How long do you plan to be at your current job?
Not too long, I hope.
It’s not that I’m encouraging you to leave… in fact, far from it. I want you to grow! That’s because growth in our jobs, and growing out of our jobs so we can take on another, more challenging assignment, keeps us motivated.
Along with pay, lack of growth potential, having a boring job, or worse yet, burning out on doing the same things day-in and day-out, are some of the top-cited reasons for people moving on – especially in the nonprofit sector.
But how do you grow? I’m not going to say, “it’s easy,” but I am going to say that it’s totally possible, even in the low-budget environment at most nonprofits.
First, take a step back. What really interests you? Are you an annual fund fundraiser who really wants to work in major gifts? Are you the director of Human Resources who wants to dig deeper into why you have so many staff changes? Do you work with clients all day, and want to address the bigger picture?
Second, communicate. This could be the hardest step of all. You need to talk to your boss about your interests, and if you have a mentor, even better. Remember, there are dozens of problems each day at any nonprofit, and certainly not enough resources to address them all. Showing interest in one of those issues can be refreshing to any boss. However, this won’t mean that you’re going to be any less responsible for your current assignments – but if you take on something new that excites you, that and your current work won’t feel as burdensome.
Next, get skills. No budget for professional development? Not enough time for a conference? No problem. Sites like Nonprofit.Courses have thousands of free, accessible videos and podcasts from less than five minutes to more than five hours.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite free nonprofit webinars that we encourage you to explore. These 21 courses are divided by category for your convenience.
- Our Favorite Free Nonprofit Webinars
- Free Webinars for Nonprofit Board Members
- Webinars for All Nonprofit Professionals
- 3 Excellent Fundraising Webinars
- 3 Engaging Grantwriting Webinars
- 5 Ongoing, Live Nonprofit Webinars
- Nonprofit Webinars on Annual Funds
- Webinars on Nonprofit Marketing and Branding
- Additional Nonprofit Resources
Feel free to jump around to the sections that interest you most, or read along with us from the top. Ready to get started? Let’s jump in!
What makes a great nonprofit webinar for you?
Remember, this isn’t Netflix or network television. You’re there for the content, not the production value. Still, some presenters do a great job in what is clearly a professional environment. Others do desktop videos in their kitchen. Should you care? Yes, but not why you might think. It’s really a matter of how you relate to the person, or voice on the screen. You might really connect with that desktop/kitchen webinar host. That means you’ll listen more. But there are limits. For example, robo-voices are just bad.
Here’s three steps to find to the right nonprofit webinar for you:
- Find your subject. There are lots to pick from, so you can be pretty specific. Let’s take major gift fundraising. There are webinars on how to identify the donor, how to get the appointment, how to ask for the gift, and lots more.
- Think about when and where. Are you watching or hearing this at your desk, at lunch, to/from work, while washing the dishes? Remember, a lot of good content that’s primarily video can play like a podcast.
- Get a mix. One of the strengths of Nonprofit.Courses is that you hear from a variety of voices – some well-established veterans and other up-and-coming experts. Hear from them both.
Our Favorite Free Nonprofit Webinars
It’s hard not to say “they’re all my favorites.” But here are a few that I really like, for some special reasons:
• Why I Love Metrics and You will Too!
Let’s face it, measurement isn’t always our favorite word, especially when it comes to our work. I love this video because content expert Ellen Bristol does a great job taking the teeth out of what scares us.
• The ABC’s of FORMING YOUR 501(C)(3)
“How do you start a nonprofit?” is one of the most frequent questions I get. I love this video because the experts at Harbor Compliance do a great job laying out what’s needed.
• More than Parties & Grants, 10 Revenue Sources for Nonprofits
This isn’t one of my favorites because of the presenter (spoiler alert – it’s me!), but because so many nonprofits are stuck in revenue ruts. Everyone who works in or with a nonprofit needs to know their funding options.
Free Webinars for Nonprofit Board Members
Board members can feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. Ultimately, they’re responsible for everything your nonprofit does, or doesn’t, do for their cause. Check out these great videos to get them prepared to serve, and fund your mission.
• Building Your Nonprofit Board: Don’t Get Discouraged!
A nonprofit board is no place for your friends and family. You need the right people. Shalita O’Neal, the Nonprofitista, gives you encouragement, and great advice, so you get the best people for the job.
• The Non-Profit Board’s Guide to Successful Fundraising: 8 Core Principles
By the end of this course, board members will understand why many commonly held and well-intentioned assumptions about fundraising may actually lead to raising less money – rather than more, all courtesy of legendary expert fundraiser Henry Freeman.
• Being a Connected Leader
Dr. Victoria Boyd, president of The Philantrepreneur Foundation, reminds us that “being a board member is more than just taking a seat at the table.” Watch this thought-provoking video to see what she means.
