Nonprofits lacking the finances and expertise for high-tech software will learn how to tap into low- to no-cost alternatives during the Steel City Solutions Conference today.
The conference, hosted by the Hands On Tech Pittsburgh program, will bring 100 nonprofit professionals to Garfield to discuss the technology, marketing and organizational management techniques that will bring their organizations to the next level.
Hands on Tech Pittsburgh is the local branch of the national program, which was created by the Hands on Network, AmeriCorps VISTA and Google to bring technology experts to low-income organizations.
E. Louise Larson, an AmeriCorps Vista member who has helped to organize the conference, said a technology component was vital because it has the potential to affect all phases of nonprofit operations.
"We see technology as interrelated to other aspects of nonprofit management. We think helping to make technology better in the nonprofit world can affect everything from donor management to ownership and community outreach," she said.
Annie Bontempo, an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, said the primary goal of the conference's technology component is to steer nonprofit managers toward proprietary software that is user-friendly enough to be run by current staff members. Another free option Ms. Larson said often goes unnoticed by nonprofits is the "Buddy Press" systems often used by community development corporations to run free announcements or post profiles of other organizations.
AmeriCorps VISTA's Will True said the conference is also intended to introduce managers and employees to programs that feature widespread communities who offer consistent feedback. He used customer relationship management software Salesforce as an example.
"Salesforce has a community of users that reaches all over the country and in local communities people will get together to talk about developments in the product," he said.
The conference kicks off at 8 a.m. at the Bloomfield-Garfield Corp. Activity Center and branches into three sessions at different Penn Avenue galleries.
The sustainable technology component will take place at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination at 5006 Penn Ave. The organizational management session will be hosted at the International Child Art Gallery at 5020 Penn Ave. and the session on marketing and branding takes place at the Most Wanted Fine Art Gallery at 5015 Penn Ave.
Admission is free, thanks to an $1,800 donation from the Points of Life Foundation. Same-day registration for the event is available and 20 slots were open as of Thursday afternoon. For more information, visit scsc.pittsburghcares.org.
Deborah M. Todd: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1652.