Hello Stripe and Goodbye PayPal

We are officially moving our non-profit credit card processing operations from PayPal to Stripe. This change will be finalized by January 31, 2023.

While we will still keep PayPal around for a few months as a backup, our official platform for collecting donations has been moved to Stripe. All the money inflow links are now pointing to Stripe.

We started to use PayPal years ago to collect donations for 2019 SQL.Saturday.LA event which was really easy and convenient. It all started with getting an IRS letter of determination. 2019 was the same year that we officially became a non-profit, opened a bank account, and set up our PayPal account.

Luckily in 2022, we have options. Some of the benefits of Stripe are automatic bank deposits, the same non-profit discounted rate (2.2% + $0.30 per transaction), quicker customer service, and better User Agreement/Terms of Use/Business Policy. The only thing that Stripe is missing is a Paypal.me.

2022 Data Driven Technologies Finances

This is a report of Data Driven Technologies, Inc finances for 2022.

Data Driven Technologies, Inc. (from here and on will be referred to as DDT) is a public US charity recognized under the IRS 501.c.3 code. Our board of directors is composed of various community members and makes all decisions about how the corporation is run.


Our current finances look like this (all numbers in US dollars).


We hold $17,258.69 in our bank account at this time.

We also have these assets for our use:

  • Soft assets (datadriventechnologies.org, Office 365 data)
  • Hard assets – various event-related materials – $845.37 (see Fig #1)
Fig #1


At this time, we have no liabilities.

We have no other debts owed.

Income and Outflows

We began 2022 with $17,330.93 in the bank. We are ending 2022 with assets of $17,258.69.

We had an income in 2022 from any source. Our expenditures were:

  • $67 for domain registration and hosting
  • $25 for CA DOJ charity filling (eGov Registry)
  • $244.78 for LA Data Platform User Group t-shirts (monthly meeting raffle)
  • $6,703.26 for 2022 Data.SQL.Saturday.LA event (aka SQL Saturday in Los Angeles)

This is a total of : $7,015.04 (see Fig #2)

Fig #2


2022 Data.SQL.Saturday.LA event sponsorship generated a total income of $6,781.63 (see Fig #3)

Fig #3

Infrastructure Costs

Our infrastructure costs have been about $67 so far. We have done the following:

Microsoft 365 – as a non-profit, we have a free Office 365 account for collaboration, storage, and other tools.

Union Bank – As a non-profit, we have free banking, and to date, have not incurred any transaction charges.

WordPress – We use this for hosting datadriventechnologies.org website, the blog, and other information regarding our non-profit.

Meetup – funded by Microsoft to host and organize meetings for LA Data Platform User Group

That’s it. We’re not wasting money where we don’t need to do so.

Labor Costs

DDT runs on volunteer efforts and no individual is paid for their time.

Questions or Comments

This report was compiled by Steve Rezhener, President of DDT with cooperation and oversight by Elaena Bakman, VP and CFO of DDT.

If you have any questions or comments on the state of the finances for Data Driven Technologies, Inc., please contact us at admin@datadriventechnologies.org

Welcome aboard to 2 new members

Introducing 2 new team members. Welcome Thimantha Vidanagamage and welcome Brodie Brickey.

We would like to welcome 2 new members to the Data Driven Technologies, Inc Team:

Thimantha – Thimantha helped us to deliver the first ever LA Data Platform User Group meeting that was live streamed to the world outside of MS Teams. During our 2022 January User Group meeting, we added a live stream to Facebook Live (using OBS Studio, Restream.io, and Facebook) in addition to running our meeting using MS Teams.

Brodie – Brodie volunteered and helped us to successfully deliver 3 SQL Saturday in Los Angeles events. During 2021 SQL Saturday in Los Angeles event, Brodie stepped up and took over building a schedule and session abstract moderation (using Sessionize).

Thimantha Vidanagamage
Thimantha Vidanagamage

Thimantha is Data & AI Consultant, Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist – Azure AI Engineer – Data Analyst. He will help us craft our video content strategy and take our digital content to a new level.

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/thimanthav/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/thimanthav

Brodie Brickey
Brodie Brickey

Brodie is Data Solutions Architect and Consultant at Eagle Peak Group. He will help us to curate everything session related – session abstracts, speaker bio, and slide decks.

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/brodie-brickey/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BrodieBrickey

Welcome aboard

Introducing our new member. Welcome Maria.

We would like to welcome a new member to the Data Driven Technologies, Inc Team – Maria Lopez. Maria volunteered and helped us to successfully deliver 2 SQL Saturday in Los Angeles events (2019 and 2021).

Maria will assume a Director of Digital Marketing position and will lead us to new heights.

Maria (Mima) Lopez, a.k.a. Mima is a Systems Administrator & Founder of Mimz Techritory

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariaglopez12/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Mimz_Techritory

About Maria

I am a Systems Administrator and a technology enthusiast from LA. I am one of the leaders of Long Beach Women in Tech, a Tech Instructor for Brown Girls Code and the founder of Mimz Techritory.

Mimz Techritory is my way of broadcasting my IT portfolio and tech interests to the world! Here I publish technical projects I am working on, applications and gadgets I am building and tech events I attend throughout the year. I have a passion for learning and I create content to share my knowledge and tech excitement!

