Posts Tagged ‘education’

apple-desk-laptop-workingContinual learning and education are important regardless of what your role entails. It enables you to push and motivate yourself so you can engage more fully in your position, non-profit or otherwise.

Education, in any form, is vital to both your personal and professional life and can help in your future success stories. Showing an eagerness to learn and ability to increase your knowledge is very exciting to many employees and NFPs.

Did you know that there are many free educational opportunities out there? And did you know many of these are suitable for volunteer treasurers and NFPs?

Each year, NFP advocates and individuals offer free webinars on subjects specifically relevant to charities and not for profits. They can be a valuable source of information, particularly when they impart knowledge that can have enormous benefits to your organisation.

Learning from others who have gone before you is a great asset to your career path. Why make mistakes which can affect your fundraising ability or cost your NFP money when you can follow the advice of other fundraisers and charity workers? And as much of the work you do is relevant only to the NFP niche, it makes it even more advantageous to take advantage of these offers when they appear.

So what’s in store for January? Here are a handful of exciting webinars to get you started. Bear in mind that many webinars are offered live rather than as a recording, so you may need to set a reminder in order that you don’t miss these and other similar events.

The 7 Fundamentals of a Monthly Giving Program – January 12, 2017

In this 30 minute webinar, you will learn how to recognise monthly donors, how to set your ask amounts, how to present results and how to plan for growth.

10 Signs Your NGO Excels at Social Media – January 18, 2017

This live webinar will show real case examples of how to use images and video to increase engagement, how to inspire your donors to give as a result of social media and how to format online news and blog content for maximum effectiveness.

Finding New Donors for 2017 – January 18, 2017

This webinar will take you through new places to find donors, how to build your email list, cultivation tips to keep your existing donors and fast ways to thank your donors.

As technology changes and develops, so does the demands of fundraising and financial management. Keeping up to date with this ever-changing technology is more important than you think, especially since many of the areas are becoming more mobile in their capabilities.

New information is always relevant to fulfilling your role adequately. Familiarise yourself with NFP-related websites and mark your calendar with the many relevant webinars which will come your way in 2017 and beyond.


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DeathtoStock_Creative Community6According to Harvard Business Review writer, John Coleman, reading broadly is one of the most important habits aspiring business leaders should cultivate. Constantly seeking to improve general knowledge, flex comprehension muscle and increase vocabulary will reap many benefits for business leaders. There is no better way to develop all of the above, and more, than to dive between the pages of, well, just about anything you fancy.

In the article, “For Those Who Want to Lead, Read”, Coleman encourages business leaders to read publications of many different types, claiming that their organisations may “innovate and prosper” with influence from the benefits extensive reading brings. Extensive reading promotes creativity and enhances complex reasoning skills, two of the most important tools in the business leaders’ belt.

Reading widely also results in a broad knowledge base. Coming into frequent contact with new information and ideas, leaders who read are able to assess and possibly integrate them into their businesses. Fields such as economics, psychology and sociology all contain concepts that are likely to be useful to a business leader when applied wisely. Even reading fiction, Coleman says, will benefit business leaders, by helping them develop empathy that can be helpful when dealing with employees and clients.

Not only are avid readers more likely to understand the needs of colleagues and clients better, they are also more adept at communicating their understanding. Avid readers tend to be more articulate and have a wider vocabulary to choose from, so are able to express themselves more exactly.

Coleman also notes that reading for leisure keeps stress levels down, and so is a healthy way for people in high level positions to relax. It is also supposed to help ward off Alzheimer’s.

Although reading in “unrelated” disciplines or reading for fun might seem like a waste of time, for a savvy aspiring business leader, the opposite is in fact the truth. Spending time reading is investing in the multifaceted intelligence true leaders require; an investment that is bound to pay off.

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It’s 2014 and almost everyone has personal computers and access to the internet. Most of us have smartphones and tablets, book readers, and other electronic gadgets that allow us to keep the universe in our pockets. We live in times of new inventions and new ideas and it is amazing to see that the pessimists were not right to predict deterioration of knowledge with every step technology makes. It is today when education goes hand in hand with technology that we have more opportunities than ever to start or keep learning. And while MOOCs and online courses have been fairly popular for the last couple of years, let us present you Ted-Ed – a completely free, innovative and powerful platform for teaching and learning.

Ted-Ed, created by the people behind TED Conferences, TEDx, TED Books, etc. and supported by YouTube and Kohl’s Cares, is a platform offering lessons in the form of videos in 12 categories that encompass all areas of education. And here comes the interesting part – there are two types of lessons: those recorded by distinctive outstanding teachers and refined by talented screenwriters and animators to make them compelling; and those recorded by you, helping others see where you found knowledge, inspiration, understanding, skills and abilities.

