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 – leonard@rmu.edu – or visit the conference website for more information.

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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, www.technowconference.org, 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, philanthropy2173.com.

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)

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 Meetup.com 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.

Cool Tech Tool: Canva

Have you ever wanted to create an infographic to display your nonprofit’s data in a visual format but just don’t have the graphic design chops? Give Canva a try!

Canva is an amazing tool for creating infographics of all kinds. You choose a template, then add your data. You can then modify font sizes and styles, colors, add stock photos and graphics, then download your infographic for use on your website or anywhere else you’d like.

You can also use Canva to design ads, postcards, flyers, business cards and more.

Best of all, Canva offers its premium version (all the best templates and stock photos/graphics) for FREE to nonprofits!

Learn more and sign up at Canva.com.

Screenshot of Canva software tool

Upcoming Technology Classes at the Bayer Center

LearnTaking 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:


Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits
Tuesday, Nov. 28 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)


120,000 Reasons to Learn About Google AdWords Grants
Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 1 – 4 p.m.

Google offers free advertising to nonprofits through AdWords, a tool that powers 3 billion search queries per day. This course helps nonprofit organizations with 501(c)3 status and an active website qualify for $120,000 of annual ad spend, and explores how to use AdWords to drive more website traffic and donations. Unfortunately, government programs, hospitals and schools are excluded from the program.

Instructor: Andy Garberson, LunaMetrics
Fee: $65 ($55 if paid online)


Organizing and Using Your Data
Thursday, Dec. 7 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)