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ICT E-Bulletin - September 2011

By Lasa Information Systems Team

A source of technology news, resources and advice for small to medium sized third sector organisations.

Lasa news

Lasa Technology Conference powers up!

Lasa's autumn technology conference ‘Powering up the Third Sector’ takes place at the prestigious IBM Centre, South Bank, London, on Monday 14 November 2011.

This year, we’re encouraging you to bring along your Chief Executive because we want to discuss with them how technology underpins third sector organisations and should be fundamental to organisational strategy and development. You can offer them a 30% discount and a high level breakfast meeting to tempt them along with you.

Our message to Chief Executives is that they don’t have to 'speak geek' to talk technology but they do need to understand how your expertise and advice is crucial to your charity’s success.  Nearly eight out of 10 charity staff think their organisation could save time or money if it used technology more effectively, according to a Lasa survey. Why not send them a link to our survey results and video featuring interviews with chief executives of leading charities - Age UK London, AbilityNet, Charity Technology Trust and Mind?

Our conference includes sessions on managing technology, social media, the cloud and the potential of technology to help with fundraising, campaigning, internal communications and data management.

Find out more about the Conference and book now and take advantage of the Early Bird discount!

Lasa Technology Surgery Day

Does your organisation need advice on technology? Unsure how to manage or plan your ICT? To help London-based small and medium sized third sector organisations, Lasa is organising its second annual Technology Surgery Day.

Lasa is gathering together eminent “surgeons” who have volunteered to give advice and information to third sector “patients” on a wide range of ICT issues from cloud technology, websites, AIMS database and open source software, to network security, email marketing and social media.

The free event will take place at Charity Technology Trust’s offices at CAN Mezzanine in Old Street, N1 on 1 November between 11am and 5pm.

For more information and to register please use the Eventbrite booking system (please scroll past the tickets for important conditions) or email Miles Maier at Lasa telephone 020 7426 4473.


Text donations opened up

Vodafone and JustGiving have extended their text donation service to individuals who can nominate a charity to receive the money, Third Sector reports.

Mobile internet users near 50% - but 3G is faltering

BBC technology news reports that almost half of UK internet users are going online via mobile phone data connections, according to the Office for National Statistics. However, a BBC crowd-sourced survey into the state of mobile Britain suggests that 3G technology has some way to go before it offers comprehensive coverage across the UK.

Charities plan software collaboration group

Civil Society IT reports that plans are underway to form a collaborative software development group which will bring together charities and vendors to design, customise and share products.

Events, training & learning

London Events Calendar

For London technology events please see our Events Calendar. This month's events include: Social Media Week, Technology Planning for Charities, Ten ICT Tools you Shouldn’t be Without (for Sutton and Redbridge groups), Flossie Software Freedom Day and Information Security in the Voluntary Sector.

ICT for Monitoring survey

Charities Evaluation Services are developing a new one-day training course on using IT for monitoring and particularly outcomes monitoring.  They are hoping to include real-life stories and so are on the look out for organisations who have a happy database story as well as those who may have been through a nightmare process which others should avoid at all costs!  If you have a story (good or bad) that you think others might learn from, please fill in a short survey (approx 10 mins) by 21 September and the chance to win a free copy of ‘Using ICT to improve your monitoring and evaluation’.  All queries to

Funding and awards

Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales fund core costs

This year, Lloyds TSB Foundation for England and Wales celebrates its 25th anniversary, and has £25m to give to charities that help disadvantaged people to play a fuller role in the community. If your charity is registered with the charity commission, is helping disadvantaged people and you have 12 months of reserves or less, then the Foundation wants to hear from you. Visit the website for funding guidelines and eligibility questionnaire.

Innovation in Giving Fund announced

The government would invest £10m to focus on new technologies and networks that can make it easier and more attractive for people to help each other, Nick Hurd the Minister of Civil Society announced. EGovMonitor reports that the Innovation in Giving Fund was announced in the Giving White Paper published in May.  The Innovation in Giving Fund will be managed by the National Endowment for Science Technology and the Arts (NESTA). They are asking applicants to submit a short video “elevator pitch” alongside their application form, the best will then be invited to present to a panel for the final decision.

Lending and borrowing website invites charities to join

A lending and borrowing website, Bid and Borrow has launched as a social enterprise and hopes to help charities make and save money through lending, borrowing and hiring, Civil Society IT reports.

