right before Labor Day, and in hard copy the second week of September.

This fall, we’ll be re-featuring many of our most popular classes such as “Writing for the Web and Social Media” (September 26); “HR Law: Staying Out of Court” (November 13); and “Presentation Day” (November 5) – and we’ve got a boatload of new classes that we’re extremely excited to debut!

Jeff Forster is upping the ante on storytelling in “Nonprofit Story Open Mic Workshop” on November 14. Whether a seasoned storyteller or a first-timer, you’ll have the opportunity to try out your story and your storytelling technique on a friendly audience in a low-stakes setting.

Along the same lines as “Bagels and Bytes” and “HR Roundtables,” we’ll be debuting a new morning convening called “Breakfast with Champions.” Once a month we’ll bring in a Pittsburgh innovator who will share their story and answer questions from successful Pittsburgh businesses and nonprofits such as Deep Local, Pop City, and Maya Design.

Finally, you want to mark your calendars NOW for one of the most exciting panel discussions we’ve ever had. Mayoral candidate Bill Peduto, State Representative Erin Molchany, and Buhl Foundation President Fred Thieman will be discussing possible threats to nonprofit status on the morning of December 6 – you don’t want to miss it!

Registration will open online on the day the digital catalog hits your inbox, so you’ll be able to sign up for classes right away, before the print catalog hits your desk.  We look forward to seeing you here at the Bayer Center!