I keep a creased and faded flip chart page on my wall. At the top it says, “What Could We Do? What Would It Take?” It comes from a November 2017 event at which we invited consultants and those who train to tell us how Washington can become a leader in nonprofit learning.
This is what these participants shared:
- Require conference speakers to demonstrate best practice
- Provide a pipeline of learning experiences that teach best practice
- Empower and equip staff to deliver training
- Homegrow (support local people to deliver local trainings)
- Offer peer circles or affinity groups to get at deep features of effective training
- Give feedback, Be uncomfortable
- Fund trainer capacity building
I keep this paper in front of me so that we can make progress towards our goal of every nonprofit learning experience being excellent and action-focused. Since 2017, we have offered 5 Train the Trainer sessions and maintain a list of over 100 consultants and in-house trainers we whom we regularly communicate. We have expanded our support to conference speakers to ensure they have access to adult learning excellence from the very beginning of the selection process. The evaluation form we launched in 2018 helps us to give better feedback to speakers.
What’s coming up? We are offering our annual Train the Trainer series again this February and March. (A few spots are available.) We are actively looking to connect with in-house learning directors within nonprofits to strengthen our network. We will be recruiting a new cohort of board trainers to deliver “Boards in Gear.” We are particularly hoping to find training-interested people in Central and Eastern Washington. (We welcome hearing from you if you are interested in learning more.)
We still have work to do, but at least we can say we did the last item on the list: commit. Stay tuned to learn how our commitment translates into people and programs.