Thank You Pittsburgh!

On May 10th we held our first ‘away game’ training in Pittsburgh. It wasn’t easy, but we did it! We’re grateful to some important people who stepped up to help with the training:

Kimberly Ellis, aka Dr. Goddess, who presented Social Media 101.

Jesse Mark from Action United, who participated in our session about integrating online tools into electoral work.

Jennifer England from Action United, who led the session on using the VAN (voter file database software) and on web design for non-techies.

Kenneth Miller from the Pittsburgh Anti-Sweatshop Community Alliance, who led a session on Salsa and using a CRM.

Celeste Taylor of B-PEP and REMP and Paul O’Hanlon of the Disability Rights Network presented together on issues impacting the 2011 elections.

Our hosts at the North Shore Community Alliance (Carol Washington and staff) were terrific. They have the best computer training lab I’ve ever seen. Our friends, attendees and community partners came together to allow for a great training event that served 25 participants from 13 organizations.

We’re talking about the best way to stay in touch with each other around nonprofit technology, online election tools, digital strategy and social media. One of the options on the table is forming a new 501 Tech Club, to be affiliated with the Nonprofit Technology Network (NTEN). Are you willing to help organizing a Pittsburgh 501 Tech Club? Contact She’s expecting you!

Here’s what some of you said about the training:

  • The very best session experience I had was the exchanged between Jen England and Charles.  A great example of connecting digital possibilities stemming from the VAN.  A simple concept that can be taken into an amazing number of possibilities …. BOTTOM like – organizations need to develop this type of connected thinking
  • How could the opposition use facebook, twitter, online organizing against you… give examples
  • Very good intro, acknowledged that online organizing is not a substitute for grassroots organizing… how does online organizing/twitting/facebook supplement grassroots labor organizing?
  • Initial presentation was great
  • Great hands-on knowledge/connections
  • A long term solution to go into details would be good
  • The people were great
  • How can I get more involved with Organizing 2.0
  • Good examples of how these tools can be useful for campaigning
  • Our organizations need much better data management
  • Website development – learned enough basics to get going and have informed discussions, got me thinking
  • The list of online organizing tools given in the closing session was awesome and intimidating
  • Well organized, covered a lot of ground
  • Intros were too long

Once again, thank you all for helping, showing up, and being cooperative. This was a real team effort.

Pittsburgh: The Organizing 2.0 Training Conference, May 10

The Organizing 2.0 Training Conference for Digital Strategy and Online Organizing
Using Appropriate Tools / Tapping Expert Advice
May 10, 2011  1-5:30 pm

@ The North Shore Community Alliance, 1439 North Franklin Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

The Organizing 2.0 Training Conference is for union and community organizing staff, nonprofits, campaigners and political activists. Initiated in 2009, our program is designed for all levels of expertise, with a focus on the challenge of integrating traditional offline methods with online, game-changing tools.


Registration, welcome

2:00 Salsa 101 (learn about this widely used online organizing software, used by nonprofits, unions, candidates.)
Web development basics for non-techies.
Online fundraising 101.
3:00 Salsa 102 (tips and tricks for current users)
Build your first website (or see how it’s done!)
Learn to use the VAN – voterfile software.
4:00 Online Campaigning – tips and best practices.
Writing for the web and email
Social Media 101: Facebook & Twitter for campaigning
5:00 Becoming a Digital Strategist

We present a top level view of digital strategy, to enable staff at any level make informed decisions about tools, tactics and strategies. In addition, we offer software training in the systems most important for today’s online organizers: Salsa, the VAN, web content management systems, and social media.

When you include use of smartphones, text messaging and video, more than 90% of Americans are within reach of online communications that can be used for organizing. Unfortunately, many are struggling to integrate new tools. At our training event, you’ll develop a deeper understanding of what makes the most sense for your union local, civic engagement project, nonprofit, advocacy campaign or grassroots organizing effort.

Our trainers and speakers include Celeste Taylor (B-PEP), Kimberly Ellis (Historic Hill Institute), Charles Lenchner (Organizing 2.0), Kenneth Miller (Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance), A+ Schools and more.

Organizing 2.0 is hosted by:  Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP), PA Disability Rights Network, Pittsburgh Anti Sweatshop Community Alliance, and host venue provider, the North Shore Community Alliance. (List in formation.)

Organizing 2.0 will be offered in two sections: Afternoon and Evening.
Afternoon 1pm – 5pm $40 (includes lunch)

  • Training in Salsa, the AFL-CIO’s email and database program
  • Managing the development of a new website
  • Training in Drupal, WordPress and LaborWeb for beginners
  • Running your social media program: Facebook, Twitter, blogs
  • Review: free and low cost tools as an alternative to expensive software
  • Working with consultants, RFP’s, and assigning $value to online projects
  • Ramping up your online fundraising efforts
  • Advocacy, corporate and organizing campaigning online
  • Managing your voter file with online software

This event has taken place.