What you can learn in Ted-Ed? Basically everything from ‘How to organise, add and multiply matricesto ‘Should I stay or should I switch doors’ or how to solve the Monty Hall Problem below.

You can choose your favourite subject and get the latest information and teaching updates or you can choose a subject you understand nothing about and change that! Or, if you want to help others, you can create your own lessons in a few quick and easy steps and contribute to the goal of TED-Ed to revolutionize the education in our world.  

In order to provide the education you need, Ted-ED has a number of great options to take advantage of. To start with, you can use the lesson filters which will help you differentiate between: a) TED-Ed Originals, TED Talk Lessons and TED-Ed Selects; b) Elementary/Primary, Middle/Lower, High/Upper Secondary Schools, College/University and Other content; c) videos with different duration – from under 3 to over 18 minutes. In addition to that, you can explore the TED-Ed series – a group of consecutive lessons that will continually help you improve your knowledge in a subject area. You can also take part in the community forums and discuss the lessons and other educational topics and at the same time, meet like-minded people and new friends.

Bearing all this in mind, there is one serious question left out – why bother at all? Because it is an opportunity – an opportunity to understand, to find out, to explore and analyse. To keep your brain fit and expand your knowledge. To learn something you have always wanted to know but never had the opportunity or time to do so. To rest actively – watch videos without feeling guilty that you are procrastinating or wasting your time. To become a better specialist and add some useful skills to your portfolio. And, of course, to have fun, because the videos at TED-Ex are not your average boring high school lecture on the laws of thermodynamics – they are created to engage and stimulate, not to bore and bother.

Visit TED-Ed and hit those ‘Play Video’ buttons – what are you waiting for?

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freeimage-6573496-webAs technology changes, the skill sets needed to be successful in any given field or industry also change. In order to be successful in many jobs, it is important that our skills grow with these changes, or we face becoming obsolete.

As a business owner or other professional, it can be hard to juggle the demands of our personal and professional lives without throwing continuing education into the mix. The rise of online learning is helping to make it easier for busy individuals to take the courses that they need on a flexible basis to keep their skills sharp or even acquire new skills to help them advance their position or even change fields entirely.

There are several providers of online learning courses. Coursera, Udemy and creative LIVE are three of the largest and most well-known providers of online education. Select individual colleges and universities also often offer online courses and seminars directly to the public for free or a reduced price.


Coursera features free online classes in a wide range of disciplines and fields from some of the most prestigious college, universities and institutions from around the world. Anyone can enroll in these classes and many of the classes offer certificates for completion of the course. For a small fee, some classes are eligible to be taken under the signature track program, which provides a verified credit of the coursework that can be shown to employers and others to prove one’s proficiency in the course.


Udemy brings together educators and experts from a wide variety of fields to provide educational programs on numerous topics. The company provides a platform where instructors can create their own courses and easily upload content and interact with their students. While some classes are free to take, other courses are offered with a price range that is highly variable. The company also allows employers to create their own educational pathways taught by their own experts to ensure that their employees obtain training and certifications in various fields.


creativeLIVE connects creative individuals and with some of the world’s leading experts and professionals from the world of the arts, design, photography, marketing, computer programming and more via live seminars. There is no charge for the courses, and students can ask the instructor a question or interact with participants through Twitter. While Coursera offers classes whose video components can be reviewed at a later date, creative LIVE offers the seminars that are broadcast live on the site and according to the production calendar. Individuals can also purchase recordings of the seminars at a later date.

While these three websites are among the best known for providing easy access to top-notch courses and training, others are certainly available, either for free or at a reduced rate. If you have a busy lifestyle, online education can certainly make it easier to juggle your other personal and professional commitments while also helping  you to obtain new skills or sharpen the ones you already possess.

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We all know that personal development should be an important and ongoing part of our lives. Can I ask you, though, when was the last time you thought about your personal development and your needs?
In fact, when was the last time you thought about where you want to go, not just in business, but in life?

For most of us, our personal development is an ad hoc thing. We see a course or a book that appeals to us and we grab it. Proper personal development should be planned to take into account our strengths and weaknesses. The problem with the ad hoc approach is that we’re human and we shove our heads in the sand when we don’t want to face a difficulty. Usually it’s those difficult things that are the signposts showing us what we need to do.

Business Link is a business advisory arm of the UK government. It has a questionnaire that you can work through which will lead you to an assessment of your needs.

If you’d rather avoid questionnaires visit Lifehack where there is a great article and useful guide written by Dustin Wax.

If you want to grow as a person and move on in your life, a personal development plan is a tool that you must have.

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