If we consider many of the most successful Australian not-for-profit organisations, we can see that they are often operating on the same scale as private and public for-profit organisations. They have the same challenges, use similar internal organisational structures and have many similar employment management hurdles.
This includes the same training challenges and needs. It might be training for their own employees, for volunteers or even for educating the general public. Not surprisingly, it is just as important to use a not-for-profit learning management system (LMS) as it is for any modern commercial organisation to have an online learning platform.
In this article, let’s consider nine reasons to use a not-for-profit learning management system to help you build a business case for your NFP organisation.
Use a not-for-profit LMS to provide training at any scale
Even if your not-for-profit organisation isn’t large, it can often have a reasonably high turnover of volunteers and employees. A situation that increases as the size of your organisation grows. Either way, having an online learning platform helps manage training at scale. An online learning platform can just as easily deliver training to 10, 50, 500 or 10,000 employees.
Access training at any time
Online learning platforms allow NFPs to deliver training without restriction. It makes training available in any location, on any device and at any time. This can be critical for volunteers or employees who address their training outside of business hours, on weekends or while in transit. It reduces the barriers to training and increases completion rates.
Quickly respond to new training needs
An online learning platform with an integrated ability to create training is a powerful tool (note that the combination of an LMS and a training creation feature is NOT something most learning management systems have, but something which an integrated learning platform like Tribal Habits does have). An easy-to-use training creation process allows your organisation to quickly share training and information on topical matters – changes to policies, new fundraising initiatives, updates to processes. This is also a critical reason to ensure your not-for-profit learning management system has a genuine ability to create online training (not just host it).
A not-for-profit LMS can be a great investment when it comes to generating revenue. When staff and volunteers are trained to handle not-for-profit work, it is highly likely that revenue improves accordingly. Staff and volunteers can also be trained across different departments, reducing the need to recruit specially trained employees when in-house training is so much more convenient. Learning skills from the right resources and internal experts makes it possible for your not-for-profit to work effectively and be more professional in all its dealings.
Appeal to a wide range of learners
Online learning is increasingly becoming the most preferred, and most adaptable, training delivery method. It allows learners to move that their own pace (fast or slow), to revisit relevant content quickly, to complete learning at times that suit their role or energy levels and to engage without feeling ‘on-the-spot’.
Reduce the burden of NFP training administration
An online learning platform can make your job of managing training so much easier. As you set up new users, you can quickly upload them in a spreadsheet or populate some simple fields and then allow the learning portal to automatically create a new user, send an invitation email, enrol them in pathways, set due dates, monitor completion, notify their manager, send reminder emails, prepare completion certificates and track training history. One click and all that is taken care of.
Multi-tenancy or multi-portal options
A not-for-profit organisation has many stakeholders including staff, volunteers, investors, supporters and subscribers. Most likely, the NFP cannot have a single portal to touch base with each segment. Some of the information shared may be on a need-to-know basis, or just shared more selectively to reduce clutter and confusion.
An LMS that can provide a multi-portal setup. For example, volunteers could have their own portal for training and communication (with separate URLs and branding) while internal teams could have another dedicated portal for internal training on skills and processes.
A core LMS is able to cater to all the non-profit segments via a multi-portal feature.
Improve overall NFP training and compliance reporting
One of the key benefits of a learning portal for not-for-profits is training reports. You can do away with spreadsheets, manually recording and inconsistent information. Training activity can be tracked to the minute. It’s simple to monitor due dates, certification periods, training completion, retake requirements and more—filter by location or teams. Download into spreadsheets. Allow managers to review their team compliance automatically. It’s a massive improvement in accuracy and a massive reduction in effort.
Use a not-for-profit LMS to reduce NFP training budgets
An online learning platform is the cheapest training solution for not-for-profit organisations. It is that simple. Every dollar spent on an online learning platform equates to a dollar spent on training. There is no wastage (like room bookings, printed workbooks, travel costs, facilitator guides, morning tea). If your learning platform uses an active user pricing model, then you will only pay for actual monthly use too! So, no need to waste money paying for stored users (be careful to check this as many learning management systems still use older stored user pricing models, which do not align your use to your costs).