Nonprofits help millions of people every day, whether through educational programs, nutritional programs, public health initiatives, protecting the environment, or providing food and shelter for those in need. These are all critical programs driven by a mission to provide services that address society’s needs, with many supporting underprivileged communities.
Like for-profits, nonprofit leaders have realized that in order to have a productive and knowledgeable workforce that effectively emulates and delivers on your organization’s mission, employee learning and professional development must be an ongoing focus. As such, nonprofit training is often (or should be) a non-negotiable aspect of any nonprofit’s budget.
The fact is that classroom-based training, also called face-to-face training, can be costly, especially when hundreds or even thousands of people have to be trained. Travel, tight schedules, and compensation for instructors make finding a cost-effective nonprofit training solution challenging. With budgets often limited for these entities, nonprofit organizations with a large network of members, employees, and volunteers can benefit from a cost-effective and highly flexible eLearning solution that they can leverage in order to consistently and efficiently support their wide range of constituents.
Three Ways an LMS Can Support Nonprofit Training
A Learning Management System (LMS) is a software application that allows you to create, document, track, report, automate, and deliver training programs, and educational courses. The following are three ways an LMS can support your nonprofit’s mission:
1. It facilitates nonprofit training.
One of the main objectives of any nonprofit organization is to give back and serve the community better with education or resources. Nonprofits of any industry or category, including religious, charitable, scientific, or educational nonprofits, can utilize an LMS to disseminate trainings, collaborative activities, or other resources for members across a global scale as needed.
By using an LMS, your nonprofit can offer a range of courses to your employees and volunteers through a convenient and easily accessible online platform. This can help to improve your team members’ skills, enable them to contribute to the success of your organization’s goals more confidently and effectively, and align your mission across various chapters or locations so that employees and volunteers are all pushing towards a unified goal.
Besides being a cost-effective solution for nonprofit training, there are several other aspects make an LMS an ideal choice for your nonprofit organization, including:
An LMS enables you to provide training content that is engaging, impactful, and easily accessible. You can diversify your training content with tools such as gamification or augmented reality as well as leverage unique ways to communicate important information, announcements or upcoming events through forums, web conferencing, and other connectivity tools.
Learning on the go
Unlike classroom-based training that requires learners to commit to a specific location, date and time in order to participate, an LMS creates much more flexible and accessible learning opportunities through mobile LMS applications.
A mobile LMS allows your employees and volunteers to access training material and resources from anywhere, on their device of choice and even in the field. Learners can attend virtual seminars or webinars, connect with other members or learners, and access training materials on their desktops, smartphones, or tablets from wherever they may be.
It’s important to monitor and evaluate the success of your nonprofit training program so that you know what is working and, just as importantly, what isn’t. Nonprofit organizations need to ensure their employees can effectively interpret and demonstrate their services and support their mission, members, and community. If the training they offer is ineffective or is not meeting its intended goals, they need to be able to find out why. Fortunately, an LMS also provides powerful data and analytics that assist in tracking the success and impact of your learning programs.
With an LMS, you can easily track the progress, engagement, and success of each of your trainees within certain courses, activities, departments or specific locations. With seamless integrations to your company’s existing information systems, you’re able to generate analyses of learner interactions within courses to identify where users might be struggling or excelling and to make data-driven decisions on how you might improve future courses or learning initiatives.
2. It helps generate revenue.
Not only can an LMS solution reduce nonprofit training costs, but it can also help you generate new income. A few ways you can use your LMS platform to boost revenue include:
Effective fundraising and grant proposal writing
Well-trained and skilled employees tend to be more productive and proficient. As such, they are in a better position to generate more revenue. The training offered to your employees and volunteers through an LMS can equip them with the relevant skills they need to fundraise effectively and write compelling grant proposals.
Improved communication with donors
Without regular donations from donors, nonprofits cannot survive. As such, maintaining healthy relationships with your donors should be a top priority. One way to do this is to facilitate excellent relationship-building and client communication practices. An LMS platform can help you achieve that.
First, you can provide employees with training resources on how they can build successful relationships with donors that lead to continued donor support. Donor retention is a crucial aspect of financial success so providing your employees with the resources to excel in this area cannot be underestimated.
You can also leverage the learning management system to create channels for donors to stay engaged and informed. For example, you can use your learning management system to create online forums where donors can interact with each other and the nonprofit can share relevant information and resources. An LMS platform also encourages collaboration with real-time chat, video conferencing, and other social communication features. By paying attention to what donors are discussing in these channels, you’ll be able to learn what they are most passionate about and how you can continue to align to generate better results.
Using your LMS to instruct, track, and facilitate more communication between donors, members, and employees allows your team to understand and meet the wants and needs of your constituents.
Create for-purchase training courses
Besides creating nonprofit training courses for your employees and volunteers, nonprofits can use their LMS to sell and deliver trainings and educational resources to their communities through eCommerce. This creates opportunities for additional revenue that can ultimately help increase your bottom line.
3. It allows you to stay up-to-date on required legal compliance.
Auditing and compliance matter to nonprofits just as much as it does to for-profit organizations. This may require certain registrations or licenses in order for nonprofit organizations to solicit contributions or other important guidelines and business practices that must be followed in order to maintain compliance.
An LMS platform enables you to stay up-to-date on required legal compliance. It enables you to track course-completion rates and store certifications or forms that provide evidence that your employees and volunteers have received the education and competencies they need in order to perform in their roles.
Invest in a Nonprofit Training Program Today
If you’re still using traditional nonprofit training methods, there’s no better time to switch to a more effective digital training model than now. An LMS platform brings forth more than enough benefits for nonprofits, from making nonprofit training hassle-free and cost-effective to presenting revenue-boosting opportunities.
Are you ready to leverage these LMS benefits? eThink provides a custom online learning environment using the Moodle and Totara Learning Management Systems (LMS) to meet specific eLearning needs. Contact us for more information or request an individual demonstration below.