Let us know if one of these sounds like you:
- Your organization is dipping its toe into virtual volunteerism,
- Your nonprofit is building its remote working toolkit,
- Your team wants to free up more time in the office
It doesn’t matter which of those sounds like your current situation – this one thing can help you!
We’re talking about virtual training for your nonprofit volunteers and staff members.
Plus we’re sharing the best software to do it: learning management systems for nonprofits.
What is a Learning Management System for Nonprofits?
We know, we’re coming at you with a bunch of different acronyms. From your nonprofit CRM to your nonprofit CMS, who needs another acronym?
An LMS or a learning management system is a platform you can use to upload virtual training courses. Then, whoever needs to watch them can get access to them!
This is a great tool to use if you know you want to provide virtual training for in-person or virtual volunteers and staff.
They work by acting as a hosting software for any digital content you create. That might be recorded web conference calls. It might be a PDF of an operating procedure. It might be a video training on how to use specific software.
Whatever the case, your learning management system for nonprofits stores all of that content. Then your volunteers or staff can log in to their user accounts and do the trainings on their own time.
Who Can Use Learning Management Systems for Nonprofits?
Before you decide it’s time to start using a learning management system, you’ve got to know who’s going to be using it.
Because the more people who use it? The more valuable it is, right?
Well, the good news is that just about everyone within your nonprofit organization can benefit from using the learning management system.
Yep, even board members can create a user account and complete virtual training courses. This is great if you onboard new board members who need to know more about your organization.
You can create walkthrough training videos explaining your mission statement, your vision, and your nonprofit values.
You can also create videos or training materials to help them use their skills to the best of their ability for your nonprofit!
Most nonprofit staff members are going to need training at one point or another. Just like board members, they need to know the ins and outs of the nonprofit organization itself.
But they also may need to learn about specific software you use for your organization. Maybe your team manages the nonprofit CRM tool. You can create a walkthrough training video of it. Then, upload it to the learning management system for nonprofits. And bam! Your staff can learn how to use it from the comfort of their computer screen.
Add it to their onboarding process so they need to complete any necessary training before their onboarding is marked as “completed.”
Most of the time, volunteers don’t show up for a shift and immediately know what to do. They need training, too!
They need to know how your nonprofit operates and what it stands for. And they need to know how to be the best ambassadors for your organization.
You can also create training materials around specific shifts like scanning tickets at a nonprofit event. Or how best to communicate with donors if they’re on a fundraising team!
You can use training videos and materials to help them do that! And host those materials on your learning management system for nonprofits. Then, during their onboarding process, they can review those.
What Are the Benefits of Providing Virtual Training for Volunteers and Staff?
What’s “better” about providing virtual training for nonprofit volunteers and staff versus training them in person?
Well, there’s not one that’s better than the other. But there are pros and cons to both!
Here are some of the benefits of using a learning management system for nonprofits to train staff virtually.
Prepares your nonprofit for any work-from-home situation.
The pandemic was an eye-opener, to say the very least. There are all kinds of reasons why our nonprofit organizations might need to be prepared for a work-from-home situation.
And if that’s the case, your staff and volunteers still need to know how to do their jobs. You can be sorted and ready to go by recording and creating any training materials beforehand. Then upload them to your LMS!
Free up your time.
Rather than having to sit with them and work through all training materials by their side, they can learn on their own.
You don’t have to spend hours sitting by their side. You can point them in the direction of the LMS and let them go. And while they’re completing their virtual training, you can get back to doing the tasks that need to be done!
Record it once – use it over and over again (and for multiple teams!).
There are plenty of nonprofit professionals who sit with new volunteers over and over again, teaching them the same thing.
Every time there’s new nonprofit staff or volunteers, someone has to go through all of the training, right?
That’s the beauty of virtual training for staff and volunteers, though! You can record it once, upload it to the learning management system for nonprofits, and use it over and over again.
And you can even use it for other teams, too!
Tools to Use for Staff and Volunteer Virtual Training:
So how do you get started with virtual training for nonprofit staff and volunteers? It’s way easier than you might think!
In fact, you’re probably going to end up using many of the same tools you use for other facets of your organization.
Training Creation Tools:
First up, we need to create the content itself. Your training materials can be a number of different things. It doesn’t have to all be videos.
Here are some of our favorite virtual training creation tools:
Canva for Slide Decks:
If you have a standard operating procedure, you might need to create a slide deck. This might be perfect for introducing new staff, board members, and volunteers to your nonprofit.
Share with them your mission, vision, and values in a designed slide deck on Canva.
You can watch a free training on Canva Pro for nonprofits at our sister site, Nonprofit Library!
Screencast-O-Matic for Screen and Audio Grabs:
Say you want to show someone how to use your nonprofit CRM software. You don’t have to sit side by side with your new staff member to do it.
You can use a screen recording tool to virtually train staff members on how to use it! Screencast-O-Matic is one of the best ones out there. Plus, they have a free plan to get you started!
Zoom for Live Trainings That Need to be Recorded:
If you have a Zoom meeting coming up full of useful information on how to do something? Record it!
Then you can upload a Zoom training you were already going to do anyway. And your future nonprofit staff and volunteers can watch it again and again!
Learning Management Systems for Nonprofits:
And how about the number one tool for virtually training nonprofit staff and volunteers? Let’s talk about some of the most popular learning management systems for nonprofits out there:
360Learning is a modern, intuitive platform that gives your volunteers and staff a comprehensive learning experience.
And by that we mean they’ll feel like they’re kind of back in school again! You can create cheat sheets for your trainings. You can create course “quizzes” to make sure they’re understanding the content.
You can also quickly create your materials using course templates!
After your free trial, you can use 360Learning for $8 per month. And that makes it one of the more low-cost nonprofit tools out there!
Mighty Networks is a learning management system that promotes its ability to create a community through learning. It’s an easy-to-manage-and-navigate software, so no developer experience is required!
You can upload your virtual training materials and even create “courses” out of them. Your volunteers and staff can mark when videos are complete, which is great to help you manage their progress.
And they’ll have access to direct messaging and small group chats directly on the platform!
You can also plan for live events or live streaming on the app, which allows you to feed two birds with one scone. You can do a live training event and record it for future use!
Mighty Networks offers a free trial so you can get a feel for how the LMS works. After your free trial, the platform is pretty affordable with plans starting at $33 per month!
Creating training materials for your nonprofit staff and volunteers to work virtually? Now, that’s a game changer!
Say goodbye to constantly having to re-teach the same material over and over again.
Want more information on how to build connections with staff and volunteers through virtual training? Check out this free nonprofit webinar at CharityHowTo!