Jul 15, 2016
Even the most successful nonprofits could benefit from learning some new things. Whether you're running a brand new organization and have little fundraising experience, or you're on the board of a large nonprofit that's been around for years, consider taking these classes to improve your skills:
Running a nonprofit is just like running a regular business. This means it requires some marketing skills. Knowing how to create and represent a brand can prove useful in everything from sending emails, talking to donors and running social media. There are many tricks to learn that can provide you with marketing ideas and then ways to measure the success of campaigns. Taking a marketing class can help you learn ways to improve your return on investment for the time you put into marketing and even individual posts on social media. You may even find a marketing class aimed specifically at nonprofits, so look for this option when trying to find a course.
A lot of running a nonprofit is talking with people. You may be an expert at customer service and visiting in person, but that doesn't mean your writing skills are up to par. Consider taking a copywriting class to learn how to better represent your nonprofit with the written word. This will help you with sending emails, creating newsletters, writing social media posts and responding to questions from your website. Just about everyone could benefit from making an effort to improve their writing skills. Just like with marketing, you might find there is a copywriting class that is specific to nonprofits and will help you learn how to use different words and specific language to increase donations and up user engagement on social media - both important aspects of building a nonprofit.
One of the biggest parts of running a nonprofit is money. No matter how you earn funds, by accepting donations online or using nonprofit payment processing, grants are another important alleyway to take part in. Writing grants isn't as simple as saying, "Hey, we help (insert cause here), give us money, please!" While this is a nutshell version of grants, there is a lot more to the forms and requests involved. Taking a grant writing class may help you better understand ways to explain what your nonprofit does and why you need a specific amount of money. You may find your chances of receiving grants go up with the help of a nonprofit grant writing class.
Not sure where you may find access to the courses above? Check the local library or community center. Many colleges and universities also offer full majors, one-off classes or certificate programs in nonprofit subjects like marketing, copywriting and grant writing. Also check with other nonprofits in your sector to learn if their staffers and volunteers have attended any courses. The internet also provides plenty of resources, like Massive Open Online Courses, where you can virtually attend courses for free on just about any subject. This is convenient and can open up opportunities to everyone at your nonprofit.