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The Electronic Newsletter of Project Connect



In this issue:


Microsoft's upgrades

Free financial consulting

Grant proposals needed

BoardSmarts! for smarter boards

KSU expands knowledge management/IT programs

Join Akron's reading crusade

Register for Upcoming Classes

Classes in our Training Lab

Online classes

How online training works

PC Tip

Answers for sale!!

Are you getting the best deals for your technology dollar?

How can Project Connect help you?


What should you know about Microsoft's latest upgrades?

Microsoft has upgraded its Windows XP system to Windows Vista and Office 2003 to Office 2007, but are you really ready for those changes? Is your staff? More importantly, is Microsoft ready? The answer to all three is probably not.

Some reviewers love the new changes, while others are placing their Office 2003 CD's in their safe deposit boxes. The word out on the internet is to wait at least six months to a year:

Due to our experiences with Windows XP, Info Line will not be upgrading its software until at least 2008. Microsoft has a long history of offering upgrades that have not been tested in every environment, contain serious security issues, and need several patches and service packs in order for them to work correctly. (Don't believe me? Go to www.google.com and type vista glitch. Yesterday, I got 1,990,000 results and today it was 2,270,000!!). We feel it's safer to wait until other people fight the bugs!!

According to TechSoup, "Vista is 'backwards compatible' so you can install Windows XP Pro with Vista Business or Enterprise licenses." However, the media (the installation CD) might not be available for very long. If you will not be upgrading, be sure to go to www.techsoup.org by March 1st and get whatever licenses you will need for the year (Windows XP is $8.00; Office Professional is $20) so that you won't be forced to use the upgrade when you buy equipment later this year.

If you are interested in upgrading, you can select from one of five (sometimes seven) different versions of Vista at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/editions/default.mspx. (An even more helpful comparison is at http://www.powerdonkey.net/signup3.php). And there are SEVEN versions of Office (http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3524_7-6689114-1.html?tag=compare ... be sure to get the Professional version because it has Access). For changes in Office 2007, see http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/getstarted/FX101055081033.aspx. TechSoup has some really good information: http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/software/page6113.cfm.

Project Connect will get the new software and test it so we can answer your technical questions when you do upgrade.

In the meantime, if you need anything dealing with technology—a database, a network, purchasing assistance, or even a sounding board for ideas—contact us!!



CCN & Project Connect partner to strengthen the financial capacity of area nonprofits

The Faith and Community Initiatives Office of Community Care Network (CCN), in collaboration with Info Line’s Project Connect, announce the Fiscal Technical Assistance Program. The goal of the program is to help small nonprofit organizations become fiscally prepared and audit-ready as they seek new funding opportunities for their organizations.

Clear and concise financial bookkeeping is essential for nonprofits. Grantmakers and major donors consider the financial position of a nonprofit before awarding funds. Let us help you better understand business finance in a way that will give you an edge and increase your chances of obtaining the resources you need to deliver services in your community.

Program participants receive at no charge:

  • Fiscal Management Training

  • QuickBooks Training Overview

  • Access to QuickBooks Technical Support Hotline (limited free access to this hotline is for program participants only)

  • One-on-One coaching in assessed financial areas

CCN will provide you with a specialized plan of action tailored to your needs. For those organizations that have chosen QuickBooks as their accounting software, Project Connect is ready to offer phone support and Live Help.

This program is available for nonprofits in Summit and Cuyahoga Counties, and is funded in part by the Akron Community Foundation. For more information, call CCN's Donna Ryant or Darla Alexander at 216-688-4119.



Community Funds Seek Grant Proposals

Both the Vernon L. Odom Fund and the Medina County Community Fund are seeking grant proposals.

The Vernon L. Odom Fund of Akron Community Foundation was established to provide grant dollars for new and emerging nonprofit organizations serving the minority population of Summit County. The stated mission of the fund is to provide funds for emerging community groups devoted to improving the lives of minority group members and creating racial harmony in the Akron area.

The Medina County Community Fund was established to enhance the work of qualified nonprofit organizations providing a wide range of cultural, educational, health and community services in Medina County. A percentage of the Fund’s investment income is distributed each year as grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. Any remaining income is then re-invested.

Visit http://www.akroncommunityfdn.org/funds/ for more information. To subscribe to The Akron Community Foundation newsletter, complete the form at http://www.akroncommunityfdn.org/lists/.



AFP's February Breakfast Meeting focuses on BoardSmarts!!

February 13, 8-9:30 AM
Sheraton Suites, 1989 Front Street, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44221 • Click here for directions
A full breakfast buffet will be served
Networking and breakfast will be from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The presentation will be from 8:30 - 9:15 a.m.
$13 members • $18 non-members • MasterCard and Visa now accepted
Reservations Required • Deadline: February 8, noon

BoardSmarts!! will focus on the general expectations of board members and how they can impact your fundraising efforts. Ellen Otto will discuss several approaches to helping new board members further the efforts of your fundraising program. Click here for more information: http://www.afpncoh.org/2007/01-07-reminder.htm



Kent State University offers graduate certificate program in Knowledge Management

Beginning August 2007, an online graduate certificate program in Knowledge Management will be offered through Kent State University for individuals seeking to improve skills and employment opportunities in the knowledge management field. Online courses link students, instructors, and guest speakers on a global scale and offer the flexibility of coursework completion at times convenient to the student.

