I think a lot about a metaphor my education professor used to talk about learning:
A learning program is like a fence. A strong fence has posts that go deep enough to reach solid, stabilizing ground. Its rails are wide enough to efficiently cover a lot of ground. (Too shallow or too wide and the fence falls down. Too deep or too short, and you run out of resources!) Likewise, a strong learning program goes deep on “mission critical” topics and broad across other topics so people get just what they need to take action.
Washington Nonprofits’ learning program is well known for our in person and online overviews on key topics. Thousands of people have taken advantage of our trainings related to boards, finance, planning, and the many free and low cost webinars we have produced with local and national experts. (Many of them are archived on our Washington Nonprofit Institute learning website.)
What many people don’t know is that we have expanded our “deep dive” offerings in the past year. To use the fence metaphor, we are deepening our posts for people who want to spend more time with a topic. We are particularly interested in making sure emerging and mid-career nonprofit staff get opportunities to learn about topics that move them forward in their work and careers. We want to make sure that staff and volunteers who find themselves doing jobs they may not have trained on—like grantwriting or communications—have some learning to backfill what they already know.
What are some of these opportunities for a deep dive?
1. MindEdge: On-demand professional development courses vetted by Washington Nonprofits and other state associations for quality learning at an affordable cost. Courses include:
- Data analytics
- HR Management
- Nonprofit Management
- Security Awareness
- & more
2. Grants Magic: On-demand grantwriting training that starts with the free “Quick-Start Guide to the One-Page Grant Proposal.” Maryn Boess is a popular grantwriting trainer who is known for her Grants Magic on demand series with which we have partnered twice a year. She has made these materials available for purchase ala carte and in bundled form. This is a great resource for those “accidental grantwriters” who need a boost on proposal writing specifics.
3. Washington State Nonprofit Conference: If you are looking for an in-person deep dive opportunity, we have 3 available to you:
- Volunteer Management with 501 Commons
- Risk Management in Action with NPIP
- Strategic Fundraising with Ostara Group
4. Next Level Nonprofits: We introduced this program last month, and the first event launched on January 7, 2019. But it is not too late to join in! Next Level Nonprofits is designed for board members wanting a deep dive into ways to strengthen their practice. It bundles our 3 hallmark programs with wrap around “booster” emails, an online forum, and help when you need it.
Of course all of these programs supplement the certificate and degree programs at community colleges and universities around the state. If you are looking for further education and want to know where to turn, you can look at the 501 Commons directory, or be in touch! We would love to hear from you.