Add a dial-in number to your MS Teams meetings


Microsoft 365 subscription. Whenever you have a paid Microsoft 365 subscription or free via a Microsoft for Nonprofit program, there is small, but handy feature that you might want to enable. This blog post is going to talk about how to enable dial-in option for your MS Teams.

Let’s assume that you already setup your Microsoft 365 subscription (BTW, Microsoft did a fantastic job in making it super easy) that gives you an access to the entire Office Apps suite. You can now enjoy all the Office products including a very popular Microsoft Teams (“MS Teams”) online communication and team collaboration tool. MS Teams provides a very potent replacement to Skype for Business enhanced by adding collaboration with OneDrive, SharePoint, Forms as well as other Microsoft tools. Essentially, MS Teams allow you to chat, call, collaborate and much more making it more not just a product, but rather a productivity platform. It’s like having Slack, Zoom, and more all-in-one place.

Fig #1


While MS Teams best experience comes with Windows/MacOS desktop and/or iOS/Android mobile apps, you can also enjoy it within the browser. Both browser and app will allow you to have audio and video using the power of the Internet, but what if I you have a bad Internet connection or let’s say you are driving, but still want to hear and enjoy the conversation? In that case, you will be looking for an old tech – a dial-in phone number that you can call-in. Unfortunately, Microsoft 365 doesn’t have that option enabled by default.


All you need to do is to enable Microsoft 365 Audio Conferencing Adoption (Fig #2). Audio Conferencing is effectively an add-on to existing MS Teams that will add a dial-in phone number option.

Fig #2

Once Microsoft 365 Audio Conference is on, MS Teams meeting info will change and now include all the dial-in information (Fig #3).

Fig #3

PASS members, stay in touch with us!

Dear PASS members,

Today is the last day to stay connected with LA Data Platform and SQL Saturday in Los Angeles. PASS is ceasing it’s all regular operations, effective today, January 15, 2021.

The many ways we can stay connected:

  1. Follow #LADataPlatform / #SQLSatLA on social medial channels (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/LinkedIn/YouTube)
  2. Sign up to our monthly newsletter – https://lnkd.in/g38-FYF
  3. Visit our web site – https://lnkd.in/gmyPpuA
  4. Email us – ladataplatform at datadriventechnologies.org
  5. Scan QR code below

Your friendly neighborhood,
Los Angeles Data Platform & SQL Saturday in Los Angeles Teams!

Goodbye PASS LA Data Platform and Hello LA Data Platform

Just in case you haven’t heard the latest news – PASS is ceasing it’s all regular operations, effective January 15, 2021 (read more here – The Future of PASS). That means that both ladataplatform@pass.org and ladataplatform.pass.org assets are no longer available.

However, while PASS is shutting its doors, LA Data Platform is here to stay. While we would need to implement a few changes, we are a complete and separate legal entity and will remain here to serve our local Data community.

To keep our communication going and keep you up to date on all current and future events, we would need to update our mailing list. Please follow this link to register – 


All about #LADataPlatform in one single place – https://linktr.ee/ladataplatform.

A new home for sponsoring multiple SQL Saturday events

With the conclusion of Virtual 2020 SQL Saturday in Los Angeles event organized by Data Driven Technologies Inc (“DDT”), a local 501.c.3 non-profit, we realized that we had one unanticipated sponsor that signed up last-minute – Google Cloud Platform (“GCP”) with $100. You can of course rightfully say, don’t look at a gift horse in the mouth – you have a sponsor and money, be thankful.

While we are thankful for every sponsor dollar spent, it’s hard to see why $100 would buy a sponsorship at our event since our tiers are starting at $250. Additionally, it would be hard to explain to our lower tier event sponsors (the insurance agency and car dealership) how Google can spend only $100 while receiving the same benefits. Somehow Google sponsoring with just $100 doesn’t click for me. I’m sure Google can afford more than that for a technical event, especially since we had a session on Google Big Query ML. Ironically, this is not about Google, but rather the ill-fated PASS new sponsorship tier – Global SQLSaturday Supporting Sponsor starting at $22K (read more here). 

We at the DDT decided to step up and provide sponsors with options, lower-cost alternative to PASS. While PASS is charging about 50% for it’s overhead, we will do it at cost, i.e. 5% (we just need you to cover any PayPal/credit card fees).

What is there for you as a sponsor? You get the same job done cheaper and we are confident that we will do a better job.

What is there for us you would ask? We truly think that community events such SQL Saturday should have more sponsors and virtually every dollar from sponsor needs to reach the organizers.

What do I need to do as a sponsor? You as a sponsor decide how many and which SQL Saturday events you would like to sponsor (we can provide you with a list), send us the money, and we will take care of everything else. We can provide you with the same Branding Benefits that PASS has to offer (excluding SQLSaturday website that we have no control of) and more.

DDT offerings for SQL Saturday sponsors:

  • Provide you with data, so you target specific events (historical event attendee numbers, titles, locations, employers)
  • Money disbursement (we will sign up on your behalf and pay the invoice)
  • Logistics (we will contact the organizers and provide them with your marketing) materials
  • Brand presence (we will try to source local speakers for your sponsor session and ask organizers to man the table)
  • Provide you with post-event numbers

Questions, feedback, comments? Please feel free to reach us out –

info at datadriventechnologies.org.