Admission requirements include an earned undergraduate bachelor’s degree, GPA thresholds, work experience, and letters of recommendation. Students are required to complete the certificate program within four calendar years but can complete the program requirements in as little as 12 months by taking two courses each semester (Fall, Spring, and Summer).

This certificate is a valuable component to business, computer science, information science, management, and other similar degrees. Employees with knowledge management training are highly valued by many organizations and agencies. Kent State graduates are employed by leading firms in the region and nationwide.

In addition to the new online graduate certificate program, Kent State University offers a special interdisciplinary Masters program in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management (IAKM) which explores in-depth how to effectively manage the information environment for business, industry, and public institutions. Masters of Science Degrees can be earned with individual concentrations in Information Architecture, Information Use, and Knowledge Management.

For information on the knowledge management graduate certificate program and interdisciplinary IAKM degrees, visit the website at http://iakm.kent.edu/, contact , or call the program office at 330-672-5840.



This City Reads! searching for partner organizations

Join the fun!! Be part of something BIG! On February 14th, 2007 join your neighbors, family, friends and co-workers as we try to reach our goal of 100.000 readers across the county. This City Reads! — an alliance of organizations dedicated to working together to improve the literacy skills of our county — is looking for your help. We are looking for groups and organizations to pledge to read on the 14th. You can even make your location an Official Reading Site. Visit the website at www.thiscityreads.org to find out how easy this is. Whether your group is big or small, you we need you all.

We are also looking for organizations to join us in our efforts throughout the year and become Official Partners. Join our diverse group at http://www.thiscityreads.org/partners.asp ... we already count AMHA, Akron Children’s Hospital, Barnes & Noble and the United Way among our Official Partners. You can see the complete list on the web site. Partnership is free and all the details are on our newly designed web site, along with electronic forms to pledge for February 14th and for becoming an Official Partner.

For more information, contact Carolyn Burrier at 330-643-9185 or .





Register for Upcoming Classes ...

Project Connect now offers classes "on demand": just call 330-315-1335 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!


Classes in our Training Lab at 703 South Main Street #211, Akron OH 44311:

Click here to register for Training Lab classes
Click on the class name for a description of the class ...

  • Microsoft Word 5: Newsletters
    2/13/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • A nonprofit's communication strategy should always include ongoing communications with its clients, client families, volunteers, donors, funders, etc. The most professional way is through newsletters. This course will focus on what you need to know to develop newsletters that get read. Prerequisite: skills covered in Word 1, 2, 3, 4.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 1: Slideshow Basics
    2/20/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • Learn how to set your options, use toolbars, use the different view options, use templates, set up a master slide, individualize slides, insert graphics, and more! After this course, you will be able to create a basic yet professional presentation with graphics. Prerequisite: Skills covered in Introduction to Computers 1 & 2.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2: Animation & Graphics
    2/27/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • Learn the more complex tools of PowerPoint, including the impressive animation settings. Prerequisite: Skills covered in PowerPoint 1.

The Website Developers Series

  • Microsoft FrontPage 1: Themes & Shared Borders
    2/15/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • We will cover the basics of FrontPage, the most popular website authoring software in the world! The focus will be on understanding how FrontPage works, designing themes, and using shared borders. After this course, you will be able to develop a simple but useful format for your organization's website. Prerequisite: Skills covered in Introduction to Computers 1 & 2.

  • Adobe PhotoShop: Graphics for the Web
    2/22/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • Learn how to use PhotoShop's powerful tools to correct color balances in your scanned photos, crop and resize your images, and prepare them for the web. This includes special techniques for reducing the size of your images to reduce download time. Prerequisite: Skills covered in Introduction to Computers 1 & 2.

  • Microsoft FrontPage 2: Formatting Your Web Pages
    3/2/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • This is the nitty-gritty of developing a website: the pages themselves. We will cover importing and formatting text, using graphics, hyperlinks, bookmarks, and tables. With the skills in this course, you will be able to create different types of pages using the format developed in Microsoft FrontPage 1. Prerequisite: Skills covered in Microsoft FrontPage 1.

  • Microsoft FrontPage 3: Cool Tools
    3/8/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • Now we explore the cool tools of FrontPage: forms, marquees, hover buttons, searches, etc. We will also discuss ways to make each attendee's website better and easier to use. Prerequisite: Skills covered in Microsoft FrontPage 1 & 2.





Online classes
click here for more details

click here to register for  online training classes
Click on the class name for a description of the class ...

