Professional development is critical for nonprofit employees, but is often hindered by lack of funding. However, keeping up with new trends, technologies, resources, and connections is vital for a nonprofit’s growth and expansion. Check out these professional development ideas that nonprofit staff members can use to motivate and inform their work.
- Nonprofit Tech for Good is offering a series of free nonprofit webinars for a limited time. From July through November of 2014, this resource website for nonprofit professionals will discuss ways that nonprofit organizations can utilize social media and mobile media.
- CharityVillage provides a free archive of past webinars that address topics like networking, recruitment, and new technologies for nonprofits.
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy hosts regular “live discussions,” which are streaming Google Hangout-style discussions between professionals in the nonprofit community. Click the link above to view recordings and transcripts from past discussions, as well as a list of upcoming discussions.
- GrantSpace offers a number of training courses catering to nonprofit development, ranging in nature from webinars to in-person classroom courses. Learn about topics like finding funders, fundraising planning, developing proposals, and management strategies.
- Foundation Center offers free online training courses that can help nonprofits effectively interact with foundations and funders.
- Meetup.com allows you to find free meetups in your area that pertain to your interests so you can make connections and learn new skills. Whether you are interested in connecting with other organizations or learning ways to improve the way you market your nonprofit, there is a meetup for nearly every interest.
- Association of Fundraising Professionals hosts a variety of events in the U.S. and Canada that range from roundtables to casual meetups. Most of these events require a fee, but several are free.
- CTK’s Nonprofit Insight Center hosts a monthly free Food With Thought Luncheon series in Austin, Texas that hosts speakers discussing a variety of topics relevant to nonprofits.
How to Make the Most of Your Professional Development
Encouraging staff members to utilize these development opportunities is just the first step in the learning process. After staff members partake in these opportunities, it’s important to figure out how to implement the knowledge they have gained. Engage in group meetings to discuss new ideas or allow staff members to present a summary of what they have learned, and apply that knowledge to the way you interact with your nonprofit’s database and everyday workings. Whether you track your outcomes differently, further customize your client data collection, revamp your reporting style, set more specific goals, or simply engage in more effective communication via the tools in your nonprofit software, using the ideas you gain from development opportunities can establish a more productive environment and help you achieve more mission.
Share Your Professional Development Tips
What resources have you found to be the most helpful in the professional development of your nonprofit’s staff? How have you implemented the things you have learned? Click here and share your story with CTK’s Mission Accomplished blog.