Technology has upended traditional media in countless ways, and non-profit media face challenges unique from their for-profit brethren.

Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service (GSS), in partnership with New York NonProfit Media, is hosting a daylong technology conference to help them.

“How Technology has Changed Everything for Nonprofits”
Thursday, Dec. 10
8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Pope Auditorium, Lowenstein Center
113 West 60th Street

The conference, organized by the GSS Center for Nonprofit Leaders, will feature panels such as “Avoiding Disaster: A Practical Guide for Backup Systems, Disaster Recovery Planning and Secure Private Computing,” “Crowdfunding: Challenges & Opportunities,” and “What Every Nonprofit Needs to Know about Cloud Computing.”

Minerva Tantoco, chief technology officer, for the City of New York, and Stanley S. Litow, vice president of corporate citizenship & corporate Affairs, IBM, will deliver keynote speeches.

Lauri Goldkind, PhD, an associate professor at the Graduate School of Social Service, and moderator of the panel “Technology 101: What is basic, cheap or free? A Checklist of Tools,” said she aimed to highlight digital tools that are free as well as those that have hidden have costs.

Twitter, for instance, is free to anyone who wants to set up an account, but then someone needs to actively monitor and cultivate an organization’s social media presence. Likewise, she noted Google has software that makes it easy to conduct surveys, but someone has to follow up, and make sure that when data is inputed, it comes out in a usable format.

“Per channel, an organization is supposed to spend two hours a week managing, maintaining feeding and watering those channels, so that there’s user engagement. So that means there’s a person on the other end of that tool doing something with it,” she said.

“Nonprofits are under a lot of pressure from a fundraising perspective to invest 100 percent of their resources in service delivery, and it becomes very hard to fund raise for those infrastructure pieces.

An executive at a small non profit might be forced to choose between attending a lobbying meeting with a government official, or spending time tending to Twitter, she said.

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Patrick Verel is a news producer for Fordham Now. He can be reached at [email protected] or (212) 636-7790.