Resources, legal and accessibility


KnowHow NonProfit has published a new how-to guide from marketing company Vibisco on choosing between creating a mobile website or an app.

Decisions, decisions

Guy Kawasaki’s “infographic” charts out which social media tools are right for your organisation. And if you want to know how to make infographics...

There (could be) an app for that

CTT are considering whether to provide app development to their range of services. Take their short survey.

September’s NTEN Change magazine out now

NTEN’s free magazine for leaders of small to medium sized non-profits is out now (sign up required). In this issue are articles on greening your IT, a mini documentary on becoming a data driven organisation, measuring your social media success, NTEN’s Tech Leadership Academy programme, tips for increasing Facebook engagement and more besides.

Businesses clamp down on social media use by staff

The  recent Work Life Web 2001 Study (pdf, 1.37Mb) by Clearswift, according to, shows that a third of businesses surveyed are concerned about staff use of social media because of security issues.

Online defamation cases in England and Wales 'double’

The BBC reports that the number of court cases brought by people who say they have been defamed online has more than doubled in a year, experts have said.

Practical tips

How useful are social media users?

Allyson Kapin  on Frogloop looks at a recent study by Resonate Networks to see whether more active social media users are any more useful to your organisation than those that are less involved with Twitter and Facebook etc - and comes up with some interesting results.

Using html in email

This helpful Feedblitz article gives tips about how to use html (web page code) in your marketing and promotional emails - email programs are not as advanced in displaying html as web browsers...

How to make a guerrilla video

Idealware’s entertaining cartoon (pdf, 4.5Mb) on how to make a video that ‘ll “take YouTube by storm”.

Outlook AutoComplete

Download the Superhighways fact sheet (pdf, 356Kb) to understand how Outlook’s AutoComplete works and how you can delete suggested names, export to another PC or turn off this Outlook feature.

Recover your stolen tech

Watch this BBC video for tips and tricks in recovering your stolen tech should the unthinkable happen.

Tools and applications

Need to check your website links are still current?

Xenu's Link Sleuth is a free tool which runs on your Windows desktop and can check your whole web domain for bad and broken links.

Synchronise files and folders

Microsoft SyncToy 2.1 is a free application that synchronises files and folders between locations. Typical uses include sharing files, such as photos, with other computers and creating backup copies of files and folders.

Office 365 Live

PCWorld reviews the online version of Microsoft Office.

OneNote - what is it?

You may have come across OneNote e.g. the Send to OneNote option appearing in the list of printers when printing a document or when right clicking on a web page, and wondered what it actually is?  Well One Note, part of Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010, is marketed as a ‘digital notebook’ - one place where you can collect and organise text, images, documents, audio and video files and even digital handwriting.  Notebooks can be shared with others and are fully searchable.  It seems to be used a lot in the learning sector, but could be useful for example to collect and organise project outcomes and evaluation information or even for your organisation’s Technology Handbook!  See Microsoft's OneNote site for further information or just open OneNote from Start, Programs, Microsoft Office to see what it could do for you.


The PC is dead

Mark Dean, one of the original team who worked on the design of the IBM PC, pronounces it defunct on its 30th birthday. You’re all working on tablets and smart phones, right?

Games without frontiers

Casey Golden over on the NTEN blog asks the question - what if computer games could change the world? Nonprofits around the globe are using online games not to only educate the public, but to get donations and supporters – and even help find cures for diseases. And, of course, war without tears...

Has social media fundraising finally arrived?

Debra Askanase on Community Organizer 2.0 examines the three categories of social media fundraising, along with her thoughts about how social media fundraising has finally “arrived.”

Is the end of Social Media 1.0 nigh?

As social media-ites get SM fatigue, poor dears, Brian Solis looks at how social media is evolving into corporate media.

And finally

Had enough of that iPad 2 already? Blend it!

Tom Dickson “blends” a new iPad (and much more!) - but, remember kids, don’t try this at home.... (thanks to NTEN for spotting this)

About the author

Lasa Information Systems Team
Lasa's Information Systems Team provides a range of services to third sector organisations including ICT Health Checks and consulting on the best application of technology in your organisation. Lasa IST maintains the knowledgebase. Follow us on Twitter @LasaICT


3G, Backup, Blog, Database, HTML, ICT, Infographic, Internet, Mobile, Mobile phone, Network, Open Source Software, PDF, Software, Web Page, Website

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Published: 15th September 2011

Copyright © 2011 Lasa Information Systems Team

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