The Database Developers Series

  • Microsoft Access 1: Database Planning & Set-Up
    3/6/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • This first session will focus on identifying what needs to be included in a nonprofit-related database and how to structure it so that the database will be easy to use and easy to retrieve useful information. Attendees will plan the database they need for their own organization. Prerequisite: Skills covered in Microsoft Excel 2.  

  • Microsoft Access 2: Database Tables & Relationships
    3/13/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • In the second session, we will actually set up the database planned in the previous session. Tables will be closely examined, especially field properties. We will also do quick searches, filters, and sorts. Relationships between tables will be a major focus. Prerequisite: Skills covered in Microsoft Access 1 and completion of homework.

  • Microsoft Access 3: Database Queries & Basic Forms
    3/20/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • Queries are used to analyze data, combine data from different tables, and retrieve data from one or more tables using criteria you specify. Forms can be created to "pretty up" your data, make data entry easier, and combine data from different tables and queries. We will also integrate the data into Microsoft Word and Excel for file exchange and publication. Prerequisite: Skills covered in Microsoft Access 2 and completion of homework.

  • Microsoft Access 4: Database Forms & Reports
    3/27/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • More extensive work on the forms will be covered. We will also cover creating and editing reports, which present your data in meaningful ways. Sub-forms and sub-reports will be discussed. Skills covered in Microsoft Access 3 and completion of homework.

  • Microsoft Access 5: Troubleshooting the Database
    4/3/07 - 9:00 AM - Noon

    • This class will focus on troubleshooting the database and other useful tools. Also covers the important compact-and-repair tool. Prerequisite: Skills covered in Microsoft Access 4 and completion of homework.





How online training works ...

Learn from your office -- no travel involved!!

In response to myriad requests for training throughout Ohio, Project Connect is implementing ONLINE TRAINING!! Here's how it works:

  • Visit http://projectconnect.webex.com  and click on the [Registration] button for whatever class you want to register for. Enter your information into the form and click on the [Register] button again. Click [ok] and exit.

  • You will get a confirming email with all the information: date, time, session number, phone number, etc. Copy this to your calendar for that date starting at 8:45 AM.

  • On the day before the class, I will send you the handouts for the class. Please print them and have them with you on the day of training.

  • You must have the software you are training in loaded on the computer that you use to connect to the training session.

  • On the day of training at 8:45, sit comfortably at your own desk with the handouts and any necessary refreshments. Go to the email link that you pasted in your calendar. Fill in the information (the password is also in that information you pasted) and then join the session.

  • Once you join, you will be given a phone number to call. Call that number and enter the codes from the screen.

  • You will see my screen on your computer and be able hear me from your phone!

  • We'll keep the class to three hours with a break in the middle.

  • Get ready to have fun!!

Other details:

  • Online training is limited to 12 students per class. Classes fill quickly, so be sure to register early. 

  • Cost is $60 per person. We will invoice you or you can call 330-315-1335 and pay by credit card.

  • The registration deadline is 2 business days before the class. Payment must be made by the date of the class; checks, cash, and Mastercard/Visa are accepted. Cancellations must be received by 4:00 pm two days before the class in order to be eligible for a refund. 

  • Those who register for a class but do not attend will be charged for that class.

  • If you attended a class previously in the past year, you can repeat the class at no charge.





Ryan's PC Tip:
Power Up the Taskbar!

The taskbar is a really useful tool ... if it works the way you work!! To increase your productivity, try these easy steps:

  1. Turn on and clean up the Quick Launch toolbar.  Right-click on the taskbar and select Toolbars. Make sure Quick Launch is checked. This has the two most important buttons you need when you work on the computer: the Show Desktop button (it looks like a desk blotter with a pad and pencil) and the Internet Explorer button. The Show Desktop will let you see your desktop without having to minimize or close all of your open applications. Be sure to clean it up, as well, so that only the most important buttons are easy to find. Click on any buttons you don't use often and drag them to the desktop. Delete them (you're not deleting the program, just the shortcuts).

  2. Ungroup similar taskbar buttons. In Windows XP, right click on the [Start] button and select the /Taskbar\ tab. Uncheck the option.

  3. Turn off personalized menus. In Windows 2000, go to [Start] / Settings /Taskbar & Start Menu. In the /General\ tab, uncheck the option.

If you need any help with this, go to www.pclivehelp.org and complete the form. We'll walk you through these excellent time-savers!!




Answers for sale!!

You and your staff have more important things to do than fight with your technology! Instead of spending hours of frustration trying to do it yourself, let us help you!

Project Connect offers Live Help for staff of all Ohio nonprofits! If you are having problems with a Microsoft Office or Adobe product, simply go to www.pclivehelp.org and complete the form. Follow the directions, and then we'll be able to see your computer from our office. We can then walk you through the problem.

Cost is $15 per increment of 10 minutes.





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!

  • www.techsoup.org/stock/

  • www.giftsinkind.org

  • www.techfoundation.org





How can Project Connect help you?

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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