California Nonprofit Technology Festival Richmond Sessions

The #CATechFest session list is co-developed with participants, facilitators, and partners in the time leading up to and during the Festival. We strongly encourage you to join the fun at this unique and interactive gathering!

The agenda is designed and facilitated using Aspiration's unique participatory model, in an environment where powerpoint slides are discouraged and dialog and collaboration drive the learning.

Topics likely to be covered in sessions include...

Online Communications and Campaigning: These interactive learning sessions will explain field-tested best practices while inviting participants to share their own successes and challenges they face:

  • Nonprofit Online Communications 101: A Primer
  • Leveraging Social Media for Social Justice Conversations
  • Identifying Your Online Audiences and Getting Their Attention
  • Developing Tactics for Online and Offline Engagement
  • Creating Effective Messages to Reach Your Audiences
  • Planning Messaging to Sustain and Connect for the Long Haul
  • Coordinating Your Online Channels
  • Listening for Impact: How to Know When and Where You are Being Mentioned Online
  • Email Campaigning Best Practices and Design Tips
  • Online Fundraising 2014: with options that include web, mobile, email, and social media, what's working and what's hype?


Leadership, Decision Support and Sustainability: Half of tech is learning and using it; the other half is selecting, sourcing, managing and maintaining it. These sessions will consider financial and managerial aspects of nonprofit tech, and the broader range of ways in which emergent tech leadership can be expressed:

  • Supporting Those Leading: What does "Technology Leadership" look like in California's nonprofit and social justice contexts, and what can we do to better support these efforts?
  • Managing Nonprofit Technology Projects: What are the processes, tools, and best practices for getting tech deliverables done on time and on budget in ways that meet and satisfy user needs?
  • Youth-led Online Campaigns and eAdvocacy
  • Virtual Collaboration: In a world where we are more and more removed from the people we're working with, what are the best tips, strategies, and tools for virtual and remote collaboration?
  • What Should a Web Site Cost? A peer-driven pricing survey of tech services across California
  • Doing a Web Site Right: How to build a web site the meets your needs, on your terms, and doesn't bust your budget
  • How to Write an RFP (Request for Proposal)
  • Checklists, Checklists, and Checklists: Things to ask and verify before you sign a tech contract, pay a tech invoice, or adopt a tech solution
  • Working with Techies and Developers: Bridging the divide
  • How to Establish and Maintain Your Online Brand
  • When to Take "Free" Tech and When to Say "No Thanks"

Privacy, Security and Data: These sessions will explore the risks and responsibilities incurred when using technology in social change efforts, along with ways to maximize control of information and technology destiny:

  • When—and When Not—to Trust "The Cloud" with Your Data
  • Managing Your Universe of Organizational Data
  • Discuss the Role of Online Privacy in Your Work
  • Securing Your Online Accounts
  • Privacy Facts You May Not Know, and how they can impact your work
  • Managing Constituent Data: The Dream vs. The Reality


Social Justice in California: while the primary focus of the event will be tech and tech strategy, we'll also take time to learn about and reflect on the great work being done by organizations and activists across the state, in a range of session formats:

  • By Issue Area, creating space for participants working on specific campaigns and causes;
  • By Region, inviting participants from different parts of the state to share what they are doing, achieving and learning along the way;

Participant-Led Sessions: More than half of the agenda will be built by participants before and during the event, covering topics, tools, themes and issues proposed by those present.

Learning by Making: Hands-on workshops for sharing essential technology skills, with sessions including:

  • 1-hour WordPress site, with each participant creating, populating and customizing their own version of this excellent and user-friendly content management system (CMS) for web publishing
  • Media and Video Making, getting the basics to creating media for your campaigns and organizations
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Creating a Social Media Dashboard, in order to track where and how you are being mentioned online and where your posts and tweets are propagating to
  • HTML Basics in 1 hour, creating and iterating on a simple HTML page
  • Build Your Own Publishing Matrix, to better coordinate and leverage your online channels
  • How to Register a Domain the Right Way, demonstrating best practices for registrars, contact information, configuration, hosting and maintenance
  • More, more more! Tell us what other hands-on tech skills you would like to learn, and we'll try to find facilitators to get you there.

Tell us what should be on the agenda and how we can make this event more relevant and valuable for you!