Savannah Badalich , Instructor for Human-Centered Design for Nonprofits and Director of Education at Civic Hall

Savannah Badalich, Instructor for Human-Centered Design for Nonprofits and Director of Education at Civic Hall

Despite the increasingly central role technology is playing across all sectors of society, many community organizations and government agencies are still not able to optimize their internal technology capacities. In fact, out of 80 nonprofits surveyed by Civic Hall in late 2017, 100% expressed a need for professional training around digital skills with the most interest being in classes on data science and analytics, cybersecurity, digital fundraising, and data-driven advocacy and marketing. In response, Civic Hall formed the Digital Learning Center (DLC), which offers professional development opportunities to two sectors that represent and serve all New Yorkers, and that also lag far behind in digital literacy: nonprofits and government. 

We’re excited to roll out many digital skills workshop pilots facilitated by industry experts so we can optimize the DLC for when we move into our new building at Civic Hall @ Union Square in late 2021!

Upcoming Workshops:

8/05 | 10am – 5pm
Data Driven Marketing Intensive: Strategy & Application  (Full-day)

This seven-hour, project-based class will equip you with tips and strategies on how to develop a marketing strategy, identify KPIs and key metrics, develop a creative brief, select which marketing channels would be best for your organization, measure and optimize campaign results and utilize best practices for data reporting.

9/13 | 9:30am – 4:30pm
Understanding and Improving Cybersecurity for Nonprofits & Government

You’ll learn and understand the core principles of cybersecurity, how social engineering (including phishing) work, the basic ten (10) steps to cybersecurity maturity for an organization, and how to perform a high level cybersecurity risk assessment.


Our Current Trainings:

Data Driven Marketing for Nonprofits
Sharon Lee Thony, Lead Instructor of Digital Marketing, General Assembly
Fiona Teng, Director of Marketing and Membership, Civic Hall
The half-day course explored the ways nonprofits can use data analytics of their social media, website, and mailing lists to inform the design of their digital marketing and advocacy efforts.

Human-Centered Design for Nonprofits
Savannah Badalich, Director of Education and Training, Civic Hall
This full-day training used design-thinking methodologies, such as user personas, journey mapping, and rapid ideation in order to help the nonprofits and government agencies create a roadmap for improving their work. It focused on human-centered design principles, centering the experiences and voices of the constituents the nonprofits serve to build out new actions with, and not for, their communities.

Understanding and Improving Cybersecurity for Nonprofits and Mission Driven Businesses
Joshua Peskay, VP of Technology Strategy, RoundTable Technology
This full-day course focused on building a solid foundation for those looking to significantly improve their literacy around digital security. It focused on both strategy and tactics, helping students learn foundational security skills that will apply for years to come, while also delving into the specific tactics and tools that are most relevant today.

Ethical Data Collection for Nonprofits
Arlene Ducao, CEO, Multimer
This half-day course covered best practices for ethical data collection including consentful gathering and communication with constituents, types of data and their sensitivity levels, and how to store the data securely.

Fall 2019 Training Pilots:

Civic Tech 101: Civic Tech History & Ecosystem
What exactly is civic tech? This course will cover the history and evolution of the “technology for good” field, including insights into prominent funders, organizations, vendors, and theorists. The course will also cover the competing definitions within this field of work, including civic tech, govtech, public interest tech, and more.  

Civic Tech 102: Design Principles of Civic Tech
What can we learn from civic tech projects of the past? This course will cover the lessons from unsuccessful civic tech projects and review the essential design principles, processes, and strategies behind successful, truly civic tech organizations.

Social Media for Advocacy (Piloted in March 2019)
Your organization has a Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube channel, Instagram…but now what? How do these tools fit into your organization’s long term strategies for winning? This training will offer 2 days of actionable insights and case studies to help you solve the Social Media Strategy puzzle.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) 101 for Nonprofits and Government
This course will introduce nonprofits and government to the basics of Artificial Intelligence as a fied and set of tools. Topics include machine learning, probabilistic reasoning, algorithms, and natural language processing, so nonprofits and government can understand its implications on the future and the communities they serve.

Digital Fundraising 101 for Nonprofits
Raising money for your nonprofit can be a hard task, but digital fundraising tools can help your organization raise real money and be an integrated park of your organizing strategy. In this course, nonprofits will learn how to get their message out to supporters and fundraise to build a truly grassroots campaign that integrates the communities they serve.

Data Visualization for Advocacy
Data is useless without if it doesn’t help inform decisions. To make the most of your data requires bringing it to life through visualization and storytelling. This course covers the basics of data visualization and useful tools for advocacy within or for a nonprofit or government agency.

Ethical Data Collection 102: Data Storage & Security Best Practice 
The second in our Ethical Data Collection series, this course will move on from the theory of ethical and human data collection and provide practical tools to store and secure sensitive data collected by programmatic, advocacy, and communications staff within nonprofits and government. 


Our Impact

In 2018, we piloted four of our workshops with the following results:

  • 56 participants attended
  • Representing 38 nonprofits, government agencies, and social good organizations
  • Organizations that participated included Upwardly Global, The Door, University Settlement, Educational Alliance, the NYC Department of Small Business Services, Laguardia Community College, The New York Public Library, Workforce Opportunity Services, and Center for NYC Neighborhoods.
  • Over 80% of participants reported significant increase in their understanding of the topics and gained confidence implementing these skills in their day-to-day work

Participants at each pilot workshop completed pre- and post-workshop surveys on their knowledge-change and confidence in utilizing these skills within their organizations.  A number of participants also expressed an interest in participating in longer internal retreats with their entire teams, which we took into consideration for our 2019 programming plan.

For any inquiries about the Digital Learning Center, contact Savannah Badalich, the Director of Education, at