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 September 2005


In this issue:

Technology Budgeting

AFP Luncheon

PC Tip

Register for Upcoming Classes

Training Schedule 






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Budgeting for Technology: 101

How much do you spend on technology each year? Most managers would look up how much they spent on computers and put that number as the budget. Some would add any money they spent for vendor support. Some would even add staff training and feel pretty proud of themselves for their thoroughness.

But is that all there is to identifying how much you spend on technology? It's not even a start!!

According to TechAtlas: "The true cost of technology includes the costs of providing ongoing maintenance and support for the technology, the costs of your Internet connection, costs of training staff to use the technology as well as any "hidden" or indirect costs such as lost productivity due to computer troubles. The total cost of computer ownership is different for each organization and includes all these direct and indirect costs. The total cost of technology ownership should be used only as a guide to help expose the most common costs of technology ownership at your organization so that you can better understand and budget for these costs."

A good technology budget is for 3-5 years and includes items that must be replaced on a regular basis.  For example, 1/3 to 1/5 of your computers should be replaced every year so that staff can maximize their productivity. Plan for upgrading your software every other year. Your network should be examined and upgraded the third year and replaced the fifth. And buying a back-up system is only the first step ... back-up tapes need to be retired and replaced. For each year, budget for technical support, internet connectivity, staff training, and contingency problems.

Below are some good online resources for technology budgeting. If you have any questions, give us a call or email.

  • ... a free technology planning website!! You have to register to get in, but once you do you have access to loads of resources, including standard assessments, staff skill surveys, and (my favorite!) an automatic inventory tool that will create a spreadsheet of all your computers. It also has an extensive section about budgeting at, including a total cost of ownership calculator, sample nonprofit budgets, and budget worksheets.

  • ... a national collection of nonprofit technology information (including software discounts at the See especially Mark Osten's article about Total cost of ownership: the hidden costs of technology ( and Alexandre Krasne's Budgeting for growth (although it deals with youth-serving organizations, it applies to all nonprofits:

  • Budgeting for Programs and Proposals ... an online seminar from CompassPoint: "Based on CompassPoint's highly regarded nonprofit management programs, this course will help you understand how to create winning program budgets for grant proposals. You'll learn how to think strategically about program costs and create budgets that accurately reflect the full costs of a particular project or program. In addition, you'll learn how to effectively communicate your budget and program needs to both internal staff and potential funders. This course is appropriate for program directors, executive directors, development staff, and program staff. This course is self-paced and the course fee (sliding scale $85 - $125) includes access to the online course for six months."


AFP Seminar: A Roadmap to Effective Messaging: Brand First, Fundraise Second
September 12, 12:00 – 1:30 • Guy’s Party Center, Akron • $11 Members / $20 Non-Members

Does your organization's message truly represent your brand image? Do you really know what your brand image is in the mind of your potential donors and are you making an emotional connection with them? Individuals and corporations are inundated with requests for support by non-profit organizations. Your marketing materials must grab your prospect's attention and to do this you must have the right message. Pat will demonstrate how to focus on developing your organization's message by providing examples of high-impact marketing materials as well as providing strategies for achieving success with cause-related marketing.

more info ...

Amy's PC TIP:
Deleting Items from AutoComplete

AutoComplete is that little timesaver that helps you type in web addresses or fill in web forms.  You've probably seen it, and may or may not use it to your advantage.  When you start typing in a field, AutoComplete "suggests" things you have typed before in that field.  To make a choice, you can use the up and down arrows plus the tab or enter key to select and entry, or just click one with the mouse.  You can also click in the blank field and hit the down arrow to see all the entries for that field.

This can be really handy for Googling, entering your login to Survey Monkey, returning to a page on a website that took you 20 minutes to find, or other places you have to enter the same info every time.  However, if you've ever mistyped something, or entered the wrong username, it saves these entries too.  That means more choices to look through to find what you want, which makes AutoComplete less of a helper and more of a hindrance.

To remove unwanted entries, just click in the text box and hit the down arrow.  Use the arrow key (not the mouse!) to move to the one you want to remove, then hit the Delete key to get rid of it.  Voilà!  No more Googling for mispeled wrods!


Register for Upcoming Classes

Project Connect now offers classes "on demand": just call or e-mail to have your name added to the list, and as soon as we have enough folks registered, we'll schedule the class. This way, we can run whatever classes you need, when you need them!

Excel is starting in September

Microsoft Excel will be offered Wednesdays starting September 7, from 9am to noon. Excel 1 covers the basics - getting to know the spreadsheet tools, navigating around the workbook, and basic formulas. Excel 2 covers formulas, and Excel 3 covers advanced tools. If you're interested in pivot tables and interactive charts (and if you're not, you should be!!), Excel 4 is for you!! Complete descriptions of each course are on our website,

  • Excel 1: Spreadsheet Basics
    9/7/05 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

  • Excel 2: Formulas
    9/14/05 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon

  • Excel 3: Advanced Tools
    9/28/05 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon  (please note we are skipping 9/21!)

  • Excel 4: Data Analysis Tools
    10/5/05 - 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon


Get on the Database Developers Series waiting list

If we can get a few more names on the list, we will run the Microsoft Access Database Developers' Series in October. If you have always wanted to learn more about Access, please sign up! Send an email to and let us know you're interested.


Don't forget - we also offer custom sessions. Just get a minimum of 8 people together, and we'll do a special session just for you.  You don't all need to be from the same organization, so tell your friends!

Reserve your seat now - call 330-315-1335 or e-mail .



Are you getting the best deals for your technology dollar?

Don't buy anything technology-related until you've visited these three websites first!! They offer significant discounts for nonprofits with Microsoft, Dell, CDW, Adobe, and more!


As always, we are interested in hearing from you to learn how we can best meet your technology and connectivity needs. Give us a call at 330-315-1335 or e-mail us at .


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