TechNow 2017 Breakout Sessions & Speakers Announced!

About TechNow

TechNow: A technology conference for nonprofitsBreakout sessions and speakers have been posted for the 14th annual TechNow Conference! TechNow is slated for Thursday, October 19 and is organized by The Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University. TechNow 2017 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

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!

A preview of session titles and speakers follows. Visit the conference website,, for more information about each session!

Breakout Sessions 1 (10:30 – 11:45 AM)

  • Security Soup to Nuts: Assessing and Addressing Risk
    Speakers: Stephanie L. Bucklew, SLB Consulting; Katie Robson, The Pittsburgh Foundation
  • One Small Step for Technology: The Art of the Micro-Improvement
    Speaker: Dan Fang, Tickets for Kids Charities
  • Meet Your Mission without Breaking the Bank: Free and Pro Bono Technology for Your Cause
    Speaker: Peggy Duvette, Oracle+NetSuite

Breakout Sessions 2 (1:00 – 2:15 PM)

  • Technology Manual: You DO need one!
    Speaker: Arwen Lavengood Davis, MPA
  • Keeping IT Afloat: What to Expect When a Techie Decides to Leave
    Speaker: Nicole DeVault, ACHIEVA
  • Leveraging Technology for Mission-Critical Results: Two Local Case Studies
    Speakers: Colleen O. Fedor, The Mentoring Partnership; David J. Mosey, Smart Futures; Kate Brennan, M.Ed., NurturePA

Breakout Sessions 3 (2:30 – 3:45 PM)

  • Square Pegs and Round Holes: How We Upgraded Our Database
    Speaker: Brittany Zuckerman, Breathe Pennsylvania
  • Better Together: Organizing and Scaling Volunteer Management with Technology
    Speaker: Connor Sites-Bowen, Global Links
  • Accidental Techie: How to Balance the Workload without Losing Your Mind
    Speakers: Arwen Lavengood Davis, MPA; Bethany Hemingway, Staunton Farm Foundation

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)

NTEN Releases its 10th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing & Investments Report

Cover of the 10th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing & Investments ReportThe Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN) recently released its 10th Annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report. This report is invaluable for benchmarking your nonprofit’s technology spending and staffing:

“How do you know how many tech staff is the right number for your organization? How much is an appropriate investment for a nonprofit of your size? Find out how other nonprofits are investing in technology staff, hardware, and services and see how they compare to yours.

The tenth annual Nonprofit Technology Staffing and Investments Report comprises data from more than 250 organizations. This one-of-a-kind resource will help you guide your nonprofit to smarter, more agile and sustainable engagement with tech.”

Download the report for free today!

Protecting Your Organization from Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a type of cyber attack that locks a users files and forces a payment in return for unlocking the files.

Last week’s ransomware attack was possibly the most widespread and complex global cyber attack to date. In the wake of this incident, we think it’s important to reiterate things you can do to protect your nonprofit (and yourself) from becoming a victim during similar attacks in the future.

On the hardware and software side:

  1. Run updates as soon as they are available. Use the auto-update feature if the software has one. This applies to your operating system, Java, drivers and any other software you have installed.
  2. Backup your files. Preferably in the cloud, but even an external hard drive is better than no backup at all.
  3. Use anti-virus software, anti-malware software and make sure you have hardware and software firewalls in place.

On the user side (and this is the harder part to control):

  1. Educate users about not clicking links in emails from senders they don’t know.
  2. Educate users not to download files from emails and websites they don’t know or trust.
  3. Educate users about “phishing” – how emails can look like they come from a reputable source but aren’t the real deal.

Finally, here’s an article advising what to do if you get hacked by ransomware.


It’s Time for Bagels & Bytes: Open Source Summer Fiesta!

Computer Reach, Humanitarian Computer OutreachIt’s time for our special June B&B meetup!  This year, we will hold our summer meetup, the “Open Source Summer Fiesta,” at Computer Reach on June 7.

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

Additionally, we will receive a demo of the Linux operating system and other open source software from the Computer Reach folks, who will explain how they refurbish computers for nonprofits using these tools!

Bagels & Bytes: Open Source Summer Fiesta

  • Wednesday, June 7, 2017
  • 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM
  • Computer Reach, 214 North Lexington Street, Pittsburgh, PA (East End, inside Construction Junction)
  • Parking is available in Construction Junction’s lot.
  • The meeting is FREE to attend, but you must register online or via

Save the Date: TechNow 2017 Conference happening October 19

TechNow: A technology conference for nonprofitsAbout TechNow

Join us on Thursday, October 19, 2017, for the 14th 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 2017 will be held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Visit the conference website,, for more information.

Aliza ShermanOur Keynote Speaker

Aliza Sherman
Digital Strategist, Author, Speaker, Consultant

Aliza Sherman helped pave the way for women online and in the Internet industry. She is a web and social mobile pioneer whose work helped shape the early new media industry. In addition to starting the first woman-owned Internet company in the early 90s, Cybergrrl, Inc., she has been writing, speaking and consulting about social media since 2006 and social mobile marketing since 2010. She is also well known for her expertise on women’s technology and business issues.

She is an advocate of sensible, practical and manageable uses of technology that achieve business goals. She deftly cuts through hype to get to the essence of what tech tools to use and how to use them well for optimal results.

She has written 11 books, most recently The Happy, Healthy Nonprofit with Beth Kanter.

Follow Aliza on Twitter: @alizasherman

Call for Breakout Proposals: TechNow 2017 Conference

TechNow: A technology conference for nonprofits

Share your technology knowledge or “lessons learned” story with other nonprofits at a TechNow 2017 breakout session!

We are looking for leading edge, well-designed and interactive breakout 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 2, 2017.

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