Where to Find Free Training and Support for Nonprofit Professionals

Nonprofit professionals don’t tend to shy away from anything free—from software to extra gala desserts—and for good reasons! You’re thrifty and passionate people who want to invest it all in your organizations. But what about your career and training?

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Even if you only have ten minutes, there’s a lot you can learn to make your job easier and more enjoyable. Put down your wallet and the leftover hummus and explore this mega list of professional development opportunities that have your favorite price tag: FREE.

Free Resources for Nonprofit Professionals

Are you a staff member, board member or volunteer at a nonprofit? Regardless of whether you work in fundraising, marketing, programs, operations or finance, there are loads of online and offline opportunities to grow and learn as nonprofit professionals:

Webinars

It’s not uncommon to see nonprofit staff tune into a webinar over the lunch hour. Snack away while you hear from the experts. Get re-energized with new ideas and find solutions to pressing problems. And if you want to control the timing, many webinars offer recordings to people that sign up but couldn’t make it. Find upcoming webinars and recordings of past events:

Blogs

One of the best things about blogs for, and written by, nonprofit professionals is that you can digest them at your own pace. Subscribe to your favorites by email or by using a free RSS reader like Feedly. Start finding your people:

Online Courses & Tutorials

Many companies offer tutorials and how-to posts that are specific to their products. However, if you’re looking to dig deeper and do some real learning and skills development, there are thousands of free options at your fingertips:

Facebook Groups

Connecting with other nonprofit gurus on Facebook is a natural choice if you’re already active there. Just ask to join and then participate as you would with any group, asking questions, offering advice and celebrating the wins. And if you’re not familiar with the phrase “nonprofit unicorns,” get ready:

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups offer a more professional setting for nonprofit professionals to network and share their expertise. Even if your organization isn’t active on LinkedIn, you can still help build name recognition for your cause as you grow your personal brand:

Twitter Chats

If you only have an hour to spare once a month, it’s easy and stress-free to jump in a Twitter chat that matches your position or is related to your cause. We’re fans of the #NPMC chat for nonprofit marketing and communications, and you can find more ideas using the Big List of Twitter Chats for Nonprofits from the Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

In-Person Meetups

Move away from the screen and find like-minded people by looking for meetups and other informal gatherings for nonprofit professionals and similar groups:

Free Guides and eBooks

There are some amazing books out there for nonprofit professionals, but sometimes you need a quick read that gets right to the point. Here are some great online repositories of guides, templates and other downloadable resources:

Podcasts

Podcasts vary widely in terms of length and content and are a perfect way to catch up on nonprofit (and for-profit) news and innovative ideas. There are also some great podcasts out there if you’re into storytelling and want some inspiration. Download one before you walk the dog or catch a plane—they can go with you just about anywhere if you have a smartphone! Head over to Whole Whale to get the ultimate list of 101+ of The Best Nonprofit Podcasts.

Online Forums

Have a specific question about technology? Or maybe you want to start or join a conversation about a hot topic? Participate in online forums and discussion boards:

Your Local Library

Public libraries often offer free subscriptions to digital tools for research and training as well as in-person workshops on everything from PowerPoint to grant writing. And, of course, there are lots of books! Check out your local library to see if it offers things like:

  • Lynda.com subscriptions
  • Access to GrantSpace and Foundation Center
  • Computer literacy and Internet skills training
  • Books on fundraising, board management, nonprofit finance and more.

With busy schedules and limited budgets, nonprofit professionals often feel like they don’t have the opportunities or cash to learn new skills or software. It can also feel pretty lonely sometimes when you focus so much of your energy on the greater good without taking the time to improve your methods and explore ideas. Use this list of free training and tools to connect with the larger nonprofit community and find exciting ways to grow.

P.S. For an affordable nonprofit website, check out our platform ›

Did we miss resources and training that you’ve enjoyed or benefited from? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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