Civic Hall’s Newest Program!
The Digital Learning Center

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 so we can optimize the DLC for when we move into our new building at Civic Hall @ Union Square in late 2020!

In 2018, we piloted these four digital skills workshops in 2018:

  1. Data Driven Marketing for Nonprofits
    Sharon Lee Thony, Lead Instructor of Digital Marketing, General Assembly

    The 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.

  2. 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 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.

  3. Understanding and Improving Cybersecurity for Nonprofits and Mission Driven Businesses
    Joshua Peskay, VP of Technology Strategy, RoundTable Technology

    This 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.

  4. Ethical Data Collection for Nonprofits
    Arlene Ducao, CEO, Multimer

    This 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.

Here are our 2018 pilot workshop 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.

In 2019, Civic Hall plans to:

  • Launch 6 new courses on topics including AI for Nonprofit and Social Media for Advocacy
  • Create tailored and intensive workshop series for 5 organizations focused on Human Centered Design and Data-Driven Program Design for Nonprofits
  • Conduct second iterations of our current workshop topics; serve at least 400 individuals from 100 public sector agencies
  • Develop/finalize each course curricula with an eye towards expanding these offerings further in 2020.

Here’s the timeline of the workshops we’ll provide in 2019:

  • Data-Driven Marketing 101: January 25th, 2019
  • Data-Driven Marketing 102: February 1st, 2019
  • Human Centered Design: February 8th, 2019
  • Data-Driven Marketing Intensive: February 21st, 2019
  • Social Media for Advocacy (2 day intensive): March 4th & 5th, 2019
  • Understanding and Improving Cybersecurity for Nonprofits and Mission Driven Businesses: March 2019
  • Ethical Data Collection for Nonprofits: March 2019


Entrepreneurs-In-Residence, Organizers-In-Residence

Since Civic Hall opened in 2015, we have hosted a number of exciting and impactful programs to support incredible entrepreneurs, organizers, government staff, and nonprofit professionals build and grow their ideas.

Through our Entrepreneurs in Residence and Organizers in Residence programs, many issue areas are addressed, including gender and racial equality, voter turnout and engagement, youth empowerment, veterans’ rights, criminal legal reform, homelessness, and many others. 

Check out our two most recent residency cohorts to learn more about their important work: Entrepreneurs in Residence and Organizers in Residence


Civic Women

Civic Women is a community of women + women-identified civic tech practitioners and leaders who gather regularly to explore and discuss a full range of topics that impact their roles and participation in the civic tech world.

Check out what CivicWomen is all about!