Breakout Sessions

About Session Levels

All breakout sessions are marked with levels that are chosen by the speaker based on the difficulty of the content. Levels meanings are as follows:

  • Introductory: Anyone can understand the material, regardless of technology management experience or background
  • Intermediate: Some technology experience or background is recommended to understand the material
  • Advanced: A high amount of technology experience or background is recommended to understand the material

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

Security Soup to Nuts: Assessing and Addressing Risk

Session Level: Intermediate
Speakers: Stephanie L. Bucklew, SLB ConsultingKatie Robson, The Pittsburgh Foundation

Join us as we discuss the components of security needed to keep your nonprofit safe from threats. We’ll cover a wide variety of topics, including security controls, third-party security and risk assessments, self-assessment tools, policy updates and staff security awareness training and testing. You’ll also learn how to create “the human firewall” by discussing current threats, setting clear accountability standards and obtaining staff participation.

One Small Step for Technology: The Art of the Micro-Improvement

Session Level: Introductory
Speaker: Dan Fang, Tickets for Kids Charities

This session takes as its starting point that many nonprofits may not need, or have the capacity for, revolutionary and large-scale changes to their technological systems. Instead, what works for them are micro-improvements: minute technological changes that often get overlooked because people “learn to live” with their small frustrations. Using examples from one nonprofit staff member’s journey into the world of databases and coding, interspersed with crowdsourcing discussions, this session seeks to promote micro-improvements that often cost nothing more than a few minutes on Google, but that can have lasting effect on the efficiency and well-being of the entire organization.

Meet Your Mission without Breaking the Bank: Free and Pro Bono Technology for Your Cause

Session Level: Introductory
Speaker: Peggy Duvette, Oracle+NetSuite

When leveraged correctly, technology has the power to accelerate your work to meet your mission. Even better when the software is free and you have access to volunteers who can help you. Too often though, we spend too much time jumping on free software offerings and not enough time figuring out what we’re trying to do and how technology can help. Using concrete examples, we’ll discuss how to truly leverage free software — from what questions to ask of technology providers to who should be involved in technology selection and implementation.

Breakout Sessions 2 (1:00 – 2:15 PM)

Technology Manual: You DO Need One!

Session Level: Introductory
Speaker: Arwen Lavengood Davis, MPA

Having a working technology manual can ease staff transitions, make orientations more comprehensive, help document institutional knowledge and aid in planning current and future technology needs. In addition, technology manuals can help users troubleshoot on their own as well as streamline internal and external processes. This session will explore how to build a technology manual for all user levels and how to provide the most impact to your organization with this tool!

Keeping IT Afloat: What to Expect When a Techie Decides to Leave

Session Level: Introductory
Speaker: Nicole DeVault, ACHIEVA

What will happen at your organization if the person holding the IT keys leaves? Are you ready for this transition or does the mere thought of it provoke terror and a sense of pending doom? In this session, we’ll cover how to create and maintain lists of the critical information you should have in advance and how it should be maintained and secured. We’ll also discuss best practices for a successful transition in IT management.

Leveraging Technology for Mission-Critical Results: Two Local Case Studies

Session Level: Introductory
Speakers: Kate Brennan, M.Ed., NurturePAColleen O. Fedor, The Mentoring Partnership; David J. Mosey, Smart Futures

For many nonprofits, technology can be a double-edged sword – offering a great opportunity to broaden horizons, but also bringing with it some uncertainty about its use. What if we could learn to leverage new technology so it becomes critical to the success of our organizations and vital to our work? Join The Mentoring Partnership as we take a look at how two local mentoring programs, NurturePA and PA eMentoring, began using technology to achieve mission-critical results. You’ll learn more about how each organization began using technology to fulfill its mission and how that relationship evolved.

Breakout Sessions 3 (2:30 – 3:45 PM)

Square Pegs and Round Holes: How We Upgraded Our Database

Session Level: Intermediate
Speaker: Brittany Zuckerman, Breathe Pennsylvania

An overview and case study of how a small nonprofit (10 employees) implemented a cost-effective, multi-functional database to streamline data-entry and management, increase productivity among staff, as well as provide critical analytical information to the development staff. We’ll will walk through feasibility study, approach and project management so you can help your own organization when the time comes for a database change.

Better Together: Organizing and Scaling Volunteer Management with Technology

Session Level: Intermediate
Speaker: Connor Sites-Bowen, Nonprofit Logistician

In this session, we’ll describe & detail a systems-oriented approach to the management and organization of volunteer activities, with a focus on activities that are a) large in physical scale, b) large in person-hours required or c) require medium- to high-level interaction with technology. Whether you are a technology professional wanting to learn how to integrate technology for volunteer management or a volunteer coordinator wanting to use technology more efficiently for your volunteers, this session will give you some great ideas. Some familiarity with Google and Microsoft tools, as well as social media like Twitter and Facebook will be useful when attending this session.

Accidental Techie: How to Balance the Workload without Losing Your Mind

Session Level: Introductory
Speakers: Arwen Lavengood Davis, MPA; Bethany Hemingway, Staunton Farm Foundation

When working in a small nonprofit, we frequently wear many hats. As a result, sometimes we fall into a technology coordinator role unexpectedly (aka Accidental Techie). This session will cover how staff without formal IT training or backgrounds can learn to make choices about what is best for their organizations. We’ll explore what to consider when dividing tasks that should be completed internally with those that should or could be outsourced. We’ll share real stories about what has worked and what has failed.