Webinars for All Nonprofit Professionals
There are some things that everyone in the nonprofit sector should know. Check out some of these essential courses.
• The Seven Recruiting Principles of Highly Effective Nonprofit Boards, by Nonprofit Utopia
Learn about seven recruiting principles of highly effective nonprofit boards, including culture, character, competence, connections, composition continuity and collaboration.
• The Logic Behind the Logic Model.
Every nonprofit staff and board member should grasp logic models, even if they never write a grant proposal. They’re fundamental to how your work will be evaluated by funders, and so many more. Brought to you by GrantsMagic U founder Maryn Boess.
• Who owns a nonprofit?
Nonprofit attorney Jess Birken clarifies an essential, and often confused point. Watch this so you can explain it to others!
3 Excellent Fundraising Webinars
No money, no mission, right? Here are some great videos to get that money part solved so you can make that mission part thrive!
• 10 Shocking Reasons Why Board Members Would Give More
Not sure why board members aren’t giving bigger gifts to your nonprofit? Amy Eisenstein gives us the top 10 reasons your board members would give bigger gifts to support your organization’s cause. Many of these reasons are truly shocking!
• 2 Areas to NOT assume in nonprofit fundraising
Internationally known fundraising expert Marc Pitman brings you a quick 5-minute video on what you should never assume when you’re raising money for your mission.
• 10 Steps to a Successful Planned Giving Program
If you’re ready to launch a Planned Giving program, the experts at Stelter break it all down for you here. Even experienced shops will benefit from this straightforward checklist.
3 Engaging Grantwriting Webinars
Grantwriting is a nonprofit essential skill. There’s plenty of expert resources on the subject at Nonprofit.Courses. Here’s some to get you started.
• Grant Writing – Tips for the New and Occasional Writer
Nationally known author and consultant Michael Wyland talks on the grant writing basics (and not so basics).
• What is the Most Important Part of Grant Writing?
Are you trying to figure out where you should focus your energy as you begin the grant writing process? Check out this video from Funding For Good to learn where professional grant writers start.
• What Funders Want
This session is a deep dive into tracking outcomes and best practices to prepare for mission success by outlining what funders want. It’s an important question answered by 501(c)Services
5 Ongoing, Live Nonprofit Webinars
Where are some other helpful sites with lots of nonprofit educational content? Check out these:
• National Council of Nonprofits
• Nonprofit Leadership Alliance
• Volunteer Match
Nonprofit Webinars on Annual Funds
According to the 2018 Fundraising Effectiveness Survey Report, less than half of nonprofit gifts were repeated each year. Do better with these and other videos on Nonprofit.Courses.
• Success with Recurring Donations
Imagine if your nonprofit could count on a steady stream of recurring donations, month after month. This is what a recurring donation program is all about. In this video, you’ll learn more about this three-step process for getting recurring donors – by iMission Institute.
• How Does Your Direct Mail Program Stack Up to the Rest?
Many fundraisers may believe that mail is a thing of the past; however, the data shows that running effective multichannel fundraising creates donors that are 3 times more valuable than online only donors – from our friends at NextAfter
• Squeeze the Most Fundraising from Your Website
The days of the static, billboard website are gone. It’s not enough for your clients and constituents to know what you do. You need them to support you! See this presentation by Elevation Web.
Nonprofit Webinars on Marketing and Branding
It’s all about marketing. Everything your nonprofit does, from its hiring to service delivery to financial audits, impacts how the world sees you and your mission. Learn how the right tools can make all of the difference.
• Inclusive Branding
Our friends at BC/DC Ideas offer a challenge. Sure, brand standards should always include your marks, margins, and colors. But what if they included more to guide your organization to be more inclusive and diverse?
• Marketing on a Budget
Tracy Vanderneck knows that your budget is stretched. That’s why she helps with nonprofit Marketing on a Budget by bringing you a demo on how to make a quick video for your nonprofit organization using VideoMakerFX.
• Marketing Trends Nonprofits Need to Know (and Embrace)
Digital marketing, content marketing, social media marketing—each plays a role in a nonprofit’s strategy. Check out the latest from Firespring.
Additional Nonprofit Resources
Need a reason for continuing your education journey? Check out these articles:
- Nonprofit Professional Development: Top Resources and Ideas
- Getting What You Paid For: 10 Tips for Nonprofit Training
- How Online Training can Build a Stronger Nonprofit Team
- Nonprofit Staff Development: 5 Effective Best Practices
- 5 Reasons your Nonprofit Should Invest in Virtual Training
- 5 Ways Micro-Learning Leads to Your Maximum Results for Your Nonprofit