Learning is Everything!

Anthony Sicola- 2.26.2010 Follow me on Twitter

In my conversations with nonprofits over the past ten years, the single most important need isn’t simply more money or more staff (although those are always helpful)…it’s continued learning. Education is absolutely essential to the millions of nonprofit organizations doing good work in the United States and abroad.

In my conversations with nonprofits over the past ten years, the single most important need isn’t simply more money or more staff (although those are always helpful)…it’s continued learning.  Education is absolutely essential to the millions of nonprofit organizations doing good work in the United States and abroad.

Opportunity Knocks suggests that, “The value of any nonprofit is determined by the value of its people.  And if people are the greatest asset to an organization, investing in them is critical.”  So, continuing education for nonprofit staff is vital to attracting and retaining effective employees.”

Here are four ideas for optimizing your “human capital” through training and continuing education.  Some ideas are free; like online resources, while others such as degree granting programs/ training programs might cost your organization.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but merely a place to get you started.

  1. The Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBA(SM)
    The Free Nonprofit Micro-eMBAis a non-degree granting program for anyone who wants to learn more about the competencies necessary to lead a nonprofit.  The program covers strategic planning, marketing, media relations and public relations, fundraising, operations, program design and volunteer/ board management.  Even if you don’t go through the entire program, you can learn more about the parts that interest you.

  2. Training Modules from Seattle University’s MNPL Program
    Seattle University’s Executive Master of Nonprofit Leadership program provides these free, high-level training modules to nonprofits interested in improving their board of directors, identifying core values, getting started with advocacy, strategic planning and outcome based evaluation.  I have personally gone through these modules and found them incredibly detailed and easy to use.

  3. NTEN Webinars 
    NTEN (Nonprofit Technology Network) offers their tech-focused webinars to anyone interested in learning more about online fundraising, IT security, social media, online marketing, constituent relationship management software and more.  Some webinars are free, while others cost $75 for members (you really should join NTEN) or $150 for non-members.

  4. Blackbaud Learn
    I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention Blackbaud Learn, our subscription-based, instructor-led and self-paced training program that will help you learn how to be more efficient and effective with online marketing, email, and peer-to-peer fundraising using your Blackbaud® NetCommunity™ and Blackbaud Sphere™ Internet solutions. You can learn more about your Blackbaud The Raiser’s Edge®, The Financial Edge™, and The Education Edge™ software. Plus, every Blackbaud Learn program we offer is founded in providing a revolving curriculum of nonprofit strategies and best practices.

So what do you think? Do you have any nonprofit continuing education links you’d like to share? Leave a comment and let us know!


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