In a non-profit organization, each employee wears a couple of hats. Your job title may say “Head of Fund Development,” but your daily tasks include a mishmash of duties like tidying up after a volunteer event, sorting through the mail to find mail-in donations, and, oh yeah, raising some funds for the organization as well.
And when a new employee or volunteer begins work with your organization, you don a new hat: Teacher. Because even though you’re already stacking chairs, sorting mail, and raising funds, training new staff and employees is critical to their productivity and length of employment.
In the daily hustle of life in a non-profit organization, taking time to train new staff or volunteers properly can feel overwhelming. Using a learning management system can mitigate some of that pressure and ensure employees and volunteers get the training they need to be valuable and productive in your organization.
What’s a learning management system?
A learning management system, or LMS, is purpose-built software for training, e-learning, and courses. An LMS allows you quickly build:
- File management
- Credits/hours recording
- User types
- Admin access
- Group management
New employees or volunteers log in to your LMS and find all the training materials they need and the course and quizzes you’ve designed. You can follow their progress, check that they are learning on pace with their peers, and build in reviews or supplemental materials for learners who need extra support.
When your staff needs to earn continuing education credits, you can keep track of their CE hours in your LMS. The course files and each user’s learning record are held in the LMS, so they’re never misplaced or forgotten. Plus, an LMS makes it easy to manage group learning so you can train many people at once: a handy feature when onboarding a large group of volunteers simultaneously.
Why is an LMS perfectly suited to help non-profit organizations?
An LMS has a useful role to play in a resource-strapped non-profit. Not only can an LMS onboard new employees and train volunteers with little oversight from busy staff members, but it can also facilitate upskilling and or regulation training for current employees.
An LMS can help with those fundraising efforts, too. You can use an LMS to create promotional content that educates donors on your programs and funding needs or educate the public on your mission with the invitation to donate.
You can create a strong volunteer base by building an online community in your LMS, allowing them to train together, discuss their experiences, and share their advice with other volunteers. If yours is a large or multi-location non-profit, an LMS can connect volunteers or employees regardless of location.
Along these lines, if your organization has legal requirements to make sure that staff go through training on specific intervals, such as reviewing certain policies on an annual basis, an LMS is perfectly suited for this.
Your LMS can also help improve your organization’s reputation by positioning it as a thought-leader in your field. You can keep staff, volunteers, and investors abreast of changes in government policy, statistics, and regulations that affect your mission, showcasing your deep knowledge of the field and increasing your appeal to donors large and small.
A good LMS allows you to handle diverse training needs all in one place. Like any capable non-profit employee, it can wear a lot of hats.
So, what makes a “good LMS”? We’ve outlined the best features of some of the most popular learning management systems below so you can gauge which is the best for your non-profit.
The top learning management systems for not for profits
LearnRight is an LMS with limitless potential. No matter how many users or courses you want to host, LearnRight scales along with your growth. It also features:
- Email Marketing
- Online Community Builder
- Security Features
- Online Selling
LearnRight’s focus is on community building through learning. To achieve that, it offers customizable courses and modules for almost every conceivable learning scenario, from franchisee training to product training to education.
If you’re new to using an LMS, LearnRight offers a distinct advantage in the form of a dedicated LearnRight expert who facilitates your organization’s integration with the platform and helps you learn how to use its tools to create courses. This personalized service is standard for every customer, and it’s part of why LearnRight.com is our preferred LMS option.
LearnUpon works with some big-name clients, and it’s easy to see why. This LMS features:
- Course creation
- Training delivery
- User management
- Learner engagement
But, while LearnUpon’s customer support is fantastic and its learner interface is easy to understand, the admin interface can be clunky and hard to navigate. If you’re new to using an LMS, LearnUpon’s solution may be tricky.
TalentLMS promises to help grow your people so your organization can grow in turn. This LMS focuses on:
- Onboarding training
- Compliance training
- Customer support training
- Customer training
- Extended enterprise training
- Employee training
- Lifelong training
- Marketing training
- Partner training
- Remote workforce training
With TalentLMS, it’s easy to create courses and make them available to learners in a centralized system. Its integrations with other software, like HR software, are solid, too. The interface is a bit clunky and outdated, and the process of running/downloading reports could be more streamlined, but TalentLMS is still a sound choice for small to medium-sized non-profits.
Learndash is an LMS heavyweight with well-known clients and a host of impressive software integrations. Their advantages are:
- Easy course creation with a drag & drop course builder
- Elearning engagement with automated notifications and discussion forums
- Sophisticated marketing and sales abilities with
- Integrations with popular software platforms like MailChimp and Stripe
For all its advantages, however, Learndash may not be the best fit for a non-profit organization. This software primarily focuses on marketing and selling courses, so many features are geared towards those goals. Having said that, courses can be added without requiring users to pay.
Get started using an LMS in your non-profit organization
An LMS can revolutionize your employee and volunteer training processes, freeing up more time for your staff to carry on with your mission. It’s the software investment that keeps giving, lightening the load for your busy staff month after month, and empowering your new employees and volunteers with solid training so they can do their jobs better.
You can’t go wrong with any of the LMS options discussed above, but LearnRight is a particularly good choice for non-profit organizations looking to speed up employee/volunteer training, improve donor relations, and acquire new donors. Contact LearnRight for a free demo or a consultation by filling out this (very brief) form.
And if you’re ready to start branding and marketing your non-profit organization with purpose, book a free consultation with Wow Digital. We help non-profits reach new audiences and increase their donations with targeted web design and digital strategy, and we’d love to do the same for your organization.